Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who Can We Trust?

There are so many Causes out there who sincerely believe their way of obtaining goals is the best way.  But how do we know which ones to trust for our specific goal?   Many of them conflict with each other.  We don’t want to be fooled and wind up in a place we never intended to be.  And we don't want to be neglected either so that we don't make any progress.  Yet we know we need to trust someone.  Because we have goals, we need guides.  We need Causes.

General and Specific Causes

Just as we have both general and specific goals, there are also both general and specific Causes.  In regards to our general goal to obtain a greater degree of happiness, we look to a general Cause as our guide.  

A General Cause has already obtained a greater degree of happiness than we have.  He’s* already taken that journey and has the ability to point out the general rough spots, tricky places, and deceptive pathways that every single one of us encounters.  He knows the general lay of the road and how to get back on it when we deviate.  This Cause is focused on the general process to obtain sustainable Joy and has the desire to help us obtain it for ourselves and those we care about.

*Recall that Causes can be male or female (or male and female--team) but for simplicity’s sake, I use the male pronoun when referring to a Cause.

Specific Causes have obtained the specific goals we desire to achieve.  They know the specific road, the rough spots, tricky places, and deceptive pathways that they encountered on their personal journey so can warn us accordingly.  Since they have already developed a certain skill, talent, or ability, they can teach us how to do it.

Egypt Mount Sinai Guide

I went to Egypt last Spring.  We hiked Mount Sinai in the middle of the night.  There was a full moon out so we didn't need to use our flashlights but still we couldn't see much more than the next step in front of us  There were Bedouin guides assigned to bring us up the mountain and then back down.  One of the guides assigned to our group was 17 years old.  I found myself literally walking in his footsteps.  He had done this a million times before so I knew he knew the best steps to take to avoid the rough rocks on the paths and the camel dung.  I followed him all the way up and it was an amazing journey!  It was even more fun with him as my guide.  On the final stretch when we had to hike over huge boulders, he took my hand and we ascended together.  It was all so symbolic and the feelings I experienced were incredibly powerful.

Conflicting Causes and Opportunity Costs

Just as our specific goals can conflict with our more general goals, our specific Causes can conflict with our General.  A Cause may prescribe a specific process to achieve a goal that conflicts with our General Cause’s prescribed process to obtain Joy.  We may actually achieve the specific goal but at the expense of happiness.  Joy, then, becomes an opportunity cost to obtaining that specific goal.

This is why we need to evaluate specific potential Causes by their prescribed processes as part of our goal achievement journey.  It is also why we need take ample time to develop our relationship with our General Cause.  His prescribed journey and Effects become a standard by which we can evaluate Specific Causes.


Specific Causes who are in alignment with our General are powerful influences for good.  They are so beautiful!  In helping us obtain our Specific goals in a way that is in alignment with our General, they assist us in obtaining Joy (Isaiah 52:7).  They also can describe how to improve our relationship with our General Cause through the recording of their field notes from their own journey to know him better.

Goal Achievement

So think about this again:
What is your Specific goal?

Who is your Specific Cause to help you obtain that goal?  This person should be an exemplar, a provider, a mentor, and an evaluator that brings you Joy on your journey.  This is most likely a team of people who assist you with the different facets of your goal.

Does this Cause’s prescribed methods for obtaining that goal balance or conflict with your General Cause’s process to obtain Joy?

Have you taken enough time to get to know your General Cause?  Do you have enough time in your daily schedule to maintain, repair, or strengthen your relationship with your General Cause so you can evaluate your Specific Causes more accurately?