In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey wrote that there is a space between stimulus and response, and it’s in that space that we find our freedom. We don’t merely have to react to a stimulus. We can choose what we do.
Consider situations where you have reacted in ways that you later regret. What different choices could you have made at that moment? How could things have turned out differently as a result of those choices?
Here are three actions you can take to move from reacting to situations to choosing your response:
- Be Present. Choose to be grounded in the present moment. Listen, ask questions, explore. Don’t merely react. When we aren’t present, we tend to simply respond without thinking.
- Be Mindful. Put things in context. Consider what is truly important beyond the moment. Ask yourself if an issue matters in the long-run or if it is merely distracting or frustrating at the moment.
- Be Selective. Recognize that you always have choices. You can choose to have a great attitude. You can choose a different behavior. You can be and should be selective.
I created this week’s video and tool to help you to make better choices. In the video, I share how I responded to the coffee and the technology situation. It’s perfect for watching on your own or sharing with your team as you start a conversation about attitude and behaviors. The accompanying tool provides a brief reminder of the three actions: 1) Be Present, 2) Be Mindful, and 3) Be Selective. I encourage you to print, post, and share the tool to help yourself and others on your team.
Choose don't just react