Between stimulus and response

. 1 min read

I am having a very, very bad day. All kinds of things have accumulated into a gigantic ball of stress and irritation. I don't think I'd usually be so irritated about any of them individually, but since they're manifesting themself at the same time, I'm having a hard time handling it all. (I had to walk home and back to retrieve a memory card I forgot to take with me to the office, I'm struggling to come up with article ideas, I have a ton of videos to shoot, I'm struggling to come up with video ideas, I'm hungry and craving cake, the behavior of other people makes me claw my sculp etc.)

All this makes me want to yell at the world and shake my fist at a cloud, while last night I felt so peaceful and grateful about everything. (I wasn't hungry then, though. It may have had some effect.)

But then I hear Viktor E. Frankl's words in my head:

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.

I realized this is an excellent opportunity to practice some mental growing. If I do yell at the world, shaking my fist at the innocent cloud as I do, the effect wouldn't be menial - I would have given up and done something unconstructive - falling for that easy result would have a regressive effect on my self-respect, mental growth, self-discipline, everything. But if I use the situation to my advantage - to grow mentally, to exercise my freedom to choose my response - I can achieve something I couldn't achieve during a normal course of day.

So, in a sense, having a bad day is a good thing! And even if my situation is far from Frankl's at the concentration camp, his words apply all the same.

Between stimulus and response lies your freedom of choice. That's where you'll find your chance to grow.


P.S. Eating something might help as well.