I've been dealt an interesting hand the last week and a half and I've taken time either in the gym or in my downtime to analzye the situations and question both why these things are happening and how to handle these obstacles. I had to take a birds eye view and determine a reasonable solution that will both alleviate the issues and allow me to feel like I haven't compromised myself too much. Eventually I came to the decision that I can either respond to these issues or react to them.
Many people think these two are one in the same, but I'm here to tell you that they are as different as intelligence and wisdom. While intelligence is simply knowing a myriad of facts that may or may not be useful to you, wisdom is knowing how to successfully put the knowledge you have to work for your benefit and to achieve the best possible outcome. That's why sometimes the most educated person isn't always the wisest. Responses and reactions are much the same in the fact that reactions are thoughtless reflexes to stimuli which will either result in an outcome that improves the immediate situation or make it worse.
But a response is a well thought out, calculated choice which serves to improve your situation immediately and in the long term.
So now that I've managed to bore you with my long drawn out compare and contrast of the two terms, I want you to think about which you find yourself doing the most. Do you respond or do you react? With my current situation I must admit, I had a visceral reaction on the inside to defend myself but I refrained.
It's never fun to work in an evironment or be in a situation where you work hard and mind your own business only to find folks talking about you behind your back or speaking on issues that they haven't brought to your attention, gained clarity on or brought up to speak to you directly about. All that does is cause an unhealthy work environment and trust issues between people. But several things helped me handle the situation with poise, one being a phrase that a wise man once told me.
That phrase was, "Never waste time trying to chase down a lie, it's a race that you'll surely lose. But spend that energy more on letting your actions speak the truth." With that in mind, and having the patience of the chess player that I am, it became clear to me that the issue is not one that calls for a reaction, but a response.
An issue that calls for me to take my time, and deliver a proper response when the time is right. That time may not be for a few days, but when you properly think things through, you nearly always deliver the correct reponse at the right time. With those thoughts, calm and peace came over me. And although the situation is still an uncomfortable one, I feel good about that fact that I am handling it the best for me.
Honestly, if we could get more people to respond versus react, we could cut down on so much violence and ill will going on in the world. If we could learn to respond versus react, Congress might actually get more things done, diplomacy may actually take precedence over war and undestanding my take precedence or prejudice. I can only hope that I can continue to respond and not react when other challenges arise in my life. I know that if I can do that, more times than not, I'll ultimately be okay and make the best choice for sure. Patience, peace, and check mate!