It’s been said that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. I believe that there are times we react extremely well to what happens and others aren’t shining moments we look back on. Much of our days are spent reacting to what is happening around us, we are constantly making reactive decisions that steer us onward to our destination.
So many times unexpected things can happen to us, someone can cut us off in traffic, we can be blamed for something we didn’t do, or something can treat us terribly leaving us hurt and angry. These moments bring on emotions that are often hard to control. Reacting when we are angry, hurt, or scared often leads to actions taken now that we could regret later on. Our spontaneous reactions are rarely our proudest moments.
The key to reacting is to pause for a moment, or a few minutes and think. What happens when you react poorly? What happens when you don’t accept the responsibility for what you will do, are doing, or have done? It’s surely easy to react poorly then blame circumstance for our poor behavior. I have been there, I know how easy it is to point the finger of blame towards another’s behavior, forgetting the three fingers pointing back at me and my reaction.
Life isn’t meant to be easy, life is meant to be constant movement from one experience to another. Moments that can be heavy with sadness or filled with blissful happiness. How we look at what we are handed directly relates to how we view the world around us and the situations we put ourselves in.
Look at Derrick Rose, a basketball player who started his professional career on top of the game. He was known for his abilities and he was headed toward greatness, then it all crashed. Years of unprecedented injuries warped his career and reshaped what others thought of him as a player. He was traded, traded again, waived, then resigned to a less prestigious team where many thought he would spend his final few years as a professional warming a seat on the bench at best. He remained positive through the years, waited patiently, and this season has had the highest scoring game of his career against the team that waived him just a year before.
He has proven to us that sometimes the way we react to unexpected detours can lead us to where we need to be. We may stumble, we may get hurt along the way, we may even be derailed completely. However, if we are willing to stay the course toward what we want most we’ll make it where we are needed to be. Derrick Rose reacted to what he was handed and still stands among the best players in the NBA even after so many struggles.
In the end, take a moment before you react. Keep your end goal in mind and move towards it even when the unexpected derails you for a short time. You’ll get there just think before you react.