Syd and Ellen Kessler   
1 The Origins of the Perfect System
The Perfect System, and a book of the same name, are the result of my (Syd’s) long search to make sense of my own life. This book, The Perfect System of Parenting, is a result of our application of these findings to family life. We believe that the same principles that helped us will become essential to you in your quest to become successful parents. A famous comedian once said, “I finally stopped dating because I couldn’t bear to hear my life story one more time.” I will not repeat my story here, just the parts that are most pertinent to our purpose.
While still in my 30s, I had risen far from my working-class roots to become a millionaire many times over. I was ensconced at the very top of North America’s advertising hierarchy. To the outside world, I was rich, powerful, and determined, driving a corporate empire with $350 million in annual revenue. I was the very epitome of the poor kid making good.
Inside, however, an emptiness was taking hold. Despite all my supposed success, I did not feel satisfied, fulfilled, or in control of my days or my life. On the contrary, I felt pushed along by outside currents. I spent my days juggling the random and unpredictable. I suffered from constant anxiety, frustration, and unhappiness. I knew that the power that I had attained was “given” by others; it was not personal power and could be taken away at any time. I was not at peace with myself, and one day I fell seriously ill.
In the dark days of my illness and long convalescence, I asked myself: Why is all this mayhem happening to me? Why do I feel a victim of events? What is it that I really want? What should I do next? Being a linear, logical thinker, I turned to science for help. My journey led to a unique, largely undiscovered treasure chest of wisdom, a strongbox filled with functional truths together with the tools to implement those truths. It was a new way of looking at the world I lived, played, and worked in.
And it all stemmed from the universal principle of Cause and Effect.
The Perfect System proved to have within it all that was necessary to become the ultimate instruction manual for life. The wisdom of the Perfect System allowed me to understand why I had landed in the hospital in the first place and what I needed to do to accelerate my recovery. I came to understand that I had created my illness and went on to understand how to create my recovery. Ultimately, all of this led to a new way of living that was to prove full of wonder and joy for me — and ultimately for my wife, Ellen, and the children we were to raise.
The life-jolting discovery for me was that these perfect laws and rules of the physical universe around us also apply to us — because we are all part of the same physical universe. For now, as we conclude this chapter, consider just the main principle—the main tool—that is going to transform your parenting and your family.
Cause and Effect
The Law of Causality states that to every event there can be ascribed a cause — with the exception of the First Cause. It observes that, at one level in our physical world, nothing happens randomly. Whether we are talking about a tree, an ocean, a corporate executive, or our children, the same laws apply: for every effect, there is a cause. This is hard science, not mysticism. It is embodied in Newton’s third law of motion, which states that forces always occur in pairs — that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Failure to grasp the Law of Cause and Effect creates chaos, in our lives and in our world. Full comprehension of the law is the prime determining factor in our ability to satisfy not only our personal needs and desires but also the needs and desires of our children. Master this principle and you will begin the process of mastering your life, because the Law of Causality applies immutably to all physical matter.
If all parents taught children that causes and effects are joined, we wouldn’t need elementary school courses with names like “Random Acts of Kindness,” “Peacemaking,” and “Conflict Resolution.” We would focus on keeping the peace rather than on moderating conflict. Education in causality would eventually eradicate the need for intercession by removing the cause of conflict at its root.
And the message is so simple: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the physical world this law never varies. It is indisputable. Its corollaries are:
• Negative actions beget negative reactions.
• Positive actions beget positive reactions.
• Therefore we are responsible for almost everything that happens to us.
 
   
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