And all you want is to make it convenient and fun and interesting and positive.
That’s why when something bad — maybe not bad, just something you hate — happens, you react.
Here are some examples:
- You badmouth your neighbors for their lavish lifestyle.
- You complain because the coffee shop’s Internet connection is too slow.
- You berate a salesman for not helping you find the product you need.
- You condemn a company for not giving you the best service.
- You speak ill of your friends who refuse to lend you money.
- You criticize someone on Facebook for posting something against your perspective. (And now you’re going to criticize this blog post, too.)
- You blame the government for the traffic, unemployment, crimes, social crisis, and everything that makes your life miserable.
I can go on forever.
We are a society that keeps reacting to things we don’t have control over.
We want our opinions to be always right. We want others to always understand and approve us. We take things personally.
I know it’s easier said than done. But if we’re always reacting to things we don’t have control over, what kind of life are we expecting?
Annie Dillard said,
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.”
The next time, you’re about to react, pause and hold your breath — and hold it (hold it forever).
Rather than spewing negativity, ask yourself:
“What can I do to make things a little bit better?”
We may not have the capacity to completely change it, but this simple mental shift can propel us to find solutions and stay composed.
This is my daily reminder: Respond not react.