It is obvious that depending on our location, distance and view we see things differently. Understanding how perspective on topics and life outlooks can create differences and can lead to conflict, stress and challenge is less obvious. We might know this, but perspective can be a hard topic to self-reflect on.
Due to the fact that we get attached and convicted about the perspective that we hold, it can be perplexing how to change our perspective when we really do not want to. We feel that we have grown to see the perspective we have molded by experiences and lessons from parents, teachers and wise elders gone before us. We can feel convicted in the perspective we hold and many of these “lenses” in which we see life are very subconscious and inbred into our thinking. We have loyalty, conviction and even “rightness” about the perspectives we hold. This one way of thinking causes challenges and impasses as we seek to co-exist with others in the world. Another thing about perspective is it is easy to become mood and ego-driven in our perspective. It becomes a battle because it is about us being right or simply paralyzed in our ability to see another answer.
While in life there are some “absolutes”, those are external to our “thinking” and more defined by nature around us. For the most part, much of the way we think is based on our perspective, experience, culture and sometimes just the way our mind perceives things (i.e. a picture). As generations, seasons, and cultures change and evolve thinking changes.
- how you thought about things as a child versus how you see them as an adult.
- how you operated in the culture of your parents’ home versus how you operate in your own home.
- different areas of the world and how they see or act.
- how you view things when you are in a good mood versus a bad mood.
- how you view things when you feel a person likes you versus when you feel a person is trying to take advantage of you.
- a perspective in the moment versus hindsight.
- a perspective when everything is going well versus when everything seems to be going wrong.
- a perspective when just having a new baby versus when someone has just died.
- a perspective when you feel you don’t have enough versus when people just lost everything in a natural disaster.
- the black space versus the white space.
The example is given about how children are able to be more open to learning and discovery because their minds are like their bodies – flexible and open. As we age, if we do not keep stretching and keeping ourselves flexible we grow more rigid and inflexible and soon touching our toes requires work and even pain. In the same way, a mind that has not practiced staying open and agile becomes inflexible.
The opportunity for all of us is to stay open and “flexible” in our thinking so we can see different perspectives and then make the best choice. If you only see ONE way to do things, you only have one choice. If you can see five ways to do things, you can pick which way you like best, make space for others to do it differently or enjoy a variety of approaches to keep things fresh!
- less stress when things change
- see more options/solutions
- able to adjust to things faster
- more creative and able to be innovative
- able to empower others and not worry when they do things differently
Challenge if we are not flexible:
- increased stress when the world operates outside our one way
- easier to break or snap when change is applied
- harder to roll with other ways of doing things
- easier to feel offended, challenged and shut down when solutions are outside our perspective
- harder to accept others who do and think differently than me
Would you like to learn more about how to see the world through a broader lens? Check out this wonderful education film by National Geographic Photographer. See how he learned the difference between good and great … and it was all in the perspective, but FIRST in how HE approached the shot.
Movie: Celebrate what is right with the world. http://celebratewhatsright.com
Graph from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0066-782X2008000400008&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en