Have you ever wondered what prevents us from accomplishing more and being more? I sure have – and discovered for me, it’s me!
I say this as I have to intentionally fight the tendency of making life more complex than it should be. If the tendency to add complexity wins, I find myself feeling less in control and sometimes even powerless. It is a state where I’m directing my energy toward things which are unable to foster a positive outcome. This thought frames today’s blog, Reaching Higher’s Leadership Belief statement of:
— We believe “simple” can be very powerful and shouldn’t be confused with easy.
Here is a formula I’m striving to apply in my life:
Event + Response = Outcome
Simple right? This formula is based upon the work of Tim Kight, leadership consultant and founder of Focus 3. E + R = O has been a powerful tool in my growth as an individual and leader for one reason – it’s simple!
In applying this formula into my life, I categorize my experiences into one of the formula’s three categories: events, responses or outcomes. The formula is then framed with the assumption that I have limited control over the events life brings to me. So if I find myself disliking an outcome, I identify what my response was in that event. Then I ask myself: what could I change which may result in a more desirable outcome? Applying the E + R = O life formula focuses me squarely on what I can control, pointing me to “control the controllables.” I can assure you, this is not easy!
Now let’s see what happens to the formula’s power when we add in complexity. Let’s add in the variable of blame. I picked blame since this is my most common excuse which I insert into the formula upon facing a disappointing outcome. I want something – or someone – else to share in the reason for the outcome.
Event + Response + Blame = Outcome
When I now look at this updated formula, while I’ve chosen to make the outcome easier to explain, I’ve clearly reduced my power to make a positive impact to my desired outcome. Worse yet, I commonly find myself debating how much to associate the undesirable outcome to my reaction – or to blaming something or someone else.
“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” — Oscar Wilde
Why is Reaching Higher so powerful? Even transformational? A key component is the belief concept of “simple can be powerful” being embedded throughout our training. If you find yourself sitting in an outcome you dislike, with a feeling of powerlessness, simplify the outcome to your response – even though it is likely the more difficult route.