A simple example of what’s called second-order thinking.

As humans, we are all hard-wired to respond to the immediate result of our actions. The first-order consequences.

Eating chocolate will make us feel good – Immediate result.
Watching Netflix will make us feel good – Immediate result.
Someone lied to us and we feel hurt – Immediate consequence.

It’s only when we go beyond the first-order consequences that we begin to see the true impact of our actions and of those around us.

I will feel good if I eat the chocolate. But it will deteriorate my health in the long run because of excessive sugar.

I will feel good if I binge-watch. However, I would not be able to get enough sleep. I won’t be at my best the next day.

You lied to me. Now I can’t trust you. I will second guess everything that you say. And that will shift into a habit that I will apply to others. And I will find it hard to trust people.

Thinking in second-order is not an exaggeration!
It’s a superpower that helps you see through the long-drawn process of compounding.