Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Every action you take has a consequence, and should be considered carefully. The more important the action, the more careful consideration it deserves, and that consideration begins with you asking yourself questions.
The things that we regret in life are often those for which we did not consider the consequences. When my maternal grandfather died, he left his money equally to all his children, but he left his business to his only son. My mother's older sister, a widow, was in need of money, and my father, who had a strong sense of justice, fought to get her more money. He felt my uncle, who had been left the business, should provide for his sister. His intentions were honorable, but when he embarked on what he saw as a battle, he alienated part of our family forever. Had he stopped to think of the impact of his actions, he might have taken another course.
We often take certain actions in order to get short-term gains, and we fail to consider what will happen in the long run. Asking the following questions will reduce the possibility of that happening:
- What if . . . ?
- Is it worth it?
- What will I regret not doing?
- What might the short-term results be?
- What might the long-term results be?