Bits of Life Missed Worth Exploring

What We Did Not Think About


All of us have good ideas. Something seems very clear as to the benefit we would enjoy when doing something different. With excitement we pursue something — “full steam ahead”! Things we hoped will occur do. It becomes clear to see the outcome of what we chose to pursue.

What is interesting, especially in initiatives that are significant, are things that appear we did not think about. We did not plan for. Where we didn’t understand enough about everything that is needed in pursuit of a significant change or improvement.

In technical terms, we call this phenomenon second order effects. We clearly understood the first order effects and the outcome they could produce. But those things we never thought of (second order effects) are just as real. They too need our focus in spite of the successes we may see around us. We cannot leave them unattended. For in time they will sabotage all the good we are now seeing from our decisions or choices.

For example, one might find a weight loss program that works. One person could lose fifty pounds in a year. Clearly a success. But his wife became “grumpy” on this journey because of the meal choices this person made to achieve his goal. Something that he did not think about but certainly something, where some give and take is required to create more balance in his eating regimen to coincide with his spouse’s favorites. This would be an example of a second order effect that must be addressed (for better harmony between them in this case).

None of us are all knowing. There just isn’t enough time in a day to think or learn more about all possibilities. Stuff happens. Things we may never have considered possible. The important thing is not to beat yourself up when this happens. But to begin, thoughtfully, to explore these new issues in greater depth to find ways to address them. Always keeping in mind that the outcomes you chose by your decisions were worthy while understanding they too may need some refinement/adjustment so that the clear outcomes you chose can be realized.

Bits of Life Missed Worth Exploring


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