“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.”
– Viktor E Frankl
A friend of mine recently shared this quote. These are very powerful words that are very pertinent today in light of the current volatile state of our world. This statement clearly supports the notion that our thoughts and actions dictate the quality of our lives. Everyday there are complex systems of rules of right and wrong, culture, faith, character and others that inform our choices. The question is, what will we do and how will we respond? Through my own life experiences, I have become a firm believer of the idea that it’s not so much the things that happen to us in life that impact us the most, but rather it is our responses to them. Every day we all go through things, our character is constantly being tested. Life in general and human instincts prompt us to act in certain ways, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes we have to make basic choices and sometimes life changing decisions. Our responses and choices dictate the quality of our lives, so we have to be able to exercise restraint and good judgement. Our responses also determine whether we are happy and fulfilled or whether we are “stuck” living the consequences of bad choices and actions.
Still, after we have made our choices good or bad, everything that happens to us in life is an opportunity for us to learn and grow. With every adversity, trial, and bad choice, we are given the chance to emerge smarter, kinder, stronger, better and more discerning. However, we have to be able to embrace and recognize these moments as opportunities for change. If all we do in the face of adversity is cry, hide and crumble to the pressure, and even if somehow, we have managed to make it through the storm; if we have learned nothing and there has been no change or growth in our character, then this was all for naught.
So, think about your “spaces” between stimulus and action. How have you been filling them? Have you been encouraging and promoting growth and happiness, or have you been stagnant in negativity and pain? The good thing is, as long as there is still “space” in our lives it’s never too late for improvement. Lately I am also very conscious about another space. That is the space between when we were born and when we die. My space is 1968 – present. As long as this space is still open, I plan to fill it with love, positivity, hopefulness, happiness, empathy, kindness, and yes lessons learnt from mistakes and bad choices I’m still sure to make. How about you?
Feature image by: QuoteV
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