“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
In that space before we respond we need to take an inventory of our emotions. Acknowledge what they are and take a moment to consider how they will affect our response.
We don’t need to respond immediately. Sometimes, many times, it’s better not to respond immediately.
It’s often better to process how what the other person has said makes you feel. How they made you feel, will be the pivotal thing that colors your response.
Anger, resentment, jealousy will make you do and say things you may not do or say normally. Allowing them to determine your response can destroy the path forward in the conversation.
This idea of using the space to respond appropriately is something I need to work on.
I am too eager to respond especially if someone has made me angry, jealous, or resentful.
I want them to know I’m right, even when I know I’m not.
I need to work on getting it right rather than being right.
Sometimes I feel anger, jealousy, or resentment because I know deep down they are right, and I don’t want to admit it.
“Am I hear to learn something or to prove something?“ – Holstee, Reflections newsletter
Get it right rather than be right.
What is meaning?
The Oxford Language definition is important or worthwhile quality; purpose.
Where do you find meaning in your life? Where do you find purpose?
“What matters therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, p. 108.
Do we ever truly find meaning? Or does meaning change over time?
What has meaning today may not have meaning tomorrow.
“In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only answer by being responsible.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, p. 109.
What are you responsible for? Who are you responsible to?
Life has meaning when you are responsible to something greater than yourself. Everything I do is for my wife and children. How I carry myself. The job I do at work.
I do my job as I hope that the administrators and teachers in my children’s school are doing there’s.
I always remember that every student is someone’s child. Someone loves and cares for that child. It is my responsibility to give them everything I can to improve their lives.
“Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences.” – W. H. Auden
Meaning can change from day to day, moment to moment. What has your attention in this moment?
Our attention is dragged in a million different directions. Make sure what you allow to capture your attention is worth the meaning you give to it or suffer the consequences.