Monday, May 27, 2013

The Cockroach Theory for Self-development : Response Vs Reaction

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach - Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but landed on another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.

In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering,

Was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me,
but its my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.
Its not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. More than the problem, its my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story :

I understood, I should not react in life, I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.

* How practical would the relevance of this be in a corporate setting?
* How often do we react rather than respond to a problem at work?
* Would you prefer to react before responding or respond before reacting.

Think about it.

Courtesy - a post in Facebook


  1. good lesson sir....from now onwards i'll respond before reacting.

  2. so practically well explained.... anyone who reads this,,
    will definitely not find hard to implement it........!!!!!!!

  3. Sir can you please provide preparation strategy for TELUGU literature as optional..

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