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Learning To Respond

Hey there, welcome to this weeks post. I recorded this episode from the center camera today since the top one decided to bail on us—but hey, that’s actually what we’re diving into: learning to respond to situations rather than reacting to people or stimuli. Let’s unpack that shortly.

First off, a little gratitude moment here. I’m feeling really thankful for the weather here in Wisconsin—70 degrees the past few days, can you believe it? In my line of work with junk removal, winters can be brutal, so this warmth is a huge lift. Just this Saturday, fresh from an electronics recycling event, I swung by Dunkin’ for a coffee—yeah, I’m a Dunkin’ nut—and man, was I in a great mood, mostly thanks to the event and this stellar weather. It’s those simple joys, right?

Gratitude for these uncontrollable blessings really tones down my itch to control everything else, which in turn creates more scenarios where I’m genuinely content. So today, I’m all about the simplicity and beauty of good weather.

Now, down to business: I’ve got a book out, “Words Fucking Matter,” available on Amazon in all formats. We’ll be tapping into some insights from it today as we talk about responding over reacting.

We all have our moments of overreaction, part of being human. But it really boils down to our early wiring. Picture this: we’ve got our ‘big brain’—the clear, confident, creative part. Then there’s our ‘lizard brain,’ the one that’s all about fight, flight, or freeze. In between, there’s a crucial part making the call on how we handle incoming stimuli—do we see it as a threat or an opportunity?

This is fundamentally about choice. How do we respond? Do we operate from a place of abundance, love, and assurance, or from scarcity, hate, and insecurity?

A lot of this wisdom comes from Dr. Bill Crawford and some military resiliency training I did in the Army. We face events that trigger us, and we get to choose—do we use our frontal lobe, our ‘big brain,’ or regress to that primal ‘lizard brain’?

I’ve come to see that reflection is not the last step in understanding ourselves but the first. It allows us to evaluate our reactions to past stimuli and align them more closely with our values and beliefs.

Years back, during a particularly rough divorce, I learned the hard way. Initially, I reacted—anything my ex said would set me off. It was a cycle of negativity, costing both money and peace. But I shifted my approach. Instead of reacting, I’d call someone else—often my mom—or just take a moment to assess the truth of the situation calmly. Over time, I didn’t need to call anyone. I could just reflect, recognize the inaccuracies in claims made against me, and choose not to engage. It saved me unnecessary stress and confrontation.

This approach has not only helped in personal matters but also in running my business. Just last Friday, faced with negative feedback, I reminded myself of the positive impacts we’ve made—both in our community and within our company.

So, here’s what I’m getting at: sometimes, the best response is no response. Not reacting doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the issue; it means you’re choosing to not fuel someone else’s fire but to nurture your own flames of positivity and productivity.

I challenge you all this week to reflect on how you respond to challenges. Do the fucking thing, tell the fucking world, show the fuck up. And I’ll catch you next week to see how you’ve transformed your reactions into responses.

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Andy Weins

Andy Weins is a fourth-generation entrepreneur, Veteran of the U.S. Army, and speaker. Through consulting, teaching, podcasting, and writing, he is an enthusiastic supporter of Veterans, entrepreneurs, community engagement, individual empowerment, and the environment.

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