I saw this wonderful diagram today and it nicely captures the possible choices we make when confronted by stressful situations.
For all of us, a situation or set of bad circumstances arise and we have to make a choice. Either we intend to take responsibility for our lives and be “cause in the matter” or we find a way to ignore, deny, blame, rationalize, resist or hide.
One is the high road to accountability, growth and acceptance, while the other is the downward spiral of victimhood.
What I find interesting is the inflection point, where, for a brief shining moment, we have the opportunity to choose our path. For most of us that choice is automatic and unconscious, and, if we are aware at all, it’s only after the sequence has played itself out, and we are left with the impact on ourselves and others. Perhaps, we even promise ourselves that next time it will be different.
The only remedy I can see is to slow our daily pace just enough to recognize those pivotal moments of choice. I think Victor Frankel said it best, “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.”
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American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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