Sunday, August 23, 2009

Do I act or react?

The other day I went to the bank. Several lanes were full, so there was a wait. The person in the car behind me was growing in patient. There was nothing I could do to hurry up the bank employees. As I was waiting for the tube to my arrive I was ready to REACT to the impatient person behind me. I was ready to grab the tube open it and throw the money on the seat and drive away. But something stopped me. I decided to ACT. Not REACT to total stranger. 

So, I slowly opened the tube and looked in.....There were only 2 items in the tube; there should have been 4! They had not given me all my money! I quickly pushed the call button and told them the mistake, and sent the tube back. That really got the person behind mad! He couldn't figure out why I was still waiting when the tube had already come! I smiled thinking, if I had simple REACTED to his honking, I would have been short changed—literally! It took a another 5 or 6 minutes for the bank to correct their mistake and give me the correct amount. As I drove off, I smiled. If I had REACTED to a total stranger it would have cost me $40. Yet, making the decision to ACT not REACT, proved to be well worth it.

This started me thinking. How many times do I REACT to a situation rather than ACT? I realize that not all actions/reactions cost me money; but there are other things which I can lose depending on what I do. I could lose sharing a smile. Or just enjoying a moment. There are many opportunities each day to either ACT or REACT.

For me, slowing down and thinking about what I do creates a much more positive day. The next time I am about to have a knee jerk reaction, I hope to remember the $40 and change my reaction to carefully thought out action. Positive actions are much more pleasant!

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