Funny how I thought reactions are always entailed by a situation; when in fact it really depends. I once read a book called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People where the renown Stephen Covey reiterates on the notion that ~
It is your reaction to a situation that determines the outcome. You may choose to react and let emotions drive you or you can not react and let success drive you [Paraphrased].
In essence, what he meant was that there are 3 phases:
- The Situation
- The Waiting Period
- The Reaction/ No Reaction
So really, when a situation occurs and before we react, there is always a gap of period (it could be seconds, minutes, hours, day, weeks, months or seldom an year). It is in this period you you stop, think and knock some common sense into you! Often, we react depending on the situation (reflex) for example, if someone hurts you, you cry; if someone yells at you, you snap; if you fail to achieve your target, you feel guilty.
But quite honestly, all that can be different. It is the ability to use the GAP period effectively that sets us apart, letting us achieve Emotional Intelligence. So rather than crying when you’re hurt, you can choose to embrace the pain, accept it and then let go of the anger. When someone yells at you, you can choose to understand that, that person obviously has issues and you may not necessarily be the core of the situation. And instead of feeling guilty, dissect the situation that made you fall short and assess where you went wrong.
Therefore in conclusion, REACTION to situations is an option, never a necessity. I hope this article provided an insight to one of the little things we can change in ourselves in order to live more peacefully.