Dr. Viktor Frankl articulates this capacity for choice that we possess in a couple of my favorite quotes from him: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way,” and “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.” Dr. Frankl penned those words in his famous book, “Man’s Search For Meaning,” which he wrote after having survived 3 years of imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps, losing both of his parents as well as his wife in the Holocaust. True freedom is independent of circumstance, and living from that place is transformational.
Get ready; I’m about to get all MENSA on you. Does one plus one always equal two? Ponder that for a moment. Are there any ways in which one of something plus one of the same something does NOT equal two of that same thing? Consider that one pile of sand plus one pile of sand equals one pile of sand. One wad of gum plus one wad of gum equals one wad of gum. And one person plus another person, given a certain set of circumstances, equals one person. Unless you’re the Duggar family, and then you just lose track.
As long as you’re telling yourself that things are a certain way (your lens) you are filtering out any evidence to the contrary. Even when it’s staring you in the face, you’ll miss it. And it’s impacting how you show up in that situation. Once my client saw this, it created a possibility for him to engage in his relationship in a whole new way.
These questions will open up new ways of seeing—seeing yourself, relationships, work, God. Look again at your life, the past and the present. What do you notice? What do you see that was there all along, but wasn’t accessible while looking through your old lens? Now look at your future. What is possible for you there that wasn’t possible before? And how does that impact what is possible for you today?
Utilize that space between stimulus and response. Choose how you will see, and you will consciously create your life, in 2015 and beyond.
To Your Great Life!