An instrument is only as accurate as it is designed to be. If there is a flaw in its design, the accuracy will be less than ideal. A compass is a sensitive instrument, and therefore can easily be damaged. This damage can affect its accuracy and render it useless. A 1° error on a 1500 mile journey can turn into quite a disaster.
We all have our own personal compass in our lives. This compass can be based in morals, ethics, faith and a host of other influences in our lives. One influence that is conspicuously missing from this list is perspective. Perspective influences our morals, ethics and faith, but what influences our perspective?
Imagine I am holding a coffee mug with the handle pointing towards me. I have asked two people to draw the coffee mug based on what they see; one person is sitting directly in front of me and the other is sitting directly to my right. The person in front of me, because of their perspective, would simply draw a cylindrical object. The person to my right would draw the same thing, but their drawing would have a handle on the cylindrical object. Does this prove that the drawing without the handle is any less accurate?
Our perspective causes us to form judgments about our current circumstances, the decisions required to navigate through those circumstances and our opinions of what we should do if we encounter those circumstances again. Quite a far reaching element of our existence, wouldn’t you say?
Our perspective acts like a filter, through which we view life. It guides our paths, much like a compass would guide our path. I’m hoping you are beginning to see the importance of perspective in your life. I would like to suggest that you do something that has the potential to be exceptionally uncomfortable for many of you. Take an area of your life and question the accuracy of your perspective in this area. Your current perspective may be spot on, however be open minded about this exercise; consider the possibilities. This could potentially confront how you were raised, the influence your friends have in how you view life and a number of other sacred cows that may be nearing the slaughter house.
A question you might consider asking, regarding your perspective, is, “How is this perspective contributing to my life…positive or negative.” Is your perspective taking you to a positive place? Is it taking you closer to what you want in life or further away? Many of my clients have found that their chosen perspective, no matter how unintentional it may be, has contributed to many of the poor decisions in their lives. Once they have gained a healthy perspective on an issue, they have found that they begin walking a different path…with a more calibrated compass. They are walking towards the kind of life they want.
Challenge each of your perspectives, one by one. Don’t do an across the board change, simply for the sake of saying you’ve changed; that’s not beneficial nor wise. Truly take inventory of how you perceive circumstances. Ask yourself if there is a healthier, more beneficial view of the current situation. It is a great self awareness exercise and will begin to open the door to thinking and living on purpose. This makes you a pro-active manager of your life, and not a reactive victim of it. Calibrate your compass and begin walking on your path to better decisions.