Do You Prefer Cause or Effect?

A Conscious Choice

Recent projects I’ve undertaken have required a great deal of understanding cause and effect, planning, workflow, processes and putting to work LEAN. I searched what it means to be a “detail person.”

It occurs to me, many of my best friends are detailed people. Are you?

Google found:


I love detail because it never disappoints in its ability to solve the hardest business problems. In these recent projects, finance, HR, benefits, insurance, manufacturing operations I’ve learned the value of being detailed and wondered who else finds being detailed worthwhile?

Project Results Require Attention To Detail

Simply put, being detailed helps me work with others to get insurance underwriting and actuarial pricing done, solve claim problems, improve sales flow, help with banking, accounting and other things like payroll paychecks, deductions to paychecks, payments for insurance, GL account recording, contributions to 401k’s, proper reporting for defined benefit plans, delivering ID cards, explaining coverage, taking care of retirees, but most of all making it possible for thousands of employees and consumers to spend unlimited dollars on health expenses. Oh, did I mention, making sure all of these functions operate in compliance with hundreds of thousands of pages of State and Federal legislation.

Careers That Need Detailed People

Ph’d’s generally are detailed people, scientists, doctors, lawyers, CPA’s. Professionals generally must have a certain love of details. It feels like the pace of things has picked up, there’s a hurry for work to deliver results much faster than ever before. The casualty, the downside of this, is attention to detail. Haste makes waste, an old fashion phrase but in this case, it applies. Where in your work do you see speed over detail, would you agree it hurts profit, the process in some way? Does it matter?

Do You Ask Why Enough?

I grew up questioning everything, I took nothing for granted. If I’m honest with myself, self-examination, regularly asking why did I do something is how I grew up. I wandered away from my faith when I was young, then, as I got older I started asking those questions about cause and effect which led me straight back to Catholic. I think it’s because the fullness of the Catholic faith requires attention to detail.

Cause and Effect

Because I’m detailed, and now, older and more experienced, I see more clearly the link between happiness and the things we do in what we undertake. Lately, there’s been an increase in “purpose driven life” and those sorts of catchy things that promise people more of “if you do this you’ll be happy”. The truth is, happiness isn’t in what you do, it’s more in who you are.

Truth is, if I ask someone who followed the recipe called, “follow your passion,” or “get to your “purpose driven life” does this make you happy, do you find what you hope for? In a detailed way, let’s give attention to the truth about this question. Have you followed a self-help book to find happiness? Then ask, did you find happiness, true, lasting, sustainable happiness? Be honest, yes, or no?

What’s the science tell us, if it were a hypothesis, are people observably happier with “passion” or “purpose” or other,” self-help remedies? My observation would be no. As an economic fact, I can point out if these things were making people happier, I’d expect that there would be less drugs dispensed for mental health?  Would you agree? Well, I’m a medical economist and drugs for Psychotropic cures of any kind are significantly increased, many fold increases, over the last decade.

Joy is Greater Than Happiness

Happiness and Joy are available in God’s plan for all of us. His book is the original self-help book. Try making your workplace more Church-like. Trust that others want the same thing you want. Peace at work. We don’t need a million self-help books, we need to return to the original book that formed cultures and countries successfully for thousands of years.

Have you paid attention to detail about faith in the workplace?

What do you do for your happiness?

Join the conversation.