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. Stephen R. Covey
I am rereading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and came across this text. It hit me on the head and woke me from a walking sleep. The clear unadulterated truth of the space between captured my attention with the possibilities of different choices.
Had I always made the best choice for my growth and happiness?
The answer to that question of self-examination also becomes an answer of self-determination. My choice in any given moment may be wildly inconsistent from the previous moment or from the next. But it is the living through the different choices I have made that I discover what encourages my growth toward self-awareness, or my slide toward self-pity.
The results of my choice, made in that instant between stimulus and response, come to define both myself and my world. I am “at cause” in that instant of decision. The results flow from that point, either moving easily through my life or creating obstacles of my own making.
As Mr. Covey notes, “I realized that I choose responses that would affect the stimulus itself. I could become a force of nature in my own