Do you react or respond to life, to the things that happen around you?
Recently I was listening to some Zig Zigler tapes. Great insight about a number of things.
One thing he spoke about was the difference between reacting or responding to what happens to us. Thought-provoking!
The example he provided to distinguish the difference involved medicine we may be prescribed when we are ill. If we can tolerate the medicine and it heals us, we have responded well to it. If we cannot tolerate the medicine and it makes us feel worse, we have reacted to it.
He also gave the example of a typical driving situation, now known as ‘road-rage’. Perhaps you’ve had this happen to you… Someone cuts you off on the road. It just sets you off for the rest of the day. You’ve reacted to it! If you are like most people in this situation, you remain in your car, take a few moments to have a monolog about how awful the person is (as well as some choice names for him) and it creates a not-so-great rest of the day for you. Does the other person even know how you are feeling? Of course not!
What if, when something like this happens, you would instead think about what may be going on with him. You could create a scenario that would allow you to have empathy for the person, since he may really be having a bad day. By doing this you are responding to the situation. You then go on about your day without giving the situation any more thought.
Which gives us the most control? I think you would agree that our response to something gives us more control that our reaction to it.
How do you deal with these types of situations? Do you react or respond?