Start Responding…Stop Reacting

by admin

Life is fleeting. Life is on a fast track lane, most of the times. Time to analyse thoughts and information is less, further shrinking with each passing day, thanks to the giant of a phenomenon called digital revolution.

Speed defines existence in today’s time. However, the-razor-sharp–torque-mentality has a flip side; it puts your mind on an auto pilot mode, to REACT.

As humans, we are mostly impulsive. And for ages, we have been reacting. Reacting to a given situation harms everyone’s interest. It worsens things.

If someone slaps you, you slap back, and the slapgate continues for ages. In this mad mad world filled with cacophony, when everyone is conditioned to react, someone has to acknowledge sanity and RESPOND.

Albert Einstein said: Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

The important word in the above quote is ‘equanimity’ which means, ‘a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.’

Guys, it’s time to grow up. Time to mature in your approach and demeanour.

Success comes to those who understand the difference between ‘responding’ and ‘reacting’.

‘Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?Lao Tzu

Reaction is instantaneous. It comes out of your negative emotions, fear, insecurities, conditioning of mind. Reaction is thoughtless.

Response on the other hand is being patient, analysing a situation, reasoning and taking the best action possible.

Is it easy? It seems to be, but certainly not. And who has made it difficult? None, but us.

So what will responding earn you? It will earn you respect and soon the world will look up to you for solutions. When the world would keep busy reacting aimlessly, you would emerge as a superhero who acts from the mind, not heart. Be at work, be at school, be anywhere in life, if you master the art of responding, you will be a definite winner.

Take this scenario:

Your child gets bad marks in a subject in school. You react by scolding and yelling at him. He gets more demotivated and further slumps in academics.

Or you can choose to PAUSE. Let the initial reaction pass. Analyse. Consider and then respond. Yes, he has failed to live up to your expectations, but there is another chance to do better. Rather than screaming you motivate him and tell him about the benefits of focusing on studies. You can paint his glorious future in front of him. I am sure it will do better than the kid enterting a shell and further harming himself.

So how do we begin to start responding?

Well, I mentioned the word ‘pause.’

Yes, at any given situation, practice patience and build the habit of pausing for a moment before reacting. When you let the impulsive first reaction pass, the second thought is that of sanity and reason. Think why is something happening to you or why someone is acing difficult with you. Look at a scenario from a bird’s eye view and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Answers will come naturally and you will respond and act in the best way possible, guaranteed.

Secondly, raise your level of self awareness. At the end of every day, reflect and introspect on the day’s activities. What went wrong and how you could have dealt with a situation better.

Thirdly, drop the ego and start respecting people. Once you start seeing others as a reflection of self you will realise that everyone is the same. Being composed and mature you can deal with people and situations. Evaluate how reactions have affected you negatively and begin addressing and correcting them.

The entire process needs immense degree of self awareness, as I mentioned, and that would come via constant introspection, knowledge augmentation and of course, meditation.

Being aware of the self, is being aware of the world.

Be mindful, and instead of reacting think of a compassionate, intelligent problem solving response. Be a winner and help others be a winner.

In the beginning it will not be easy, but don’t give up no matter what. Practice the patience and pause method and emerge as an altogether new attractive version of yourself.

Remember, the change begins with you. Change for good, change for success and change for happiness. Amen to that.

-Siddhartha Laik