Pause Before you Respond

“Practice the pause in every situation, to choose a response that benefits everyone involved.”

Believing that our reactions to situations are dependent on our situation, we have shifted to a hurried and impulsive way of reacting to the stimulus. We need to pause, choose and then respond.

  1. When you blame situations or other people for your state of mind, you cease to take responsibility of your own creation – your thoughts, words and actions.
  2. External situations are only a stimulus. Your response has nothing to do with the stimulus. Your response depends on who you are – your nature your personality.
  3. Meditate every morning to respond right to typical situations and people. Visualise yourself in charge of your thoughts, being stable and in control of every scene.
  4. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it and shift focus from the problem to the solution. Think right and think less.
  5. Even if you react compulsively do not justify your reaction. Reflect on how you could have done it differently. Be determined to respond the right way next time.

The trade union leader had a calm that few ever had. He met the young manager in the manager’s office and explained to him about the ballooning situation outside.

He explained that the lathe workshop people have been demanding better work conditions in this heat from a long time and the management had to look into this, or they would face a strike. He didn’t want to and he knew that the manager couldn’t afford it also.

The manager was without such an experience of worker unrest. There were 800 workers who were about to go on strike and the factory could not afford that. It would lose its premium spot in the order of the car manufacturers of the nation.

But the manager was short-tempered. He came to a decision immediately without much thought. He hastily said he would sack three of the leaders. The trade union leader sat across the manager quietly for a long time.

He then asked the fuming manager – “Are you going to think it through peacefully? And then choose a conscious response? Are you going to think through each scenario? The sacking. The reaction from other workers. The legal bit. The possibility of court cases. The drag on company finance. The flak from the company directors. You may be asked to resign. Your career. Your future. Think all you can. Because it is you who will be responsible for a bad response.”

Step back from your problem, pause, think and then go for the next course of action.

The trade union leader continued humbly but firmly – “A wise solution is your responsibility and a matter of your creation. Your nature and your personality should be able to complement your response.”

Focus on thinking right and thinking less.

“So, push the problem towards a solution in your head. Don’t overthink it. Don’t overdo it emotionally. Silence your mind and let your wisdom answer. Rationally create the response.”

Visualise your response and that would help you plan for it.

“Be in charge of your thoughts. No one else will take this charge and you cannot lean on anyone. It is your risk and maybe your reward. Visualise your response as you wish to say.”

“Even if you are committing a mistake, search within and have it in yourself to correct it as you go along like today”.

The manager pondered and understood what he had to do. He was anyway an intelligent professional and he could detach from the negative energy of the situation and come out with a good response that could change the course of the factory.

He took a great decision. He decided to form a small group of workmen and use the junk of the lathe workshop to create an air cooling system. His engineering skills came to the fore. In six days, they had a functioning system.

The manager was feted and he grew to be one of the highest paid executives in that company. All because of a very ideal teacher, a union leader!


Apurva Popat

Apurva Popat

Dr Apurva Popat has been teaching Medical science since he was in his medical school and has helped many students to master medical and spiritual knowledge.

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