One of the definitions Merriam Webster uses to define “perspective” is “the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perspective). A simpler definition may just be “the way we view something or someone in relation to ourselves”. So many aspects of our lives are affected by our perspective that I believe it to be impossible to ignore. Gaining perspective to make life more pleasurable has long been the subject of common social sayings like making lemonade from lemons and positive attitudes changing everything. Losing perspective could lead to the loss of a job, close relationship or worse, sense of self. It seems generally accepted that having the “right” or “best” perspective on an issue or relationship can have a huge impact on its success.
So what is the right perspective to have? Is there really a “right” or “wrong” one for every issue? I propose that the individual is responsible for finding and maintaining the perspective that best fits for them. Each person will make decisions daily based on how they view themselves in relation to the issue. If you find that you continue to make choices that lead to unhappiness, loneliness, loss and/or frustration, you may need to alter your perspective about how you interact with people and opportunities in your life in order to get more of what you want.
It can be as easy as simply changing your mind about a person or issue or talking with friends or family about different ways to see the situation; or it could be a more complex situation that involves the help of professionals. Often times, gaining a new perspective on something can be reached simply by becoming educated about the options. Other times, gaining perspective can only be achieved through new experiences which can be brought about by practicing new ways of interacting in order to get different feedback.
Think about the team that has been working on a problem at work for weeks and brings in the new guy who is able to see things from a different angle and provides a solution quickly. Or the couple who has been arguing about intimacy issues learns through therapy about how to identify each other’s specific ways for showing affection and realizes how close they really are. Each of these examples involves the parties gaining a new way of looking at the issue in relation to themselves, their lives or their abilities to implement change.
Sometimes things are not always as they seem. When we are open to new ways of thinking, completely new opportunities for success, love, connection with others and happiness become available!