Our Response-Abilities


I’m reading a book for work called ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People‘. It’s designed to help you become more effective and efficient, and will hopefully turn me into an HR-superstar.


Early on, the book looks at the word ‘responsibility’, and proposes that it stems from ‘response-ability’: your ability to respond. In every situation, you have the choice in how you react and respond. You might naturally be a bit of a hot-head, and tend to fly off the handle, or you might be someone who is so chilled out that you’re in danger of frostbite, but ultimately how you respond to situations is your choice. If you are aware of this, then you can start to practice better habits to help you get the best result out of each situation (that’s another great idea: that you are not  your habits).


I have made that one of my New Year’s resolutions: to be aware of my response-ability. So far, it’s helped me to focus on the positives of each situation, as I try to choose to respond in that way.


Yesterday lunch time I went on a run. It was one of those days where the universe seemed to want me to stay at home: my Garmin wouldn’t find my location, my radio kept losing it’s connection, my headphones kept falling out, and 100m after I left the house, it started to pour. And didn’t stop until I was back.


Half way through the run I was feeling down, and my pace had slowed. Then I remembered my response-ability. So I tried to change my outlook, and focus on the positives: it was, in fact, refreshing to run in the rain. It didn’t matter that my Garmin didn’t work, as I had my Strava app too. And I put on some tunes instead of the radio. I made a conscious effort to pick my pace up and carry on – and in no time I was enjoying myself.



This post is little more than a description of how this book has influenced my 2014 so far, but I thought I’d share. When people talk about running, they cite mental strength as being as important as physical strength. It can be hard to encourage yourself to keep going, but something as simple as recognising that you do have a certain amount of choice in the matter can help. Why let the bastards get you down?!


In other news, on Sunday we went for a walk into town to see the last of the Christmas lights. And that’s it for another 10 months!


And – even though it’s the 8th January – this is happening in our house right now, and could well continue until 25th December 2014:




Have a good Wednesday!


Ellie B

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