Reactions and responses

When we face bumps in the road, we can spend time on reactions – oh crap!,” “why does this happen to me?,” “what will they think?,” “is this really my fault?” – or responses – “what is the creative, constructive, corrective action to be taken here?.”

3 things to know about these modes –

(1) Human nature dictates that we have to spend time in reaction mode first. There is no getting away from it even if we know it is a complete waste of time. It doesn’t help that it feels good to be in this mode for the short term.

(2) Given we have to spend time in reaction mode, the choice we exercise is whether to spend a quick second or many hours (depending on the nature of the problem, we may even lose the ability to respond after some time). We have limited time to deal with any given problem – so, every second wasted in reaction takes away time from our response.

(3) Moving from reaction to response is governed by how quick we move to take responsibility (response-ability). The quicker we’re able to shoulder the responsibility for what happens to us, the more painless the transition. And, this response-ability is among the strongest indicators we have of the strength of a person’s character.