Use E+R=O to Break Through Your Goal Setting Roadblocks

My favorite equation, E+R=O, is about taking 100 percent responsibility for your life.

I learned this concept as a teenager from a mentor and teacher of mine, Mr. Jim Vaught. The equation is original with Dr. Robert Resnick, and Jack Canfield shares about it in his book The Success Principles.

In the simplest form, here’s what the equation means:

  • “E” stands for the “events” that occur in our lives. We have little control over events. Some are good; others are not so good. Yet either way, most are completely out of our control.
  • “R” represents our “response” to events. This is the one thing over which we have complete control. We choose our response.
  • “O” stands for the “outcomes” we experience.

Most people buy into the false premise that the outcomes they experience are the result of events in their life. Nothing could be further from the truth! The outcomes we experience are directly tied to how we choose to RESPOND to events in our lives. Owning our “R”—our RESPONSE—is the key to true success!


What the video above demonstrates is E+R=O is more than a nice theory. You can apply it to every area of your life, including goal setting.