Broaden Your Perspectives on Life
Life is equivocal but living is resolute. A life with a full conscience is what everyone looks out for but very few are fortunate enough to acquire the ability of insight. Although it’s difficult to achieve this knowledge of wisdom, it is not impossible.
Just as we are unique and special, so are other people. We all have distinctive viewpoints that may be equally valid from where we stand. Each person’s viewpoint makes a contribution to the whole and requires consideration and respect in order to form a complete solution. This wider view can open our eyes to many more possibilities. It may require us to change the mind chatter that says: “For me to be right, others must be wrong.” Whenever we find ourselves in a conflict situation we should ask ourselves whether the situation informs or inflames us. The more that someone inflames you, angers or upsets you, the more you know you have something to learn about yourself from that person.
People love to live in their comfort zone but the moment they are told to leave it, they stumble. This is natural. It’s not easy to mislay the everyday life one is living. But the moment one decides to quit it and try new things, they attain a sense of affirmation which shapes their personality and makes them independent.
Projection and the Willingness to Resolve
Projection occurs when we see our own thoughts and feelings in the minds and behaviour of others and not in ourselves. We push something about ourselves out of our awareness and instead see it coming towards us from others. It’s very similar to film projection. The movie going on in our heads is projected out onto the people around us. Greater self- awareness is necessary if we are to see reality. To be willing to resolve, we need to acknowledge our projection. We need to consider our suppressed needs. An example could be our failure to recognise our need for companionship and how deeply hurt we become when a friend postpones time we had planned to be together. We also need to consider unresolved personal history. An example could be where we were seriously let down as a child and we may become really wild in our adult life when people do not do what they promised. There is also need to consider unacceptable qualities within us where for example our inability to accept our own anger makes it difficult for us to accept it in others.
People’s behaviour occurs for a purpose. They are looking for ways to belong, feel significant, and self-protect. When people perceive a threat for their self-esteem, a downward spiral can begin. People can be led into obstructive behaviours in the faulty belief that this will gain them a place of belonging and significance. How we respond to their difficult behaviours can determine how entrenched these become.
Here are five areas that can enable individuals and entities to broaden their perspectives as they respect and value differences.
· Recognise a long term timeframe.
Consider how the problem or the relationships will look over a substantial period of time. The longer timeframe can help us be more realistic about the size of the problem we presently face.
· Assume a global perspective.
If we believe that the actions of one individual are interconnected with every other individual, then we can have a sense how our actions can have meaning in conjunction with the actions of others. We can look at the overall system, which may be the family, the organisation or the society. Consider what needs this larger unit has in order to function effectively.
· Deal with resistance to the broader perspective
Taking up a broader view can be scary. It may make us less certain of the rightness of our own case. We may fear that we will lose all conviction to fight for what we need. We may have to give up the security we got from the simple way we previously saw the problem. We may need courage to enter the confusion of complexity. Many fears of taking the broader perspective prove ungrounded once we analyse them carefully.
· Open to the idea of changing and risk-taking
By taking a broader perspective you may be confronted with the enormity of the difficulties. Identify what you can do to affect a particular problem, even if it is only a small step in the right direction. One step forward changes the dynamics and new possibilities can open up.
As you are challenged to broaden your perspectives, you will discover previously unseen possibilities for resolution. Conflict might be uncomfortable, but it produces energy. We can choose what to do with that energy. Every conflict provides the opportunity for learning, growth and enhanced relationships.
· Open up your experiences.
Your thinking will always be limited to your own opinions and experience. It is important that you expand your worldview, experience, and opinions as much as possible. This can be achieved if you listen when people speak, rather than waiting to talk. Give your opinions, engage in arguments, and revise your perspectives. Seek out people with different backgrounds than yours.
Why is it important to develop a perspective?
“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”― George Eliot
With larger perspective, you can vividly discern and thus broadening your horizon towards various aspects of life makes living a lot easier. Though it is rather imperative to grow as a person, it’s equally cardinal to widen our views.