Perspective is rarely discussed in conversation. There are very few words offered to find out if we have any, some, or enough when discussions occur about topics. What is it and why is it so neglected in today’s life?
For me, perspective means that I have heard and understood conflicting ideas or possibilities with respect to an issue or topic. Some say that holding opposing ideas in your mind at the same time leads to more creativity and understanding. Having a good diverse understanding of an issue, problem, or topic can then lead us to choose the most effective option to “move forward” with less risk.
Having an engineering background I would go further and say that perspective also gives you a sense of an issue being large or small, important or trivial, obstacle or fabrication of my own mind. There is a sense of trying to “fit” whatever you believe to be true on a “yardstick of perspective” to see where it fits between opposing sides. (This should help in deciding how much time and attention this issue really deserves as well.)
Creating a budget is a tool to help you gain a financial perspective. Stepping on a scale is a tool to gain some perspective about your weight. Taking a test is a way to gain perspective as to how much I know about a specific subject.
Asking the question of whether or not I have enough perspective is a great way to test your thinking before making a choice. (Why it’s neglected so much I am not sure. My only guess is that we don’t want to be hurt by finding out that our thinking or feelings about something are either really wrong or way off from what will actually work.)
How might you describe having no perspective? Habits have no perspective. If we struggle with our weight we might eat even when we are not hungry. Impulses have no perspective. We get angry at someone regardless what they are saying. Having a mania about something where you insist so strongly that something has to be a certain way.
Selfishness has no perspective because when we are selfish only “we” exist in our universe. Only “our” thinking is right. A person has no perspective when they are consumed by a problem so much that they don’t listen to anyone or anything. Blind love is a type of selfishness that has no perspective. We don’t care what the other person is really like (maybe not good for us) because we just love them.
When someone acts irrationally in our eyes I feel strongly that they too have no perspective. When we are exceptionally emotional and have a short fuse we have no perspective. In both cases a person only sees what they believe and are certain that there is no other way.
Gaining perspective moves us to see our thinking more clearly. Gaining perspective calms us by reassuring us that there is hope where we only can see and feel hopelessness.
Gaining perspective encourages us by showing us that others have struggled with our issues and there are multiple ways to look at a topic, situation, or specific problem. (I have always found this to be true.)
Gaining perspective empowers us to not only see possibilities where none existed but shows us ways to move ahead from where we are now. We no longer feel “stuck” or destined to a future we thought could never change.
Gaining perspective chases away loneliness through the many conversations we begin to seek to help us see what we first could not see.
Gaining perspective makes us more understanding, patient, and tolerant of others regardless of the situation.
Perspective is really powerful. Open yourself and your thoughts to others and begin to practice the habit of inclusivity when seeking perspective. Seeking perspective gives us the time to evaluate, plan and see if our choice fits with our life’s direction before acting.
Leave room for other ideas and possibilities to enter your mind. You will be surprised how quickly it can help you “find where you really are” and “to see ways to move forward” so that your life becomes more intentional and fulfilling throughout your journey of life.