The great question of philosophy has always been, “How shall we live to be happy?” The greatest minds of all time have dedicated years, often entire lifetimes, to seeking the answers to this question. Your ability to ask and answer this question correctly for yourself is the key to everything that happens to you and to everything that you accomplish. The worst use of time and life is to work hard to climb the ladder of success only to find that it is leaning against the wrong building.
According to the IRS, there are more than five million millionaires in the United States, most of them self-made. There are almost 300 billionaires, most of whom started with little or nothing. More than 100,000 people become millionaires in the United States each year, at a rate of approximately one every five minutes. Are all these people just lucky?
In about 350 B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle propounded what has come to be recognized as the foundation law of Western philosophy and Western thought. At a time when most people believed in the various gods who lived on Mount Olympus and the causeless, chaotic influences of flowers, rocks, trees, and the elements of human life, Aristotle instead propounded his “Principle of Causality.” He said that we live in an orderly universe, governed by great unchanging laws. He insisted that there is a reason for everything that happens, whether we know the law or principle behind it or not.
Today, we call this the “Law of Cause and Effect.” We accept it as an essential way of interpreting what happens in our world. But in Aristotle’s day, it was a remarkable idea, a breakthrough in thought. It revolutionized the study of philosophy and guided the great thinkers through the centuries right up to the present age. It was commonly believed that all Western thought for 2000 years was merely a footnote to Aristotle.
Simply put, the Law of Cause and Effect says that everything happens for a reason. It says that for every effect in your life there is a cause or a series of causes, whether you know them or agree with them or not. Nothing happens by chance.
This law says that if there is anything you want in life, any effect that you desire, you can probably acquire it. You simply find others who have achieved the same result or effect that you desire. You then discipline yourself to do the same things that they did, over and over, until you eventually get the same results and rewards. It is completely predictable and largely under your control.