• Sujeet Sir

React vs Respond

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

This will change the way you look at life. Find out how?


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

“React is associated with your helpless attitude of being a victim while the response is your strength to choose what is beneficial for you and act accordingly.”


No matter how desperate you are to improve, How frustrated you are with your current status in life, It is Your choice to react or respond towards a particular situation that would decide if you will be able to transform in your life or not.

Reacting over anything is an autonomous reply which is an outcome of a helpless, uncontrolled state of mind whereas the response to the same situation is your decision which you take out of wisdom.

To cry or sit in disappointment from a failure/set back, is your reaction, but to think of how to get out of that failure is your response (Which is moreover required also).

Feeling upset by someone’s comment on your personality or look, is your reaction to what others think about you, but to work hard on improving your talent is your response toward such people who judge you based on your look and not on your hard-earned talent.

Remember, the beauty of personality & look is perishable but the sound of talent roars for centuries long.

Beauty is a gift one is blessed by default, whereas talent is hard-earned.

So rather than trying hard to please people by your looks, focus on improving your talent. Did you bother anytime by the look of Doctor’s, Pilots, Army officials, or any parallelly talented individual?

No of course. Right?

Because it’s their talent that makes us respect them and not their look.



When somebody did ask an Indian monk that “What role does luck or destiny play in victory or success? Is it all hard work? Is it all destiny? What is it?”

Monk replied

“Destiny is the situation that comes to you and is beyond your control. For example, if someone comes and insults me, I didn’t choose it. this situation of getting insulted by somebody was destined. but my response to that situation is my choice. the response is not destiny. What I choose is my choice. And when I choose how to respond, that decides my future destiny.”


And from here is the saying goes “Man is the maker of his own destiny and not situations.”

Situations will remain what they are, how you respond to those situations is entirely your choice, and perhaps is only in your control. So now if you got admission to mediocre college because you could not crack IIT exams then this a just situation but choosing between available good colleges and study hard is still a choice available for you.

It is not that only IITians succeed, is it?

Here you have a situation in front of you which was destined. Now you have a choice to work hard, beat IITians, and be better than anybody else in your field.

This attitude of yours, to fight back was not destined. this attitude is a choice. And when you choose this attitude, hopefully, victory will come to you right away. And even if it doesn’t come to you right away, remember, you have sown a seed that will payback. sooner or later seed that is sown will certainly fructify.” Gaur Gopal Das.


While boarding Padmavati express from Lucknow to Delhi on 12th April 2011, to take an examination to join the CISF. She might have been clueless about what life is going to show her. She was pushed out of a general coach of the running train by robbers wanting to snatch her bag and gold chain.

Recounting the incident, she said. “ I resisted and they pushed me out of the train. I could not move. I remember seeing a train coming towards me. I tried getting up. But by then, the train had run over my leg. I don’t remember anything after that.”

If we would have been in her condition, our normal reaction to the situation would have been to live the rest of our life miserably. But even after losing her leg, with the use of the prosthetic leg, she climbed Mount Everest (6,622 meters or 21,726 feet high) in 52 days and became the first female amputee to scale Everest. It’s a response of Arunima Sinha to a tragedy she faced, which made her awarded with 4th highest Indian civilian award “Padma Shri” in 2015 along with the “Arjuna award.”



Can you control what people say about you or think about you?

Would external factors, ever be totally under your control?

Would people ever stop criticizing you?

No, Right?

So reacting to such factors is a great act of foolishness.

“You can’t hurt me without my permission.” Mahatma Gandhi.

There are people and situations beyond your control.

There is sledging in almost all types of sports and it’s one’s ability to ignore that sledging makes him win a match. No matter how good sportsperson you are, if you start reacting actively (i.e. on the field) or passively (i.e.in your own mind) to this act of sledging, you would lose every match you play, and those who learned not to react but to respond through their game are the ones who created history.

How do you reply to situations, that went wrong?

You React, Right?

You react by crying, getting upset, and depressed which finally leads to losing your self-confidence. What is the outcome of such reactions?

It makes your situation even worse.

Don’t act victim by reacting to situations/people by asking “why”.

Stop asking, Why did it happen to me? Why every bad thing happens to me only?

Either there would be a “No answer” or “No satisfactory answer” to all your questions.

And in case you get any answer then too that answer would calm your mind for a while but as and when anything wrong happens again, your mind will be flooded with such questions over again. So either stop searching for an answer to such questions or accept any version that better suits and calm you for a while but most importantly develop a strong will power to choose your response even when something wrong happens to you.

“Don’t react but respond.”


Photo by Moodywalk on Unsplash

Want to know how to achieve this ability to respond over a habit of react?

The answer is first “learn to choose” and then “practice” this act of choosing in everything you do.

Most often we do not take decisions “with a calm mind” but we do take decisions to “calm our mind”.

And here comes a lesson that we all have to learn, to choose with a “calm mind”.

And how are we going to achieve this quality and then turn it into a habit? certainly by practicing it.


Practicing it over and over again in everything we do in our daily life. Meditation indeed can act as a boon to achieve this quality for sure.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies Our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl, author of the international best selling book “Man’s search for Meaning.”

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Kalyan, Maharashtra, India

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