We don’t see the world as it is; we see the world as WE are. We see the world through the lens of how we see ourselves. Perspective is all about what you see versus what someone else sees.
What we see as logical, others see as illogical. What we view as common sense, others see as absurd. How can this be? How can we be so right, and others be so wrong? We’re looking at the same pictures, talking about the same experiences and hearing the same speeches. So why do we have such opposing viewpoints? Below I’ll talk about gaining a proper perspective on life.
Perspective is an accumulation of your personal experiences, surroundings, culture, religion, upbringing and the varying education we’ve all received through our lives. Our experiences skew our perspectives. Most of us see what we want to see because it justifies the design of our lives. We’ve already determined what we want our life to look like. In order to make that life puzzle work, we have to justify the pieces of our life so that they all fit together in our mind.
I’ll give you an example. You’ve been dreaming of buying a new car. You want a convertible Mercedes more than anything in the world. You’ve worked tirelessly for years to be in a position to afford one and today is the day you get to drive it off the lot. It’s the best day of your life! The very next day, you notice 10 other people driving the same exact convertible Mercedes. Did everyone buy the same car you bought yesterday?? Or is it just so “in front of you” today that you notice it more than usual? Common sense tells us there wasn’t a massive spike in the sales of Mercedes yesterday. You’re just now more aware of these cars because of the lens that you see your world through.
We tend to focus on things that are right in front of us, the things we CHOOSE to focus on which, in turn, skews our perspective. No one is immune. We all have our own lenses.
Have you ever heard someone say, “You need to gain some perspective?” They are saying you need to broaden your view. You need to open your heart to other people’s point of view. Become more tolerant of the people around you. See things through someone else’s eyes, someone else’s experiences and someone else’s pain. Our world becomes very small if we don’t.
Tolerance is a lost art form. Most of us are tolerant of the big things but can’t tolerate all the small annoyances in our lives. I’m talking about all the “pet peeves” in the world. By the way, my biggest pet peeve is when someone wants to talk about their never-ending list of pet peeves! How are some people annoyed by EVERYTHING??!! It sounds exhausting!!
Usually, perspective comes in the form of a reality check. Someone close to me was diagnosed with cancer and I realized complaining about my joint pain is pathetic. A friend of mine is going through a painful divorce and I realize complaining about my husband not shaving his beard is petty. I lose a loved one and I realize all that time I spent on trying to be perfect instead of living life to the fullest is a monumental waste of time.
Gaining perspective is so important!!
Some people look at broadening their perspective as a negative thing. As if having more love, more empathy, more understanding, more forgiveness or more education is ever a bad thing. They seem to think that somehow a broader perspective makes you weak. They see it as a contagious disease. You just shouldn’t be around someone that thinks differently or lives differently then you because you might catch what they have. Or even worse, you might begin to question your own values, your own political views, your own beliefs, even the direction of your own life. They seem to think that if you question your own life, then you have lost. That’s ridiculous!
If you’re not re-evaluating those things on a regular basis, if you’re not changing your stance and opinions, if you’re not evolving, you’re the most lost of everyone. Nothing stays the same and nothing is meant stay the same either. No one changes and nothing gets better if you’re always in a room full of people that agree with everything you say and do.
Let’s get real!! It’s easier for us to surround ourselves with people that believe the same things we believe. Then we can tell ourselves we’re always right and other people are always wrong. What’s easier than that? Having perspective means you have to change; you have to grow. And, to most people, that doesn’t sound very fun or glamorous. It just sounds like a lot of work.
In my experience, the most expensive thing you’ll ever own is a closed mind. It will cost you relationships, opportunities, enlightenment and ultimately happiness.
Hi, I'm Becky Bursell. I'm a business coach, entrepreneur, and mother. My passion is helping people recognize greatness within themselves. I show others how to become the “Greatest Version of You” by pursuing personal development, generating multiple streams of income and cultivating leadership skills.