Any time we read or hear something that moves us, it’s usually because that content caused a change in our perspective. Or it just reminded us of something we forgot, which also alters our viewpoint. We tend to get lost in a very small world called our own minds. We fail to venture beyond the parameters of our small-minded thinking.
A couple reasons that it’s hard to change our perspective and expand our thinking is because we continue doing things we’ve always done and hanging out with the same fools we’ve always hung out with. I say it all the time, comfort kills. Once we think we know how our individual lives work, and fall into routine that does not encourage growth, we start dying. For example; we wake up, go to work, go home, watch tv, go to sleep, repeat… repeat… repeat…
Routine is not bad. It’s only bad when it’s not encouraging growth. If my routine is to read and learn on a daily basis, get around people doing more than me, and always seek healthy risks, I’m in a good routine. I’ve set up some good habits. My mind doesn’t atrophy. Your mind will atrophy if you fall into perspective-diminishing lifestyles.
Perspective-diminishing lifestyles are ones that highlight your problems are the worst problems ever and no one has ever experienced anything even closely related to the terrible hands you’ve been dealt. Woe is me… Woe is me… The only people out there with lots of money were born with it, are drug dealers, or cheated… A perspective-diminishing lifestyle tells me that there is nothing more than this. A perspective-diminishing lifestyle reminds me that not many things are possible (I hope that last line hit you. And you’re really thinking about how sad and heartbreaking such a belief is.)
I am not intending to diminish your pain either. Your pain is your pain. It’s different than mine and mine is different than yours. The one commonality is that it’s common to experience pain. We both have pain. It may have broken our hearts in different ways, through different avenues, and by different people or events, but it still broke our hearts. I’m with you. Pain sucks. Broken hearts suck. But your life and my life does not have to end at points of brokenness. No matter how broken that brokenness is. We do not have to stop living.
I’ve been in a pretty intense three-day training with some high-priority figures this past week. One thing, among many, I picked up was this; top leaders deal in reality and stay positive. That means, life does not stop happening to anyone. No matter how many private jets you have or how many commas are in your bank account. Life still happens. Staying positive, which is believing the work you’re doing is worthy, the work you’re doing is healing you and others, the work you’re doing is your specific calling, all the while depression sneaks in, addiction sneaks in, death sneaks in… In the presence of the monsters that try to scare us away from our gifts, but we open them anyway. That’s dealing in reality with positivity. That is what it means to be truly alive. That is what it means to lead.
The perspective-shift here is that your life can be beautiful no matter how ugly it’s been. The perspective-shift here is that your life is beautiful no matter how ugly it gets.