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Results are what you expect; consequences are what you get. Anon

Every morning we get up in the fond hope that we shall attain some worthwhile and tangible results during the course of the day. We maybe unsure of what exactly we expect but we are fairly sure that it has to be something that is to our liking. At end of day, when we look back we could possibly be left with a mixed day some good coming out, a large amount of indifference and monotonous happenings and occasionally some disappointing and frustrating moments. We react in different ways to each day, most times reasonably happy but when going through a rough patch as would happen if a close family member is very ill, then we would be upset, irritated and annoyed. At this critical junction in our life, we actually question the unfairness of the world and wonder aloud as to what wrong we have done to face such drastic consequences.

One needs to distinguish between the consequences of our actions and the happenings of fate in order to appreciate the reality that we are faced with. Death, illness, calamities are often the work of acts of god which are beyond the realms of human understanding or reason. However, there are plenty of self inflicted consequences that we are witness to and this is purely because of our own folly. A alcoholic getting liver cirrhosis or an obese person who takes no precaution to keep fit and suffers a heart attack are examples of self inflicted consequences. When we drink excessively or take no precaution to reduce weight, we never expect life to be too harsh and so we are confident that the results of our tardiness will never be serious. Unfortunately when calamity strikes, it is then it dawns on us that we are suffering the consequences of our lethargy and indifference.

In our day to life though we often make elaborate plans and preparations and when things don’t go our way we are terribly distraught and hate the consequences. What we fail to really appreciate is that with rare exceptions when acts of god override our plans, most times it is our flawed planning or unrealistic expectations of the results that leads us to face terrible consequences. A student who despite being advised to study regularly wastes his time and hopes to do well with a last minute studies and banks on some unethical means to score well would be mortified when he/ she fails the exams. Worse still is their rationalization of the consequences as being the result of questions being asked out of the syllabus, exceedingly tough questions paper being set, the perceived unfairness  of very strict correction etc. Nothing changes the reality though and the consequences are there as proof of some very unrealistic expectations of the results.

The concept of flawed planning goes beyond just the planning but extends to the poor execution of the plan too. The sports arena is resplendent with numerous examples of these phenomena. While at the briefing the coach would have meticulously chalked out the strategy and carefully selected the players, if the opposition has unleashed an action plan not considered at all, the entire pattern of the game is now turned on its head. The root cause of flawed planning is the basic assumptions made around which the plan is drawn up. The thousands of students who attempt very competitive exams, more in hope than in faith because  their own academic credentials are weak is a classic case of how our basic assumption of our ability itself is wrong and yet we plunge in with bravado. The concept of positive thinking does emphasize that we need to keep our face to the sun so that we do not see the shadow but this does not means we should not pay attention to the potholes along the way because of which we could stumble and fall. While hoping for the best results be pragmatic and then the ultimate consequences will never be a rude shock or a result in unbearable pain.

Remember: Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts inevitably bring about right results. James Allen

Try this:

  1. Attempt something that you have never tried before like going on a trek, or being a master of ceremonies or organizing a party / picnic. This requires a lot of planning and hard work all of which is centered around the results you expect. After the activity is over evaluate the outcome and study it both from the point of view of the success it gained and the areas of improvement.
  2. Recollect some of the most wonderful moments in your life and 2 of the worst moments. How much of influence did your planning or lack of it have on these good and bad moments? Do you think you would have done / reacted differently to those outcomes?

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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