Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.
I can so relate to this idea. Sure the numbers might not be accurate maybe it is more 20/80 or 60/40. Whatever the right number, we all have to acknowledge that a portion of what we experience is how we react not what happens to us.
As someone that had a very ropey start in life I had to quickly learn to make the best of situations. I would often get surprised statements from teachers and parents of friends that I was “so well rounded” or “such a high achiever”. They were shocked given the circumstances I grew up in and the fact that I was a foster child that I could be the way I was, positive, most the time happy and easy going.
Some of this was simple prejudice. They had pre conceived ideas about how a child like me should behave. But I realise now some of it was because I was really young when I learnt the power of choosing how to respond to life.
I mean we have all without question had crap to deal with in our lives and we all deal with if differently. And at times we all do better or worse for ourselves in our response. When I read this statement this week I was reminded of the power of knowing and owning this.
Can we agree even if it is just 1% how we decide to react there is at least something in it.
Just think about it for a moment this idea that we can directly influence what we experience, that we can absolutely be the authors of our own stories in how we react. Don’t get caught up in the numbers perhaps it is only 1% reaction and 99% circumstances. Just take a moment to let that fact sink in: however hard things get we can make it a little better in how we react.
And if we agree on that, can we agree the spilt is probably different for everyone.
Now we all agree with that let’s take a moment to think about is the percentage or split the same for everyone. I doubt it. So it varies by person. For some of us perhaps we are disempowered and a lot of our experience is what happens to us. For some of us maybe we have been trained ourselves to own a bigger percentage and it is mostly about how we react.
And does it stay the same day to day?
I don’t even think it is static day to day. I definitely have moments or days where I feel hard done by. It feels like the whole world is against me. And then I have times when the shit really hits the fan and I manage to muster a sheer determination and positive force that I can feel my reaction shaping the impact. I actually think the worse the situation, the more I own my response, so the better outcome I have. The days I feel the world is against me is normally when I notice trivial small things happening, the flat tire, broken kettle, hole in my favourite dress.
And there is a powerful word NOTICE. What percentage of life happening to us do we notice. ‘Where we focus we notice.’
So can we agree we can improve our balance?
The very fact it is not a static, consistent number means that it can change. What if we can change it.
What if today you live in a world where what happens to you dictates how you feel, how you react. You are weighted towards the happens to you, instead of your reaction. What if you can change that. What if we can work towards a world where no matter how crap things get, no matter what life throws at us, we can control how we react and our reactions enforce a more positive outcome.
‘Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react’ I love this statement, not because it is accurate or scientific. But because it challenges us to think about how much we chose to sit back and let life happen and how much we own our stories.
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