“Every Action has an equal and opposite Reaction” – says Newton. The world would be a much better place if “Every Action has an equal and POSITIVE Reaction”!
Anger, Irritation, Joy, Grief, Depression, Disappointment, Rage, Love, Pity… we see ourselves respond & react to situations everyday in many different ways. But are we in control of how we are responding or reacting?
On a daily basis we face many types of situations that demand our reaction or push us to react. How you react to a situation is the expression of your attitude as an individual.
Of course, you may not be able to control all your ‘external’ circumstances, but you can surely control your ‘internal’ response to those circumstances.
Today I want to share with you one of the principles that can help you internally control the way your react. It is what I call the ‘Delayed-Controlled Response’ technique. To understand this, lets first understand an opposite type of response, which is ‘instant-uncontrolled’ response, which occurs to most of us, most of the time.
Option 1: (Instant-uncontrolled response)
A ‘stimulus’ is anything that triggers you to react. It could be positive or negative.
- When someone slaps you, it triggers ‘anger’ as a response.
- When you learn that you have won a lottery, it triggers ‘joy’ as a response.
Usually, people react instantly to such ‘stimulus’ without any control over it.
In example 1, the instant-uncontrolled ‘anger’ response could eventually lead to you slapping the person back or saying something nasty, in response.
In example 2, the instant-uncontrolled ‘joy’ response could eventually lead you posting the news on facebook, when you have not confirmed or verified it!
You can imagine many similar situations in your life where ‘instant-uncontrolled’ reactions lead to results that might be damaging.
This ‘instant-uncontrolled’ response, has led to many people losing relationships, losing their jobs, missing opportunities, hurting others, hurting themselves, doing something that they might regret for the rest of their lives and some have even had to go to prison because they could not control their reactions & emotions!
Option 2: (Delayed-controlled response)
One of the ways in which you can have more control over how you react or respond to any situation, is to ‘delay’ reacting to it, just a bit.
The delay could be in seconds, micro-seconds, minutes, days, weeks or months depending on your situation.
You need to delay the response as long as you need to gain control of your emotions and thought processes. That way even if you are reacting in a seemingly drastic fashion, internally you know exactly what you are doing and you are in total control of yourself. This helps you to think clearly before reacting.
Prayer during delay:
And personally, I have found that praying during the ‘delay process’ helps a lot. It helps me chose a reaction based on my value system and set of beliefs.
During short delays (a few secs or mins) prayer could be a short one like, “Help me”, “Be with me”, “Lead me”, “Thank you for guiding me”, “I know you are there with me, as I walk through this”, “Help me to react in love”, “Help me to see this situation like you would”, etc.
Prayer is a time of involving God in your daily life. Simple!
Advice or good counsel during delay:
If you have more than a few mins or secs to react, I suggest you also reach out to an adviser, a good counsel or a wise individual who can advice you on how to react. Because sometimes we cannot think clearly when we are in the midst of a situation. A third person’s perspective helps.
And also make sure that you ask for advice from someone who loves you & knows you well (like a spouse or parent or a true friend) since they know you personally they may help you gain control of your reaction or response.
So, take time to react! React right all the time! Cheers!