In the last few years I have learned two common words that have come to mean a lot to me. They are React and Respond. Any time something comes up, especially the unexpected, I pay close attention to those words and decide whether I will react to the situation or event or whether I will respond to it.
I know for 90% of my life that I have been reacting. It is generally what most people are taught it seems. Stuff happens! Reacting seems to be a logical thing to do. Yet, those reactions--at least in my life--have caused unhappy feelings and frankly, many poor decisions. I was like a steel ball in a pin ball machine, bouncing from one thing to the next with all those reactions.
Now, I have learned the choice to respond rather than react. I can take appropriate action without reacting to the event. It is more matter of fact and less emotional. In addition, the unhappy feelings have evaporated and I am left with choices and that works so much better. Now I'm a practicing responder instead of a habitual reactionary.
React? Respond? React? Respond? React? Respond? Two words that have come to mean a lot.