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Reaction or Response?

(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

Which one was it?

Did you react?

Or did you respond?

“What’s the difference,” you ask.

Usually everything.


Something just happened.

Somebody said or did something.

You just had an experience or became aware of a circumstance.

The next part is either your reaction or your response.

If it’s a reaction, it usually happens immediately.

There’s little to no thought directing it.

Your reaction is automatic.

Most of what you feel and do is determined by subconscious thoughts you aren’t readily aware of.

If you looked closely at your past reactions to experiences like this one, you’d see a lot of similarities.

They’re habitual. 

They’re re-actions.

But there’s another option.

There’s the option of choosing a response.

When you take just a minute to deliberately think about and select the way you want to feel and act following an experience, you’ve just responded.

You didn’t react.

You choose what you want to think about the circumstance you just witnessed.

Taking the time to choose a thought means you determine how you feel.

Controlling your emotions empowers you to direct your behavior.

Since your behavior determines your results, you just created the life you’re experiencing.

That’s responding.

That’s deliberate thinking.

All it takes is a pause.

Pause just long enough to choose a thought on purpose.


Viktor Frankl once said:

“Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.”

(Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Free yourself from your typical reaction.

Free yourself from your reactive habits.

Pause.

Take just a moment.

Choose a response.

Change.

Grow.

Create your life on purpose.

Respond.