The laws of physics tell us for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. However, in physics most things aren’t conscious thinkers. The reaction is automatic and non thinking.
For most people, they fall into this category too. They react without any thought. They react without any guidance. Unfortunately, most of the time the reaction leads to outcomes they did not want.
A stranger bumps into you or your car. Without thinking you instantly shout or even just show such anger and frustration. The implication is clear. That person ruined your day.
Your boss walks in and makes a passive aggressive comment. You react with attitude and the spiral continues.
Your significant other says something or does something and you react with contempt and anger that this person, this person who is supposed to know better could do that to you.
In each situation something happened. Something most people would look at and just assume it is a negative situation. Your reaction is to judge the situation as negative. This instant reaction, this thoughtless reaction with emotions, leads to another reaction of a negative action from you.
In all cases the situation is how you react to them that dictates your happiness and your outcome.
Stranger bumps into your car. You have an opportunity to show genuine kindness in a tough situation. The instant gratification is self appreciation of kindness. The long term impact of this is your character grows, your relationships deepen and you will have a more satisfied life.
Your boss being passive aggressive is an opportunity to elevate yourself both in your communication skills and in the perception of you around the office. If you see past the passive aggressiveness and practice your skills to have a direct conversation you will get credible feedback. You will have a chance to learn. You will also show to everyone in the office your ability to communicate, to work with difficult people and to act as a high level professional.
Your significant other is having a tough day. The value to helping him or her through that is endless. Your relationship will deepen. You will start a cycle of kindness. Of love. You will deepen the relationship instead of adding to the negativity.
In all of these cases there is an action. There will be some sort of reaction. It is your choice on whether your reaction will help bring you closer to the outcome you want. Your CHOICE on how to view the situation will determine your outcome.
Are you going to view the situation as an opportunity. An opportunity to improve. To help. To be there for someone. Or will you view the situation as something negative that happened to you and you have no choice but to react negatively.
You have a choice in how you react and that choice will dictate whether you have an outcome of value.