Change Your Perspective: Change Your LIFE

Mar 27, 2024

The Power of Perspective

We all have our own lens for viewing the world around us.

It’s called perception, and it’s intensely personal — something shaped by our life experiences, beliefs and emotions.

But it’s a distorted picture of reality.

It’s not the whole picture either. . .

The Ant Experience

Perception puts us in a teeny tiny box and forces us to only see what’s ‘in our face’.

It’s like being an ant crawling along the floor, only seeing what’s directly ahead, to the left, and right. 

Perspective, on the other hand, is like changing the angle through which you view life.

It’s like zooming out and seeing everything in context and in relation to everything else. 

For example, as humans, we see the ant’s experience from a very different perspective.

What the ant might see as a massive barrier we see as something much more insignificant. 

What the ant sees as its entire world, we see as the corner of a bedroom, or a small garden inside a sprawling neighborhood, inside a small corner of a huge city, inside a massive country, inside the world, inside a gigantic universe. 

In other words, we have PERSPECTIVE.

When we finally decide to step away from our world of perception and adopt a wiser perspective we begin to see a new side to life — and our whole world opens up. 

How much of life might you be missing out on by staying stuck in your little box?

Until you crawl out of it and experience first-hand what the power of a new, wiser perspective can do, it’s impossible to know.

Perception vs Perspective

Shifting your perspective (in other words, abandoning pure perception and embracing an objective view) requires BOLDNESS and BRAVERY.

It means being willing to step outside your comfort zone and challenge your deeply ingrained ways of seeing the world.

Naturally, it’s not easy to let go of the familiar and embrace a new, expanded view.

But when you DO, the rewards of doing so are immense.

Most of us live our whole lives hyper-focused on our own subjective thoughts, feelings, and realities while missing the grander scale of things.

It’s a mindset that repeatedly leaves us feeling stressed, anxious, and just plain unhappy.

We become so focused on negative thoughts that we perceive as flaws that the rest of the world doesn’t even notice — or doesn’t care about even if it does.

We end up seeing ourselves at the center of the universe and convince ourselves that every inconvenience is a personal attack against us.

So, the first step from moving from perception to perspective is getting ourselves out of the way.

A pair of glasses surrounded by lenses

Changing Perspectives

By making the mental shift from perception to perspective, you avoid personalizing an external reality that likely has no relationship to you whatsoever.

It also allows you to let go of any negative stories you’ve been telling yourself. 

The more we practice looking past our limited personal perceptions, the more we save ourselves from harmful negativity biases.

We stop assuming every inconvenient circumstance is a personal slight, and we navigate life’s inevitable frustrations with more openness, objectivity, and a positive, peaceful mind.

To make real, lasting changes to our well-being and outlook, we need to shift from that subjective perception to an objective, new perspective — and stop comparing ourselves to others.

By doing so, we can see things the way they actually ARE, not just how they FEEL to us personally in that moment. 

So, how do we do it?

A Powerful Way To Change Your Perspective

If you’re really serious about changing your perspective for good, the Buddhist concept of sati, or ‘mindfulness’, is key.

Sati means being present in the HERE & NOW, and observing your thoughts, feelings and sensations with an open, non-judgmental awareness

It’s about stepping outside your usual routine of getting caught up in the incessant inner narrative.

The Danger of Flying on Auto-Pilot

When you’re stuck in subjective perception mode, your mind is on autopilot.

It’s continually churning out endless streams of thoughts based on past experiences and future worries — none of which are relevant to the present moment, and many of which haven’t even happened yet (or may not happen at all).

You’re basically hallucinating your own version of reality, one that’s tinted by the negative thought patterns you’ve subconsciously developed over the years and colored by fears, cravings and plenty of emotional baggage — most of which you’re not even aware of!

The Pause Button

Practicing mindfulness is like hitting the pause button on all that mental noise.

Through practices like meditation you create power in the mind by stilling it and quietening it, and through practicing mindfulness you train yourself to simply witness the continuous flow of sensations, emotions and thoughts without clinging to them or pushing them away. 

The fog of subjective biases finally begins fading, ‘just knowing’ arises and you’re finally able to experience things with much more clarity and objectivity because the mind is unmuddied by second-hand ideas and conditioned reactions. 

From here, you can start to recognize the automatic negative patterns and habitual ways of perceiving that so often lead you astray. 

By cultivating mindfulness, you learn to perceive the world as it actually is in this moment, not how you EXPECT or WANT it to be. 

Someone sitting behind an aeroplane wheel in the cockpit. with a head like a compass, flying through the air

Changing Your life is a Lifestyle Choice

Of course, old habits die hard.

The sati you experience in mindfulness creates glimpses of an objective perspective but to be effective long-term, mindfulness needs to be an ongoing practice; it needs to be integrated into your lifestyle

It’s a lifelong journey of waking up from the trance of delusion and learning to respond to the present moment with wisdom, instead of moving blindly through life using a robotic series of impulsive reactions.

The more you’re able to rest in the clarity of pure awareness — in sati — the more you’ll find yourself naturally operating from a perspective of openness, insight and inner freedom.

And that’s all we really want in life


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