Something buzzes on the table and you get a message on your phone. Do you instantly drop everything and rush to see who it is? You are offered a new job with the competitor. Do you instantly get excited and see yourself signing on the dotted line? Sounds familiar doesn’t it. We easily get distracted and flattered by the attention shown to us.

But consider this. If you take up all the ‘opportunities’ life throws at you, you may not end up living your own life but a life dictated by others. You could be reacting to outside impulses rather than making sure all your daily choices are your own.

How do we ensure our decisions are based on what we want in life and our own goals?

When my kids started school two years ago I was instantly distracted by the activities all mothers were supposed to be doing at the school and with each other. There were cake mornings, PTA evenings and parents pub evenings. I felt I had to take part. But very soon I realised I had to pull myself out. Just because I’m a published cookbook author didn’t make me comfortable baking cakes for the school fair. It’s just not how I’ve been wired. So I’m sure I’ve ended up pissing some people off. I don’t really volunteer for anything anymore, but I try to do my fair share monetarily.

It’s very easy to get distracted by the daily demands other people place on us. It can come  in the form of flattering – “ah you are so good at this” – or guilt “how can you say no!“. When we don’t do what other people expect of us we sometimes end up hurting them and that feels bad. But unfortunately you can’t keep pleasing everyone if you want to live an authentic life.

Distractions come also in the form of obstacles and failure. When we hit a snag and the world says ‘no’, we may be giving up our dreams and reacting to the negativity around us.

And it’s not only our goals and dreams that are affected by being reactive. It’s also our health and relationships that are at risk. How many times you’ve entered a meeting room unnecessarily eating all the biscuits that were at the table even though you weren’t even hungry? Or entering a relationship because ‘it was there’ even though you knew from the start it was’t going to work?

You can think about these as positive and negative impulses thrown at you by the Universe.

It is up to you how you react to them. It’s unfortunately much easier to react than to take control and manifest your own way. You can’t be in control about everything that happens but you can decide how you react to life’s situations – the positive and the negative ones.

If you follow a reactive lifestyle you will:

– end up trying to please everyone around you (will this make you happy?)

– drop your own projects and goals to attend what other people ask you to do

– you will give up at the first obstacle (Last week I wrote about not giving up.)

– you may end up in a career or a relationship where you are not true to your authentic self

– you end up blaming circumstances around you for your situation

– goals feel impossible to reach

Following a manifestive lifestyle you will:

– make choices based on the vision you have set for your life

– learn to say ‘no’ politely but firmly (the ‘yes detox‘!)

– achieve your goals faster as you are able to focus on projects based on your own values

– feel motivated and excited to start your day every morning

– feel satisfied and happy in your journey even when obstacles emerge

Nobody’s life is just reactive or manifestive, it’s usually a mixture of both. I make a constant and conscious effort to live manifestive lifestyle and be aware of my reactive pitfalls. When you pay attention to this you can over time make a big shift.

What are your experiences of reactive and manifestive lifestyles? What has changed when you have chosen manifestive lifestyle over reactive?