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Everything is material for the seed of happiness, if you look into it with inquisitiveness and curiosity.
-- Pema Chodron


The MONTHLY Motivator - January 2020


Positive response

Think of a time when your reaction to bad news ended up being worse than the bad news itself. Now consider that if you have the power to make something worse by the way you respond, you also have the power to make it better. You cannot always choose your circumstances, or the events that unfold in your world. Yet in every case what you can choose, must choose, always do choose, is your response.

Look back over the events in your life, and you’ll see what a powerful role your responses have played. Certainly whatever happens to you has an influence, but what you do about it usually has an even greater influence. It has been your responses, not the events that preceded them, which have brought you to where you are. And no matter what may come your way, you have the power to respond in whatever way you choose.

So you can blame current market conditions for your misfortune, or you can find in those conditions an opportunity to create new value. You can curse the nasty weather, or you can use it as a time to move forward. You can complain that those around you don’t understand, or you can seek to strengthen your own understanding. You can let yourself be tossed around by random events, or you can direct them all toward your most treasured dream. Your response, whatever you choose, can make all the difference in the world. The way you respond determines the quality of your life.

Today you’ll have multiple opportunities to choose your response. Multiple opportunities to steer life in one direction or another. If they’re scattered, inconsistent, and without much purpose, your responses are largely wasted. Yet when they’re focused, intentional, positive, those responses will band together and enable great achievement. Every response matters, because it is part of the overall pattern. Every response matters, because it sets the tone for the next response.

It may seem in certain situations that a negative response is the only possible response, and yet that is never the case. Always, a positive response is just as possible, just as realistic, and a whole lot more beneficial. To bring out that positive response, get clear on your purpose. Know your intentions. Then respond to whatever happens in a way that moves your life in the direction you have chosen to go.

Many of the challenges and difficulties that come your way are not in the least bit of your own making. Yet neither are many of the joys and blessings that arrive in your life. Though you didn’t make them, you certainly can make the most of them. And in so doing, you will move life forward no matter what else may be going on. The real key to success and fulfillment is to take whatever you have and to do something useful and valuable with it. That’s a path you can follow no matter who is running the country or where the economy is headed.

You often hear yourself say things such as “She makes me furious. He makes me nervous. This job stresses me out. That’s driving me crazy.” As true as such statements may seem, they’re not accurate. When you are angry, or nervous, stressful, fearful, offended or excited, it’s due to a choice you have made. The other person or situation does not make you that way. You have chosen to respond that way. Most such responses are so familiar they’ve become automatic. Yet they don’t have to be. They depend on your choices, and you control those choices.

Nothing is inherently annoying, yet you can choose to be annoyed by just about anything. Similarly, no situation is inherently embarrassing, or stressful, or frustrating. Embarrassment, stress, and frustration are some of the many ways in which you can choose to respond, but they are never the only options. Because the situation itself does not determine the response. You determine your response. In every moment, in every circumstance, you can choose the response that will move your life positively forward. As such, nothing can bring you down unless you choose to be brought down. Nothing can annoy you, or frustrate you, or keep you dismayed. You always have the choice to respond in the best and most positive way.

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--Ralph Marston

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