When Your World Stops Turning

Love Makes the WorldPhoto Credit – Susie Sprinkel Hudson

Closing night. Full house. Final performance of an outstanding original musical, “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round,” written and directed by Vanda Eggington and presented by The American Coast Theater Company. I am seated with my wife Ramona in the second row, center, as we proudly watch our son Nicholas perform as part of a wonderful cast.

A revolving stage, painted as a map of the world, placed the actors at just the appropriate place for them to sing and dance each number. The stage turned every time, perfectly, during each performance for several weeks – until it abruptly stopped during the final act on the final night, leaving each actor out of position and facing every which way but the right one.

My heart sank, as I imagined each actor thinking frantically what their next move would be to adjust to their new stage setting.

Yet, just like clockwork, without missing a beat, the actors each created a pathway to their new improvised stage positions. Singing, and then dancing, without their usual cues and blocking, the show went on and was as incredible as each time we had seen it before (of course we are proud stage parents, so we had tickets for several performances!).

I marveled at how each cast member, during that split second of decision-making, had applied a principle that I had learned many years ago in a training with Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The principle is contained in the following powerful formula:

E + R = O
E is the Event (or Experience)

R is your Response to the Event and

O is the Outcome.

The principle described in this formula is that no matter what happens to or around you, the one thing that is ALWAYS available to you is your ability to CHOOSE your response to what is happening. It is always the response that you choose that leads to the final outcome you experience.

As the actors on the stage discovered, you cannot always control when your world stops turning, but you can accept changes and take charge over what is under your control.

While change and uncertainty can lead to feeling powerless, victimized and weak, taking charge in times of change leads to a very different outcome than if one believes things are happening TO them.

Albert Schweitzer once said, “Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.”

Whether in your business, in your creative process or in a performance, the decision to take responsibility and turn potential powerlessness into action will always lead to an amazing outcome.

As the stage stopped turning, each actor took charge and responded by creating an amazing final act for the audience to enjoy. Of course I am biased, but the final outcome was confirmed by the standing ovation the talented cast received!

Question: Has your personal world ‘stopped turning’ recently? I would love to hear how you took charge and changed the outcome? You can leave a comment by clicking the Comments box above.

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