Respond or React?

Justin Herald

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Respond, don’t react.

Have you ever had something bad happen to you when you least expect it? How do you handle that situation? Do you react or do you respond to that situation? These questions are questions that you need to have the answer for BEFORE you come across them.

A lot of people react to their situations. Like if someone loses their job suddenly, they get into a panic, fret about their future, and sell all of their possessions to ensure that they have enough money for their short term future without even thinking about the effect of those actions. Instead, they should respond in an orderly and calm and concise manner. That way their actions and thoughts will be strategic and directed to ensure that they will rise above the immediate situation.

Let’s look at the effect of both reacting and responding.

When you react, you are working and operating in the moment. There is no forethought to the future, just the present. Now whilst the present situation may seem hopeless right there and then, your next move will dictate your future results. A wrong or thoughtless decision may keep you in that state of despair longer than you would like.

Reacting is more an emotional process. We all get caught up in the emotional minute, but living a life like that will only ensure constant work and addressing.

Reacting to a situation will only provide a short term solution. The problem with that is that you will need to go back and continue to handle not only the situation that put you there in the first place but also the following situations that path has taken you down. Your life will be full of constant effort and work that will feel like you are going from drama to drama. In the end it will feel like you are on a round-a-bout with no idea where the exit is.

Now if you respond to life’s dramas, you then have more chance to control your future outcomes. You see responding instead of reacting means that you have thought about your current situation, and you have planned a way to move forward. Your focus is not on a short term fix or solution but on a long term one. Responding to situations takes patience and a calm approach. We all need to plan our direction. That is something that most everybody knows. But you also need to plan your response to dramas or dilemmas that you may encounter throughout life. Now don’t freak out over the planning process. It could be as simple as ensuring that you step back from the situation, stop, evaluate the reality of the situation and then move forward with an understanding of the desired outcome.

Too many people don’t give themselves time to evaluate the actual situation. They just panic and react without really understand or thinking that it may not be as bad as they imagined.

Recently I was speaking to someone who lost their job that day. They informed me that they were going to a local car yard to get “whatever they could” for their car so they would have a financial buffer. I asked if they were looking for a new job. They then informed me that they were going to look the following week. I then asked how they were going to get to the interviews. What surprised me then was the look on their face. They hadn’t even thought about that. They just reacted to the situation instead of responding to it in a calm and calculated manor.

The reality was that their future was at risk by reacting to the immediate problem instead of looking and planning past it.

If you are like that person who freaks out over the immediate issues, it is easier to change the way you approach things to someone who responds, instead of trying to pick up the pieces when you make the wrong choice later on.

Justin Herald started a company with only $50 in his pocket. 6 years later it was turning over $25 million per year. he has since sold that business, been named the “International Entrepreneur of the Year 2005" and written 4 international best selling books including “What are you waiting for?" He has been described as one of the world's best motivational speakers.


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