I don’t know were my food comes from other than the store, and before that a factory or a farm. Some of the food I eat is pretty good quality, some of it is nominal and the rest of it is “food like products”. From a geographic point of view, there is a lot of distance from the consequence from how my food comes to become food.
I don’t know the impact of how my words land on others. Occasionally they’ll do what I want them to do, but a lot of the time the impact is unknown and seemingly random. From an emotional point of view, there is a lot of distance from the consequences how my words effect others.
I don’t know the impact of my destructive actions on my future. Smoking causes cancer, too much stress will diminish immune functioning and too much sugar can cause obesity, but there is a long time between the action and the disease, so the things do not seem related. From a temporal point of view, there is a lot of distance from the consequence.
Living in the here and now, it can be a real challenge to predict or see the outcome of action. Logically there is a story to tell – that this will lead to that – but emotionally that story doesn’t feel like anything – cancer, disease and obesity are words more than experiences; in-spite of my experiences with cancer and obesity, they don’t have an experiential meaning to me as I have been an observer of their ravages. There is a great distance from the consequence.
This is the biggest road block faced by most trainers and coaches and one has creativity and laser focused communication as the only real workarounds. It is also the reason why an alarmingly small number of people ever make the life transformations that they are capable of; which is sad because many people suffer needlessly for most of their adult lives with issues that would be addressed with simple behavioral changes.
It’s also why pointing out the consequences of reduced blood circulation (skin and hair problems for women, erectile issues for men, and cognitive impairments for both) often goes a lot further than discussing cancer, diabetes, or heart disease risks. Most people have some notion of what difficulties in these areas are like, or can at least consider the impact of blood circulation issues.