E + R = O stands for EVENT + RESPONSE = OUTCOME.
An Event is ANY stimuli that you react to, on purpose or reflexively. Often events push our buttons and fire off emotional triggers thus often leading to an ineffectual response.
The Response is where our power of choice lies. Unfortunately, all too often we give away our power, allowing habitual, often outdated unthinking responses to rule our lives and limiting or even sabotaging outcomes. Every emotion is rooted in thought, past or present. We use inputs from past experiences and the opinions, actions, and world views of those around us to create our own personal world view, a pattern of thinking, viewing, and interpreting stimuli i.e. events. Thus a letter from a law firm or even just the return address of a law firm on an envelope can create a sense of dread without even viewing the contents.
The path to reclaiming your choice power lies through awareness, paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, and the behavior that follows from them. You must begin to think about your thinking! Journaling is incredibly helpful in getting perspective on yourself. Pick a few areas where your reflexive response is not generating the outcome you prefer. Think about what an effective response might be, about how others might respond. WWJD: “What Would Jesus Do?” is an example of an attempt to gain perspective, generate alternative potential responses and create a space between stimulus and response. Feel free to substitute the wise role model of your choice, whomever most inspires you.
“Ships sail east & ships sail west
By the same breeze that blows.
It is the set of the sail & not the gale
That determines the direction they go.”
“Life turns out best for those who make the best of how life turns out.” – Proverb
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier