The Space Opportunity 

We all have a tremendous amount of power over our lives. That is true even for people who don’t believe it. People who do believe it, and use that power, are happier and often more successful. In fact, I’d say being happier is in itself a great success. 

One important area where that power exists is the space between something that happens to us and our response to it. The incredible author Viktor Frankl describes that power like this: 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. 

Think about that. That power gives us the opportunity to grow from whatever it was that happened to us. That power can give us freedom over a set of circumstances that may well imprison other people who don’t realize that power exists.  

To make that power work for you the space between the stimulus and your response must be as large as possible. That means you should not react instantly to the stimulus. 

That stimulus could be anything from someone insulting you or causing you harm, either emotionally or physically. The key to growing from that situation is taking a few moments to collect your thoughts and not say or do something that you will regret. 

While our responses frequently happen in the moment the consequences of those responses can be long lasting. Some of those responses can even lead to permanent regret. People are frequently imprisoned by those regrets. If they had slowed down a bit to grow that space between the stimulus event and their response there may not have been any regrets to worry about. 

When you think of it like that you can see that Viktor Frankl is exactly right in his statement about the power that exists in that space. 

Creating space between a stimulus event and your response requires discipline. Discipline to “hold your fire” and not necessarily say or do the first thing that comes to mind. It requires the knowledge and understanding that not everything that happens to you, or around you, even requires a response from you. 

The space between what happens to you and how you respond gives you the opportunity to consider the consequences of the consequences of the consequences to any response you may have. It even gives you the opportunity to decide if any response is required. 

Highly successful people make use of those opportunities. That’s something to consider the next time you’re about to blurt out something you will later regret. 

On a another note… Everyone can use a “nudge” towards success. I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”

My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there. 

You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.

Words Are a Really Big Deal

When was the last time you thought about the words you use every day? How carefully do you select them? Do you consciously choose terms or phrases that serve you well? Do you even think about the impression your words make on the people you speak them to?


Why all these questions about simple words? Because your words do have incredible power, they can build you up, destroy opportunity or maintain the status quo. Your words reinforce your beliefs, and your beliefs create your reality. 


And it’s not only about you. Your words can affect how other people see themselves, they can brighten someone’s day or send them into a cave of despair. 


In his book, Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins devotes an entire chapter to explaining the way your choice of words affects your emotions, your beliefs and your effectiveness in life. In one section, he examines how certain words impact your emotional intensity. Let’s say for example that a someone has lied to you. You could react by saying that you’re angry or upset.  


However, if you used words like furious, livid or enraged, your emotions and behavior would likely be very different. Simply saying you’re angry instead of furious has a big impact on your emotional intensity. It also likely changes the intensity of the other person too.


You control the words you use but only if you make a conscious decision to do so. That’s sometimes an issue for me because I find it hard to always stop for a split second to consider my choice of words. I don’t think I’m alone in having that issue. 


Remember, it’s up to you to speak in a way that will move you closer to being the person you want to be. It’s up to you to think, even if it is only for that split second, about the words you’re about to speak and the affect they will have on the people you’re speaking with. Speak as if every word you say matters because in many cases every word you speak does matter. 

No one will ever be 100% successful in always choosing exactly the right word at just the right time. That’s no excuse not to try and the more effort you put into it the better off you, and everyone you speak with, will be.