Several weeks ago I posted about the transition that occurs between um changing into yang and yang changing into um. Basically I put forth the argument that they don’t immediately go from one to the other. There is a transition phase between them. This phase can be very short/small or it can be very long/large, but it exists.

Recently, I have been teaching a lot of time management classes and inevitably when I do, Stephen Covey comes up. As I mentioned in a previous post, Covey has had a huge influence on my classes. Anyway, I recently was looking up something in Covey’s “Eighth Habit” book and came across a concept of his that I had forgotten about: “There is a pause between stimulus and response”. Covey believes everyone is born with the gift of choice. He puts forth the idea that when there is a stimulus, there is always a pause before the response and that pause, he argues, allows us to use this birth-gift of choice. The pause might be really short due to genetic, physical, mental, environmental influences but it exists and therefore there is an opportunity to make a choice before “response”.

I don’t agree with his choice of using the word “pause” because that would imply there is a stop between stimulus and response (um and yang). As I pointed out in a previous post, there is no pause/stop only a transition. That being said, this is a very important concept that everyone should learn. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their actions and realize they always have a choice because there is always a period between stimulus and response.

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Written by Sean Pearson

Throughout his career, in an effort to become a truly well-rounded martial artist in both practice and philosophy, Master Pearson has studied a wide variety of martial arts: Taekwondo, Kali, Kyudo, Iaido, Aikido, Judo, Jodo, Bando and Tai Chi. He holds dan rankings in six of these arts and master ranks in three of them. To this same end he has studied and achieved national recognition as a wilderness survival instructor, a certified hypnotherapist, and a lecturer in Neuro Linguistic Psychology.

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