10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We have NO control of this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%. How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light. However, you can control your reaction. Do not let people fool you. YOU can control how you react. Let’s use and example…
You are having breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what has just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your wife and you criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish her breakfast and getting ready to go to school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 mph in a 30 mph speed limit zone. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60.00 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you realize you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home. When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your wife and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?
The answer is “D”. You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say: “It’s okay, honey, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel you go upstairs and change your shirt. You grab your briefcase, and you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you reacted. You really have no control over 10% of what happens in your life. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.
Absolutely everything we do, give, say, or even think, it’s like a boomerang. It will come back to us. If we want to receive, we need to learn to give first. Maybe we will end with our hands empty, but our hearts will be filled with love. And those who love life have that feeling marked in their hearts.