Working with Consequences
I have been trying to get a handle on what is bothering me at the moment and I think it might be that no-one seems prepared to accept consequences. Yet if you are going to live with dare and claim your life you have to start ’doing’ and the moment you start to do you have to start managing consequences.
If I am finding that my world is rejecting consequences it is generally a good indicator that I am! So here we go, getting to grips with consequences because until I do, there is no forward, there is just here and here is rather icky.
Accepting and managing consequences seems to have become a skill, which is good in that it means it can be taught, so what is it you need to know about consequences ?
- Consequences are not guaranteed.
- Consequences can be mitigated
- Often the price (consequence) is unavoidable and so the cost of doing
- Not all consequences are real
Why consequences aren’t guaranteed
When I decided to dive to 221 meters and create for myself a world record it took a long, hard and honest look at all the possible consequences, one of which was death, another permanent disability. It took me literally months to even face the idea of dying as a consequence of a choice I had made but the moment I did, was the moment I was free of that consequence. Hopefully you are not in a place where deciding whether or not what you want to do is worth dying for is something you have to choose. If you are grab a copy of the Dalai Lama – Advice on Dying – And Living a Better Life).
Here is the thing, there was no guarantee that I would die and there were actions I could take to actively reduce that risk. If I had been guaranteed death there would have been no point and if you are in a situation where your consequence is guaranteed (you have to say no and there will be fall out), jump to step 3 (try go through step 2 on the way because you never know, you may be able
Why consequences can be mitigated ?
You would be supposed at how much mitigation can happen. If you are unfamiliar with what it means to mitigate a consequence it is just a way to say reduce or minimize. If you don’t know how to mitigate that consequence, then skip to the next step but bear in mind that sometimes you have to take a chance and ‘live it’ to know how to manage it next time. What doesn’t work is consistently avoiding it.
Why you sometimes need to accept the price
For most people who read about my diving the fact that I was prepared to die whilst trying is something they just can’t get their minds around and maybe that is what separates me from other divers who don’t dive deep – I was prepared to pay the price and knew that avoiding the price could have been something I regretted. Not all prices are quite that severe. The price of saying no, the price of insisting that work is done properly, those actions often carry a price that whilst not pleasant isn’t necessary devastating. Just because people are going to be upset isn’t a reason not to do something. That would mean that your entire life is bound by keeping other people happy, which makes no sense if you take some time thinking about it. If you could make someone happy then you could make someone fall in or out of love with you and as I have yet to find someone who can do that I can only conclude that what someone feels is a choice they make. Of course they will be happy if you do what they want, but do you really want to be manipulated like that ?
To live with dare and claim your life also means rejecting being a victim of circumstance. When you live with dare actively moving forward toward your goal sometimes has a price (although I fully expect you to do your best to minimise them). Your job is too work out if what you are trying to create is worth that price and it is OK if you decide it isn’t. However living with dare often means making things uncomfortable…and that always comes at a price. Actually I have just accepted that if I want to create an environment where people are responsible for themselves, their actions, their destiny and their product then I am going to be up against their preconceived ideas and in all probability it is going to create tension. But imagine being in an environment where the people around me are fully empowered, able to be creative and add real value…that vision keeps me going when things get sticky.
I guess the question you need to ask yourself when engaging with a consequence before acting is , so what ? So what if it happens ? It is ok to feel uncomfortable, but will you still be moving forward ? if the answer is yes then I would suggest it is worth the price.
Why consequences aren’t all ways real
This is a short one and it revolves around one question, Really ? Or let me put it another way, why ? Why would that be a consequence. When I started pushing the depth limits I was consistently told me that if I did that, the following would happen. I believed these experts for a while then got fed up being blocked and started to ask why. To my surprise no-one was really good at explaining why I couldn’t do that, it was just not done. So start to ask yourself why ? Also start to ask yourself what it is you are afraid of… and don’t be surprised if the answer turns out to be the reactions of the people around you. One of the consequences we are taught to avoid is conflict. It is how the world creates good people who do what they are told, fit in and never really get anywhere but work very hard doing it.
Living with dare isn’t an easy choice. I have been living this in one form or another for over a decade and every day I learn more about myself, my ability to manage unpleasantness, conflict and that feeling of doubt that come with being outside of my comfort zone. In those moments when it gets sticky (and there are lots of those) I remember that feeling of surfacing after 6hrs underwater, a decade of my life now worth something. I remember that feeling of liberation and endless possibility. That is when I turn up my courage, batten down the hatches and go back into the dragons den. Getting it wrong isn’t what scares me, not trying and never moving forward, now that is petrifying.
What consequences are you avoiding ? Are they real ? Is what you want worth the price ? Start paying attention to these things called consequences that you hardly see. Give living with dare a chance…I dare you!