By Tracy Russo (a guest this week)
Here’s a simple equation:
Events + Response = Outcome.
But it’s one we often have a difficult time understanding and applying to our lives. I know I do.
Diann Newman, a visiting lecturer this week at The Ranch, wants to change that. With her simple equation, she unpacked a wealth of knowledge we can use each day in challenges big and small. What does this have to do with $10? Well, read on!
In many cases, we have little control of the events in our lives. But we almost always have control over our reactions. For instance, when faced with an obstacle, do you give up or persevere? What story do you tell yourself about the nature of the obstacle?
Consider this: You want to head out on an early morning hike, but fear you won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the group. You assume the other hikers will be younger, fitter, more experienced than you. Do you give in before you hit the trail? Do you trudge along and beat yourself up that you aren’t faster and more spry? Or, do you congratulate yourself for pushing boundaries and waking up instead of sleeping in?
Diann would have you do the later. Your response to a challenging event is entirely within your control. It’s the story you tell yourself that will decide whether you feel defeated or victorious as you come down the mountain.
Diann encouraged us to think through a few simple scenarios and the way we would react to them. Can you suppress the voice inside your head that criticizes, undermines and detracts, and replace it with positive, encouraging, friendly support in the following situations? Try it yourself:
–A co-worker takes credit for your work.
–Your child hates the dinner you made.
–Your favorite jeans aren’t fitting the way they used to.
If this is hard for you to do, take yourself out of the equation. Imagine you are talking to a friend. You’ll find you’d never be as harsh with someone else as you would with yourself.
At the end of the night, Diann had laid out a number of events and we’d thought through our responses. Then she pulled out a $10 bill and asked the class who wanted it.
A number of people raised their hands. A couple of brave souls shouted out, “I do, I’ll take it!” But, I realized in that moment, those responses weren’t going to work. I jumped out of my chair, marched to the podium and grabbed the $10 from Diann. If the outcome I desired was getting that $10, I realized my response would have to be to go get it!
Event + Response = Outcome
In truth, I felt bad about taking Diann’s money. But I asked her to autograph the note and I’m keeping it as a reminder that I control my responses to the events and obstacles in my life and that means I control the outcome.