There's a familiar saying, "it's not what happens to you, but the meaning you attach to what happens to you that matters most." This is evident in many families, as siblings experiencing the same home environment often interpreting their childhood experience different from one another. In some situations, the storytelling of a particular experience can be worlds apart in its interpretation. In some matters, it can be a small detail that is forgotten or overlooked. In other matters, the interpretation of an experience fueled by deep emotions can affect how one sibling "see" their home as warm and supportive, while another sibling "see" it cold and discouraging.
The difference in the meanings associated with how each child perceived love, support and encouragement from their family circle growing up plays a critical role in the development of quality relationships as an adolescent and in their adult life. The "meaning" they've attached to their perception influences how they see themselves, how much they value themselves, and what goals they will or will not pursue and most important what they expect to experience in life.
Without the development of a proper perspective, the variations in interpretations that influence counterproductive behavior can linger throughout a person’s lifespan. The belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Reality supports this truth; we don't see the world as it is, but as we are. As a man or woman thinks, so is he or she. Therefore, developing and maintaining a proper perspective is critical to the quality of life you experience.
The Power of Your Assumptions
To develop a proper perspective towards your life and yourself, first you have to challenge the assumptions you have about life. Why? Because your assumptions are the root of your perceptions, and your perceptions are the lens by which you see yourself and the world. If your assumptions about yourself and life are the result of limited perception influenced by the social conditioning of people, environments and experience, you will approach life with a limited or scarcity mentality.
If on the other hand, your assumptions about life and yourself are the result of an expansive view influenced by the social conditioning you encountered from people, environments and experience, you will approach life with an expansive or abundance mentality.
Our social condition influences our assumptions about life. Unless our assumptions are challenged, each of us could live our entire life based on thoughts and beliefs of other people. This is sad, but true for many folks. It’s not until we are exposed to new ways of thinking do we consider a different perspective on any given subject. Very few people think about what they think about and why.
It's in Your Best Interest
Developing a proper perspective on life requires that you think about how you process or filter information from your experiences, and why you interpret the experience in the manner that you do. An awareness of the root of an assumptions empowers you to uproot any social wiring that’s create a particular mental scripting which no longer serves the best interest of your present goals and aspirations.
In his blog, What Lies Beyond The Haze of Social Conditioning, Steve Pavlina states,” The most common way to shrink someone’s perspective is to put them into a state of fear. Make them feel their survival is threatened. Fear shrinks perspective. Fearlessness expands it. Fearlessness can take the form of unconditional love, service, transcendence, or even just curiosity.”
Oprah states in The Best of Oprah's, What I Know for Sure booklet when she's faced with a difficult decision, she asks herself : "What would I do if I weren't afraid of making a mistake, feeling rejected, looking foolish, or being alone? Remove the fear, and the answer comes into focus." Is it any wonder why her life and work continues to expand? Do you think that it could have something to do with the perspective she holds about herself, others and her experiences? I believe so.
How it Adds Value
Developing a proper perspective on life adds value to you life in many ways. Some are as follows:
- A proper perspective influences your attitudes and behaviors. Rather or not your perspective has been influenced by "seeing" life with a scarcity or abundant mentality, one thing for sure, you think, feel and behave according to the thought and emotional pattern that is most dominant.
- A proper perspective shines light on and helps you recognize when your outlook on life is grounded in a limited point of view.
- A proper perspective enables you to establish personal values based on principles that never change and are not subjective to changing realities.
- A proper perspective helps you recognize how the way you see a problem can actually be the problem. Einstein stated, " The significant problem we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
- A proper perspective allows you to hear and respect the perspectives of others even when they differ from yours.
- A proper perspective has within it's power to unleash the divine potential within you. It aids in your ability to challenge limitations as you enlarge the vision and territory of your life.
- A proper perspective assures you the mental fortitude necessary to rise above challenges and to not allow a temporary circumstance to determine a permanent state of mind and life.
- A proper perspective recognizes that change occurs first from the inside-out. Often we pray and hope for a situation to change, normally it's a change in our outlook on the situation that inspires us to take the necessary actions to change the situation.
In his book,7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes, "if we want to make significant quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms." He goes on to say, "The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view."
Just for today, begin to consider the assumptions you have about yourself, others and life in view of the previous list of how a proper perspective adds value to your life. I encourage you to challenge the assumptions you have that are not adding value to your life. IF your assumptions are based on principles that are not subjective to changing realities, they are sound. IF your assumptions are subjective to changing realities, then it's time you take a more proactive approach to rewriting your inner scripting with the goal of experiencing the best in life that's possible for you.
Through the renewing of your mind and the development of productive behaviorial habits, you have the opportunity to release yourself from mental and emotional constraints that limit possibilities in your life. A proper perspective on life empowers you to see, think, feel and respond differently to life. When you do different, you'll experience different. With different experiences, the vision and territory of your life expands beyond limitations to inspire greater possibilities.
It's Your Move~ Aspire Higher