As a guy who's really involved in the field of personal productivity through a web app
, pdf magazine
and a video blog
, I'm reading (and listening to via audio) many books on this subject. When listening to one of the sets by Stephen Covey
he talked about the ways we respond to people and events... and that we can decide how to respond...
He said that we as humans have responsibility - response-ability - an ability to respond.
How many times people / events / situations are making your angry / upset / nervous every day?
We tend to believe that whenever something like this happens to us, we have to react in the most natural way for us - for example we react with anger to anger... we say: "I just had to shout at this guy, he shouted at me!"
We can choose the way we respond to stuff - we can be response-able
From the audiobook I listened to (I don't remember the name of it, sorry, it was a while ago and I've listened to many audiobooks recently, when I find it I'll update the post, I promise) they quoted a study made upon people who survived concentration camps. They found out, that while some people gave in easily and surrounded to the scary and you-can-die-tomorrow environment, others were living OK, accepting the scary reality around them but being beyond it.
Anyway, these people were not crazy, they just chose to react differently. To respond the way they wanted.
DIY - to test it try next time someone makes you angry
I know, it sounds really strange, but do it - just drive your car, get into the traffic jam and don't let people in other cars upset you as they normally do. Take deep breaths, think of something different... anything. React differently.
Think different - don't use default reactions - choose your response.
It's not easy, I'm still struggling, but try to choose your response and your reaction - don't let other influence your response and don't let yourself spin into an anger-anger chain reaction.
And it's not only about someone making you angry... it's also about some unexpected event, something good/bad happening... and theoretically we can always choose our own response.
Question: Are you reacting or choosing response to events? Did you manage to control it? Or do you just go with the flow?