Perhaps the very top principle/law in all of life, the causal chain is the fundamental mechanism for getting the results in life. Leave a flaw or a missing in the chain and your life will be negatively effected. Perfect the key causal chains in life and your life will be incredibly great - guaranteed, base on the reality of cause and effect!
Seeing and looking forwards and backwards on the causal chain for any result allows one to better design a path, or system, to achieve any desired result. Using it also massively improves one's ability to solve problems.
Be especially aware of the negative downward spiral, where a negative is added into a downward spiral and perpetuates and/or increases it. Every opportunity to stop a negative and to insert a positive cause should be taken, until one has achieved an "upward spiral". See, for example, Stopping The Negative Conversation Spiral.
RIGHT CAUSE OR WRONG CAUSE?
Misidentifying cause does not lead to solution. However, properly identifying cause immensely increases dramatically the probability of a good solution, provided you use Problem Solving that is systematic. Wrong cause does not work, such as in relationships. Many in relationships think the cause of their unhappiness is their partners, whereas the actual cause is some fear that possibly has actually resulted from a neutral event. Understand the blame cycle to see fully where people's misunderstandings and victim stance are the actual cause of the problem.
Or people believe the behavior was a result of the upset and couldn't be prevented. Or that the failure in a diet was due to the diet and/or due to irresistible impulses - and they never get to the actual cause.
Or in politics, where we attribute cause to a President being there at the time that something happens, when in fact the occurrence was independently occurring. For instance, the Internet boom was misinterpreted to be something caused by the President in office and then it was (falsely) concluded that the President was the cause of the budget surplus that occurred from increased revenues from the economic situation over which he had no control! People will take credit for things that they had no cause over, and make themselves more electable, as people fail to look more deeply at true cause and effect.
Spend some time learning the causes in each area of endeavor for you, as you can then solve the problem. Wrong cause doesn't work and will cause repeats of the same problem - and isn't it worth it to stop getting the same old results!
the belief is the cause of the chemical which motivates us and then we try to solve it based on our beliefs and produce a behavior which has a consequence the ultimate effect, but note the causal chain.
DON'T JUST SOLVE THE SYMPTOM, SOLVE THE CAUSE!
"Solving the symptoms, never solves the cause. Thinking people solve the cause of the problem, so that they won't keep on getting the effects (symptoms) of the problem." (From Thinking Isn't So Difficult.)
In order to get rid of the undesired effect, we need to get rid of the cause! You can’t just “solve the symptom (the effect)”, for that will be temporary. You’ve gotta solve the cause!!!!!
There is evidence all around you of people who have been dealing with symptoms for years and years, but making no progress. That is simply from "wrong targeting", as the target to be solved is the cause of it all!
RELIEF FROM SYMPTOMS IS NO SOLUTION
The ineffective seek relief from anxiety by escaping. This's does not work.
Read Why We Do What We Do. Once you identify the basic "why", then you are at the source of the undesired behavior, at the cause of it.
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OCCUR IN CHAINS
The biggest bang for your buck is usually in curing the basic cause at the beginning of the causal chain.
For instance, a simple chain usually looks something like this:
Event--> Perception/interpretation--> Belief--> Emotion--> Belief-->
Emotion--> Belief --> Choice of behavior --> Behavior
You can intervene at any point before the behavior and it may be helpful. The best points are usually as early in the chain as possible. The most effective places will be:
1. At why the event occurred and how to make it less likely, possibly.
2. Whether there is some misperception/misinterpretation that created it as
having a threat in it.
3. A belief that is dysfunctional, such as "that means big danger" or "that person
is threatening me in some way".
The chain does not look like this (as discussed in the Beliefs section):
Event (causes) --> Behavior, Emotion (maybe in an animal, but not a human!)
LOOK FOR THE CAUSE
From another section:
Thus we need to look for the places where you have negative feelings (the “effects”) and then know that there must be a “cause” (simple logic: it takes a cause to create an effect; if there is an effect, there must, therefore be a preceding cause).
