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This week’s post has nothing to do with the Space X launch last week, but what a feat!

A while back, I was in a circular conversation with a friend. It was the type of conversation that just goes around and around, the kind of conversation that I find very frustrating. The longer the conversation continued the more irritated my friend and I became, it got to the point where we did not even stop to listen to one another. It did not matter to me what they said, and it did not matter to them what I said, we were too wrapped up in our own point of views. Neither one of us stopped to listen to the other and the longer the conversation went on the louder our voices got, making the same argument, and sometimes using the same words.

At some point one of us paused before responding. In that brief moment of silence, we realized that we were mostly saying the same thing with a little nuance and that little bit was getting blown out of proportion. While we agreed on many points, the heated discussion prevented us from listening to each other and paying attention to what was being said.

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychologist and Holocaust survivor is attributed with saying, “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.” If one (or both) of us had taken the time to slow down, our conversation would have been more constructive.

Can you imagine the repercussions if the argument had continued the way it was going? Frustrations would have continued to rise, and feelings may have been hurt in the process. Now, imagine if one of us had taken that pause earlier in the conversation before responding. Not only would the debate have been calmer, but it would have been more efficient.

“I am annoyed by individuals who are embarrassed by pauses in a conversation. To me, every conversational pause refreshes.”– George Sanders

This weekend – Take a breath.

Vijay

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