Cause and effect
I’m a runner, well actually more of a jogger truth be told. But I really love the feeling of fitness, of getting out in nature and I find it quite meditative actually. I’ve been running several years on and off and it’s always hard to build fitness at first and then it gets easier. For a long time I’ve believed that I can’t take a walking ‘break’ during my run because it’s hard to get going again. In fact I believed that once I walked it’s all over. Despite the fact that when I first learned to run I regularly ran/walked. Anyway it got me thinking about cause and effect. My belief was that walking caused me to lose momentum and the effect is that it stopped me from finishing my distance.
I’m currently training for the London Landmark Half Marathon in May (if it goes ahead!) and it’ll be the furthest I’ve ever run. I’ve had injuries that have meant I’ve had to take a break from training and today I got back out there. What I realised is, what if walking isn’t the thing that causes me to stop running. What if walking is what happens when I’m pushing my fitness and when I’ve reached that point it’s hard to keep going. It’s not the walking that is the cause, it’s the effect. If you’re not a runner stick with me.
How true is this when we think about life? How often have we attributed a cause that isn’t actually the cause? The person who’s upset us about something we were already upset about. That road rage incident when we were perhaps driving inconsiderately. That falling out within someone when we weren’t bringing our best self.
When we zoom out let’s consider what else are we attributing as a cause that’s actually an effect? How about someone who doesn’t feel listened to and maybe expresses themselves too forcefully so that people don’t listen to them? The person who doesn’t feel like they belong so they opt out of being part of a group or community and so they don’t belong? The person who doesn’t trust others easily and so tests them to the point that person walks away? Some might call this a self fulfilling prophecy.
My take on it is that any change has to start with us. Awareness is key, we need to be able to notice what’s going on. The second step is taking responsibility. For all of it. I know that’s huge. But it’s true. Taking responsibility for everything in our lives allows us to take the power back. It’s much easier to be in cause because we have a choice about what to do next, and to take action towards what we’d love to create next.
Let me know what you think!