In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus changed the world by demonstrating that the Earth revolves around the sun. Until then, most people in Europe believed the opposite was true, and this shaped how they viewed and perceived the Universe. Copernicus's discovery didn't change the nature of the Universe itself in any way, he only changed how we viewed it—but this change has had a marked effect on science, religion, and philosophy, the perceptions of mankind, ever since.
I recently listened to Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, on Bulletproof Radio Podcast discuss his book and some of the habits of these highly successful people. One of them struck a chord with me: an overwhelmingly high percentage of the wealthy people he researched woke up hours before they went to work. The more I researched the habits of people I admire, the more I realized how common this is. Not only is waking up early common, the activities they perform also have an uncanny overlap.
We each have a tremendous amount of power availble to us to control how we respond to and interact in our environment, and it comes from controlling space. "Between stimulus and response there is a space". By making that mental space larger, by a couple of seconds, or even a few days, and taking some time to absorb the situation, we give ourselves so much more room to choose how we want to react and even when we want to react.
Here are a few reasons to create more space between stimuli and your responses:
Viktor Frankl witnessed and suffered nearly every indignation you can imagine. As well as being subjected to slave labour and torture himself, he had to watch his family, friends and fellow men be either directly executed, or worked to death by Nazi concentration camp guards. After being freed from the camp at the end of the war, Frankl returned to Vienna where he wrote a book offering a unique insight into the life of a concentration camp inmate from the objective perspective of a psychiatrist.
It's the start of a New Year and people all over the world are taking the opportunity to re-invent themselves, or make the improvements in thier lives that they've been contemplating for a while. On the surface, New Year's resolutions seem like a great idea, but for most people, they only lead to a sense of defeat and disappointment when after a few weeks they've fallen short. Luckily, psychology can offer some insight into why these people fail and there are some practical solutions to avoid these common pitfalls.