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  • Writer's pictureMagda


Over the last few years I read countless amount of educational and self improvement books, went to many seminars, practiced a lot of different approaches to life. Many of those things had a lot of similarities however there is one thing in particular that I personally apply to everything in my life; from my work to relationships with family, friends or business partners. As simple as this will sounds - I know a lot of us forget it in our busy lives.


Event + Response = Outcome

We are faced with a lot of external events every day. Some of them can be pleasant, some of them can be on the opposite side of the spectrum. As much as we cannot control these events, we have a full control on how we respond to them. This is where this simple equation comes in.

During our lives some of us pick up habits which prompt us to blaming things or others for our misfortune or behaviours. We condition ourselves to thinking that we have no control over whatever happens or happened to us and the outcome of it.

So, do we have any control?

Yes, we do.

Imagine a simple scenario of you with your partner or a friend. Out of the blue they start shouting at you about something that you may or may not be guilty of.

What do you do?

Scenario 1: Immediately respond, shouting back or at least continue to have a heated argument. You're both fully engaged in this argument which just makes you dig deeper and deeper.

Scenario 2: You listen, rather than respond immediately, you take few seconds to think about what was said and the resources that are required for you to respond appropriately while at all times considering other persons point of view.

Which scenario do you think would result in a fall out?

"The aim of an argument, or a discussion, should not be victory, but progress"

Joseph Joubert

There is a lot of examples of events we can consider. Remember also that in current day and age, where instant messaging and emails are a standard, most popular communication strategy your response to them is also very important as it often gets missed out. Receiving an email or a text written in capitals does not necessarily mean that the person is shouting at you, It's worth picking up the phone and calling before making assumption. Communication is super important.

From my personal experience, just last week I was walking down the street with a green drink in my hand when all of a sudden a woman who was running frantically bumped into me, making me spill my drink over my new beige blouse. She didn't apologise and just continued running. I was on my way to a meeting so it was not the right timing. Looked down my blouse and at that point in time I just wanted to scream however I took a breath in and thought for a second. My thoughts could have been anything from "What an idiot" to "What a f****** b*****" however I didn't know what her circumstances were at the time so I chose not to have these sort of negative emotions. When I turned around to see where the woman went off to, I realised she was actually running after a child which couldn't have been older than 3, jetting off on a little scooter right on to a main road. To be fair if I wasn't so focused on responding to my emails at the time I would have noticed and prevented the whole situation just by being aware of my surroundings.

I guess I also learnt something then too. I will not walk, drink and respond to my emails during a school run!(or ever!)

Before you go, think about what things you can do today to start working on this. It may be as simple as changing your tone of voice when you speak to your grumpy kids or not being rude to a waitress at a restaurant or a staff member at the grocery store who didn't help you in a way you wanted maybe because they had a really bad day.

Maybe you could try it and see if it helps maintaining your relationships and helps you in anyway. I am not saying you will immediately feel different, it will take time to retrain your brain not to automatically react. Take your time, learn and just be aware of it.

Before you talk, listen.

Before you react, think.

With good vibes and gratitude



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