Message #155 Perspective

Ok, now that we’re back at work, school, the gym, the field, the courts, etc…

We need to step it up this year. We need to make ’08, GREAT. Even if you had a good year in ’07, you still need to push yourself. In fact, push yourself even MORE. Most people, after a good year, tend to relax and guess what? We get lazy, rest on our laurels and our competitors creep up on us and sometimes surpass us. So keep it going or get it going. What we’re talking about here is committing to constant improvement. Not with others, but with OURSELVES.

So let’s talk about perspective. Perspective is one of Martin Seligman’s (Father of Positive Psychology) 24 character strengths.

One thing that we need to be aware of in sports and life is that in every situation there are different perspectives.

Ellen Langer (Mindfulness) at Harvard talks in depth about perspectives, as well.

Below are two situations and two different perspectives for each…

Situation #1:

You just lost a tennis match against the top player in the state.

Perspective #1:

This stinks; I stink. I hate losing…why can’t I just win a match? What are my parents going to say? What are my friends going to say? What is my coach going to say? Maybe I should try golf.

Perspective #2:

Wow, I just played the top tennis player in the state; what an experience. Even though I lost, I learned so much and actually had fun. I think I played quite well, considering. I know exactly what I need to work on to give him a better match next time. If I could do this well against him, imagine what I can do against everyone else?

Situation #2:

You just got fired from your job.

Perspective #1:

Are you kidding me? What am I supposed to do NOW? I have no money, the job market out there is tough. Will my girlfriend still love me? Life stinks.

Perspective #2:

Hmm, I wasn’t really happy at that job anyway. This might be a blessing in disguise telling me to follow my dreams and do what I love. Wow, maybe I can pursue writing after all. I’m going to email my friend who is a book publisher first thing in the morning and see what my options are. I can’t wait.

So as you’re going through 2008, try to look at things from other perspectives. Other perspectives may be looking at things in a more positive way or from another person’s point of view.

If you’re a business owner, try looking at things from your customers’ point of view.

If you are a student, look at things from your teacher’s point of view.

If you are a son or daughter, try looking at things from your parents’ point of view.

If you are a parent, try looking at things from your child’s point of view.

The point is, there more you see that there are different perspectives out there in every situation, the more likely you will…

Have better relationships
Master your craft/sport
Learn more strategies
Have more fun/engagement
Be more well-rounded

Thanks for reading.

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