When we face bumps in the road, we have different reactions (was it my fault?, why the h*** did he/she do this? and we chose responses (what is the constructive way to solve this?).
Our success will depend on the “magnitude” of our reaction and the time until response:
(1) Something negative happened to us. It feels good to stay in this mode for a short time. But the more time we spend wondering, regreting about what? and Why? the less we will be able to figure out how to move on. Allow yourself for a very short time complaining. Then, stop moaning, plan, act: solve it and get going. Leave negativity behind.
(2) Someone acted in a way (made, said, wrote….) we didn’t like. The less time between reaction and response, the lower the probability of success. So, wait, do not send that email yet, do not make that phone call inmediately or do not explode during the meeting. Calm down, act being constructive and get going. Leave the negative feelings behind.
(3) We were requested to deliver something but we have no clue what is the approach or we have not come up with any brilliant idea yet. Well, here procrastination might help (if we are not under a tight schedule). When we stop worrying, focusing too much and direct our effort and attention to different topics, all in the sudden THAT brilliant idea emerges from “nowhere”. This is when it’s time to use all that “finally-I-came-up-with-something” positive energy in responding by creating something amazing.
We do not control everything that occurs to us, but (as we have said many times before) we are responsible for the way we respond.
Would you be able to translate these 3 modes into a formula?