E (Event) + R (Reaction) = O (Outcome)
– The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield
I read a book in 2010 that really changed my outlook on things. I used to spend a lot of time being negative and wondering why this or that happened to me all the while not stopping to focus on the positives. I believe it caused me to miss some opportunities for enjoying the world around me and when I read this book the principle that immediately jumped out at me was E + R = O. Every day we are all faced with some form of adversity – some event that doesn’t go down just as we hoped but it isn’t the event that causes the outcome but rather our reaction to the event (negative or positive). We can strive to look on the bright side of things and seek opportunity or we can break down, sulk and let it ruin our day. I had a bad day at the office today and failed to remember the equation. Luckily I have it taped to my desk at home and as I sat down to type out the post tonight I remembered that it isn’t the event at work that actually caused me to be in a pissed off mood but rather how I reacted to the change. Change is never easy but at the end of the day – my reaction (positive/negative) will impact how the changes today impact my longer term success.