Most reactions are a choice

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. — William Shakespeare

Because events lack intrinsic meaning and the meaning you ascribe to events is your choice, how you react to events is also your choice. For example: a final exam is not in and of itself “stressful;” how you choose to react to the exam, based on the meaning you choose to ascribe to it, is what makes it stressful.

To be successful and grow, you must accept that nearly all reactions are a conscious choice.

There are some events in life that force you to react a certain way — such as needing to take your hand off a hot stove, or come up for air when swimming — but these are by far the minority. Therefore, this maxim contemplates “most” reactions — not “all” reactions — to be a choice.