The Space Between


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
right.

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