Thinking from Your Core Being: Stimuli and Action

Thinking from Your Core Being. The author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey said that there is a space between stimuli and response in which you could have autonomy over. This space between stimuli and action is what makes all the difference in the world. It could make or break a deal. This is also where thinking from your core being comes in.

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Many, many years ago when I was just starting my career as a financial planning analyst in one of the oldest and most pioneer in the logistics and supply chain management industry in the Philippines, I got caught in a situation where my boss, who is the VP for Operations unabashedly humiliated me in front of other managers. I was quite a novice back then and I wasn’t thinking from my core being, in other words, I was quite easily rattled and couldn’t contain my composure that made him all the more reactive and critical.

I remember that scene, so vivid. The VP for Operations called all of the department heads of the company. They were all present. From the business development, audit, to the human resources manager, they were all present to witness how the VP for operations put me on the spotlight, not as the star employee or one of that personnel who got the employee for the month award but as the chosen culprit or scapegoat as you may say because of the decision mishaps that the company took at the expense of losing profitability. He found a convenient excuse, “the guy who was not thinking…” at least not from my core being.

I experienced first-hand shaming and bullying even when it was not yet as magnified as it is today. I felt my saliva running dry and I wasn’t even thirsty, I just couldn’t speak and simply stayed silent. Some of my colleagues simply couldn’t look at me and felt sorry for me whilst being lambasted, criticized and condemned for being unable to anticipate the external situation that had an impact on our financial operations. “The guy living from another planet,” as my best friend, the VP for operations said, and it was not even Superman, simply the guy who was not thinking and out of touch with his core being.

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Although it was not just my sole responsibility for that mishap wherein some of my colleagues, particularly the managers, where equally responsible if not more responsible and should have more than the share of shaming were all of a sudden, silenced in front of a pint-sized man with his all-out assault of shaming tactics. They too lost their wits and were thinking only of themselves. But because I let myself reacted from my base impulse instead of thinking from my core being, I took the worst end of the deal.

Months after that experienced, I learned a valuable lesson about human nature and about myself. People are rarely rational and most often are carried away by emotions more than they cared to admit and regardless of the environment even when it is in a corporate setting. I also learned a valuable lesson about myself: That space between provocation and response is my own choosing. It’s less likely to none that we can control another person’s provocation or his temper but that does not mean that we don’t have control of our thinking and behavior. We may become affected by their provocation emotionally (which is just normal) but we have that power to decide still to act from our core being.

Thinking from the core being simply means not letting external stimuli alter that silence within your higher nature and simply let it flow from you with wisdom that is so profound and true that it can reframe any situation no matter how threatening. It can solve any problem, no matter how daunting because it is where true wisdom and intelligence resides, this is thinking from your core being.

“Humor can alter any situation and help us cope at the very instant we are laughing.”

 – Allen Klein