With an intention of sharing how you may fruitfully alter, expand, and/or illuminate your life, I offer you ‘Perspective.’
Recognize any of this…?
You’re in the midst of a family discussion (er, debate?) – and all are solidly sticking to his/her side increasing division? Or, a work issue’s arisen where no ground’s being made towards resolution while folks dig deeper into their views alienating one another? Or, a physician offers one way of seeing your yet undiagnosed malady while your opinion differs widely straining the relationship?
Ah, varying Perspectives – and holding firmly to them without attempting to think from another’s viewpoint. “The way [I] see something” per vocabulary.com or an unyielding point of view tripped me up plenty-o-times.
Until a profoundly troubling era when much was removed from me, arguably all at once, and my therapist asked something like:
‘What about a Perspective of wonder regarding what is transpiring? As in, amazing, awe-inspiring, standing back with jaw dropped. What if this could be a starting point? What if there’s a reason for Gratitude for mass devastation?’
Tossing cookies was my first sensation; it took gumption to not flee – holding my ears.
My initial ingestion of above Perspective felt painful, nearly flat-out-no-way internally. 99% of me balked. Ok, 99.999%.
Except a microscopic part of me, deep within, sensed ‘twas a golden nugget.
These few sentences seeded my Incremental, gradual Perspective shift – inch by inch or nanometer by nanometer. At times losing ground and feeling like back at (minus) zero. Eventually, gradually, my belief became … This. Is. My. Truth.
“Perspective is everything. That is, when you can break apart something, or look at it from some new angle, it loses its power over you” per Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way.
Perspective shifting ‘taint always a walk in the park – especially initially. Ahem. However, it is doable.
Oooh worthy tips for you to shift Perspective include:
• They are a choice, perhaps subconsciously. I know, ugh. Although we may have no control over circumstances, changing HOW we see ‘it’ is possible,
• Attempt kid-like imaginatively musing multiple scenarios. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few,” per Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,
• Increase your exposure to novel ideas via reading, seminar taking, traveling, listening to various TV, movies, media, news, Tedtalks. Understanding others’ points of view actually activates different brain regions per here. Plus, in the link, there are details like practicing Perspective-taking of fictional folks before taking a crack at human ones,
• “Have people [in your life] who are absolutely willing to say you are wrong or who have a totally different Perspective than you do.” While this may elicit teeth grinding – and it’s preferable if such are respectfully stated, Shonda Rhimes has a point,
• Try the Table game. Write down the issue or circumstance and place it in the middle of the table. Sit in all table seats aiming to ‘look and see’ from another angle from each seat. Stuck sans ideas flowing? Perhaps, in each seat, pick something in the room, food, colored item, car type, animal, (or whatever) and mull what each Perspective may be (Co-Active Training Institute). Such as, respectively, the green glass candlestick, chocolate milkshake, purple dangly earring, Porsche, and eagle angles. Unusual? Yep. Alas, it shocked me that this works,
• Ponder past experiences “to think about an encounter differently” per the above link,
• “Look at all options from both a gain and loss Perspective … to balance out your motivations,” per Jeremy Nicholson, MSW, Ph.D. here. You’re less likely to “trick” yourself into a conclusion that option A is preferable over option B because of the way you think about it “and not because it is actually better. As a result, it will make your overall decision-making more comprehensive and thoughtful too,” and/or
• Gratitude helps – when genuine. Even if itty bitty. Like for a pinky toe that’s pain-free when the rest of your body’s in 9.9 out of 10 pain. It is “one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your Perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to Focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality.” Amen, Jen Sincero.
Seeing others’ Perspectives actually ups social bonds and the size of social networks, shrinks stereotypes, improves quality and significance of social interactions, decreases bias, improves understanding of others, and eas-i-fies clarity in communications per Psychology Compass’s Ph.D. review of 100s of articles. Hooray.
Choosing to alter Perspectives can shift horror, dismay, or irritation to jaw-dropped gratitude, amazement, or curiosity.
With mega appreciation to the Divine for your potential Perspective tweaks to alleviate and elevate your precious life,