Hello My friends,
This week has been a big one for me. I finished at my job of fifteen years, to commence studying. This is a strange and foreign land for me. One I am enjoying getting lost in.
This week I thought I’d chat about perspective.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while. “What does perspective mean to me?” “How does it influence my behaviour and beliefs?” “Can I change my perspective?” “What would I change it to?”
The dictionary defines perspective as “a particular way of considering something,” “to think about a situation in a wise and reasonable way,” “to compare something with other things so that it can be accurately and fairly judged.”
What does perspective mean to me? It’s the way I view the world around me. It’s the split second judgement calls I make on whether I like something or not, whether I can do something or not, it’s how I compare myself with others. Usually I believe my perspective to be the right one, and everyone else has it, oh, so wrong. What about you? What does perspective mean to you? Is it the way you see things?
Where do we get our perspectives from? I believe our perspectives come from a multiple of sources. They are expanded by the ideas that work colleagues have, when someone shows us a different way to think about a problem. It’s the seeds of potential placed in our minds by people who challenge the status quo. It’s the situations we find ourselves in when the choices we’ve made don’t lead where we thought they would. We get our perspectives unconsciously from our parents, our cultural upbringing, educational institutes, our society, television, social media, our peers and associates. All of these and many more determine our perspectives.
How does our perspective influence our behaviour and beliefs? Our behaviour and beliefs are directly influenced by our perspective, everything we say and do are run through our unconscious filters of bias and prejudice, within seconds of meeting someone new, we have sized them up and made a judgement call, and often we’re not even aware of it. Our perspectives determine what cars we think are the safest, what food is the healthiest, it determines how we respond to people, (are they a threat or are they friendly) how we dress, what make up we wear, if any. Where we choose to live.
Our perspectives are based on the things we have been shown and told all our lives, if we don’t choose to deliberately look at them, they will continue to drive us.
Can we change our perspectives? I believe we can and must.
If the lens of our life view is distorted, the view of our lives will also be distorted. That distortion will prevent us from getting the things we want in life.
How do we change our perspectives? Our perspectives can be changed by the environment we surround ourselves with, the books we read, the people we converse with, the thoughts we fill our minds with.
Choose to look at one area of your life today. Maybe, the food you eat, the programmes you watch on television, the way you talk to your wife, husband, children at the end of a long and tiring day. Your life it doesn’t have to be this way, you can make a positive change.
Change the way:
You look at your food, (eat for nutrition and health,)
You watch television, (choose shows that educate and inspire,)
You converse with family members, (smile, give them a hug, listen, send love to them through your words.)
One way I was shown how to do this was to write the problem or area on a piece of paper, get every aspect of the problem onto the paper. The pros and the cons, what you’d like to see happen, and how you’d like it to be resolved. Place the page on a table, with a minimum of four chair seating. In your mind, invite the greatest minds you know to sit at the table. Ask yourself, “What would ‘Oprah’ ‘Aristotle’ ‘Albert Einstein’ ‘Steven Jobs’ (fill the places with whoever is relevant to you.) say if they had this problem.” Go around the table and ask them one at a time, ” What would you do if you had this situation?” Take note of your response. This has been helpful to shift the way that I view a problem when I’m stuck in my perspective and can’t move forward. Think outside the box, and act on this insight.
Changing our perspective is all that is needed for us to see what we can really achieve. What would you change your perspective to, if you could?
Would you drop that little bit of sarcasm you have towards a certain group of people? Would you soften your view on poverty?
Would you become less racially biased?
Would you have more compassion for your work colleague?
Would you discover the solution to that issue that has plagued your life for always?
Would your life have a little more happiness in it, because you’re not stressing so much?
Would you let go of the grudges and hurts that feed your perspective?
What if you smiled at each person you met today? and noticed the little bit of you joy feel as you extend the proverbial olive branch, to creating a better place to live, work, and love.
In conclusion, What are some of the perspectives you hold dear? Are they serving you in getting what you want from your life? If not, write them out and hold a round table conference with the people who will help you gain a better perspective over your life.
Live your most authentic life, until next time.