Have you given any thought to where your perspective came from?
Have you had moments where you think you know what is going to happen or feel you have a solid understanding of the world until something changes your perspective on it?
Which then made you question, what else am I missing?
When thinking about perspective, these three things stand out for me:
- How can I ever assume my perspective is correct?
- How your perspective will never match another person’s 100%
- How can we change our perspectives?
How can I ever assume my perspective is correct?
Doing a quick Google search, the definition of perspective comes back as :
“a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.” Src. Dictionary
Such a simple way of defining something that affects our daily lives throughout every interaction we have and every thought that crosses our minds. My perspective is a summation of how I was raised, what I was told at a young age, what society believes is normal, what I was taught in school, and…you get the idea.
What are the chances that all those things gave me the “right” answers to things? The answer is 0.
Our perspective is constantly changing daily, so we should go forward in life with the mindset of “my perspective is what I believe this second. If I continue to learn and grow, I hope that my perspective constantly changes so that I have a more accurate view of the world and people.”
So be aware of what biases your perspective gives you and try to force yourself to keep an open mind around things that don’t align with your perspective today.
For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I used to have the perspective that “I’m a soccer player.” So when I couldn’t play, I lost that sense of myself. Knowing this, I shifted my perspective to “I’m an athlete”, which ended up opening many more sports up to me. I ended up learning tennis, skiing, and playing more ping pong.
I found more joy in that than playing soccer.
It is impossible to 100% agree with someone else's perspective
My wife said this best. Think about the best relationship you have, whether it’s with a significant other, best friend, or anyone else for that matter.
When someone “gets” you, it’s because they share a large amount of your perspective. This could be a number (say 80%). The remaining 20% is what is left over when you don’t see the world the same way.
You will start noticing that all your arguments consist of trying to convince the other person to see your 20% while they are trying to get you to understand their 20%.
Sure, over time you may get them to see your world a bit more, but it will never be 100% on both sides. Thus, you need to be prepared to accept differences and have arguments because we will never understand one another 100%. 🙂
We can’t even understand ourselves at that level, so how can we expect anyone else to?
How can we change perspectives
The way I change my perspective is by learning and experiences. That can be from reading books, talking to friends, running a business, or exploring the world. Every time I learn something new, my perspective changes.
One of the great changes in perspective for me was when I took an emotional intelligence course. It helped me learn more about myself and this new knowledge gave me access to why I perceive things the way I do. The best part of understanding myself is that it allows me to understand the people around me.
It’s a gratifying feeling when you ask someone, “How come you are afraid of making mistakes? Were there times growing up that mistakes made life harder for you?”
Sometimes, when you ask a friend or loved one these questions, you see a light shine in their eyes as you help them learn something new about themselves. These types of conversations are perspective-shifting and relationship-building.
Let me know your thoughts on perspective and a time when you were able to step outside of yours to grow into another one.