Stimulus and Response

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

Victor Frankl was a jew that was put into a internment camp by the Nazi’s. He was a neurologist and psychiatrist and when he was right in the middle of his experience in what was to be known as the holocaust ,he came up with a system of looking at situations and people when they were at their very worst.

He came to understand and put into action that we are in total control of  our attitudes, fears and reactions even under the most dire of circumstances. If the holocaust was not the most dire of situations then I don’t know what is. Mr. Frankl observed that the people around him that complained, worried, and resisted the situation that was happening to them, often died soon after getting to the camp(s) he was in.

He also observed that the people that were calm, centered, focused and more accepting of what was going on in the camp (which most of it was horrible) tended to live longer or make it through until they were rescued by the Allied forces. This post is not to be meant as a history lesson but one of understanding. Even though Victor was surrounded by misery, he was not engulfed by it. His whole family died (except for his sister) who were murdered during this time, yet he found a way to help others. To study human behavior and to find a purpose that would fill the rest of his days.

How many times during a typical day does someone say or do something that we don’t like and we have an immediate reaction to it? Try this instead, if that happens, take a deep breath and think about your response. Maybe you should not respond at all. Walk away without comment, observe how you feel.

Do you feel empowered? Are you aware that you are in control of your thoughts and actions an all times? Do you really feel this within yourself. Think about what Victor Frankl went through and made it out alive. Live in that space Victor spoke about between stimulus and response, be at peace despite what anyone else does or says. You are in control of you, don’t forget that.

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One thought on “Stimulus and Response

  1. I believe they call this interrupting the lizard brain’s response. Reactions happen automatically, and it is only by awareness that we will be able to to control them instead of vice-versa.

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