Let’s have some fun with these posts. Think of a conversation between a bunny and a bear.
Context: Bunny and bear were good friends. One was stuck in a box, chasing carrots. The other was out exploring the world hunting for opportunities and adventure. One lives a life of fear, doubt and uncertainty. The other a life of courage, confidence and conviction.
One day the bear says to his friend, “bunny, I’d like to help you break out of that box and see the world for what it can be.” The bunny agrees, and the two friends embark on an awesome journey. Along the way, bear teaches bunny certain lessons, either himself or by introducing him to the bear mentors he’s grown up with.
Today’s lesson: Stop blaming, start owning
“Have you ever heard of the equation E+R=O?” bear asks his buddy.
“No, what’s that?” bunny says, lifting his ears.
“Think of it this way, do you ever want to get out of that box and live with more passion, embracing all life has to offer?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Ok, so that would be the O for Outcome – that is a result or something you want to happen, make sense?”
“Ok, yes, I get it. So how do I get to it? What’s the E and the R?”
“Patience, young grasshopper, I’m getting there. First, let me ask you, do you think you have any control over whether that happens or doesn’t?”
“I think so.”
“Most bunnies and even some bears will blame their Outcomes on external circumstances or people. For example, you could say ‘if they didn’t throw those carrots into the box every day, I could easily break out of the box and get them myself’ Or grey bunny might say he didn’t get the raise because Boss liked bright bunny better. We do it in relationships, at work, school, everywhere really. Do you see how most of us are so focused on the external circumstance or Events – the E in the equation – as the main driver of our Outcomes? We blame Events for where we are in life. Do you see?”
“Wow, I never thought about that,” said bunny, “I guess I do blame other bunnies who put me in the box, bring me the carrots, decide the size of my box, and everything else. Totally makes sense…so what’s the R then?”
“I’m glad you asked! The R, is your Response to the Events in your life. Something goes terribly wrong or you don’t like a situation, you can only control one thing…YOU! You are Response-able! If you want the Outcomes on the other side of that equation, YOU must take responsibility for your thoughts, actions and beliefs. That’s the only way you will get what you want out of every situation. Stop blaming and start owning. No more, ‘if only they…’ – it’s all about ‘what can I do right now to keep moving forward toward the Outcome(s) I want.’ Get it?”
“Absolutely. I remember when you helped me break out of the box. I was scared, I doubted myself and I was uncertain of what was ahead, but I had to make the decision to do something different. You encouraged me, but I had to take responsibility for what I was going to do. I think I’m getting it. Ok, this is a good lesson. Any activity I should work on tonight?”
“Yep. I want you to:
1. List out all the ‘problems’ you are blaming on external circumstances or people (your position at work, your finances, your happiness, your possessions, your stresses, etc.). Go nuts and write them all out.
2. Go back through and take ownership. How can you take full responsibility for each item and what will you do immediately to stop blaming and start owning?
3. Take your top 3-4 items and write out the E+R=O equation. What’s the outcome you are seeking? What’s the Event that was holding you back? Now, what’s the Response (the only thing you can control) to reach that outcome?
These 3 steps are enough for now, bunny. You’ll start to get it after you realize how much blaming you’ve been doing.”
“Awesome. I’ll run home and do it now. Another top notch lesson, bear. Thanks for taking the time to help me get further away from that box. I had no idea of the possibilities out here!”
“All good, I’ll see you later. When you can, write a comment answering this question:
‘What’s one item you are blaming on external Events, that you will start owning? What’s the Outcome you will enjoy as a result?'”
“Will do…I’m excited to share!!” With that, bunny ran off with a sense of curiosity to discover everything he was blaming on everything else, that he could take responsibility for right away. “Stop blaming, start owning…” he whispered aloud as he headed home!
BEAR Necessity: Take responsibility for your life
Lesson Learned: Stop blaming, start owning! If you want certain Outcomes in your life, the only thing you can focus on is what you can control. Events are always going to happen – good or bad, but what counts is how we respond to them.
Action: Complete the 3 steps to uncover your blaming habits and what you can do to actively take ownership of each item to reach the outcomes you desire in life.
Comment: What’s one item you are blaming on external Events, that you now will start owning? What’s the Outcome you will enjoy as a result?