A Proposition for Perspective

I know, you’ve got emails to answer, and lists to check things off of, and people to deal with, but let the next few minutes be about you. We all know by now that every so often I get into a highly pensive mood and start writing things that may or may not be somewhat sappy (🤷). Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can gain perspective in our lives. We hear it all the time, right? Just change your perspective and you won’t feel so bad. Perspective is key. You can’t control what happens, but you can control your perspective on it. These familiar phrases might leave us knowing that perspective is important, but confused as to how it can actually be achieved.

Perspective, in the context that we’re talking about, is defined as the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance. So when you maintain perspective in your life, it means that you’re able to ultimately identify what is a priority and what isn’t. You’re able to realize what’s worth being upset about and what’s not. And you’re able to see beyond your current circumstances and look at the big picture. But still, where does this almighty sense of perspective come from?

Whenever I’m in dire need of a little perspective, there are two frames of mind that I like to reference. The first is a retrospective frame of mind. Look at where you were a year ago. On this very day maybe. Do you see any differences within yourself since then? You probably do, and that was just in one year. Reflecting on the past is critical in gaining perspective. It’s no secret that we find strength in how we’ve overcome our past hardships. Remember when you thought you’d never make it through that awful thing that happened? And yet here you are today, still standing. That counts for something, and being able to acknowledge that will fuel your present with a proper benchmark for just how much you can really handle.

My go-to way to ensure that I’ll being able to reflect is by writing my thoughts and feelings down. Look people, we don’t have to call it a diary if we don’t to, but documenting moments of your life to revisit later on will benefit you more than you know. For the past five years, I’ve kept a “Five Year Memory Book” where each page has five lines representing a year, so that each day I can read what I wrote in previous years. I’ve also gotten into the habit of keeping a running note tab on my phone where I can quickly jot down the date, along with my thoughts as they come. It sounds a little daunting, but it’s worth being able to literally read into how much I’ve progressed as a person.

Image via thetravelhack.com

As important as it is to muse over your past, picturing the future is also one of my surefire ways of gaining perspective. When I can’t seem to shake a situation, I’ll often think about what the “me on my deathbed” would tell me. It sounds morbid, and is phrased pretty messily, but you get the point! Removing yourself that far from the current state of affairs is vital. It also helps if you envision your wrinkles and sagginess too 😉.

 
But in all seriousness, fast forward a little bit and think about how you’ll tell the story of this chapter in your life. Inevitably, this too shall pass, and when it does, how do you want the tale to be told? Using the power of the future to shape your perspective of the present is something I think can bring everyone a little peace of mind.


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Whether you reflect on the past or ponder the future, developing practices that help you gain perspective will prove to be an invaluable tool. Keep killin’ it, Anjéls!


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