DON'T FORGET TO CARRY IT OUT TO THE END EFFECT!
While we want to complete the chain going backwards to the cause, we sometimes forget to complete the chain going further forwards, to the actual end result.
One of the major problem causers in psychology is that we get to "the emotion" as a result of, say, a bad belief and then we fix the bad belief, and we are quite happy... maybe. But if we analyze anything without seeing the whole chain, we may "forget" something or oversimplify.
Say we decide other people's opinions of us are just reflections of their thinking and not really about us and as a result we "feel better".
BUT while that changes a piece of the chain, maybe, it does not get at the cause of the chain which might tie in with one of the beliefs later in the chain, like, perhaps, "I am screwed if people don't approve of me". That is, of course, a massive generality of vagueness, where we become afraid of the symbol (not being approved of) and are disconnected from the reality of whether or not there is a real world consequence.
If we get more specific and ask "well, what is further up the chain?", then we might discover in many cases that we are assuming people will take away our safety in the tribe and/or that we are valuing people's opinions where they will actually have no effect on us because we are never going to see them again, or there is no interaction that will affect anything later, or that the result from them dissing us in the community is approximately zero - well, there are alot of optional paths to go down, but we want to go down them to see if there is an actual effect on us (and whether it is big enough to put any concern on).
Ultimately, we might discover that the "fear" that caused the upset in the first place is based on a vague end consequence that is assumed. If we find that there is no such end consequence or general danger of any sort, then, of course, there is no basis for the fear in the 1st place. For instance, we may end up concluding that if we do not get alot of approval from others, it will make virtually no difference in our actual lives (and that we are just "making up" some consequence, which only exists in our own mind and is therefore not real).
If we basically look back to see the parts of the chain, then we might miss the significant parts further up the chain! The fear is about losing something in the future and how badly that will affect us, but the reality is that if we project forward realistically we might find that to be untrue and baseless! Indeed, in most cases, it turns out that there is no real consequential impact in the real world!
IN DECISION-MAKING, "PROJECT" FORWARD!
We all "know" that it is unwise to not consider the consequences of our actions.
As a teenager, for instance, while it may be pleasing to think of the sexual thrills of this opportunity, it would be better to also think of the potential dangers and problems and to specify them in writing, including what the problems would do to the rest of our lives! The latter is often left out, as we stop too soon in the causal chain, without asking "Is the the final, final result?"
In business, we may do an acquisition without considering all the effects on the other company or on the long term, but we get in trouble if we haven't considered all of the possibilities of what could happen, including the worst case!
If there is a big, important decision that could result in a big impact, it is, indeed, vital that we write it out completely and look at ALL of the pieces of the chain, including the different paths that might result from here forward. If it is really important we would do this to the extent it might look like massive overkill of too much analysis - but it is best to err on the side of doing too much "due diligence" and checking, as too little checking may cause a big problem.
Indeed, we should follow the Carpenter's Rule: "Measure twice, cut once." Otherwise, we may find it is too late and we cannot recover (the piece of lumber or whatever else will be lost.)
CAN’T SKIP OVER THE NECESSARY STEPS
Many people want to skip over the steps and have some magical conclusion that will relieve them of all that stress and bad feeling – but that is magical thinking – which is something that is a characteristic of an 8 year old child. This is not highly recommended for an adult to run his/her life on!!!!!!!!!
BEING "AT CAUSE" OVER YOUR LIFE; BEING POWERFUL
When one gives up waiting to have others rescue them or cause an effect on them, then one begins to be "at cause over life." In other words, one takes over as the sole person responsible for creating the desired effects, such as dealt with in the section called 100% Responsibility In Life . To be fully "at cause", one needs to find out where one is on the Victim Vs. Cause Scale . Where are you on that scale? Are you really as good as you might think? You'll note that those who are powerful in life are spending alot of their time improving the causes that produce good results, such as emotional discipline, character, etc. Each of the things dealt with in that section are immensely worthwhile doing or being. Decide for yourself.