Advertising
Advertising

Published on March 19, 2020

How to Develop Different Perspectives on Life

How to Develop Different Perspectives on Life

You may have come across the picture that has a number drawn on the floor with two people standing on either side of the number. One person sees a 6, and the other sees a 9. They are both right, yet they are wrong in the eyes of the other person because of their particular perspective on life.

They could either stay there arguing and holding on to their idea of what the number is, or they could around and see the difference in their thoughts. This is perspective.

The world would be a better place if people understood a perspective on life can be molded, changed, or explained. A lot of quarrels, battles, and wars could have been avoided if people saw things from another person’s perspective.

We would raise better, empathetic, and more responsible adults if we taught kids what perspective was, the importance of perspective, and why we may need to alter a given perspective on life when faced with new information.

Before you start thinking of how you can start seeing things from the perspective of another person, you might want to start by understanding the fundamentals of perspective. You need to first know what a life perspective is.[1]

What Is a Life Perspective?

Just like the example given above with the 6 and 9, your life perspective is the way you see things. Life perspective is the way people see life, including the way they approach life and all there is in their personal experience.

In this life, few things are absolutely right or wrong. What we usually have are two different perspectives on one thing. We have a person saying something is bad and should not be done, and then we have another person saying that “bad” is a strong word to use for the same thing.

Advertising

Recently, a question hit social media: “Can you marry or go into a relationship with your best friend’s spouse if your best friend is dead?”

As usual, different answers hit the net, and while some thought it was morally wrong based on a truckload of sentiments, others felt there was absolutely no big deal to it. This was based on the fact that the person who would probably have an issue with this was dead, and there were no reports of the two people who now want to go into a relationship seeing each other before the death of the ex-spouse.

As a neutral person who has not picked a side yet, you can see that both sides of this argument have concrete reasons to support their answers. They have different choices, and all of the choices are valid.

While one set sees life from the perspective of “anything goes as long as it makes you happy,” another set sees life as “there are boundaries you should not cross.”

You see now that there are two valid perspectives here. Both of them are right in their choices, and saying one is wrong is an unsupportable stance.

There are more than 7 billion people in the world seeing things a lot differently compared to the next person. This complicates life because, instead of seeing the similarities we share, we often focus on what is different, which leads to disagreements and fights. Simply making a switch and attempting to see from a different perspective could help many of these problems.

How Important Is Your Perspective on Life?

Your perspective on life determines how you relate to people, how you handle relationships and troubles, and how you live day-to-day. You may not realize how important your perspective on life is because we often feel that as long as other people’s opinions and decisions do not affect us, ours should not affect other people.

Advertising

However, the fact is that our perspective on life does affect the people around us.

Going back to the 6 and 9 analogy we began with, what we also have are two different scenarios that can play out here.

We can end up having two adults who refuse to agree to disagree and separate after a heated argument, destroying the chances of building a relationship.

We can also end up having two adults who swapped positions and perspectives and looked through each other’s eyes for a minute to see that this could either be a 6 or a 9, depending on where they stood. This could graduate into handshakes, drinks later, and the start of a friendship. And all they had to do was view things from a different perspective.

Your perspective on life can either make or mar a relationship.

If you have a bad or negative perspective on life, it affects everything and everyone around you negatively. You find yourself constantly being angry and not being able to accept other people’s perspectives.

Other times you find yourself complaining and stressing over things that simply require a small shift in your perspective.

Advertising

Having a good perspective on life gives you an advantage. First of all, you are a lot more open to seeing from other people’s perspective, thus making it easy for you to create meaningful relationships.

It also gives you a lot more reasons to be grateful and happy. If you live a life where you are constantly showing gratitude and being happy, then you have lived a fulfilled life.

How to Change Your Perspective on Life

Changing your perspective is an active decision you have to make intentionally. First, you have to come to terms with the fact that your current perspective on life is not absolute and can be changed. Then, you have to understand the importance of having a different perspective from the one you already have.

Once you have dealt with these, here are some active steps you can take to changing your perspective on life.

1. Stop Complaining

Whatever the issue is, whenever you feel like complaining, fold your thumb, bite your tongue, do something and make sure it stops you from letting out that complaint. When you listen and try to understand more than you complain, you are beginning to see things from diverse perspectives.

2. Consciously Seek Happiness

When you are happier, you will see things more positively and seek out more things that make you happy. However, when you are constantly brooding and thinking negatively, your perspective will never change, and soon all that negativity will begin to spread around you like wildfire.

3. Reduce the Social Media Vitriol

Oftentimes on social media, people will post one thing and followers will take on a different perspective regarding its meaning.

