Monday, January 9, 2012

Find Balance Through New Perspectives

I'm currently in a coach training program that requires us to do a lot of introspection and self-reflection work. Particularly around perspectives, because it's perspectives that-in large part-shape our moment to moment experiences and long term outlook. If you can control your perspective, you have a powerful means of changing anything about your life for the better.

Not sure what I mean? Let's take a seemingly insignificant topic to see how the power of perspectives work: mustard. To some, mustard elicits feelings of extreme pleasure. They may think of the summer, ball games, grilling, or other positive feelings. To others (and I admit that I'm in this perspective), mustard is disgusting. It stains one's hands and makes food taste awful. Nothing in the world is worse than mustard. Blech!

Both are perspectives. The mustard? It's neutral. It just sits there.

When viewing life through this lens, it isn't hard to see that anything in life is merely a perspective. The preference to buy PC over Mac. How you feel about your in-laws. The state of the job market. How you feel about your work contributions.

Assessing your perspective is a powerful way to uncover your motivations, values, and your passions. Think of some area in your life where you feel that your perspective is distorted or an area where you feel a change in perspective would be beneficial. That is your "topic." Once you have it, use the questions below to assess your perspective to see if it's the right one for you.

What is my current perspective? Simply describe your current perspective in relation to your topic in, say, three to five sentences.

How does this perspective make me feel? Really work hard to get in touch with your feelings here. Put yourself in those feelings and describe them in detail. Anger, pride, disgust, appreciation, fear, love...strive to get in touch with them.

What does this perspective empower me to do? All perspectives motivate us in some way, even if they motivate us to do nothing. Be honest about what this perspective empowers you to do, even if its to get angry or be immobile.

What is possible through this perspective? This question really hits at the heart of perspectives: if you were to stay in the same perspective for the rest of your life, what would be possible? How would your life look?

What new perspective would I like to "try on"? The great thing about perspectives is that we can change them.
Just like trying on a new hat or new coat, try on a new perspective. Even if you have to it! And once you've found one that you'd like to try on, go through the previous four questions again. Do this several times until you arrive at the perspective that fits best for you, and stay in it.

Perspectives play a large role in what we do and who we are. Alter your perspectives to make powerful changes to your life.

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