Shifting from reacting to responding
How many of you know people who are constantly Reacting to situations outside? I know a lot of people like that. They React to everything thatandacute;s going on outside. They react. If itandacute;s positive, theyandacute;re fun to be around. But if itandacute;s negative, it's certainly not fun to be near them. They react to everything thatandacute;s going on. Theyandacute;re not in charge of their life!
My mentor Bob Proctor once told a story about teaching some kids of the difference between reacting and responding. He was talking to a little girl who was saying she got in trouble in school. He asked her why and she said because she hit one of the boys. He asked why and she said because "Heandacute;s stupid."
Bob said, "Well, odds are pretty good that heandacute;s not going to get bright for quite a while...and you got in trouble for it."
She said, "yes."
Bob said, "Why did you hit him?"
She said, "Because of the things he was saying."
Bob said, "I see. OK. Why donandacute;t you learn a new way to respond to these situations? You know, I have been around the park for quite a while and I have found that boys donandacute;t mature very fast, and some of them never do. But youandacute;re going to be around them and if youandacute;re going to react every time that they do something dumb, then youandacute;ll be going around in a reactionary state all the time. When a boy acts dumb, why donandacute;t you just say to yourself, andacute;Well, that was sure dumb of him. Iandacute;m glad Iandacute;m not like that.` Then go about your business. You wouldnandacute;t have gotten in trouble because youandacute;re not going to change his behavior anyway."
When you react, you put the situation or the person in control of you. When you respond, you stay in control. Thatandacute;s the difference between reacting and responding. Thatandacute;s not a big deal to learn, but Iandacute;m telling you that when you learn it, it is a big deal.
You first have to become aware of what youandacute;re doing. You have to become aware that youandacute;re reacting to situations. Then you have to stop yourself. Something inside wants you to react. Youandacute;re going to strike back. Youandacute;re going to react. Youandacute;ve got to stop yourself from reacting and take control of the situation.
Sometimes there will be no reaction on your part at all. You will not do anything. You will take no action. You just observe and let it go. This is not an easy thing to learn. But Iandacute;m going to tell you - the compensation for learning it is astronomical. It is really good.