1. Work on responding instead of reacting.
Reacting is something your body does out of habit, you step on a nail, and you react and pull your foot up. Reactions are meant to save your life or prevent bodily harm. Reactions become a bad thing when someone gives you bad news and you react and attack them verbally or physically. Maybe someone gives you an opposing opinion and you react negatively and begin to attack them again. Maybe someone says something that you find offensive and you react and get on the defensive shutting them off and harboring ill-will. Reactions mostly serve a useful purpose in the physical world and mostly serve a destructive purpose in the world of psychology, communication and people.
Responding is taking the time after an event and considering your options before you engage. A response to someone attacking or your beliefs would be to figure out why they feel the need to attack. A response to someone getting defensive would be to figure out what you said that was misunderstood and ease them about it. The big difference between responding and reacting is simple, responding requires thought, reacting doesn’t.
2. Work on becoming fascinated instead of frustrated.
This one is straight from the Jim Rhone handbook. We all experience life events that we don’t understand that seek to put us in a negative place; things that seem to call out to the darker side of our nature and cause us to get upset. I struggle with this one daily myself because I seem to spend so much time frustrated. I’m late for a meeting and traffic isn’t moving, I’m frustrated; I’m waiting on a date and she is late, I’m frustrated; I’m trying to get my computer to upload a certain file to the internet but it’s fighting me every step of the way, I’m frustrated.
But let’s flip that, instead of being upset and just wanting it done and out of our lives forever; let’s turn that negative energy into a positive energy and try to figure out why things are happening. Instead of being frustrated about being late and running into traffic, I could ask myself, why didn’t I leave the house sooner, I wonder what’s holding up traffic, how can I wow them at the meeting; can I design a road system that prevents traffic jams? The same can be said of the other two scenarios: Why does the file need to be formatted this way instead of another way and, I wonder what she must be going through that her trip would run long like this. You learn more from the questions you ask when you are fascinated then the anger you feel when you are frustrated.
3. Focus on living instead of losing
This one is simple and doesn’t even require all the writing of the previous two. Most people live their lives afraid of missing the mark, so they never even give it a shot. They get so caught up in all the things that can go wrong that they never stop to think about all the things that can go right. If you go through your entire life without feeling the thrill of risk and the joy of success can you really say that you have lived, or were you just alive. Focus on getting the most out of your life, take the risk and reap the rewards, put in the work and receive the pay. Life is what we are gifted and it is the only real gift afforded to us, so use that gift for all that you can, focus on living and stop waiting to die.