There is a saying that an appeaser is someone who believes that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will eventually become a vegetarian... Even if reacting doesn't lead to gross error on your part, if feeds the unproductive cycle of action and reaction. Ask the wife why she shouts at her husband and she may answer, "Because he shouts at me." Ask the husband and he will give the same answer: "Because she shouts at me." By reacting, you become part of the problem. Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to tangle. - William Ury from the book: Getting Past No.
This is an interesting parallel in my opinion that goes right along with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Mainly in relation to reactive and proactive language we use. Often we are so caught up in the moment of something, a discussion we are having with someone perhaps, we forget to take a step back and collect our thoughts before we react. We simply just react. And what happens when we react? As this excerpt cleverly suggests, "you become part of the problem." And isn't this one of the greatest powers we are given as humans, the power to choose? We choose, we choose how someone's words will affect us, we choose all of our decisions, we choose to let things bring us down, we choose to be un-healthy, we choose...
When I start to think for instance, the world has dealt me a bad hand: my knee hurts and I can't do yoga today or my shoulder hurts I can't do yoga today... I stop myself now from this line of thinking. I stop myself because I understand that I am letting the "world" dictate my not being able to do something. I am choosing not to do yoga today and this is the excuse; my knee hurts, my shoulder hurts. But in reality, that is just what it is, an excuse. Why an excuse? Because I look at Stephen Hawking and think to myself, here is a guy who is basically paralyzed from head to toe, but he still finds a way to write books, theorized the biggest concepts of the world, and change the world... all while being paralyzed. So all of a sudden that knee or shoulder just becomes an excuse. Just because my knee hurts does not mean I can't do upper body strengthening. Just because my shoulder hurts does not mean I can't do leg strengthening. I can do these things, if I really want to. There is always something else I can do that allows part of me to heal, while I am able to better the rest of my body in the mean time. Always. So then I ask myself, is the excuse a better outcome or is finding something else I can do a better outcome? The latter of course. The outcome of my using an excuse means that I become less healthy, while the finding something I can do makes me more healthy. And once I start looking at one aspect of my life in this way it opens up a wealth of other possibilities for the rest of my life. Not finding a relationship? Yes, this is my choosing. Why? Because maybe I have not been going out and meeting new people, you have to meet new people to find new people to date. Maybe I should make new friends who are better aligned with my life goals. Maybe I need to continue to be healthy and stay fit so I feel better about myself and live longer, which then has the added benefit of looking more attractive. Maybe it's time to try different things out than just going to a bar. Maybe I should look in the mirror and be honest with myself and ask, would I want to date me -and not just physical appearances either, do I look happy, am I smiling inside and out-? etc etc. You see, once I realize I choose, it becomes ever more apparent that it is also in my power to change and choose a different outcome.
But to only react and use reactive language means I am giving my power away to someone or something else, instead of being proactive and changing so that I become a better me.
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