“When you react, you let other control you. When you respond, you are in control.” ― Bohdi Sanders

We are all taught from our childhood to react and react quickly in any situation we are in. Do you remember how parents used to ask the kids to start reciting poems she learned at the school, and eyes were rolled ad it was indicated that she recite it. And that too every time any tom, dick and harry came. I feel this is the beginning of our history with “reacting”.
Slowly, in life, to any situation, our immediate action is the reaction. Reaction to others and the events around us.

Reacting is instinctual while responding needs efforts. When you are angry, it is easy to shout at the person available, get irritated and let one small event effect your entire day like the domino effect, but the person who caused it neither is aware nor is unhappy, unlike you. While had you taken a breath, thought about it, looked at time bigger picture and not had the internal conversation, instead introspected for few fleeting seconds, your decisions wouldn’t be irrational. And you would be responding instead of reacting.

And twenties is the best period to start practising. Unlearn the bad as soon as possible right?
Here are the three ways to learn to respond:

1. Pause

When we are angry or in a tight spot, just pause. Take some time, not everything needs to be done immediately. Make it a point to not make decisions immediately. Reflect. Breathe. Then start thinking of the best possible solution.

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2. The Desire To Better Yourself

This technically should have been on the top. Unless you want to change yourself, be better, understand the importance of responding, you can never start it. And to learn to respond needs a lot of practice and the heart to face failure when you fail in the first few attempts.

GIF React-and-respond

3. See The Bigger Picture

It is easy to lose control, and do things that you probably would regret later. But it takes a lot of patience and mindfulness to see to it that the long term goals aren’t affected by the outbursts for a short term gain.

GIF Three Ways To Respond Rather Than React

 From now on Respond instead of React. If you are already into it, do share the journey from reacting to responding.


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