Advertising

When different phrases in a post hit social media, some people do not understand them, which can increase online conflicts.

Responding to critical or negative posts with a sense of maturity and lightheartedness will lessen any vitriol spills and keeps anyone from receiving blocks.

If you feel like you may need some time away from social media to practice this, this article may help.

When you are on social media, always seek the other angle of the person disagreeing with you. Your opinion is not alpha, it is just an opinion and can change.

The beautiful thing about perspective is that it is subject to change. It is not static, and the decision to alter it rests on you.

Final Thoughts

The moment your perspective on life comes to play, always remember that it is not the alpha perspective and that the other person’s perspective matters as well.

Your perspective on life can also improve, and trying to get into someone else’s shoes might show you the way to betting your thoughts and your attitude.

More Tips on Perspective

Featured photo credit: Elijah Hiett via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Association for Talent Development: Perspective Shift: The Power to Change Your Mind

More by this author

Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life Feeling Unappreciated? 7 Ways to End This Pain Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It? How to Develop Self-Belief in 8 Steps What Is Self-Worth and How to Recognize Yours

Trending in Mental Strength

1 How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today 2 How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life 3 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 4 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 5 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

But what does it really mean to live your best life?

You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you.

What Stops You From Living Your Best Life?

While living your best life is all about you, what other people think can have an impact on your quest to live your best life.

Social media, for example, puts us under a lot of pressure. There are specific expectations of what “happy” looks like, and we’re under pressure to conform to what society expects.

For example, we are pressured to look a certain way, wear the “right” clothes, have exciting adventures with eye-catching friends, eat ethical and healthy food, and do charity work.

These are only a few of society’s expectations. It’s a long list.

Social media claims to connect us, but often it can do the opposite.

We can spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing, trying to live the life that society expects of us, that it can be easy to lose track of what makes us happy and what our best life actually looks like.

Start the Journey

What does it look like to live your best life? The following are some practical tips and tools to move from living your current life to living your best life.

1. Be the Best Version of Yourself

To live your best life, you must be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone else. Don’t try to be what other people want you to be.

Focus on who you want to be. Play to your strengths and be proud of what makes you different. You are brilliant.

Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness Project, created her own commandments. The first one was “Be Gretchen.” This gave her permission to follow her gut feeling and make up her own rules.

For example, she stopped forcing herself to enjoy parties, cocktails, and fashion just because that’s what she thought society expected.

So, inspired by Gretchen, create your own commandment: “Be more YOU,” and remind yourself of this every day, unapologetically.

Advertising

2. Observe Yourself

To work out what the best you looks like, you must get to know yourself better. It’s your best life after all – not anyone else’s.

Start to notice how you respond to various situations. What are your habits? What makes you happy? What frustrates you? How do you behave under pressure? What gives you energy? What drains you?

Spend a week simply noticing. Write your observations down so you remember.

3. Identify Your Bad Habits

As part of your observations, start to notice your bad habits. Consider the things that don’t ultimately make you feel good.

Does scrolling mindlessly through Instagram make you happy? For 5 minutes, perhaps, but for longer?

That last glass of wine was delicious, but do you pay the price later?

That chocolate was enjoyable at the moment, but now that the sugar high is over, are you feeling regretful?

Observe yourself first. Then, start to deliberately do more of the things that make you happy and give you energy.

At the same time, work on reducing then eliminating the habits that squander your time, drain your energy, and ultimately don’t make you happy.

Need help conquering your bad habits? Read How to Break Bad Habits Once and For All.

4. Set Intentions

After having thought about what makes you happy and what drains your energy, focus on what living the best life looks like for you.

One of the keys to this is being intentional about it. When you deliberately set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive.

Setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are your list of things you want to achieve. You can set them daily, monthly, yearly, or a combination.

A common practice is to define goals and write them down. This makes them more tangible and makes you more accountable, therefore, making the goals more likely to happen.

The subtle yet important difference between goals and intentions is that when setting intentions, you decide what kind of positive feelings and emotions you are seeking.

For example, “This week, my intention is to approach my admin tasks with gusto in order to complete them more quickly.”

Intentions can be more motivating than goals because if you don’t achieve your goal, it can feel like a failure and can ultimately hold you back.

Advertising

If you don’t achieve your intention to approach something in a specific way, you can more easily regroup and have another try.

Write down your intentions every month, week, or day, using whichever time frame works best for you.

For example, “I intend to enjoy going swimming three times this week” or “I intend to assertively build my network in my local area this month.”

Setting intentions gives you something to focus on, and it also helps to manage the feeling of being overwhelmed that often happens when we set ourselves goals.

