Does Changing Your Perspective Really Make Much Difference?
‘If you want to be happy, be’ Leo Tolstoy
As easy as that? Well, maybe…
The world is exactly what you make of it. The colour of the page that you see here, will be slightly different to the colour your friend would see. This is a difference in perspective that is out of our control. But what about the differences in perspective that are in our control?
Think of a hobby your partner or friend has that you do not share (or at least not to the same extent). For me, it is computers. Sure, I appreciate the sheer brilliance of them, and love the fact that I can pick up my laptop and find the answer to a question, type a document instead of writing it etc, but I do not share the passion that my partner has for them. As part of his job, he builds and repairs computers. I picked up a motherboard from the floor of the living room and inspected it. To me, it was hundreds of small parts glued to a board that all connected in some way, but I had no idea how. So I asked my partner about it. His face lit up, and he proceeded to explain the different parts and what each one did. Think of how you see their hobby. Do you lack understanding or just find it dull whilst they can’t get enough of it?
It’s the same in life. Some of us simply see things differently to others. Many of us crumble under pressure, while others thrive on it! Some of us enjoy speaking to a group of people, while others prefer to sit back and watch. There’s nothing wrong with either way, and for some of us it will be a personality trait so deeply ingrained in our core that it’s nigh on impossible to extract. But, if it holds you back or makes you unhappy, you can begin to change your behaviour by changing your perspective.
Look at this picture, and pick out all the things that are pink:
Now look at your lap and try to remember the things from the picture that are green.
You noticed the things in the picture based on what you were thinking as you approached it (in this case, only pink items). Now apply this to an event that has happened to you recently. How many meetings have you been to thinking ‘this will be boring’, how many parties thinking ‘these people will be dull’? Invariably, you won’t enjoy yourself if you approach things thinking this way. You need to change your perspective. Thing about the positive things you can take from each event in your life. The meeting may well be boring, or will it give you a chance to express your ideas effectively? Will you be able to interact with your boss on a more even playing field? Will it be fun to connect with your colleagues again? The people at the party may well be dull, or will you make new friends? Will you enjoy getting to know the host better? Will you be pleased to be invited to future events?
Try this: for the next 7 days, refrain from any negative thoughts or complaining. Now, you can’t stop negative thoughts entering your mind, but you can control them. If you don’t manage to control your negative thought, begin again tomorrow. From day one. See how long it takes you to reach a full 7 days! And please remember ‘event’ does not necessarily mean a function. It could be that the bus is late and you have to walk to work. This may well be frustrating, or is it a blessing because you will have done your exercise for the day before you even get to work? You decide.
Please let me know how you get on!