Between Stimulus and response - We have freedom of Choice
As the proverb rightly says "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday"
Stimulus is an event that happens to us, and response is our reaction or action towards that event.
We respond in a particular way to a particular stimulus.
But in between stimulus and response, We have the freedom to choose how we respond.
And based on our freedom of choice to respond, we either become reactive or proactive.
Reactive people are affected by physical, social, or psychological environment and response to the stimulus is based on their surrounding environment. Response keeps changing based on the change in the environment.
Proactive people are also influenced by external stimuli, but their response to stimuli is a value-based choice.
How do we shift our attitude from Reactive to Proactive???
For this paradigm shift to happen from Reactive to Proactive we should start by taking Initiative.
We should make a conscious effort to change. Many people wait for something to happen or someone to help them, but in reality, we should help ourselves and instead of being problem ourselves we should start finding solutions to problems.
And that comes with taking responsibility to act. Just Planning is not enough, Taking that first step is so much important.
When facing any critical situation we can ask these 3 questions to find a solution to Problem.
- What's happening to me? What is the stimulus?
- What's going to happen in the future based on the decision I make?
- What is my response? What can I do? What initiative can I take in this situation?
Our initiative to respond to stimulus determines our degree of Proactivity.
As many people say
be a positive person and
have positive thinking in life. But that's just not enough.
Thinking positively without understanding reality may cause danger. And that's exactly the difference between Positive thinking and Proactivity.
The stimulus may be Good or bad, but response towards that stimulus is our own choice, which may make the situation better or worse and just(mostly) depends on the choice we make.
Just thinking Positive is not the solution, We should face reality. We should consider the current and future impact and still find the power to choose a positive response to that stimulus.
Using correct language also has an impact on our Proactive behavior. For example instead of "I have to" start using "I choose to"
To become Proactive we should start focusing more of our time and energy on the circle of Influence. These are things within our Circle of Concern on which we can do something about. This also determines our degree of Proactivity.
Try to work on the Circle of Influence by making small commitments and work on them. Don't be in Blaming, accusing mode, rather work on things that have you have control over. Work on You.
Concentrate on the Freedom of Choice you choose for responding to stimuli.
You can read my other Blogs:
- Why do I write Blogs
- Series of blogs based on my Learnings from IKIGAI : the Japanese secret to a long happy life
- Invention vs Innovation
- www of new years resolution
Hope you learned something new here and don't forget to comment below your thoughts.
Thanks for reading!
Keep learning, Keep Growing.