‘Are you AT CAUSE?’
This is THE key question, actually not… the TRUE question is ‘what is to be at cause.’ In that short TED video, Larry Smith, with a great sense of humour, tells us about all the excuses we find sometimes for not doing something. Finding excuses is actually the opposite of ‘being at cause’, finding excuses is ‘being in effect.’
In NLP terminology we defined ‘being at cause’ in relation to ‘being in effect.’ If you, or someone, remain ‘in effect’, you are somewhere seeing yourself as receiver, therefore as someone that has no power in changing the situation. ‘Being in effect’ is usually associated with the notion of ‘feeling that you are the victim,’ or the feeling of ‘acting as a victim.’ Suddenly, you move to ‘being at cause.’ Suddenly you ACCEPT you have some ownership in the situation created. What happens? Now that you have an amount of ownership in the situation created, you also have an amount of power in finding solutions. You are moving from ‘a victim’ or ‘a receiver’ to being an ‘active agent.’ You NOW have POWER to act!
There is sometimes resistance around this concept of ‘being at cause,’ people understanding it as meaning ‘being the cause’. This is not correct. The idea of ‘being at cause’ is not about blaming, it is about taking ownership for finding solutions and for moving forward. Another way to express this idea is to think and ask the following: ‘this has happened in my life/my business, for me/my business to learn something positive from it, which will assist me/my business in finding solutions to enable me/my business to move forward.’ For instance, when working with businesses, this simple question often brings forward identification of incorrect processes that actually created the situation to resolve; when working with individuals, this simple question brings often light to repetitive patterns of behaviours where finding the positive learning allows individual to create a more appropriate behaviour for a specific context.
To summarize, let me cite Richard Branson (Virgin Group) ‘Some you win and some you lose. Be glad when you win. Don’t have regrets when you lose. Never look back. You can’t change the past. I try to learn from it.’ This is an extract from Change your business with NLP (pg43), Lindsey Agness, the author adds nicely ‘This is very much the spirit of those leaders who operate ‘at cause’. They operate from a premise that on some level we create everything that happens in our lives. Now I don’t know if we do create everything that happens to us, but accepting that we do puts us in a position of power over everything around us.’
Practically you have three questions to assist you in ‘being at cause,’ three questions which are in fact re-framing of a single item: finding the positive learning(s) of the situation.
– For what purpose (positive intent) have I created the situation I am in?
– What is the positive learning I can get from the situation, positive learning that I will take with me for the future?
– What do I need to learn to do things differently?
So… find the magic, go be at cause!