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!

                                                             The BuddhaKahuna

First, read this:

 The Laws Of Cause And Effect - They Work Backwards - And Forwards - Know these or you'll end up experiencing bad effects too often! "Bad effects" are the symptoms resulting from a "bad cause". If you don't fix the cause, you'll get to, over and over and over, have to deal with the symptoms. You can't solve a problem without solving the cause. (Duh!)

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.


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.


This is even discussed in Key Thoughts And Behaviors To Choose To Attain Personal Happiness and Peace

"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!  


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. 


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!)


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). 


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! 


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.)


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!!!!!!!!!


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.

(Read Being At Cause In The Matter Of My Life.)


(Read these as if they are small chapters in a book, leading to full understanding.)

(Simpler overview piece) 

The Laws Of Cause And Effect - They Work Backwards  - And Forwards - Know these or you'll end up experiencing bad effects too often!  "Bad effects" are the symptoms resulting from a "bad cause".  If you don't fix the cause, you'll get to, over and over and over, have to deal with the symptoms.  You can't solve a problem without solving the cause.  (Duh!)


Solve The Cause, Not Just The Symptoms - Each Time You Do That, You Advance Your Life - You eliminate what keeps it at the lower levels.


Causal Chain For Behaviors - Where you intervene matters - a lot! 

The Causal Chain For Happiness - The Way It Actually Happens, Not The "Other Way"   - A Crucial understanding dealing with the most important thing in life!


Also related

Problem Solving - Having this skill and using this process results in having no major problems in life!

Blame - Attributing "cause" to something outside oneself prolongs passivity (inaction) and "feeling bad."

Why We Do What We Do - We never do something for "no reason".  (It might be a "bad reason", but there is always a reason!)  Know this and then you can use the process of change, which is very effective.

Victim Vs. Cause Scale

Being Powerful in life     

Living Life As A Life Champion  

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Everything occurs in a chain/sequence/system. It starts with a cause/trigger.  It ends with an effect/result/consequence.  But we fail to look back far enough at times or to look further ahead, so we often end up missing something important or even vital.

If there is an undesired result, then we have to look back at the chain to see what part is flawed (or missing). 

If we think we have the end point in a chain, we might be missing a further end point, not realizing that what we thought was an end point was actually a "means to" another end point.

Drawing a causal chain is a key to finding out what is needed and/or what caused a problem.  It pays to use this as an analytical tool, a way of thinking, as you'll solve more problems and miss fewer critical causes. 

A chain simply looks like this (though sometimes with multiple layers or causes):

  ?   →   A  →  B →  C →  D  →   Effect → ?

The "?" marks are to indicate that we need to look further back or further ahead at times.

As an example of not using the causal chain thinking, doctors often treat symptoms, but fail to cure the causes, thereby allowing the symptoms to recur later in life.  Human beings also tend to approach problems in their lives that way - and then they wonder why problems persist...

Another prominent example lies in the practice where we seek things as if they are end goals, whereas they are actually "means" to the end goals.  A classic example lies in the quest for money, where it may contribute to our happiness but where we fail to see that other things leading to happiness are being forfeited unwisely, thereby reducing our happiness. If we drew out a causal chain for happiness and worked our way backwards on it we would discover all (or more) of the things that cause happiness

The end goal of life is happiness, but if we saw the full chain that produces "happy feelings", we would know that the mechanism underlying it all is evolutionary survival.  We could then use that mechanism to more effectively create happy feelings and happiness itself - and also not get stuck in "mythical"/believed tactics that we think will produce happiness but don't - sometimes doing the opposite!  Do this right and we will be able to create and live into what really makes our lives the most meaningful and fulfilling.

It is worthwhile learning this way of looking at all things in life, all problems, all creative it will lead you to do more of what really works in life and less of what doesn't.

Indeed, it can help pave the road to a great life! 

(It might appear to be difficulty, but, once you begin to learn it, you'll quickly see the simplicity of it AND the magnificent potential effect it can have on your life!)

The next time you are in a problem solving or "creative" meeting (with others or with just yourself), whip out (draw out) a causal chain to fill out - it'll make a huge difference!  

This is a major strategy/tactic that you should use constantly in life - do not underestimate it nor underestimate the importance of having this be a regular tool to use. 

See Using The Full Causal Chain To Solve Problems - Better Conclusions, Better Solutions, And A Better Life!   


Cure the cause, not just the symptoms!
The principle of cause and effect
Right cause or wrong cause?
Don't just solve the symptom, solve the 
Relief from symptoms is no solution
The causal chain - causes and effects 
   occur in chains
Look for the cause
Don't forget to carry it out to the end 
Can't skip over the necessary steps
Being "at cause" over your life; being 



"The wise person solves a problem by curing the cause.  The unwise person spends vastly more effort in repeatedly responding to the symptoms.  One cannot solve a problem by solving the symptoms."

                                                                                  The BuddhaKahuna

"A stitch in time saves nine."


It is simple.  

A cause causes an effect (result).  

Correspondingly, for every effect there must be a cause.  (Duh!)  

If we want to eliminate the bad result (the "effect"), then we need to identify and correct the cause!  (Much like problem solving, we must go backward from the result to the cause and then insert a new cause to create a new result.  Duh!)

We simply note the undesirable effect and we work our ways “backwards” to the origin - we find the cause. 

If you’re getting poorer results on average in any one area, then the law of cause and effect says there must have been a cause, one you can change.  In other words, if you get bad results, stop doing what you’re doing (!) and find out what would work better on average and start doing that.  (This is what a Champion At Living Life does - frequently and quickly!)