Example of E + R = O

Ok, so to remind you of where this post came from, I’m going to copy some text here from another post “Response-Ability Determines Growth”, then we will go on & analyze a relevant situation using this formula.

Formula for Taking Response-Ability

In a book that I have frequently mentioned, The Success Principles, author Jack Canfield puts this principle first and foremost of all of the 64 principles discussed in that book.  He calls it “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life”, and he provides a simple formula to help illustrate this point.

E + R = O (or Event + Response = Outcome)

The explanation from the book follows:

“The basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it is success or failure, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event or events in your life.  If you don’t like the outcomes you are currently getting, there are two basic choices you can make:

  1. You can blame the event (E) for your lack of results (O).  In other words, you can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, your lack of education, the current administration in Washington, your bosses attitude, and so on…  No doubt all of these factors do exist, but if they were the deciding factor, nobody would ever succeed.
  2. You can instead simply change your responses (R) to the events (E) – the way things are – until you get the outcomes (O) you want.  You can change your thinking, change your communication, change the pictures you hold in your head (your images of yourself & the world) – and you can change your behavior – the things you do.  That is all you really have control over anyway… Everything you think, say & do needs to become intentional & aligned with your purpose, your values, & your goals.”

Ok, so how does this apply?

Let’s examine the following scenario  and see how a change in Response can change the Outcome.

Event – In order to graduate from your degree program, you must complete and verify an internship experience.

Response #1: You submit a resume to a promising employer for the following summer.  You will wait to hear back from the employer.

  • Possible Outcome: Your resume will be received through their online system & filed alongside 250 other resumes.  When the time comes to choose who will get the job, this company has a policy to only consider those potential hires that have followed up with the company after submitting, which is only 25 applicants, and you are not on that list.  Sorry, no job for you.

Response #2: You submit a resume to a promising employer for the following summer.  You follow up your resume submittal with an email to their human resources department to verify that they have received it.  Once you have verified that, you will wait to hear back from the employer

  • Possible Outcome: Your resume will be received through their online system & filed alongside 250 other resumes.  When the time comes to choose who will get the job, this company has a policy to only consider those potential hires that have followed up with the company after submitting, which is only 25 applicants, and you ARE on that list!  Congratulations, you get an interview! Now you have a chance to wow them with your interpersonal skills!  But you show up for the interview 5 minutes late, which is one of their pet peeves, and they interview you but don’t hire you… sorry, but a good effort.

Response #3: You submit a resume to a promising employer for the following summer.  You follow up your resume submittal with an email to their human resources department to verify that they have received it.  Once you have verified that, you write a personal thank you note to the human resources employee who responded to your email, thanking them for taking the time in what was probably a very busy day.  You mention in the note that you will be following up with them via phone next week if you haven’t heard from them at that point.

  • Possible Outcome: Your resume will be received through their online system & filed alongside 250 other resumes.  When the time comes to choose who will get the job, this company has a policy to only consider those potential hires that have followed up with the company after submitting, which is only 25 applicants, and you ARE on that list!  Having already sent the thank you note to the HR employee, unbeknownst to you, you are on the very short list of 3 applicants that they are “actually considering” for the position.  Congratulations, you get an interview & the inside scoop that you are one of three being considered for the position, and that since the HR person “just loved your note”, and since he or she “actually makes most of the hiring decisions”, you’ve made a very positive impact.  You show up early for the interview, ace it, and find out later that you receive the internship, congratulations!

Can you see how important it is to have the correct response to the conditions in our lives?  Can you see how taking the responsibility to focus your attention just a little bit more than you did in the first example could potentially lead to a much better result?

The challenge is to make these kinds of decisions & choices in every area of our life in which we want to see positive results.  You have the power to determine many, if not all, of the conditions in your life.

It is your responsibility to tailor your Responses to the Events in your life in order to achieve the Outcomes that you want.

Take responsibility to achieve the outcomes that you want by refusing to resort to blaming or complaining.  Anytime you feel like blaming or complaining, stop & ask yourself : “What kind of response from me would lead me in the direction of the outcome I’m shooting for?”  Listen to your inner voice, and do what that voice says!

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