Perspective -and Opinions- are Actually Habits
It seems like people are more attached to their opinions and perspective than ever before.
If it is true that our lives are driven by our habits – those things we do repeatedly – then we need to master these particular habits if we wish our lives to unfold in accordance with our dreams
I am, of course, referring to the habit of perspective.
The only meaning of anything happening in our world is the meaning we choose to place upon it, and our perspective is that meaning.
Life Exists in Our Heads
A wise teacher once explained that life exists in our heads, and nowhere else.
At the time, being young, brash and filled with the wisdom of youth, I naturally disagreed. The whole idea seemed preposterous to me.
How could life possibly exist only in my head when every single experience was taking place outside of my head?
Everything that was having an impact on me – the good, the not so good and the downright infuriating - were all things involving other people or situations. I knew for a fact that none of those folks or events lived inside my head.
That wise teacher went on to explain that while the people and situations obviously were outside of my body, the way in which I was impacted by each experience, situation or event was all taking place inside my head by way of the meaning or interpretation I was choosing to place on each.
He pointed out simple examples like a time when perhaps I had been sharing a pizza with a friend and my friend was complaining about how awful it was while, at the exact same moment, I was enjoying every mouthful.
The pizza couldn’t possibly be awful and delicious at the same time, therefore it had to be our individual experience.
Or a time when I became frustrated with a friend who was just not bright enough to share my viewpoint on a political issue and, in fact, had the uninformed audacity to suggest I was wrong.
Same Information, Different Perspective
It took me a while to understand we were both evaluating the same information from very different perspectives.
As I listened to this wise man I slowly began to understand that my beliefs and opinions, as much as I wholeheartedly and unquestioningly believe them to represent fact, are nothing more than my viewpoint, my perspective.
I began to appreciate that perspective bears little resemblance to reality, for reality resides in the eye of the beholder.
Opinions Are Habits, Too
Perhaps the hardest lesson of all was learning to accept that my opinions are nothing more than my opinions. As much as I wanted them to represent fact – meaning everyone will recognize them for how correct they are, and coalesce to my viewpoint – they are still just my perspective and nothing more.
It wasn’t until many years later that I began to understand that perspective is a habit. If we habitually seek to find what’s wrong with a person, situation or event, we will invariably find what’s wrong. If on the other hand, we seek to find what’s right, it will appear in front of us.
We habitually form and reaffirm our perspective on everything we encounter. We tend to do this in the same way thereby habituating this in ourselves and making perspective a habit.
As we have been discussing over the past several weeks, habits begin with the stories we tell ourselves and our perspective is the end product of our story.
An old saying that tells us that there is no such thing as good news or bad news, there is only news.
Which further means we choose the perspective we bring to everything that happens in us, to us and around us.
The quality of our lives is therefore directly attributable to the quality of our perspective. There you have it, it really is that simple.
If we sincerely wish to create a more fulfilling life, then surely the Habit of Perspective is the ideal one to begin with.
And I can help you get there very quickly
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.