Dr Steven Covey wrote, in The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People, about our ability to choose our response to any situation, to shift our paradigm and see the situation in a different light. The example he gives is the guy on a train who is letting his kids run riot, and we react by expecting him to keep them under control, until we learn that they’ve just come from the hospital where their mother just died, and our attitude shifts from condemning to wanting to help.
Covey goes on to say that the extent of our ability to choose our response indicates our level of response-ability.
Taking this semantic sleight of mouth a little farther, what most people do is react to situations in the same way each time, based on their experiences, culture and upbringing. Act again, doing the same thing over and over again, the unconscious mind running the same pattern whenever prompted by the external stimulus. Re-Acting.
If you want to make changes in your life, you’re going to need to do something different. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that to keep repeating the same action and expect a different result was his definition of insanity. Dr Michael Beckwith says that when you’re faced with a stimulus, you should pause before acting, and consciously decide how to respond in a way that will best serve you and the world. That pause is important. A pause to allow your better self to take control of how you respond.
To take the semantic game one stage further, I say you must respond, not react. Don’t Re-Act the stuff that’s got you to where you are now;
RESt + PONDer how you will respond to take you even further.