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. (Viktor Frankl)
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space only if you create it. This is a practice. Brian Johnson calls it Response-ability. I call it Creating Space.”
“How do you create space?”
“There’s a quote I love by Josh Waitzkin:
The small things are the big things.
It’s such a beautiful and critical principle, and most people think they can wait around for the big moments to turn it on. But if you don’t cultivate “turning it on” as a way of life in the little moments – and there are hundreds of times more little moments than big – then there’s no chance in the big moments.
This quote expresses a key aspect of the practice – and of Mastery more generally:
Practice in the little moments of life. Practice when you don’t need it so that you are prepared when you do need it.
You create space by pausing. I call this aspect of the practice, The Pause. What this means is creating brief micro-pauses throughout the day. Think of them as metaphoric ‘break-points’.
To practice is to remember to practice. The more often you do it, the more often you’ll remember to do it. It’s a positive feedback loop.
Surround yourself with reminders.
Put written reminders in various places in your environment.
Turn things in the environment and experiences into reminders. (Anchoring)
For instance, a great thing to anchor pausing to is the transitional space/time between activities.”
“What do you fill the pauses with?”
“Start by practicing only The Pause.
Pause, breathe, and smile.
Stay with it as long as you need until you deeply internalize it. Think of it as the seed. Once the seed has been planted, you can grow it into the next stage of the practice.”