“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
A SIGNIFICANT ENHANCEMENT to our brain structure provided us with the tools to be able to expand our evolutionary model of the world consciously and in real-time. In essence, we were given the gift of mindfulness.
THE EVOLUTIONARY ENHANCEMENT to our primitive brains was the ability for self-awareness. Self-awareness is necessary for self-control. While debatable, it is thought that only humans can see what the future may hold for us if we do not exercise self-control. If you don’t recognize that you have a choice, the brain will opt for the most accessible mode of action by going with the subconscious action provided by the Old Brain.
WE’VE ALREADY DISCUSSED the fight or flight response. It is activated by the Old Brain as a result of a stimulus that our subconscious interprets as ‘attack.’ It runs the Program of FEAR, which sets in motion various other processes along the Mental Cycle discussed in a previous chapter. What if we were able to pause along this cycle and make a conscious decision utilizing the reasoning ability of our newest addition to the brain – the Prefrontal Cortex?