Cause and effect: The missing principle

Every day, the mass media brainwashes us to expect and demand more, and to want it faster, easier and cheaper, through a non-stop onslaught of advertisements and infomercials.

Every day, the mass media brainwashes us to expect and demand more, and to want it faster, easier and cheaper, through a non-stop onslaught of advertisements and infomercials.

by Dr. Joel Brame —

In the United States, we now have more access to health information than ever before. Health magazines, newsletters, journals and Web sites are everywhere. This information abundance should logically create an improvement in the overall health of our society. However, such results have failed to manifest. Instead, obesity continues to rise, only a small fraction of people eat sufficient fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, and medical drugs are the fourth leading cause of death.

What has gone wrong? In this author’s opinion, immediate gratification is the culprit. Every day, the mass media brainwashes us to expect and demand more, and to want it faster, easier and cheaper, through a non-stop onslaught of advertisements and infomercials.

For example, tips about how to lose weight with no effort infiltrate magazine covers. Comedian Brian Regan harps on people who microwave their pop-tarts because they refuse to wait for an entire toaster cycle. One electronics store adopted a commercial jingle that repeatedly screams, “I want more.” Indeed, personal responsibility is rarely promoted, if not shunned entirely.

The problem with immediate gratification is that it forgets an age-old principle: cause and effect. Cause and effect applies to all aspects of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Here’s how it works: if we want a big effect, we must apply big causes. If we apply minimal causes, we get minimal effects. Have you noticed that effortless weight loss approaches typically achieve short-term or miniscule results?

The effects in your life are a direct reflection of the causes you put in place. Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and Tiger Woods never took the quick-and-easy approach. They applied massive causes and got massive effects.

Health follows this same principle. If our efforts are minimal, we will get minimal benefits. For example, to truly eliminate lifestyle-related high cholesterol, consistent diet and exercise are big causes that will achieve big, long-term effects. Pills are little causes and achieve only minor, short-term effects — stop taking the pills and the cholesterol jumps right back up. An example of the cause and effect principle at work!

How does this apply to you? Ask yourself two questions. First, “What effect would I like to see in my life that currently is missing?” Maybe it is more energy or better finances. Then ask, “What causes must I put in place to achieve that effect?”

If you do not know the causes, talk with someone who does — you know who they are because they have achieved the effect you desire. Ask them what causes they put in place. If you consistently apply those causes in your own life, you can eventually achieve almost any effect you desire.

 

Dr. Joel Brame, N.D., M.Ed., is a licensed naturopathic physician and director of After-Cancer, a program for distressed cancer survivors who want to prevent recurrence. He is the author of Modern World Modern Health: How to Navigate the Natural Health Scene. 602-561-4376 or www.joelbrame.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 1, February/March 2006.

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