The potential benefits and possible consequences, positive and negative outcomes are opposite ends of the same stick, that stick being your job or role.

 And you cant have one end without the other.

If I take this analogy further then if you pick up one end of the stick and leave the other on the ground you effectively render the stick useless,  what can you do with it? you may as well not have it.

Further to this when you pick up your stick you need to assume ownership of all that it entails - you need to take responsibility for both ends.

Our actions can lead to a whole spectrum of outcomes good and bad and whilst we can't always control or guarantee the outcome we can control our actions and the decisions that led to them.  

Now there will always be things that are outside of our control but there are more elements of our day to day that are within our control than we probably realise or maybe even want to admit. 

So what we need to achieve here is a better perspective on the bigger picture - on how the great benefits and the serious consequences are often only a couple of decisions away.  Keeping this in mind can be a very effective guide during the decision making process.

In some ways it’s this loss of the ‘big picture view’ that can cause the normalisation of deviance or lead us into certain heuristic traps and I’ll talkmore about those at a later date.

To put it another way its like walking around only being able to see 3 feet in front of you - the terms ‘narrow minded’ or ‘short sighted’ could be applicable here too.

Don’t get me wrong its essential that we focus on the immediate, but not exclusively and not at the expense of the bigger or wider picture.

If you ride a mountain bike down a section of fast sweeping single track then you need to switch between focusing on the terrain just ahead of you and every so often glancing up to make sure you’re on the right track, can adjust for upcoming obstacles, pick the best line and avoid hitting that low hanging branch.  

A balanced view is what’s required and will greatly assist in making decisions that lead us to the positive outcomes we’re after and whilst keeping us away form the negative ones….

 

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Authorjp Edgington