We often hear the phrase: “$h*t just happens.” I have felt that way plenty of times. However, if we accept this premise then we are seemingly opening up ourselves to a life that is subject to Murphy’s Law. I don’t know who that guy was, but his life must have been outrageous enough for people around him to think that he was living in an unfortunate realm of continuous bad luck. It must have sucked to be Murphy. The unspoken understanding in all of this is that nothing is changeable…that we are doomed to a life that is vulnerable to every passing wave. This kind of thinking allows us to wallow in procrastination and mediocrity.

If we observe the world in a somewhat scientific manner, we can see that clearly there are other laws at work. Cause and effect is one of them. Now, I don’t presume to fully grasp all of the complex minutiae involved in explaining it…but I do know that if I throw a pebble in a pond that ripples will expand outward until they are impeded by mass. In the same way, the choices that I daily make can be greatly influenced by cause and effect. It is easy to look at ourselves and think that I only have a small pebble…but you cannot predict the effect of it until you throw it. You have the power of choice. It is one of the greatest powers that you can possess. You can choose to do something meaningful. I have a choice every day when I get home from work. I can watch reruns of The Simpsons, or I can go to the gym. That is the cause. The effect will be either a thicker midsection or a Dionysian physique. I could go on and on…

As a caveat to all of this…I do realize that sometimes bad things happen without our understanding why. I will not even attempt to explain the cosmos. What I do know is that we each have an opportunity today. What is your cause at this moment? What will its effect be? Maybe a better question is: what is the life that you are dreaming of? Perhaps the answer to getting there is hidden in your daily cause.

Charlie Newell is a recent graduate of the BA in Communications and Culture program. He is presently working as a Project Manager for a firm on Wall St. He enjoys sports, outdoors, cooking, traveling and his wife.