“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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10 thoughts on “The Space In Between”
Wow! When your put the space between your birth – to the present, it made me realize that we should live a life being good to ourselves and others. The space between our birth to the present should be filled with positive vibes . As we grow older and experience life with its ups and downs, I believe we gain the tools to handle this space. Make it count!!
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Yes Lavern, within that space there’s a lot to do and lots to learn. We too can be the stimulus that influences others to live a happy and meaningful lives.
Believing how you choose to react to something is the most important response is a belief I’ve had for some years, though recently I’ve had to remind myself of it as I seem to have gone through a period of griping about things (luckliy, just to myself) rather than changing my mindset. But your blog is a good reminder.
I was also thinking of this when I thought of Will Smith’s response to the ‘joke’ made by Chris Rock at the Oscar’s ceremony. If Will Smith had only considered his response a little longer, the damage he has done to his career and reputation could have been avoided and turned into something positive.
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Paul we all forget sometimes and that’s why we need each other to remind us. Yes, it’s a shame that Will didn’t think on it a little longer before he acted and damaged his reputation. But hopefully he will recover, and you can bet he will never make that mistake again.
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Great reminder! That ‘dash’ between my exit from the womb to my entrance in the tomb is a gift to be treasured. My times I wished I had ‘reacted’ less and ‘responded’ with more wisdom. So grateful for some of the’ do overs’ I have been granted.
Luckily there is wisdom gained through the wisdom we didn’t exercise in the first place. Do overs don’t hurt either 😊.
Very interesting post Janice…makes one think of all the things to do and yet to achieve in this space between birth and death 👍👍
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Yes, “miles to go before we sleep.” 😊