Don’t Just React Stimulus Response Mechanism
Creating is The Answer to Everything “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” -George Bernard Shaw Okay, put your driving gloves on.
Put the knob of the gear in your hand because I’m going to give you a shift point. This is the place at which you can shift from a lower level of consciousness, lower level of creativity, lower level of vibration, energy, joy, connectedness to everyone else in the universe, to a higher level. And what I use for this shift point is a distinction between creating and reacting.
Don’t Just React Stimulus Response Mechanism
Once you get a new distinction in your mind, you can use it for leverage forever. It gives you a way to shift. Creating versus reacting. Now those are two primary brain functions. One brain function, the lower function, is a function called reacting. That’s just using my brain as a stimulus-response mechanism.
There’s a stimulus in the world, my brain reacts to it emotionally and then moves on and waits for the next stimulus. Now, when I don’t pay attention and when I don’t have a living, awakened awareness of the mind-shift that can occur during the day, what happens is I slip down into a life of reacting.
I wake up in the morning and look around, I feel the aches and pains, I grab my head, got a bit of a 13 headache, and stomach doesn’t feel all that great, joints are kind of sore, and now I’m reacting to things out there in the world. I hear something on the radio in the morning which is depressing or frightening which by the way is what the news is trying to do to either depress or frighten me, otherwise I won’t listen.
So I hear the news and I react to the news. Then I react to the people in my home, then I react to traffic, people can’t drive for I get to work and there’s an e-mail from the corporate office back east. I react to that! And everything is a reaction all day.
Now the problem with living that way is that it’s not creative, it’s not fulfilling, and it won’t produce prosperity, joy, or connectedness. Reacting is just a holding pattern. It’s a freefall lapse into the lowest level of the brain. There is an actual part of the brain, called the animal part of the brain—the reptile brain—that doesn’t even use or touch the beautiful new part of the brain that humans were given to create the future with. So,
for example, I like to use this example when I talk to larger groups. If my dog is lying by the door looking around, it never occurs to me to say “Oh, look, he’s planning his next week!” because that’s exactly what he’s not doing.
My dog is a stimulus-response mechanism. My dog looks out to the environment for new stimulus and then reacts to it. That’s what a dog does! If I bring a plate of good food, the dog reacts to that. If I roll a ball across the floor, the dog reacts to that. We all know this. But why would I—as a human—slip down the evolutionary ladder into that gear and live my life just reacting to things all day? Living other people’s dreams, answering other people’s questions, living up to other people’s expectations all day long? Why? Well, why I would do that would be because of habit. Do something enough times and it feels natural. It will simply be a habit that I got in the habit of doing and I never got out. And the second reason I would do that all-day reaction thing is because of simple lack of awareness. It’s a lack of understanding of how the mind really works. Because when people “get it” and understand that they can shift, wonderful things happen. They carry that awareness throughout the day. So they can always shift the mind to a different level called creating. The one thing my dog can’t do is plan his next week or create his own future or see the big picture. That’s what I can do. I can create. So, let’s say I get an e-mail and I’m no longer in the reacting mode. I’m shifting to a different mode. I’m a creator now. This, by the way, is what my partner Sam Beckford and I do when we do consulting to turn around small businesses. We call it the “law of creation.” You shift from reaction to creation, and soon you have an action plan and you are doing activities that lead to success. No, it’s not the law of attraction. You don’t just sit around picturing things, hoping they come to you. The law of creation is the law of participation. You are actually participating in the manifestation of the outcome. Your sleeves are rolled up. You are producing what it is that you want to have come your way. You produce the life you have. So I want to practice the law of creation by creating. So here comes a troublesome e-mail onto my screen. In my former life living in a lower gear, I would have just reacted to it. I would have said, “Oh, now, this is wrong, this is unfair to me. I’m really angry now, I think I’ll fire off a really nasty response and really tell them how I feel, and deliver a zinger they won’t forget, and they won’t mess with me so easily in the future.” Now that’s reacting to the e-mail.
