September 10, 2020

Between Stimulus and Response

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“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist who was confined in the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II and survived with his indomitable will, left these words in his book.

To put it plainly, let us suppose this case: On a sunny day, you are driving a car pleasingly to go on a family picnic, but a car following behind you suddenly gets in the way at the front. You can either get irritated and upset or you can just ignore. It is up to you to decide whether you will spoil your family outing by losing your temper or keep your mood in good condition.

Whenever you are stimulated by your surroundings, circumstances, or the words and actions of the people around you, if you react immediately without filtration, you will be deprived of the initiative of life by them. There is a saying that happiness is also a choice. How to grow the power to choose happiness is to widen the space between stimulus and response.

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