Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and enjoying the last days of Summer. Soon, we will enter the Fall season. Can you see a reason for not making it your Best Fall Ever?!
No matter the season or time of year, let me share a formula for your Best Time Ever: A + B = C
Many years ago, renowned psychologist Dr. Albert Ellis repackaged ancient stoicism to give us a formula for living an outstanding life; a life that stands out from the crowd:
A + B = C
Adversity + Belief = Consequence
I have written about this formula before and speak on it often from stage because repetition helps solidify good habits. Considering this formula, is your experience of life largely dependent primarily on outcomes being in the manner in which you believe they should be?
Or in how you choose to think about outcomes?
If life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m not in control of circumstances. My behavior can influence outcomes but, in the end, outcomes can be much different from what I expect. This can be a tough growing, and maturing experience, because we humans prefer control and we naturally develop expectations.
It is, however, when our expectations fail to match reality that we can suffer emotionally.
This is why Dr. Kevin Elko often invites us to align our expectations with reality; when reality changes from what we expect - be resilient and change your expectations to match it. Find the growth opportunity with the attitude that life is happening for you and not to you.
Among the five most powerful words I have ever read are:
“We suffer for our attachments.”
When emotionally suffering, have you ever considered asking “What am I attached to? What thoughts about a certain outcome am I attached to? And also ask, “Do the thoughts align with my highest aspirations?”
So often the answer is No.
As countless Stoics have taught us, Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Viktor Frankl, Admiral Stockdale- the experience of life starts in thought.
“Change your thoughts, change your life” - Wayne Dyer
Thoughts can make or break our experience of life. You can empower yourself to choose more thoughts that make and less thoughts that break! Have you ever reflected on the words,
Hmm. What are they breaking - more often than not, isn’t it our peace of mind?
In this context we can see how adversity either strengthens or breaks the tree. Our metal is tested in the fire. Life can heat us up and beat the hell out of us, forming us into that which is more useful and more empowered. I’ve come to experience this lesson time and again when I repeatedly lost that which I felt I was entitled to.
I experienced thoughts that stole my joy and gratitude for what was already immensely present in my life.
This awareness became a gift of insight that when my life is focused less on me and more on others, I become more useful and empowering to myself and every one around me.
Consider these words from the song “ROOTS” by Imagine Dragons:
“I know it’s gotta go like this, I know
Hell will always come before you grow
Trouble found me, trouble found me”
So here is the formula again:
A + B = C
Activating Event (Adversity)
Belief (Thoughts about the Adversity)
Consequence (Life Experience)
As you prepare for this week and new season, know that whatever comes your way is FOR you, to reward you and to grow you- but often not in the manner you’ll expect. Living the belief that life is always happening for us is a life to be excited to live- and is much better than the alternative of thinking life is out to get us around the next corner.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”- Charles R. Swindoll
Take charge of your thoughts, let them not lead you into mediocrity, but rather guide them with your Why - above and beyond- to experience the true abundance that exists NOW in your life.
And as Dr. Elko also says, “The door handle is always on my side of the door”.
Stretch out your hand, grab it with enthusiasm and open the door with a fully encouraged heart, with a desire to reach your goals and embrace the lessons of the road - with a formula that puts you, not circumstances, in the drivers seat - and you’ll no doubt make it… a great week!