Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HOW WE SEE THINGS

No matter who you are, no matter how old you might be, you have your own unique perspective on life.  When I was doing training seminars on a regular basis, I often used formal definitions to describe words and then I would provide my own definition.  For perspective, the definition is, "a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something".  My personal definition of perspective is, "the way you see things".  The way we see things or your perspective is very individual.  Now, here comes the important part of understanding perspective.  Although I have a perspective, it does not mean it is the perspective that everyone else will share (Sorry to have to inform some of you about that, see some people think the way THEY SEE THINGS is the only way a "thing" is).  You see, I think perspective is "colored" by everything which we have experienced in our lives.  In fact, I believe the person we are is greatly influenced by the experiences we choose to draw from in our past that can/has/does influence our perspective.

CHOOSING YOUR WARDROBE  
Do you like clothes or are they just something you have to wear?  I really kinda like clothes, ask my wife!  Really, I don't want to be wearing something that is out of style.  I want to look as sharp as I can, it makes me feel better about myself.  I go back to the radio ad we use to hear in the town where I grew up, "wear the clothes that make the man".  And, while I knew then and I know now that clothes don't make me who I am, they can sometimes be a reflection of what I think or how I feel.  

I think our perspective is very much the same way.  If I CHOOSE to let the things that have happen to me in my life which were not pleasant and did not influence my life in a positive way define how I feel and who I am, I have CHOSEN to act on the negative perspectives that have colored my life.  If I CHOOSE to let things that have happen in my life which were pleasant influence direct my life, then I have CHOSEN to act on the positive perspectives that have colored my life.  And then finally, another way to consider this situation is, you can take the perspective of looking at the negative things in life and turning them into learning experiences so you really don't have to choose a wardrobe of non-pleasant life experiences.  Just say, some experiences in life are more pleasant than others, but we can learn from everything that happens to us.

SEEING THROUGH OTHERS EYES
I don't know about you but I get pretty wrapped up in what I have to do and get accomplished on a regular basis.  I have all of these responsibilities out in front of me and I sometimes seem overwhelmed.  I am trying to get all of the things accomplished I need to accomplish and I sometimes fail to think about how what I do or say has impact on other people.  We probably need to give that thought more time and attention but we are all too busy, right?  Well, maybe we just need to take a little more time to consider our "line of sight" with regard to the situation, circumstances and the people involved.  Maybe we need to take a little more time to "train" our perspective.

Perspective can be something (how we see things) that either just happens to us and then we react OR perspective can be influenced more by the things we THINK ABOUT and then how we act on those things.  I guess in the end, our perspective can be influenced and trained more by us as individuals if we are just willing to take the time.  And that, is the difference between going through life just "bouncing off the walls" and dealing with whatever happens OR making informed choices, influencing your perspective and thinking about what you want your life to be.