From Zig Ziglar’s book – Something to Smile About, he shared an article entitled “React or Respond“. He explains that when you respond to life, that is positive; when you react to life, that’s negative.
Personally, for me, they mean the same thing. However, he illustrated the difference between the two words clearly in two examples. The first example is this –
You get sick and go to the doctor. Chances are good that after an examination she would give you a prescription with instructions to return in several days. If, when you walk back in, the doctor starts shaking her head and says, “It looks like your body is reacting to the medicine; we are going to have to change it.” You probably would get a little nervous. However, if the doctor smiles and says, “You’re looking great! Your body is responding to the medication,” you will feel relieved.
Yes, responding to life is good! Reacting to incidents of life is negative – and that’s bad. The next example validates that fact.
The second example he illustrated is this –
It is a fact that there is much turmoil in the job market all over the world. Many people are losing their jobs through downsizing, mergers and takeovers of companies. This creates some unusual opportunities for many people. One positive from this trend is that in the last five years, according to the Wall Street Journal, more than 15 million new businesses have been created. well over half of them by women. Very few of the women had any marketable skills, and all of them had great financial need. Most of the new businesses were “trust” businesses, meaning that the women collected the money before they delivered the goods or services. The Journal comments that virtually none of the women have been prosecuted and jaled for failure to deliver on that trust.
This second example, according to Zig Ziglar, is illustrative of how the women chose to respond. There is little doubt that many of them are better off now than they were before the “tragedy” took place.
The message too is clear: “If you respond to life instead of reacting to it, then you’ve got a much better chance of achieving a better state.”
Reading these two examples holds dear for me at the moment. And I will keep myself reminded to always prefer to respond to life’s challenges than react to it. Staying positive, proactive and open minded to daily surprises are key strategies.
In fact, here is something to smile about that I would like you to comment on whether this example demonstrates “response or reaction”:
Woman to neighbor: “I have the most marvellous recipe for meat loaf! All I have to do is mention it to my husband and he says, “Let’s eat out!”
Thank you for reading! I wish you all the positivity always.