Explaining “Be Proactive,” the first of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey wrote about pushing the pause button between stimulus and response, in order to respond in a way guided by how you want to live your life, rather than reacting in a way not aligned with your values and guiding principles (which can lead to regret about the reaction.)

Great teachers share their lessons using a variety of media to connect with multiple senses of their students. As someone who grew up with cassette tapes, visualizing the pause button on a tape player made it easier for me to understand Covey’s point.

I heard something recently along the same lines as Covey’s message, delivered in a different way. I want to share it here in the event this helps you to develop the habit of responding instead of reacting.


The formula means “Event plus Response equals Outcome” and here’s what it means:

Events happen. We can’t control them.

But, we can control how we respond to them. If, instead of reacting, we take a breath and decide on a response aligned with our values and goals, the outcome will be better, meaning more happiness for us and for everyone around us.

What do you think about this formula? Can you see it helping you to create better outcomes? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,