Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Cumulative Effect

The great thing about energy is that it’s fluid. It can run high, low, positive, negative, and even passive. Our energy changes based on the situation at hand, our perspective of it and our physical condition at the time. The cumulative effect is the buildup of emotions and attitudes based on long term repetition that affects our reaction to different circumstances. A negative reaction can occur at different times for different people but it happens pretty much for everyone. When it does happen, it can be responsible for some of the most misunderstood behavior. Many consider it the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

It’s not that a reasonable person is suddenly prone to anger just because someone else does something that irks them (like never closing a drawer), or that the idea of a 12 hour work day makes an otherwise ambitious person want to curl up and stay in bed. It is the cumulative effect of dealing with issues, over and over again and on top of each other, that makes them so stressful or simply intolerable. You may be able to take things one day at a time but the days add up and so does the impact. That’s the cumulative effect. It puts emotional weight on the stressors, and that leaves too little time to nurture the things that really matter.

We’re talking about burn out, here and it hurts because it tends to singe every part of life. Don’t let it happen. Look, the great thing about anything negative is that the opposite end is positive. That end is very much in reach, every day, all of the time.

Even if you don’t think you can change your life or the stressors in it, you can change your mindset. This is exactly what RELAX. SET. GO. is all about . . . and it is life changing. The idea is to create a new level of engagement: tolerance, indifference, gratification, or whatever feels best. This depends on the energy you assign and the behavioral pattern you either follow or decide to break. Identify the cumulative stressors (or irritants) and make a decision about them. Mark each one with a mindset that will help you manage it and change your perspective to one that works for you, not against you. Make that mark (chosen mindset) your trigger for success and think about this: also identify the cumulative positives in your life and give them a little well deserved recognition, too. Just like the negatives that add up to the weight of the world, there are likely as many or more positives that should lighten the load. If you have the choice, and you do, always choose the positive. Because the truth is that the cumulative effect is very likely to become the constant condition and when it does, you want it to be a good one.


  1. Hey, Great writing, attitude and perspective. It's very refreshing. You mention energy, and that, like water, often takes on the form of the context its put in to. Water takes on the dimension/context of a glass that its poured in to, for example. If I pour my attention into a healthy or refreshing context, like reading your article, I can gain favor in my endeavors to the extent I allow my attention to garner the right attitude and perspective. Where it gets particularly exciting (looking forward from the present as opposed to looking forward from the past) is where I give my attention (my concerns, wants, needs and desires, to God, my highest operating context, and take my action from there in the face of all circumstance and historical perspective that binds my actions to a context that demands a 12 hour work day and higher achievement in the world of consumption which thrives on consuming each us. e can't be consumers without being consumed - until our perspective is corrected by who we really are. When I walk out on God's direction, it's exciting because despite the outward appearance of things and how they "should" be, he shows me another way that yields far greater results in my life with an energy that fulfills on itself - as opposed to feeding off me. In the end I'm left with a greater and more empowering now. Which leads to a exciting future and a day by day also a healthy past ... it is written to simply seek God we gain His favor. Keep seeking and favor is added to favor.

  2. What a invigorating post today and following comment from a fan WOW!!!