Last week I released a video titled "Windows 10 Killed my Productivity." While true, this week I'm calling myself out on it. That's because I was effectively blaming Microsoft for my troubles. Yes, I was making myself "the victim."
There seems to be a fad (epidemic, really) of wanting to be the victim. That way us victims can band together, scream and shout, and rise up against our oppressors. Well, being a victim sucks! It's depressing and dis-empowering. And, most importantly, it stops you from looking at yourself, and how you can improve.
The Most Important Equation You'll Ever Learn
Yes, people can be nasty, and bad things happen. You can't control that. However, you are 100% in control of your response. This leads us to the incredibly simple yet powerful equation:
Here's how the equation works. E stands for Event, R is your Response. Add those together, and you get the final outcome. You can't change E (the event), and trying to do so is futile. You cannot bully the rest of the world into doing what you want.
Your power lies in R, your response to any event. There are many possible responses. You can lash our, fight, cry, run away, ignore people and incidents. You could also ask "how can I improve?"
How do I Choose the Best Response?
Ask yourself: "How does my response help anyone let alone myself?" The answer to that question will tell you what the best course of action is (that you can think of... there's could be something you haven't thought of that's better).
You could choose to remain bitter and angry, but "how does that help anyone let alone myself?" With my Windows 10 slowdown problem, I'm upgrading my hardware to reduce the chance of this happening again. That's a response that serves me; blaming Microsoft does not.
My technical issue was a relatively minor one, but the same principles can be used with much larger problems.
Creating a Virtuous Upward Slope
Improve your response to events often, and your outcomes will gradually get better and better. Bad things will happen, but you're taking responsibility for your response. In doing so, you're choosing to stop being a victim, and taking the road of self-improvement.
- Blaming others (a.k.a., choosing to remain a victim), prevents you from looking at yourself and how you can improve
- E + R = O. Event plus your Response equals the Outcome you get
- Your power lies in your response (the R in the equation), over which you have 100% control. That's how you change your outcomes and your future