5. Visualize Living Your Best Life

Visualization can help you to cement your intentions. It involves visualizing how it would feel to live your best life once you achieve it.

It can help you to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.

To visualize, first choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream and allow your imagination to wander.

For example, if your intention is going swimming three times a week, imagine what you will look and feel like:

  • What will you wear?
  • How do you get there?
  • What time of day do you go?
  • How do you feel when you’re in the water?
  • How do you feel afterward?

Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the same feelings you would feel if you were currently fulfilling your intention.

10 Ways to Live Your Best Life

Now that you’ve decided and visualized what your best life looks like, let’s look at some more practical steps you can take to achieve it.

1. Focus

Whatever you do, focus. If you swim, swim. If you study, study. Multitasking is a myth. It’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time well. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work.

Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You, said,

“Winners focus, losers spray.”

2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action

Taking action can feel scary. We fear failure, but we can also fear success. It can be easy to feel too busy to achieve your intentions.

However, you have the choice to take action and live your best life or stay the same. It’s up to you, so take responsibility to take action.

3. Live in the Present

Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. We so often get stuck because we put things off.

We can think, “When I’ve lost 10 lbs I’ll go swimming,” or “When I feel more confident I’ll look for a new job,” or “When I get my new running shoes I’ll start running.”

Advertising

How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have?

We often put off taking action until we have the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes as if they are the keys to happiness. In the process, we forget about what we already have.

Grab the camera that you have, put on your old running shoes. Go and do something interesting today with what you’ve got. Fancier gadgets, better clothes, or a slimmer body won’t make you better.

Action will.

4. Declutter

This applies to the environment you live in as well as the people you spend time with. Use Marie Kondo’s decluttering method of asking, “Does it bring you joy?”[1]

If your answer is yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. Simple.

This also applies to people. If there are people in your life that make you feel bad, drain your energy, and don’t bring you joy, let go of them.

Instead, spend time with the people and activities that give you energy and make you feel good.

5. Relish the Simple Things

When we’re busy, we can forget to appreciate what we have. Take time to focus on the simple things. Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always something to be grateful for.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.[2] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

6. Journaling

Journaling

is simply writing your thoughts down.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper not only helps you get your thoughts in order, but it can also help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety.[3]

In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink, feel anxious, or not appreciate what you do have. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and productively cope with life.

Be curious and keep learning. Ask more questions and keep pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and learn.

What are you interested in or curious about? Perhaps it’s learning more about where you live, or reading up on a particular topic? Maybe it’s traveling to a new town or country?

According to Dan Pink’s research, learning is a key motivator.[4] Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine or you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, learning something new is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone.

Advertising

Create a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do and learn and the places you’d like to go to, and start ticking them off.

7. Make Someone’s Day

Being kind to others makes them feel good, and it also releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Think about a time you gave someone a gift that they loved. How did you feel?

You don’t have to start giving people gifts to make someone’s day. Think about small, thoughtful gestures: a genuine compliment, opening the door, offering to help someone.

All these things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

8. Look After Your Body

Eat what nourishes you, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and food that’s natural and unprocessed. Drink plenty of water.

Exercise because you like it, not because you’re supposed to go to the gym.

Reject the idea that you have to push yourself really hard at exercise, and instead try out a variety of things – for example, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, swimming, or dancing.

Find what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, you’ll be motivated to do it more.

Get good rest! We’re all different in terms of the amount of sleep that we need. However, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

If you’re not getting that much, then check out healthy sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.[5]

More tips for staying healthy: Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.

9. Manage Your Inner Critic

Most people have an inner critic that tells them they are not good enough, that they’re a fraud, and that they are going to be found out.

This happens especially when we step out of our comfort zone and change things. If you are living your best life, your inner critic likes to jeopardize that.

The next time it appears, acknowledge what’s happening and call it out. Whatever it is telling you, list all the reasons it’s wrong.

10. Be Prepared to Change the Plan

You may have set intentions to live your best life. However, life is not linear, nor does it work in lists. You must expect to be flexible and change the plan as life throws things at you.

The end game remains the same: to live your best life. It’s just the route to get there that will inevitably change.

Conclusion

Live each day like it counts, and remember, it’s your choice. Your best life is unique to you. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on living your best life, and enjoy the learning, exploration, and experiences along the way.

More Tips on How You Can Live Your Best Life

Featured photo credit: Juliana Malta via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Kon Mari: Tidy your space, transform your life
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: In Praise of Gratitude
[3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Journaling for Mental Health
[4] Daniel H. Pink: Dan Pink on Motivation
[5] Sleep Foundation: Healthy Sleep Tips

Read Next