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About three weeks ago, I experienced one of the highest AND one of the lowest moments of my professional career.

That morning, I delivered a keynote presentation that was very well received. This joyful experience was sharply contrasted with the speaking experience I had only hours later where I blanked out on the stage and forgot what I wanted to say for what felt like hours (it actually lasted only 8 seconds).

My immediate thought was to blame the technology. You see, I used someone else’s computer and the order of the slides was different than what I was accustomed to. However, I quickly realized that blaming the computer (or making any other excuses, for that matter) was disempowering me. It made me a “victim” and blocked my ability to access the thoughts and emotional state that I needed to be at my best. The moment I decided to focus on my role in creating this situation, my perspective shifted. I got all kinds of creative ideas about how I can use this as a powerful learning opportunity for myself and others, and I started to feel better.

When something happens to you and you acknowledge that as the reason for your pain or suffering, then that puts you at effectOn the other hand, when you choose to believe there was some action that you (consciously or unconsciously) took that caused it to happen, that puts you at cause. 

When you take responsibility, you are able to access ideas about how you can use that situation to generate an even better outcome in the future. In other words, you see the world as a place of opportunity where you have a choice in how you respond to people and events, and you consciously move toward achieving what you desire.

Unfortunately, most people are living their life at effect. They do not live their best life because they are too busy making excuses. For example, they think, “If only my spouse, my boss, my coworkers, my parents, my children, etc. understood me and helped me achieve my dreams or did what I wanted, then life would be better.”

The reality, however, is that waiting for things to be different or for others to do something for us makes us a victim of circumstances. It gives people and things outside of us some mystical power over us. And, how much fun is that? At the end of your life, would you rather have results or excuses regarding why you did not accomplish what you wanted?

All excuses are nothing but B.S. (belief systems!). They are only limiting you. They are destructive.

Choosing to be at cause by taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life gives you the capacity to get past any excuse in an instant. It allows you to focus on what is actually occurring and therefore have the power to do something about it. It can change your relationships, your health, your work environment, your income, and your emotional states. It can also determine whether you feel happy or sad, frustrated or excited, imprisoned by your circumstances or powerfully expressing your freedom.

A quick way to challenge your limited thinking when you find yourself on the effect side of the equation is to ask yourself, “How specifically does this person/event/situation cause me to choose to feel ___?” This will help you gain information about how you are perceiving the situation, and whether this choice is empowering or disempowering you.

I’ve had clients ask me whether I always live my life at cause. Of course not. However, thanks to NLP, I am able to quickly recognize those times when I am at effect and I immediately shift my focus. When I say to myself, “I DID THIS,” my brain provides me with powerful insights regarding why my unconscious mind created the situation for my benefit.

There are two NLP presuppositions that are important in the context of cause and effect: ‘There is no failure. There is only feedback’ and ‘There are no unresourceful people. There are only unresourceful states’. NLP techniques, which are the subject of later articles, can provide you with the mental resources to get the results you want in your life.

To learn more about my upcoming NLP Practitioner Training this August in Scottsdale or how to master your mindset through a Personal Breakthrough session, feel free to visit or to email me directly at

To your personal power!


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