ReduceStressNow.net     react or respond?

Do you just React?
or Respond to the Circumstances?

Feeling foolish at the Planning Meeting

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It was time to plan the upcoming year, so the charitable organization at which I volunteered held a meeting - everyone was invited. One crucial area of discussion was fund-raising and when to have such events.

"Let’s have two a year, at spring and Easter." said Sharon, one of the more outspoken people on the committee.

Although I was a newcomer, my reaction was immediate. 'Wouldn't it make more sense to spread them apart rather than having both at the same time of the year?' I blurted out, not even waiting until the committee had had their say.

Her suggestion sounded really funny to me. I have lived most of my life in the northern hemisphere where spring and Easter are roughly the same time of year. But we were in South Africa - south of the equator!

Everyone looked at me. Spring and Easter are six months apart, they explained patiently.

Ohhhh! I had reacted without thinking it through. I had assumed that Sharon was making a mistake instead of exploring the possibility that my context might be different, that I might have a mistaken viewpoint on the matter!

Rather be Conscious Instead

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Life had brought me yet another perfect opportunity to respond consciously rather than show how unconscious I could be. Intelligence is wasted unless you actually use it!

Yet instead of responding, I re-acted, acted as on previous occasions. Reactions are unconscious, there's little or no real thinking involved. I used to assume that if something didn't make any sense, then it must be the other person's fault. Would I ever make a mistake?

But to assume is to make an ASS out of yoU and ME, so I ended up with egg all over my face. It also alienated my friends as they realized I had thought Sharon must be slow. But it was me not her - I had not thought before speaking.

A response is conscious rather than just an unconscious knee-jerk repetition. A response shows thoughtfulness, it uses your intelligence to consider how best to respond.

My reaction left me feeling stupid. How I wished I had actually thought before speaking up. Yet when I saw the apparent incongruity in Sharon's suggestion, I jumped in feet first. I did not stop to explore whether she really would have made such a stupid suggestion, or whether I might have made a mistake. My mother used to say:

Engage your brain before opening your mouth!

Wise woman, my mother.

Where does a Reaction Come From?

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Where does a reaction come from? Your past.

Your judgements of the past have taught you that this is good and that is bad. Or someone has told you what is good and bad, and you believed them.

When you let the past rule the present, you react. Then your past decisions repeat the same actions as last time. You re-act, you act again, no matter whether it got you the results you were looking for or not! Thinking is not needed!

Rather take the time to think, to choose a better course of action, to decide coolly rather than react emotionally. Then you can respond appropriately by creating your response. Ask yourself whether a reaction - or a response - is more likely to produce your desired result.

The Universe is On Your Side

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There's even a viewpoint which says that the universe is being kind. It's bringing you such situations so you can learn to give up reacting and instead discover how to respond more appropriately.

Respond has the same root as responsibility. Without taking responsibility for your response, you'll battle to achieve any goal or intended result. Now is always a great opportunity to choose what you want to be.

Could the Law of Attraction have brought you this particular situation to enable you to let go of your previous reaction, so you can move on?

Create Rather Than React!

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Most people have been taught to focus on what to do. If this is your emphasis, you probably just keep on doing. Doing the same or similar things, repeating the way you always have. Re-acting, acting as you did before. Yet will doing the same ever give different results?

There's no real thought in a reaction, so nothing will change. To produce a different outcome, you instead need to create your response in the moment!

There are immense benefits when you create. When you see things differently - you want different results - then stop reacting and instead create more desirable circumstances.

There's a big difference between creation and reaction. It's the "c"! When you put the "c" first, when you "see" first, then you respond differently. The more clearly you see, the more effective you are in creating the results you want.

But what creates results? Your thoughts, words, and deeds (actions). If you want a certain outcome, then you need to focus your thoughts, and your words and your actions on its achievement. The more your thoughts, words, and deeds are aligned with your intention, the faster you create your desired result.

Wanna Reduce your Stress?

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Choose your next step right now:

Food for Thought

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“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute,
day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways."

Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943)
American author, novelist, and poet


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