Decisions have consequences (Day 12)

Note: Just so I don’t mislead you guys here, I spent more than two hours writing this post and a long time thinking about the topic before I could post this. The time I list here is only for game development. 🙂

No action stands alone. I’ve seen this firsthand. Yesterday, I admitted I went to Thailand and I did “a thing”. Today, this girl I know refuses to talk with me. A few days ago, I admitted I don’t believe in God. I’m going to call my mom in a few hours to have a talk that I assume is about that very admission. Completely fine. I was like the kid with the firecracker. I was curious. I had to light it.

If you read what I wrote so far and decided you wanted to do something (like write a blog), I want you to make sure you really want to do it. To do that, you first have to look as many steps down the road of consequences as you can, and decide whether you still want to do that thing with them in mind.

Classic example: A man wants to leave his marriage. Why does he want to leave the marriage? The truth is he doesn’t love his wife and he thinks he can love someone else more. Sometimes people think that. He shouldn’t avoid that feeling. That feeling is the truth. Instead, he should think his decision through completely. What are the consequences of that decision? Well, this man has three kids. Let’s start there.

So his kids will have to experience the divorce process. What if the divorce process can be done amicably? If the man and his wife have discussed this decision and accept that the man shouldn’t stay in a marriage he doesn’t want, they can split peacefully. Here the man gets what he wants with minimal trauma for the kids. But if this cannot be achieved and the divorce process is destructive for the kids, does the man still want to leave? Let’s assume no.

There are other choices here as there always are (NOTHING is black and white, remember that. Nothing I can think of, at least. Except the colors themselves.). The real underlying problem here is this: to do this the way he wants, his wife has to understand his reasoning. How can he help her understand his viewpoint? They can go to a divorce counselor to mediate the discussion so both sides understand the other and come to an agreement. Now the complete decision is: if the man leaves the marriage and the kids are minimally damaged in the process, does he still want to? This is a much more complete, responsible question to answer.

(The counselor may even bring up problems in the marriage that are solvable and they don’t even have to divorce. But let’s assume his desire to leave the marriage is honest.)

As an aside, if he wants to leave, why should he stay? He’s only lying to himself and he will have negative emotions as a consequence. His lie is “I want to be in this marriage” and keeping this secret will only serve to hurt everyone involved. One negative outcome – he will resent his wife. Any negative emotions he acts on while he lies to himself (like cheating, abusing his wife, neglecting his children) will probably cause even more damage than an amicable divorce. Lying to yourself is the root of negative emotion. One huge lie I made to myself was that I was good at talking to people. Every time I did something that revealed I wasn’t, I hated myself.

Let’s roll up the marriage example in a summary. A man wants to leave a marriage. Fair. There is a possibility that if he leaves, his kids will be traumatized. Why will they be traumatized? The man and his wife do not understand one another and will fight. Is he okay leaving knowing they will be traumatized? No. What can he do about that possibility? He can work to explain himself more clearly to his wife. How does he do that? Divorce counselor. NOW, we ask the complete question. If he can leave the marriage with an understanding wife and minimal damage to the kids, does he want to? If the answer is yes, he should.

So what does that mean to you? Well, the main reason I’m writing about this is I wanted to add some more detail to my suggestion in an earlier post. Write a blog. After a few days, I realized that suggestion isn’t the entire truth. The entire truth is this: you should admit your flaws if you want to and only if you believe the benefits of admitting a flaw outweigh the costs.

(Let me urge you that many admissions are completely harmless, like admitting you are socially awkward or admitting that you don’t know everything or admitting that you don’t know what you are doing and you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS admit them. The benefit is you don’t have that expectation of yourself anymore and the cost is everyone in the world who fucking feels the exact same way is able to see that someone else feels that way too and they all feel a little better about themselves. Which isn’t really a cost at all.)

If you read my post and decided you want to write a blog too, I want to make sure you understand your decision completely first. Let me distill my suggestion to its simplest form. You should admit something you’ve kept secret.

Imagine a dude wants to admit that he is an alcoholic. He has read my post and he knows that if he admits it, he will eventually know that deep inside he is an alcoholic and can be free from hiding it. After that, he can finally accept help for it. Fuck yes, admit it, hypothetical dude.

Okay, so what are the consequences? Well, now his family, friends, and co-workers will know. If it means his family, friends, and co-workers will know he is an alcoholic, does he still want to admit it? What if he works in a rigid workplace? Say this guy is an elementary school teacher. If he admits his problem on a public blog, he may lose his job. So the complete question here is, does he still want to admit he is an alcoholic if it means he will lose his job? No. Okay. Then he should not admit this on his blog. Maybe at some point after he has been sober for a while, he can safely admit it on his blog. You can think your admissions through in this way to make sure you really want to admit a certain flaw to the world.

What other options does he have? Can he admit it, but in a way he doesn’t lose his job? Maybe he can admit he is an alcoholic to his doctor. Or Alcoholics Anonymous. Then he can finally get the help he needs without risking his job. These are more responsible ways to become free from his secret flaw. There is a completely good reason he shouldn’t admit that on his blog. Very good.

Sometimes you want to do something at first glance, but if you consider the consequences fully, you don’t want to anymore. That’s not the end of it though, you still want to do that something. Explore alternatives. There may be other ways to get what you want that do not have those consequences. Think it through and find it. Don’t just leave your hidden desire unmet. Good luck.

(That being said, make sure you are basing your decision on honest reasons. Every admission is freeing as fuck.)

Email me, text me, call me with your secret and I’ll help you find the solution you really want.

Starting stopwatch…
Git Commit
Time: 44 minutes, 57 seconds
-Starting to digest what the purpose of each module is. Namely Randomizer, Stat Manager, and Tetramino. Slowly making more sense.

See you next time, my fellow human beings.


Decisions have consequences (Day 12)

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