When you respond to life, that’s positive; when you react to life, that’s negative. Example: You get sick and go to the doctor. Chances are good that after an examination, she would give you a prescription with instructions to return in several days.
If, when you walk back in the door, the doctor starts shaking her head and says, “It looks like your body is reacting to the medicine; we’re going to have to change it,” you probably would get a little nervous.
However, if the doctor smiles and says, “You’re looking great! Your body is responding to the medication,” you would feel relieved. Yes, responding to life is good.
A few years ago, there was much turmoil in the U.S. job market. People were losing their jobs through downsizing, mergers, and takeovers. This created some unusual opportunities for many people. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that in a five-year period, more than 15 million new businesses were created, well over half of them by women. Very few of the women had any marketable skills, and all of them had great financial need.
Most of the new businesses were “trust” businesses, meaning that the women collected the money before they delivered the goods or services. Many, possibly most, of those new businesses would never have been started had not an unfortunate event occurred in the people’s lives. When those events did occur, and needs became obvious, the women chose to respond, and there is little doubt that many of them are better off now than they were before.
The message is clear: If you respond to life instead of react to it, then you’ve got a much better chance of achieving success.