Respond to Life, Don’t React

Respond to Life

by Dr. Michael J. Duckett

I often say that we should respond to life and not react to it. What’s the difference?

Let’s say you go to the doctor for an ailment and the doctor gives you some medicine to take home. One week later you visit the doctor for a follow-up visit. Which would you rather have the doctor say about the results of the medication?

That you’re reacting to the medicine?


You are responding to the medicine?

Of course the latter is more comforting to hear because this indicates that the medicine is working. The same goes for your life in down times. You can react or respond to your situations in life.

When you respond, things will work out for you. When you react to problems in life, things aren’t going to go so well. The best response is always to keep a mature attitude about your problems in life, but an immature attitude in reference to the outcome. That’s right. You can approach your problems maturely by deciding to create a plan to overcome the adversities, but keep a happy-go-lucky attitude about any potential negative or catastrophic outcome.

Why would this benefit you?

By keeping a happy-go-lucky attitude, you’ll maintain the momentum needed to achieve your ideal life. You’ll not divert all your energies to what you DON’T want to happen. Instead, you’ll give an appropriate amount of attention to the situation at hand and let life handle the rest. When facing possible outcomes in life, this is one time when it’s okay to be immature.

Many times a life catastrophe will occur that appears to be without a solution. As time goes on, however, we find the big problem is gone and is replaced with an even bigger problem. Strange as it may seem, many people subconsciously start to look for the next big problem in their lives. These individuals feel certain that their lives are continually on the brink of extinction. This causes irrational decisions resulting in more catastrophes. These individuals will never experience their ideal life because they are always waiting for problems.

When we’re in our lowest times and facing our biggest challenges, it is very common to feel lost. It’s this lost feeling that makes us want to give up our dreams and settle for survival. This attitude of barely surviving is dangerous because we can end up feeling devastated as if we’re merely existing.

When we face big problems, we need to be bigger than we were when the obstacle appeared. If we settle for barely surviving, we actually contract into a smaller, more unhappy person than before we encountered our challenge.

“It is impossible to solve a problem at the same intellectual level at which you encountered it.”

Albert Einstein

In other words, to respond and overcome your problems, you must become smarter and your spirit must expand into something bigger.

To find out more about how to do this, get my audio, “How to Be Up During the Down Times.”