Are you in control (“at cause”) of your conditions, or believe that you have little or no control (“at effect”).  Do you believe that “the economy” has control over your success? Do the “Insurance Companies” determine your patients’ treatment acceptance?

Do you know people who continually place themselves at effect and feel they are  a victim of circumstances?  The idea that other people are responsible for how they feel and act : “That  patient made me angry.”, or “My  lab is costing me money.”, or “People don’t want to spend money on dentistry today.”  Those who live their lives at effect often see themselves as victims with no choices whatsoever. The irony is that they do have choice and they have chosen not to choose but to be responsive to whatever is given to them.

Putting yourself at cause is about taking responsibility – recognizing that you have the ability to respond rather than just react to whatever life throws at you. You can make things happen; you have the power to change things.   You always look for the opportunity and you move towards achieving your desired OUTCOMES. If things are not unfolding as you would like, you take action and explore other possibilities. Above all, you know you have choice in what you do. This is the time to do something different- stand out from the crowd.

People who think they are at effect use words like “can’t” and  “I tried.” When you say “I can’t,” the computer in your brain steps right up and supplies you with lots of reasons why you can’t, and it also blocks the creative part of your mind from figuring our how you can. Thus, the fact that you can’t comes true, further reinforcing your belief that you really can’t.  Instead of saying “I can’t”,  begin to ask “How can I?” and keep asking until your brain supplies you with the answer you want.  I once heard a “motivational speaker” say, “After you think you tried every possible method, and still haven’t succeeded, try another method.” You could have asked Thomas Edison about that.

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.”

“I tried” is another favorite of people who feel they are at effect. The entire presupposition behind “I tried” is failure. No one who succeeds ever says “I tried.” They say “I will do it.” Trying begins with the belief in failure. To try, you must make pictures in your head of failing. My suggestion is to make pictures in your head of accomplishing whatever it is you want to accomplish. When you do this, you give your brain a signal to figure out how to do it. When you “try,” you give your brain a signal to figure out a way to fail.


In the 1st of the Star Wars episodes, Yoda instructed Luke Sky Walker (Harrison Ford), “There is no ‘try’. There is either ‘do’ or ‘do not.”

Why would someone focus on what they don’t want, and see themselves as being at effect of causes over which they have no control?   Fear. Scientology and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming are controversially at odds with each other on this issue but it remains that you can take control of your responses to whatever situation you find yourself in.  And you can consciously control the choices you have in any situation. Choose to be successful.

For further reading:

Psycho Cybernetics,  Maxwell Maltz, MD

Introducing NLP, O’Connor and Seymour

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.




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