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Between the Stimulus and the Response

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Today, stuff is going to happen. Someone will say something to you. You’ll get an alert on your phone about some negative happening in the world. The weather might turn sour. The line at your favorite lunch place will be too long. A close friend could call with news of a cancer diagnosis.

This is the stimulus. This is the world reaching out and shoving you. The question is, what will you do about it? What will your reaction be?

There is no better reminder than Viktor Frankl’s famous quote, learned in the depths and horrors of a concentration camp, about how to think in these situations.

“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.”

Frankl doesn’t say it will be a big space. He doesn’t say that we have a lot of power or that choosing the right response will be easy. But it is there.

What will you make of it?