Alright, I know that's a bold thing to say, but bear with me for a minute.
A consequence is the negative repercussion of a mistake. Dictionary.com calls it an "end-result." That's basic. I get it.
But life itself is always changing. What seems like a negative consequence to a bad decision right now, could end up being a positive conquest in the future.
Why? Because there is no "end" result, it's all about the path. When you make a mistake and fail, that failure doesn't fall into a void, you learn a lesson and gain experience. While the failure might be difficult, it still teaches you something about yourself. It teaches you how to do better next time.
What you call a consequence, I call school.
Now of course, there are real consequences out there for the truly stupid and cruel decisions, like jumping off a cliff or committing murder (for some obvious examples).
But I'm talking about the everyday decisions we make that turn out to be wrong - the miscalculation or spur of the moment choice that once in a while leads to true ramifications, but mostly just gives us an excuse to fabricate internal strife and regret.
Trial and error is the process by which we learn. If our goal in life is to grow, to become a better friend, a better photographer, a better musician, a better businessman, a better parent, a better partner, or really just a better person, then consequences are how we learn to grow up.
So I'm calling it out...there are no consequences. There are just ups and downs, arguments and adulations, accidents and achievements, examples and advancements.
Consequence as we know is the path to success, as long as you choose to use it that way.