Examples :Don’t Just React Stimulus Response Mechanism
People do that all day not even seeing that they are doing it. Producing a very unhappy life for themselves. I have a different way I can be. Here comes the email. It arrives, I read it. I might have a very rapid emotional response, but I want to breathe deeply into that, let it pass, let it go like a cloud would pass in the sky … like a thought would pass in my mind. And now I slip my driving glove on and in a very relaxed way place my hand over the gearshift knob of my mind. I ask myself how would I like to respond given what I am up to. Given what I am up to! Not given the nature of their email. Not given the nature of the injustice. But given what I am up to in life. Given my creative and created self-styled mission. How would I like to respond given the bigger picture. How would I like to respond given the career I am here to create? I want my day to be a work of art. I want my communication to all be a part of what I am creating for myself and people I care about instead of just a “justified” reaction that makes another person wrong. That’s the lowest form of life. That’s way down the ladder we talked about—anger and fear. Nothing gets created out of that mindset. Fear is always destructive. Love is always creative. So here’s the e-mail I got. It’s nasty, it’s unfair—I could be justified in looking at it that way, but I’m asking myself what do I want to create based on this e-mail. Can I create a new understanding with this person who sent it? Maybe. Maybe I might want to call them and say, “Hey, I got your e-mail, looks like you’ve got some real energy about this and I’d love to meet with you.” Now that would be a creation—it would not be a reaction. Because out of that meeting I could create a relationship with this person, where the person has a whole new respect for me and I have a whole new understanding of what their life. I might be compassionate, even. Don’t Just React Stimulus Response Mechanism
About what their life would have to feel like for them to send an email like that. What would have them in so much pain that they would even send that e-mail? Now this kind of thing is open to me all day long. A hundred different times I have the choice between reacting to something, allowing my emotion to kick in, or stepping back, taking a breath and saying “what would I like to create based on this?” I remember seeing Robin Williams on the Actor’s Studio and after he had done his interview it was time to interact with the audience and he said, “I’d like you out there in the audience to just throw something up here (any object) and I’ll take it and I’ll have that be the question you ask.” So a person threw a towel up and he’d wrap it around his head and pretend he was from India or somewhere or he would wrap it around his waist and pretend he was in the Greek baths in Manhattan, and he would do all these comedic bits based on whatever they threw his way. I watched in fascination. I realized I was seeing all of life in that moment. The whole human comedy. Because notice they could have thrown anything his way and he would have taken that object and worked with it, and he would work with it based on his overall creation which was to be funny and make them laugh and to see what his highest form of performance was during improve. Can only comedians do improve? Or can you and I as well? I know of salespeople who can do the same thing. A prospective customer will throw an objection at the salesperson, and if the salesperson is really masterful, he’ll enjoy working with the objection. He’ll know what to do with it. He won’t react to it. He won’t make the objection wrong or argue with it. He’ll incorporate it. He’ll accept it. He’ll actually agree with it! Soon he’ll allow the objection to lift the understanding between the two people to a higher level. It’s very difficult for amateur or unskilled salespeople to learn how to do this because of that very thing we are talking about. That thing we alluded to when we said that fear was always destructive. Fear causes reaction. Love causes creation. Fearful sales people are locked in out of habit and lack of awareness to simply reacting to things all day. So salespeople who are struggling on the teams that I coach are people who habitually react. They get a lot of “bad news” in the course of a day. They are the reactors. But salespeople who are thriving and making an incredible amount of money have learned to create with everything. Everything that comes in is neutral material to create with. It’s not bad news. And here’s one of the traps that reactors get into. All day long they are in judgment, so all day long they’re judging whether something is good news or bad news. We got some good news this morning! Then, we got some bad news! It’s a hand slapping the face one cheek then the other … this is good, this is bad, oh, this is good—so these reactors are just whip sawed in a bi-polar swinging from the two polarities all day long. Nausea sets in. At the end of the day, no wonder they are burned out. Emotionally they are in a mess because they’ve had so many highs and lows all day long Don’t Just React Stimulus Response Mechanism
What a day. We got good news in the morning, bad news at noon, this good thing happened, then that bad thing happened, and the monkey slides down the ladder. The rungs give way. That whole good-versus-bad judgment syndrome lives way down on the ladder we talked about. Higher on the ladder is neutral and people don’t understand that. They think, well, neutral is nothing—it’s just passive. No, neutral is the ultimate of all creation. It’s like a blank canvas! An artist’s dream! Or amorphous clay being handed to me! I’ll mold it into whatever I want! It’s the raw material for creation. So I’m not going to go through my day reacting to things like, “Oh, no, that’s bad news, oh, what a horrible e-mail, oh no, we had that meeting—were you as upset as I was with what he said?” That’s going to get me no life at all. There will be no real success in my life because I am so emotionally drained at the end of the day. I am so worn out with. I want to create from neutral—no good, no bad. It’s just “Throw something at me. Throw me a towel, throw me an objection, throw me a yes, throw me a no!” I will take it as neutral material and I will ask myself what can I build from it. How can I make it fit the big picture of what I am really creating in life? What exactly am I up to? And how does this fit that? I want to make everything … everything … serve the profession I am creating, the success I am creating