The Power Of Perspective

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it”. – Chris Pine

I read something interesting that 99% of stress and worry comes from a poor perspective and the incorrect way people see things.

This got me thinking that when our focus is limited to only one day or one obstacle at a time, everything seems enormous. But when we zoom out and look from the perspective of a lifetime, they mostly seem insignificant. And if you believe in a life after this one, you can see that with an eternal perspective, these problems are really no problem at all.

Things happen in life and often without your control. But no matter what the trial is, when we focus on the obstacle, it becomes enormous in our eyes. We can’t seem to see past it and it blocks us and makes us doubt our endgame. Life is about looking at problems with a keener perception, recognizing the relativity of the problem and not feeling so threatened when it is right in our faces.

There’s absolutely no credible explanation as to why we are wired the way we are, nor why we are so different. Your mind inspires your perception, creating thoughts, theories, ideas, myths and imaginings. It intuits events and shapes it within your consciousness.

Perception is everything; the way you perceive things, the way you see things, is ultimately the way things will play out in your life. Each of us has a different subjective lens through which we view the world – and that is what makes each of us so unique.

It’s important to acknowledge one of the best-kept secrets in life: your mind. One of the most powerful tools known to man, the brain eludes understanding. Scientists have attempted to explain the phenomenon but are still left in awe at its capacities and complexities.

At about 30,000 feet, Mt Everest is the highest mountain on earth. From just looking at it you can see that it is gigantic and majestic. In 1953 a man named Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the summit of this mountain, since then a lot more people have embarked on the same journey. However, many have failed to reach the top, some have even died in the process so it is safe to say it’s not an easy task.

For the sake of changing your perspective, look at it from space. In this newly achieved distance, the mountain appears tiny, almost like a dot on a photo, and from that height you can barely even see it. Now think about standing on the moon, you wouldn’t even be able to see the mountain at all.The size of the mountain hasn’t changed; but your perception of it has changed, so you see it differently. And because you do so, it doesn’t look as threatening as it once did.

The lion’s perspective toward life makes it the king of the jungle. Click To Tweet

I totally love the biblical story of David and Goliath, I mean who doesn’t love a classic underdog fight. The whole army, I’m talking a whole army of Israel saw one man everyday for 40 days and they trembled with fear. Even Saul who in previous chapters had been hailed as a man of battle could not protect his Kingdom from this giant of Gath.

Their perception of Goliath is what instilled fear in them. Israel had never been to war with a giant like Goliath, heck, they had never seen a Goliath before. So their fear was a result of 2 things :

1.Lack of exposure – they had never seen anything like this before and had no plan to work around it. They were in unfamiliar territory even if they were warriors themselves.

2.Lack of experience – Goliath was a man of war, so were the soldiers of Israel. The only difference is that Goliath had been fighting men smaller than him all his life, the soldiers of Israel had never fought a man the size of Goliath.

Now enter David, this scrawny looking shepherd boy, sent to by his father to check on his brothers and deliver food (uber eats I see you). He sees Goliath and hears him speak and here’s what he says :

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

Watch the shift in the dynamic here, at this stage David has already won the fight without even stepping up. In his mind Goliath is an opportunity for reward, he is a disgrace and he has no legal ground to speak to Israel in any manner.

Im sure we are aware how the rest of the story unfolded, David did kill Goliath, even though he was an underdog. My interpretation of this story is that David defeated Goliath because he saw him as a beast that deserved to die for his insults. Goliath lost to David because he was not aware that David had earlier practice killing non-human beasts. Goliath wasn’t fighting a boy, he was fighting a beast killer.

Here’s three things I learned from the above story.

Perspective Creates Opportunity

When you are faced with an enormous task the way you approach it determines the outcome of it. For David facing Goliath presented an opportunity for the whole nation to recognise him. He would never pay taxes and would marry the King’s daughter. It gave him the opportunity to prove he was worthy to be king someday.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the whole picture when we are in the frame. So you need to step back a little and look at your situation from different angle and you will be able to see the benefits of going through your struggle.

Your business could hit a roadblock, because you are in it you do not see a way out. Yet if you look at it from an outsiders perspective you will be able to formulte a plan to solve your problem.

Perspective Positions You

David won the fight before he even faced Goliath. Partly because he treated this situation as the previous ones he had when he was herding his fathers sheep.

You will face opposition and tough choices in life, the difference is how you stand in the midst of the opposition. The problem does not change but your mentality toward it does. Instead of playing victim see yourself in a position of strength. The lion is the king of jungle but we all know the lion is not the strongest, fastest or most dangerous. The lion’s perspective toward life makes it the king of the jungle, why? The lion sees ALL animals as prey. The lion has positioned itself as King, when its time to eat its time to eat. Could be elephant, buffalo or deer doesn’t matter. Does the lion lose many battles? Yes it does, but the mentality doesn’t change.

Perspective Changes The Outcome

I will lead with another side story here, a man had 2 sons, his wife died and he started drinking heavily. The situation affected both his sons, the eldest also started drinking heavily and the youngest withdrew away from the family. When their father died the eldest son was asked ‘why do you drink so much yet this habit has killed your father’ he responded by saying “because i saw my father drink”. The youngest was asked why didn’t you drink like your father and your brother did? And his response was “because i saw my father drink”.

The situation was the same, the circumstances were the same but the perspective was different. The 2 sons experienced different outcomes in their personal lives because they saw their situation differently.

We are all born with a gift, the difference is in our application of our gifts. There is a reason why you eat at Nandos and not KFC, why you wear Nike and not Puma.

Perspective reminds us what’s important and what’s not. It helps us recognise that we probably don’t need to dwell on one bad grades for too long, or wallow for months on end about a relationship that we knew wouldn’t work out in the first place fulfilled its prophecy. It allows us to move on, to not sweat the small stuff, because the bigger, life-altering problems are still looming.

Some people learn perspective when they are young and others when they are old. Once they acquire perspective, whether through tragedy, regret, or something else awful, they realise how important it is, and wonder how they lived without it.

The ability to reframe a situation is an important skill that can transform your life and our world. Today, take time to clear your lenses so you can view life from a higher perspective.