Sometimes we mock ourselves about our current life context, but have we ever really took the time to wonder how does our life looks like from someone else’s point of view? What for us might represent a tremendous challenge and drama, for another person could actually be a great opportunity; or a joyful moment we’re experiencing could mean great sadness in the eyes of our parents – what you perceive of your life is the only thing that actually matters.
If we’re able of changing our perspectives during a tough moment of our lives, reality can shift into something much brighter! The moment a negative context comes our way it’s very probable that we’re haunted by thoughts such as “What did I do wrong?” or “Everything is collapsing around me!” – and then after a year when we look back at what happened under the light of greater maturity, we understand that actually we were blessed with opportunities to grow and become better persons, and only in that moment we realize that nothing was collapsing, but being properly aligned instead.
But it’s never easy to stay focused on the bigger picture whenever life brings us tough challenges, and that’s why it’s so important to learn how to shift our perspectives – and context, in the end – so we can understand all the possibilities being unfolded in front of us and simply embrace them.
By learning to focus on the little details we assumed to be trivial, our hearts become open to the most important life lessons that can give us skills more precious than any price could pay. Instead of weighing if a situation or a person is good or bad, right or wrong, we must expand our horizons and realize that nothing happens without a purpose, for if we are able to change the way we look at things, then things change as we look at them.
Change your life by changing your context
Take the following suggestions and learn from them all possible ways to shift your perspective about life in order to look at every future context under a new light.
- Think of all the countless aspects of your life – health, relationships, creativity, courage, career, financial situation, etc. – and realize how much your daily mood and thoughts affect how you perceive each and every one of them. Which thoughts can affect your daily perspective the most, and what would you like to change about them in order to live a more balanced life?
- Picture in your mind that you have all that takes to change your life right now, be it a certain skill or talent, confidence or self-esteem. And when you become fully submersed in that new perspective, think of what would you change in your life with these new attributes. Remember that whatever you believe to be true, becomes true, so adopt the right attitude and mindset and you can always become who you need to be in order to shift your context.
- Focus on your past now. What happened in your life when you felt stuck in a downwards spiral? How much of a challenge for your spiritual and individual growth did it all represent? Can you see now that most of those negative moments actually gave you the tools to grow and become who you are right now?
- Never forget that whatever might be happening to you in this very moment is in part a result of the thoughts and actions from the past. Understand that the world outside of you has much less power to control your actions, mood and thoughts than you do! Take control of your brain chatter and realize that you can shift the direction the boat of your life is heading to.
Effective ways to change perspective
- Whenever you’re feeling beat down by the way life is treating you, or simply in a very bad mood, just put on your relaxed sports outfit and go outside for a long walk. Sometimes we feel like we have no energy or motivation to do it, but after a couple of steps we start feeling better immediately!
- Listen to what others have to say and learn from them. Because we all have beliefs held tight about pretty much everything, be it morality, religion, politics, justice, beauty, and so many other things that diverge from what others are certain of, we end up finding very hard to understand completely diverging viewpoints. But it’s a very interesting practice and mental exercise to put yourself in the shoes of someone else and simply listen carefully to what he or she has to say. It’s not really a way for you to sell or compromise the values you believe to be right; it’s about being open and tolerant enough to understand that someone else has just the same right as you do to believe in something completely different! And in the end you might have learned much more than you ever imagined.
- The moment something hits you strongly and negatively, ask yourself if in a couple of years it’s going to matter even a little. Some moments can really change our lives, be it an important school exam, proposing marriage to your loved one, having a child or going to a job interview for the job you always dreamed about; but other moments are nothing but trivial and superfluous, and we should ask that magic question and realize that in a week it won’t matter at all, let alone in a couple of years.
- Take some vacations. The simple action of leaving your house, be it for some days or some weeks, brings us the right dose of uncertainty and adrenaline to change our lives. Anything that can shake you out of your routine can show you how much your life is lacking in certain aspects and give you the right perspective to be creative enough to add new and exciting elements to your usual routine. If you travel to a different country, you’ll be bathed in a completely new experience that will certainly broaden your horizons, because nothing can bring us more knowledge about how to change context than seeing a different culture from the very inside. Life can be lived in a million different shades of right ways, and the more people and cultures you meet, the more you can grow from them.
- When sometimes we’re facing a seriously big decision to be made or a gigantic challenge to confront, we allow anxiety to make it linger in our minds for days and even weeks, so it can be very helpful to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, and write about it either by making a list of pros and cons regarding the several approaches to solve the problem, or by representing the problem and all of its implications in a scheme that allows you to visually interpret what’s happening and what can be done about it.
- Never stop asking why – whenever something goes wrong or feels wrong, never cease asking why is it like that. Sometimes it might be disturbing to deeply ask ourselves about the reasons behind the things we do and aspire to become, but it’s better now than when it’s too late. Remember that being honest with yourself is something you always owe to your very soul, and it’s always by questioning your own thoughts and actions that personal and spiritual improvement can be made. Questioning everything is one of the healthiest practices a person can have, and it’s the main Buddhist motto for a reason.
Conclusion and final words
We can fully understand that we are all not very different at all if only we could make the effort of putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes from time to time. Nothing is actually black or white; there are thousands of slightly different shades of gray that sum up to represent all of reality. A terrible situation might be the opportunity to achieve great success by someone else, just like when one factory goes bankrupt, another takes that as an opportunity to buy it and expand its monopoly. Someone who you always fought with for all the reasons in the world can be the most beloved mother or father, husband or spouse for somebody else.
Because things are never really what they seem to be, and blessings can hide themselves under the curtains of unbearable challenges – so only the whole and divine perception of reality can see all the implication a single action or context can have in the world, but we are limited to a single point of view at a time, so we always end up making big storms where none actually exists.
If we take the time to deeply analyze our perception and understand how limited it is, we can start working on it and improving it. By changing our perspective, we change as well the way people see us and the way we interact with everything. Change the way you see the world into a vision of love and peacefulness and the world will peacefully change with you.