Spontaneity, adventure, and excitement are things that we crave. Then, on the other hand, we also want predictability, stability, and security. We’re fickle beings, I tell ya! Today we’re going to drill down on predictability. There are certain areas of life we want to be able to predict and have control over – like health, wealth, and happiness. As much as we want to be able to control the future, we all know there are things that are simply out of our control, completely unpredictable, and have the ability to shape our future.
When we make plans or set goals, there are always twists and turns in the road. No matter how much we prepare, plan, and organize there are always unforeseen events. Events in this context could mean anywhere from political impacts, tax changes, and economic uncertainties, all the way down to personal habits and reactions, psychology, and the ever happening “life” getting in the way. For the most part, we cannot control what events happen to us. But what we can control is the outcome of those events. Now you may be thinking, “How can I control the outcome of events that are out of my control?”. Great question.
I wish I could take credit for this simple yet profound formula. This comes from a book called “Wealth Can’t Wait” by David Osborn and Paul Morris. In the book, David and Paul layout a simple formula that is:
Event + Response = Outcome
Events, as we just defined and provided some examples, are things that happen to us. From minor events to life-changing ones, there are constant things that are happening to us that affect our outcome. But these events alone are not the only part of the equation. In fact, events aren’t even the most important variable. Your response to the event is much more important in creating an outcome.
The Variable You Can Control
How you respond to an event is up to you. It’s the variable that you can control if you’re conscious about it. You have the ability to perceive an event any way you want. That could be positive, negative, or neutral. If you go around perceiving events as negative, then guess what? The outcome will be negative. But if you perceive every event as a positive or at least search for the positive in an event, then your outcomes will be positive. Let’s look at a few ways you can improve your response.
- Look at events as temporary. No matter how good or how bad an event may be, it’s just temporary. That feeling you have to it will eventually change. Knowing this in the time of a negative event can help you move past it, look to the bright side, and produce a positive outcome given the situation.
- Be optimistic. You have to perceive events as something, either positive, negative, or neutral. Why not choose positivity? Your outcomes will be positive, rather than negative or neutral.
- Be conscious of your responses. It can be easy to react rather than respond. When you react, you are doing so automatically without considering the implications of your thoughts and actions. When you respond, you are doing so with intention.
Vinney, Mr. Smiles, Chopra, who I consider a great friend and coach, is one of the best practitioners of positivity. You may know him from his guest appearances here on the podcast. Vinney exudes positivity in everything he does. And guess what that gets him. He’s always happy and helping others, not to mention wildly successful. Imagine if Vinney instead exhibited a “poor me” attitude? He likely wouldn’t be where he is today.
Staying Above the Line
Not all events are positive. Unfortunately, there are negative events that do happen. But with every event, there is something you can learn from it, and that in itself is positive. You can’t avoid what would be negative events, no matter what you do. There will always be bumps and twists in your journey. That’s part of life. Learn to respond to those events in a way that will help you constantly learn and grow, continuing on your path to success. You are in control of your response, and in turn are in control of your own outcomes. So make the most of your journey. Push yourself outside your comfort zone, help others do the same, and build the life you want.