The first is usually obvious. The rest needs some thought. The idea of thinking about consequences in layers is fascinating. As a youth, we are reckless and carefree. This being the best time to make the most of our opportunities because most of us are virtually well off financially, emotionally and mentally.
Let’s say you decide to buy an ice cream. ( Oversimplified )
The first consequence is a direct result or possible outcome of your action.
The first consequence is the taste, relishing the appetite, a happy ending to your meal.
The second consequence is a short-term impact – The increased calories, retarded digestion and at times a bloated stomach.
The third consequence is long-term – Over time the impact of having one ice cream is nil. But have enough of them and you have a big belly, poor digestion system, weak health and throat issues.
That’s too much thinking for buying an ice cream! But if you practice it enough for the small decisions until it becomes a habit that proves extremely useful for the big decisions.
Ps: Ray Dalio, the financial wizard goes to great depths in his book – Principles: Life and work. If you can, check it out.