Action v Reaction

Yesterday morning it was early, I was tired. I didn’t want to be awake much less up and moving. Sitting at a red light I was engrossed in listening to my spouse relate a story about something, or another. Suddenly the car next to me started to go, and I, naturally, also started. Only after I had released my break and hit the gas did I realize that my light was still red and only the ‘leading green’ turn light had turned green.  I reacted to a perception (that my light was green) rather than taking informed action (confirming that my light was green BEFORE hitting the gas).

How often in our lives and careers, do we react without all the necessary information? We go with what we perceive to be what is happening around us rather than gathering all the facts for ourselves. We perceive a slight from a co-worker and just react. We think our boss has it in for us and we react. We interpret a friend’s comment as a slight and we react. We assume our spouses silence has ominous meaning and we react.

How many family relations, friendships, or careers have been destroyed by people who react without all the necessary information?

Sometimes the answer is as simple as taking the time to look around, to listen, or ask so that you can know the truth before you take action. Informed, rational, calm action can help you avoid a reaction that may ruin or damage a relationship.

 

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