Who is responsible for your life? For the quality of your life? For the lack of anything in your life? 

This isn’t a question about ‘who is responsible for the events in your life?” This is a question about “Who is responsible for the results in your life?”

Event + your response = your outcome (as Dr. Stephen R. Covey explains in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, E + R = O). In all of her writings, in her speeches and all of her interviews, I never once heard Mother Teresa complain about events – because she knew that she was responsible for how she responded to any event in her life.

Events do not define us, nor do they predict our future. It is our response to life’s events that ultimately create our future.

Yes, some events are beyond our control. This Saturday is the three year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Lives were taken and lives were profoundly harmed. What was inspiring and remarkable were how many people I met who chose to survive, be grateful for their life, and find ways to re-build and thrive – even in places like Leogane – where 80-90% of EVERYTHING was destroyed and whole families were lost. You wouldn’t believe the grace and dignity that I witnessed during and in the first days after the quake when despair could have suffocated every breath.

E + R = O – we are responsible for how we respond – and that response creates our outcomes. We are responsible.