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Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

I feel the need to do a quick rewrite for Mr. Swindoll here: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I respond to it.”  You’ll see why below.

In Business:

I’ve started businesses where I thought I was going to serve one market, and it turned out the demand was actually in a completely different market.

Your business is 10% what you put out there, and 90% how you adjust to what your market tells you it wants.

In Life:

You can always rely on the great Steve Chandler to come up with a brilliant distinction.  He’s the reason I felt the need to rewrite the quote, substituting “respond” for “react.”

Steve points out that reacting to an event is a mindless, defensive, negative act on your part.  You’re not creating anything; you’re just deflecting, giving the control back to the person or event from which it came.

When you respond to something, it is a thoughtful, positive, creative act.  You retain the power and control.

I love playing pickleball.  It’s like tennis, but on a smaller court, and you play with a paddle instead of a racket.

When I’m reacting to a shot, I’m just mindlessly hitting the ball back.  My fingers are crossed in the hope it’ll go over and land somewhere, anywhere inbounds. 

When I’m responding to a shot, I’m selecting exactly what I want to do and precisely where I want to place the ball.  I am, quite literally, “calling the shots.”

Make a habit of noticing when you’re reacting and when you’re responding.  By being conscious and aware of the distinction, you’ll gain more power and control over the situations you find yourself in throughout the day.

So remember…

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

— Charles R. Swindoll

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