Event…Pause…+ Response = Outcome

Do you have a behaviour or habit that you’d like to stop? Do you know what the triggers are for it? Do you know what your default response is to certain events and how you can interrupt them? Or would you like to?

I came across the formula E+R=O which stands for Event + Response = Outcome years ago in Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” and loved it immediately.  What it states is that you only have power over the Response piece in this equation and depending on the Response you choose, you get a better or worse Outcome. Focusing on choosing your Response then, becomes the most important parts rather than blaming the Events for things that happen to you.

I think this is important because taking responsibility for your life and the things in it rather than always defaulting to blame is important to choosing a better life for yourself and those around you.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about time out for myself spent reflecting, journalling and thinking, and the power this has to make sense of complex ideas, connecting ideas and also to make sure I’m taking the right actions in what I do.

It’s amazing having this time to think, what it allows your brain to connect and combine to make something better than what you started with. I use that original formula many times in a day, (sometimes I should use it more!) always trying to make sure I’m not just habitually responding to certain things, but instead choosing my response.

Today, after coming in contact with a behaviour change model, Stop, Think, Lead I thought of combining the 2 and seeing the result. What I think this brings is an enhanced formula for interrupting habits or behaviour changes, and making the best choice or response at the time.

Taking this time out gives you the chance to consider possibilities, the outcomes that may result from that action, and then making the best choice at the time with what you have. This means you’re taking more responsibility for the response and getting closer to the outcomes that you want.

This time out may be a second or a week, it depends on how long you have before you have to choose a response. Do you take the job? Do you quit your job? These choices you shouldn’t dwell on for just 1 minute and will probably allow a certain time frame before you have to respond. Other choices like “Where will I eat lunch today?” could probably benefit from a shorter minute reflecting time but time out all the same.

So how can you use this today?

When something happens to you today and you’re aware as its happening – just become aware enough to stop, then consider your available responses, and then choose the best one possible that will take you closer to the outcome you want.

Choosing rather than defaulting to what’s always habitually done will help you feel more in control of life, and help you take the responsibility to do something different!

Let me know how that goes!

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