Cause or Effect?

Do you choose how you live your life or let life happen to you?
Are you powering on full steam ahead or are your dreams of being fitter and healthier just a distant memory?
If the latter sounds more like you then the aim of this week’s blog is to give you a boost, a reality check or some tough love to get back on track and get moving towards a healthier you.

I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “Cause” and “Effect” but what do these terms really mean?

Playing The Blame Game
In a nutshell, to live “At Effect” means to take the position that everything which occurs in your life happens to you and you have no control, or responsibility, for how it came to be or how you react to it. For example, “I must have done something bad in a previous life because I can’t seem to lose this extra weight.”

Take Back Your Power
To live “At Cause” means to accept responsibility for what happens to you, not accept blame or fault, but accept responsibility and choose how you respond to it. Put rather simply, if you’re not getting what you want out of life, you can choose to sit back and say “Life sucks and I’m miserable” or “I don’t have the time to lose weight, get fitter etc…” or you can choose to be at cause by doing something to change your current circumstances.
Being at cause means you choose to do absolutely everything in your power to move from where you are now to where you want to be even if it means doing something you’re afraid of or uncomfortable doing – such as exercising or changing your eating habits.
And for those of you who are saying “…I can’t (get fit and healthy or lose weight or reduce my stress levels) right now because I don’t have the money…. I don’t have the time….I have too many responsibilities….I’ll do it when the kids go to school or when the kids leave home ….”, consider the story of W. Mitchell, a man who overcame burns to 65% of his body as a result of a motorcycle accident and a paralyzing plane crash 4 years later to become an international motivational speaker spreading his message that “It doesn’t matter what happens to you in life, it’s what you do about it”.
W. Mitchell could have chosen to give up on life when he lay in the hospital bed with burns to 65% of his body but he chose to live. He could have given up and said “Why Me?” when he had a plane crash 4 years later that left him in a wheelchair. Again, he chose to live and live an inspirational life.*

Being at Cause means accepting that you can Choose how you will react to any situation, what you will spend your money on, how and where you will spend your time.

As a Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach I’ve heard many reasons why people spend so much of their lives not achieving their health and wellness goals. So if you’re not where you’d like to be with your health and wellness, perhaps added a few unwanted kilos over the past few years or let your health slip because of other life commitments and choices, consider whether you’re choosing to play the blame game and whether you are really living at cause – cause enough to really have what you want for your life, health and happiness.

But I’ve tried Everything!
Have you really tried everything? If exercise and eating healthy is not working for you, have you exhausted all other options? Have you tried alternative therapies? Have you really looked at what you are eating and how much you’re moving? Your Sleep? The toxins in your environment?

But I have No Time!
We all have 168 hours in a week – no more, no less. Do you really have no time or do you choose to use it in ways that don’t support your goals? Do you make time to catch-up on all your favourite TV shows? Could your socializing time with friends be just as effective doing something active?

But I have No Money!
Being healthy and well doesn’t require an enormous outlay of money and you can choose how you spend the money you do have. And yes, paying taxes is a choice many of us make in order to avoid penalties from the tax office. You don’t need to join a gym or work with a Personal Trainer for the rest of your life in order to lose weight and remain healthy.  Personal Trainers are a great way to get you started, teach you how to exercise and to learn how you can manage your own health and wellness, but it’s not just what you do at the gym or with your Personal Trainer for 1 hour 1, 2 or 3 times a week, it’s also about what you do with the other 165 hours of the week when you’re not with your trainer or working out. It’s about eating well, sleeping well, lowering your stress levels and being active every day, or most days, even if it’s just getting off the bus one or two stops earlier, going to a park and kicking a ball around or going for a walk with a friend.

But I have no choice, I have to work long hours at my job!
Do you really have no choice? Is it possible that you actually choose to work long hours rather than have the boss upset with you for not completing your work on time?
Neither option may be favorable to you but it’s still a choice.
Realizing that you do indeed have a choice, even if sometimes neither option is favorable, can be really empowering and motivating but at the end of the day, it all comes down to having a big enough “Why” to change what isn’t working for you.

Get Back on the Wagon
So if you’ve “fallen off the wagon” with your New Year’s Best Intentions, why not make a choice to get “back on the wagon” and live a life at cause.

*From “Take Responsibility for your Life”, W. Mitchell
For more information on W. Mitchell, visit his website at www.wmitchell.com

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