November 11

Instinct is a powerful force, and a useful one. It’s our instincts that keep us safe, help us navigate relationships, and ultimately forge our deeper intuition about what makes one idea good and another bad.

However, our instincts can also get us into trouble when not kept at bay. It’s possible to react in the moment out of fear or insecurity instead of responding more meaningfully to our circumstances with reasoned wisdom. We can make very bad instinctual decisions in a moment of seeming crisis that we must live with for months or longer after the crisis is over.

To react is to operate purely on instinct. To respond is to listen to your instincts, but to pause and allow wisdom and experience to guide your actions. When we respond rather than reacting, we are far more likely to make wise choices, and far less likely to cause ourselves trouble down the line.

Does this ring true to you? Can you think of moments in your life, your work, your relationships where reaction got you into trouble, and a more measured response would have served you better?

When you react, you are operating purely on instinct. Brilliant creative work is forged when instinct is in submission to wisdom and experience. This is what it means to respond rather than react.

Question: Where might you be tempted to react rather than respond this week? How can you prevent it?

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