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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on March 26, 2020

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