Every day we make choices to either react or respond to situations. We all have a choice to determine who or what is in control. When we react to a situation we allow someone or something to have control over our emotions and thoughts. When we respond to a situation we stay in control and assess the situation with logic. We evaluate the problem and figure out the best way to handle the issue.
Yesterday my car battery died. I remember looking at my phone realizing it was after 5:00 p.m. and most places are closed. I took a moment to process the problem and called for help. While I was waiting, I contacted automotive places to see if they could replace the battery that evening. I received a yes to my request and drove to AutoZone as soon as my car was jumped. Within an hour, I had a new battery in my car and on my way to church for Bible Study.
Imagine if I reacted rather than responded. More than likely, I would have hit the palm of my hand on the steering wheel and became frustrated and angry. I would have started crying and waited longer to call for help. I would have been too emotional for someone to understand my need. And, I would not have had a new battery that night, because I waited too long to call the automotive places.
Responding to a conflict takes thought. It allows you to see the big picture and not allow the emotions to override your logic. You are more productive and time saving when you assess the problem before reacting. You set goals for yourself, and you use your knowledge to get to the end result quicker.
Reacting to conflict wastes time and energy. It is an unproductive emotion that causes you to be overwhelmed with your thought process. You can easily jump to conclusions and have poor communication to ask for help. Reacting causes you to respond immediately without thinking about the consequences of your emotions and actions. You live in the moment rather than find a solution.
Do you react or do you respond? If you react to situations, what was the end result? Did you deal with the consequences of your actions? I encourage you to be aware of how you respond to conflict, and how you can better handle a situation. Life is filled with unpredictable circumstances, but we all can take control of the situation and make the best of it.
As a blogger/writer, there are times when I sit in front a computer and stare at a white screen. I don’t know what to say. Not because there are no words or thoughts, but because there is much to say and it overwhelms me. The last few weeks I have been pondering over life, and how to live better. How to not waste precious time on unimportant things.
A wonderful boss and friend passed away a week ago. It was sudden and unexpected. He was well respected by his peers, family, and friends. As his administrative/secretary, he taught me many life lessons that I will always live by. He taught me to enjoy life and embrace nature to it’s fullest. He taught me how you can be a person of authority and yet still be respected through your kindness. Most of all, he encouraged me to be the best that I could be, no matter what I put my mind to. He left a legacy that will never be forgotten. He lived a life with no regrets. He lived life to the fullest.
How many of us can say we live life to the fullest. Recently, I have asked myself difficult questions to see if I am living a full life:
- Am I going after my dreams or just daydreaming about the what-if’s?
- Do I know who I really am?
- Am I living for my dreams or someone else’s?
- Am I living out God’s desires for my life or am I living out my own desires?
- Do fears get in the way of me living to the fullest?
All these questions leave us with a blank slate. It makes us feel raw and real. The questions expose the flaws in our lives as well as the good. It makes us come to terms with who we are and what we do. Most importantly, the questions answers the reason why we do what we do. Our motives play a big part in who we are. Our motives describes our character, and the person God has created us to be.
I want to encourage you to answer these questions honestly to see if you are living life to the fullest. If not, what is holding you back from going after your dreams? Is it fear or lack of confidence? Tomorrow is never promised. What will you do with that time you have left? Will you make it count or will you waste it on useless things? Life is all about living in the fullness of God. Make your life count and leave a legacy for others to live by.
This post is in memory of Dr. Richard Thomas Bothel, 1946-2016.