Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Power of Choice

Cover of "The Power of Choice"Cover of The Power of ChoiceBy Les Taylor

Chances are the choices you make, on a daily basis, are either keeping you from or moving you toward a better life, a more rewarding career, or the achievement of a lifelong dream.

The cold reality is the life you're experiencing right now is the result of choices you've made in the recent or distant past. As a result, you're now enjoying the benefit of making good choices or suffering the pain of making bad ones.

The good news is the one common denominator of the results of good and bad choices is you. And, you have the absolute ability to learn how to make good choices. So, where to start?

In understanding the power you have in making choices, I recommend you start with the formula E+R=O, which stands for Event plus Response equals Outcome. The premise of the formula is that the "outcome" of any "event" is predicated on your "response" to the event - not the event itself.

Want proof? The next time you watch the evening news and see a story about a road rage incident, just think E+R=O. Someone cut someone else off in traffic, followed by an offensive gesture or verbal threat and, voila - a serious injury or worse is the predictable outcome.

But it doesn't end there. One bad outcome usually leads to another, and so the above scenario plays out with two families suffering much emotional pain and suffering. E+R=O represents the power of choice.

On a less dramatic note, E+R=O represents the successes or failures we experience in both our personal and professional lives. Whether we're talking about a decision to live a healthier lifestyle or alter the course of our career path, either of those events will require specific responses on our part to achieve a successful outcome.

Responses are directly related to opportunities. Someone cuts us off in traffic, we have the opportunity to ignore it and move on, probably not a bad response. We decide to change our lifestyle, another opportunity requiring specific responses. A career change opportunity pops up; we have a decision to make: E+R=O.

The next time an opportunity surfaces, I'd like you to consider three possible choices that will have a direct impact on the outcome: (1) Pursue the opportunity; (2) Do nothing, lie back and wait; or (3) Pass - just turn away as though the opportunity wasn't even there.

This isn't an either/or proposition, by the way. One decision isn't necessarily better than the next. Your decision will have to be predicated on the circumstances of the opportunity. If you choose to pursue the opportunity, you'll want to garner additional information.

Doing nothing is also an option, but procrastination has caused more pain than gain. Passing, or doing nothing, is usually the worst option of the three but, for 80 percent of the population, it's the option of choice. This is why, by the way, it's easier to succeed than to fail.

Living a better life, having a more rewarding career, or achieving a lifelong dream will be the result of making choices. The choices you make will directly affect the outcomes. No magic formula here; it's all about you and it's all about E+R=O.

Les Taylor, owner and managing partner of Outperformers International - is a professional speaker, author, consultant, and recognized expert in the fields of performance management and professional development. Les works with individuals and organizations who are serious about improving performance and productivity.

Visit for more interesting and entertaining performance improvement articles. Also check out at Les' blog at

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