You Choose the Behavior You Choose the Consequences

  • Written by Ron Howden
  • -Friday, February 11, 2011

Every day you face choices about what to do or what not to do. Do I hit the snooze button or do I get up? Do I eat breakfast before leaving home or do I skip breakfast? Do I tell those closest to me how much they mean to me or do I say nothing at all? Is my drive to work aggressive or calm? Do I appreciate that I have a job when I see the homeless person on the on ramp to the freeway?

How do I feel about those I work with and my job? Do I look for the good in others or do I tear them down without taking the time to understand their struggles?

Choices Create Habits

Every question here and hundreds of other questions will produce different results based on how you choose to respond to them. When you choose the behavior you choose the consequences. Hitting the snooze takes time away from your morning activities leaving you less time to interact with those around you, time to have a meaningful conversation with a spouse or child or roommate. Do the others in your life know they are appreciated, or do you rush past them on your way out the door?

As you choose your behaviors you set in motion your habits that determine where your life will go. As you choose to look for the positive and good in life you will see it and be thankful and develop a sense of gratitude. Obstacles will be there but they will not stop you from enjoying life. You will see them as opportunities to learn about yourself, to develop new or different skills, and to meet new people.

Good Choices Create Good Relationships

In those opportunities you are presented with new relationships, ideas, challenges, and rewards that you might have missed. People want to be around you and seek you out to enjoy your company. Your bodies even respond better to injuries and illness when you are in a positive frame of mind. The possibilities are endless.

Today I chose to hit the snooze button. I think I need that 9 extra minutes for sleep. Maybe I hit it again, 9 more minutes lost. Less time to get ready to go, to interact with those I care about, less time to eat a good breakfast, less time to calmly drive to my destination today. I am more likely to drive aggressively to make up for sleeping in this morning. I have now increased my chances for an accident or to be late for work or my appointment.

Choices Create Results

These choices may seem small until you look at the habits they form and the results that occur because of these habits.

What happens to the relationships that are respected, valued, and enjoyed over a long period of time?

The relationships are more rewarding and satisfying and better able to withstand the bumps in life.

What about work? Pleasant people are more enjoyable to work with.

What happens when you choose to make negative choices? Outcomes could be loss of trust, loss of friendships, spouses and children not feeling wanted or valued and not engaging in the relationship or under performing at work or school. You may compensate by seeking approval from others which can lead to more unhealthy habits, risk taking, unhealthy relationships, and missed opportunities in school or at work.

Choices Have Consequences

People have had to shorten their education, change jobs, lose friendships, relationships, and marriages due to the consequences of many seemingly small choices.

The consequences of your decisions have short term results and they have long term results. The outcomes can be very rewarding and beneficial or they can be frustrating, painful, and limiting.

What behaviors of yours are working for your benefit and which ones are taking you away from what you are wanting more of in your life? Decide today to improve the quality of your life by making good choices.

Ron Howden is a Board member and a large group facilitator for Foundations for Tomorrow. He has been active in Foundations since 2004 and was instrumental in bringing the program to Portland, Oregon.