I’ve had my share of emotional explosions. Many of them on the basketball court. Cursing out teammates and opponents. A few technical fouls. And I liked when the fans would talk sh**. One of the best ways to set me off and guarantee I’d be putting on a show.
In the non-athlete professional world, though, that type of activity isn’t a normal outlet for my energy. And even if I was still playing sports, maturity may have brought me to this place anyway.
Learn to insert a space between stimulus and response. And it is a response, not a reaction.
For me, response means there was some conscious thought preceding my action. And reaction is an instinctive action, no thought necessary.
Are there good uses for both? Hell yes. If a car is about to hit you, reaction will save your life. When someone sends you a nasty email, response keeps you on the high ground.
Write it in the sand is an idea I heard from Napoleon Hill. He said, when you’re angry at someone, instead of yelling and screaming at that person, write it down. Write it in the sand at the water’s edge and let the current sweep your anger away. Not always easy to do, since instincts make up a large part of who we are, but necessary to avoid doing something we will later regret.