It’s not a four-letter word, but it is a four-syllable word that many people don’t like to hear: consequences. And all of us, regardless of stature and notoriety have to face them. Thinking before you act helps to protect you from the negative consequences of our potential actions.
In both cases, both men should have considered the effects that their actions would have had on their families and their wives. In Sanford’s case, he didn’t just lie to his wife but he lied to an entire state about his whereabouts while he went to visit his Argentinean mistress – leaving the state without a governor for days.
These are major transgressions played out of the national and international media stage, under the hottest of spotlights that 99.9% of us will never have to face. Yet, we still have to face consequences for our own actions.
There are consequences for big things like:
- embezzling money, even if you need it and have a good reason for taking it.
- cheating, even if your spouse doesn’t understand you or seek to meet your needs.
- getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks.
There are consequences for the smaller things like:
- underperforming at work or school, whether you like the assignment or not.
- not controlling your anger and lashing out (verbally or physically), even when you feel justified or that the other person was wrong.
- procrasinating around important tasks and decisions, even if they are difficult or boring.
There is always a reason, even a good reason for ignoring the obvious consequences but that reason (feeling justified, being wronged, being bored) does not shield you from consequence.
Hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to think about what we could have, should have or would have done differently. Foresight is a lot harder. It’s not as easy to see where we could go, what we should do or what would be best. Yet, it helps if we just take a moment before we leap to take a good look at where that leap will lead.