Personal Growth

The Space

March 7, 2013

It may be the most important set of seconds in our life. It is the moment between whatever happens to us and our response. This is called the space.

a little bit of space

The space is where we choose the course our life will take. Small as it is, what we decide in the space determines our future which makes it immeasurably huge!

whatever happens  |  the space  |  our response

Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl was able to identify the space while being forced to work in the harsh conditions of the Nazi concentration camps. Instead of asking “Why is this happening to me?” he chose to ask himself, “What is life trying to teach me?” He could have chosen bitterness and hatred, but he chose instead to offer hope and encouragement to his fellow prisoners.

After something happens to us, we need to stop, if even for a few seconds, and evaluate it. We need to evaluate the situation and our thoughts and emotions and then choose the response that is going to bring us the outcome we really want.

Most people never take the time to think about these things. To separate themselves from their thoughts enough to realize our thoughts may or may not be leading us down a good path!

Victims in life

Many times we feel as though we are victims in life and act accordingly. We talk about how we are the way we are because we lost a job, or because we grew up in a dysfunctional family, or because we didn’t get to finish high school or college. We feel life has ultimate control over who we become.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If it were true, why do some people who have the most horrific childhood experiences go on to live a meaningful, successful life? If we are simply outcomes of our environment, this would never be possible.

Think of it this way. If we are allowed to choose how we react to something (the space), and those spaces define what direction we head in life, then we do indeed choose the course of our lives.

And the great new is we are allowed to choose how we react! The space is a gift. And the real kicker is we potentially have thousands of spaces which make up the span of our lives.

The space offers opportunity. The space calls us to make wise decisions. The space is our life in miniature.

What will you do with your spaces?

-photo by Jean Pichot

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply Alana Mokma March 7, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Holy cow. You and Michael continue to speak directly to things in my life that I am currently going through or currently contemplating. I’ve been reflecting on why I feel like I am “free” to choose in every area of my life except my job. When I am at work, I tend to act as a victim. When I am outside of work, I am hopeful and smart and contemplative and love to serve. I think I need to sit in this a little bit. I know that if I were to shift my perspective, or actions or attitude while I am in this “space” of the moments at work, that the outcomes could be entirely different. It is definitely easier to continue to go on, thinking I can’t change anything in my work place. Hmmm… thank you guys for continuing to poke the box. It’s uncomfortable, but so good!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Haha Alana,
      I like how you said “Holy cow.” Brings back high school days!
      I think many can relate to your frustrations about work and feeling stuck and feeling bitter about it.

      Are you trying to make the best of what you have at work or thinking about jumping out on your own… remind me? Either way dear friend, you are not stuck and you have amazing gifts to offer wherever you choose to go!

      I was telling Donna, I work through many of my own quandaries with yellow legal pads. They are the best. Get a pack, write the challenge you need to work through at the top and write down all your thoughts, ideas on them for days and weeks till the answer emerges. Just keep writing, it will come out eventually.

      The real challenge comes when you see what you need to do written on paper and you can’t hide from it anymore. 😉

  • Reply Donna Yates March 7, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Once again, you always make me step back and look at what I’m doing! I’m with Alana. My job is so hum drum that I find myself getting angry that I’m there some days. The problem is, I need the job right now to live. I’m at a point in my life where I love my online business but it’s not close to giving me the monetary support I need right now. I have tons of freedoms at my job and that in and of itself is great but there is no challenge anymore. Not sure where to go from here. I too need to look at the “space” and evaluate what I really want at this time. Thanks for your wisdom.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Donna,
      You are welcome!

      This is a challenging place to be for sure!

      This is where I grab a pack of yellow legal pads from the store and write what I need to work through at the top. Then over the course of the next days/weeks I write and write and write out all my ideas and thoughts on the subject. I just keep writing and an answer always emerges eventually!

      It often takes getting inside our own heads and figuring out exactly what we do want! Then we find the time and a way to do what we want to do!

      I am journeying with you!

      • Reply Donna Yates March 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

        Thanks Claudia. I will give it a try. I hate it when I feel like I’m stuck or not doing what I really should be in life. It seems I come back to this point so much so it must have merit and be worth seeking the right answers.

        • Reply Claudia Good March 8, 2013 at 9:55 am

          It does merit and it is worth seeking the right answers and taking action Donna!

          I just watched this( http://youtu.be/kwANZNEOAoY )last night, loved the insight from Seth Godin about moving forward and choosing something, among many other cool insights. Worth the watch!

          The video above is from a series made by Jonathan Fields called “The Good Life Project” here is the link, I just stumbled upon it last night but it looks like there is some great information/encouragement! http://www.goodlifeproject.com/

          Sometime it would be fun to have a ‘brainstorming session!’

          • Donna Yates March 8, 2013 at 10:39 am

            Thanks Claudia, I’ll give it a watch.

  • Reply Rachel Rusticus March 21, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Thanks for this challenge to own our perspectives! Fellow Exodus blogger at http://www.creativelyredeemingher.blogspot.com

    • Reply Claudia Good March 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Rachel,
      You are surely welcome! It is wonderful joining you over at Exodus road as well!

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