Every behavior has consequences. We know that from cause & effect.
Most daily behaviors don’t carry massive immediate consequences, though. For example, if I eat pizza and wings instead of working out, it probably won’t trigger a heart attack, but I might feel bloated and sluggish tomorrow.
Suppose I read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations’ today. I’m unlikely to change the direction of my life before the sun rises again, but I might learn a new perspective that changes how I see aspects of myself or my life.
Most of our behavior, however, happens in patterns -- things we routinely do in response to triggers or contexts -- and behavior patterns lead somewhere. Our behavior patterns, more than any single act, are what bring us to our destinations. Behavior patterns have direction, trajectory, and high-probability consequences.
If you eat pizza and wings 7-10x a month, or the equivalent, and don’t work out intensely, there is no confusion about where that leads. Pizza is good, but where does that behavior pattern lead, and what is it worth?
If you read books like ‘Meditations 5-7x a week and apply them in your life, you’ll go on a different trajectory than if you watched TV or scrolled Instagram with that time.
We can’t always see consequences over the horizon, but we can see our behavior patterns and assess where they lead. Ask yourself where your behavior patterns are leading you, what value they create for you, and what specific patterns could cost you if they continue.