This might be difficult for some people to accept, but changing our life can be as simple as changing the way we look at things. Simply put if you change your perspective, you change your life.
The way our perspectives can change our lives is because our perspectives affects our
attitude. Our attitude is comprised of our thoughts, feeling and actions. When we change our perspective, we change what we think on a matter. This will help us change the way we feel towards that subject, and subsequently will result in us taking different actions. Different actions on our part will change the results we are getting in our world.
A simple example of how different perspectives affects our thinking is the next one:
“Blondes have more fun”
is a statement. As soon as you read it you take a certain stand. Either it is true, or its false
(you can also neglect the statement and choose not to take a stand. behind that choice there is another perspective). Whether the statement is true or false is not important. What’s important is that the second you make the decision, you have colored your reality in a certain way. If you’re blonde, you probably expect to have more fun. If you’re not blonde, you are either looking for different perspectives that will allow you to have fun as well, or you accept that you have less fun.
A perspective is an expression of a certain orientation towards a certain topic. The event that takes place and the result that happen are neutral in essence, and the ones that turn them into “happy”, “sad”, “funny” or “horrible” are us, when we choose the way we look at the events.
Example on perspectives
Lets say you were in a job interview and did not answer 4 out of 10 technical questions correctly. Your perspective of the interview might be that it was “horrible”, but the perspective of the interviewer might be that it was “just okay”, or “good”. The circumstances that took place were the same for both people in the interview, 4 questions were not answered correctly, but the way each one views the circumstances of the event are completely different, and the emotions that stir up because of the perspective are also completely different.
Both the above perspectives of the interview could be true. You might be accustomed to answering all of the technical questions in interviews, and that’s why the interview was “horrible”. The interviewer might have been to many interviews in which many more questions were answered incorrectly, which really makes this interview “good”. Both perspective might have some truth to them.
But how much truth one perspective has is not the issue. The minute we choose to think of a certain situation and circumstance in a different perspective, we immediately see new possibilities, and are open to accept new thoughts which might be also true to us. These in turn could create different emotions and make us feel differently, and when we feel different, we act different, and get different results in our lives.
For example, if you knew that the interviewer saw interviews in which a lot more then 4 questions were answered incorrectly, which places you on the top of the list of candidates, will the interview still be considered “horrible” in your perspective?
How perspectives can change our lives
Many times in our lives, we rush to some past experience we had, and determine our perspective on things based on those experiences. This leads to thoughts like “This is just the way it is” or “That’s just who I am”. These sort of statements belittle us and can make us think that we are powerless to change our circumstances.
Here are some examples of perspectives that might be slowing us down, or delaying our progress. I’m sure you can think of others which might be more relevant to your life:
- “Asking for help means i’m weak”
- “You cant imagine what its like to have 3 kids. I just don’t have time for anything besides work and taking care of them”
- “I’m just not good at speaking in front of an audience”
- “I hate selling”
- “everybody knows you have to have money to move ahead in life”
Check your perspective on each of the above statement.
When we choose to look at things from a different perspective, a whole range of new possibilities opens up.This allows us to entertain new thoughts which lead to new ideas. These ideas have the power to make us act differently. Acting differently than what we usually do can create different results than those we are used to, and literally change our lives. You can see a good example of that in this story by Gina Petty
Tools to change your perspective
The good (Awesome!) news is that we can control our perspective. More over, we can change them and examine other perspectives.
Before you go and cancel the above statement, I challenge you to take something that happened to you today, and try just one of the below methods. I am certain that you could have yourself a new outlook that you did not previously thought about.
Three ways of examining new perspectives are:
Imagine what someone else might think of it
This is an exercise I use a lot whenever there is an issue that bothers me. Its simple, effective and fun! All you need to do is:
- Seat at a table and write the issue that you want to get a fresh look at on a piece of paper.
- Voice out loud your thoughts about this issue, and what bothers you about it (if something does).
- Change your seat at the table, and think about what one of your mentors or role models would have to think about the exact issue.
- Voice out their opinion on the issue as well
- Do this 2-3 times,each time changing seats and thinking of a different person, whom you look up to.
What usually happens to me after two or three turns of this is that I get new insights regarding the issue, and in some cases, if the issue bothers me, It stops to nag at my thoughts.
In addition its always fun to have Bob Proctor and Winston Churchill at the table 🙂
Ask someone close what he thinks of the issue
This is another very simple exercise which you can do anywhere, and get real fast results. All you need to do is describe your situation to someone else, and ask him what he thinks about it, and try and understand his perspective.
The trick here is to have the person your talking to put himself in your situation, so he could have his own original view on the matter. Don’t settle for an answer like “I think exactly like you”. If that is the case, find someone else, and ask him to make an opinion, until you get a perspective which is different than your own.
You can do this exercise over and over with as many people as you like to get as many perspective as you want. The more perspective you have. the more angles you have to look at the issue.
Seek the good in the situation
All it takes is just to look at a situation you are in, and find what is good at being in the situation. What are the benefits that arise from it.
This exercise might be a bit challenging if you are not trained at finding different perspectives to things.
This is not easy to do all the time, as some situations might seem to have no upside at all (I mean, what up side can a car accident have?) These cases will require actively searching for the upsides to them, but I guarantee that if you look for them, you will find the benefits (in the example above – getting a new car might be the upside)
I hope that the post open your mind a bit to the possibility of accepting new perspectives to your life. With enough practice you can identify different perspectives instantly, and even challenge yourself and your own self beliefs with a fresh new outlook