E + P + R = O
Are We Living ‘the Event’ of Our Lifetime?
Several years ago in my book, Coaching is Teaching at its Best! I made reference to a unique philosophy of life that is expressed as an alphabetical formula (E + R = O). This philosophy actually has its roots with Jack Canfield, a California-based, motivational speaker who authored the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Simply put, this philosophy is meant to teach the importance of attitude (how we respond to events in our lives) in order to impact those outcomes. The formula reads, E + R = O with the “E” standing for the Events that occur in our lives, the “R” standing for how we Respond to those events, which in turn, largely determines the “O”, the Outcome or end result.
Now, as much as I liked the formula and tried to apply it to my life, I realized that every “R” I would come up with was so I could get the “O” (outcome) I wanted. I wasn’t thinking about anyone else in this process, just me, me, me! As a ‘man of faith’, a Christian who believes that God has a plan for us all, that we are supposed to love God with all of our heart, all our soul and with all our mind; and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, I realized that that the formula had me leading a pretty selfish life. I needed to change the formula. And so I did. I added a “P” to the formula.
E + P + R = O
I have learned over the course of my life that if I want a positive outcome to any event, be it good or bad, I need to respond in such a way that emphasizes the positive, caring, loving spirit in each of us. I need to PRAY before I respond.
When I make the choice to PRAY first, I immerse myself in love and compassion so that I respond in the best way possible. Going to God in prayer, reminding myself how much He loves me with all of my imperfections, I find the good that is deep inside me. Isn’t that what each of each of us needs to find before we respond to whatever event we may be responding to? So, why I am writing about this now?
The current COVID-19 pandemic we are living through right now is, in most cases, the most significant life-changing event that any of us have lived through in our lives. And right now, it just won’t seem to go away. It’s in our face every day! It seems like it has turned into ‘the EVENT’ of our lives. So, how are we going to respond? That choice is up to each and every one of us. As for me, I look down at the wristband I wear and when I see that RED “P”, I know there is only one place to start – in PRAYER.
As I originally wrote several years ago, I love Jack Canfield’s E + R = O philosophy and I am convinced it has changed many lives. On the other hand, by adding prayer to the process (E + P + R = O), I am convinced we can do more than change lives; we can change the world.
“Now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:13