- Thoughts for inspired living

August 18, 2015

You Will Re-Act

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:49 am

ArgumentWe all react. Even a non-reaction is a reaction. So the question I pose is: “Are we slaves to our reactions?” The answer is “Yes” and “No.”

Yes, because we will have automatic, lightning quick, conditioned behavior fire off when we are met with a certain stimulus. No, we’re not slaves to behavior if we begin to notice it. That’s our only chance to outgrow it.

When I have a reaction, I have a choice if I notice I’m having a reaction. As mentioned, a reaction is a programmed way of responding to a stimulus. If every time someone says, “You’re an @%#&%,” your retort is, “You’re an @%#&%,” you have re-acted with some programmed behavior.

I have found that it’s best for me if I keep my reactions on a leash, otherwise they may run amok like a spirited dog. That means if I have a reaction that’s going to take me down a path that goes deep into the woods, I notice it and pull back.

If my reaction has been let out of the bag, I have a brief opportunity to mitigate it by reeling it back in. As an example, imagine this back and forth between a couple. Add to the scenario that one member of this duo has had a “trying” day.

“Would you like to go see the new Meryl Streep movie tonight?”

“No, I don’t want to go to a crowded theatre and sit with the great unwashed.” (Now noticing the reaction) “But ya’ know, that movie has gotten some great reviews, can we go see it tomorrow night because I’ve just had a day and wouldn’t be the best company tonight?”

Staying with your initial reaction will get you what it got you last time. You’re like a scripted actor in a predictable scene. Noticing your reaction and interrupting it before it becomes drama is your only chance for growth.

Start noticing your reactions and notice that they take you to the same place each time. If you’re looking for new vistas, start saying “hasta la vista” to your programmed reactions by noticing them and you’ll find yourself acting in fresh, unscripted scenes.

All the best,


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