#1744 The R Factor

Event + Response = Outcome

In our last couple +1s (here and here), we explored some powerful wisdom from Urban Meyer’s great book Above the Line.

As you may recall, we started by pointing out the fact that Meyer’s idea of living “Above the Line” is basically our idea of closing the gap and living with Areté. Then we talked about getting rid of our BCD—no more blaming, complaining or defending!

Today I want to continue our mining of wisdom gems from his great book.

We’re going to talk about something he calls “The R Factor.”

Let’s get straight to work.

Urban Meyer tells us: “How do you get and stay Above the Line? How do you fight off the forces that want to drag you Below the Line? How do you bring your best when it matters most? It begins with a powerful equation that affects everything we do.

E + R = O
Event + Response = Outcome

This equation teaches something very important about the way life works. We don’t control the events in life, and we don’t directly control the outcomes. But we always have control over how we choose to respond. How we respond means everything. We call it the R Factor.


BCD might just be my new favorite acronym.


The R Factor is now one of my new favorite phrases.

E + R = O.
Event + Response = Outcome

We talked about this exact formula in our Notes on Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

And, of course, this is the essence of Rule #1 of Stoicism and the first words in EpictetusEnchiridion: “Of things some are in our power, and others are not... examine it by the rules which you possess, and by this first and chiefly, whether it relates to the things which are in our power or to the things which are not in our power: and if it relates to anything which is not in our power, be ready to say, that it does not concern you.”

It’s also Habit #1 of Covey’s 7 Habits: Be Proactive. Covey tells us: “Look at the word responsibility—’response-ability’—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

And, it’s a reframe of Viktor Frankl’s brilliant wisdom (see Notes on Man’s Search for Meaning) that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant’s mindfulness coach, George Mumford talks about in his great book The Mindful Athlete where he tells us: “Think about the eye of a hurricane, or the calm still center in the middle of a cyclone. No matter how intense the storm or what’s swept up in its gale-force winds, that calm, blue center is always there. This is the metaphor I like to use when talking about the space between stimulus and response. We all have this quiet center within us.

Mindfulness reconnects us to this center space, where we fully experience the present moment and have access to the transcendent wisdom that’s often associated with conscious flow. In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, neurologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl famously described it this way: ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’”

That’s Today’s +1.

Remember the R Factor, Hero.

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