Picture two people, floating in the ocean. They’ve drifted a bit too far away from shore, the sun is beating down and the surf is picking up. The first person, overcome by fear, starts to panic. She immediately imagines the worst, picturing all the danger that might lurk below. She begins to splash wildly, raising her heart rate and draining her energy.
The other person waits a beat before reacting. She looks around and realizes she’s not in immediate danger, so she gently reclines into the sea. She floats with the waves, letting them gently push her back to shore. Thankful for the cool water in the summer heat, she appreciates the time spent surrounded by nature.
This scenario isn’t wildly far off from the uncertainty we’re all experiencing right now. I’ve witnessed so many people, from Beauty Guides to friends and strangers, simply reacting to their circumstances without taking time to step back and consider their perspective. They find themselves centered in fear, divisiveness or uncertainty, which shapes the way they perceive everything around them.
It’s so important for us to consider our perspective and do all that we can to center ourselves in love. I’ve long found that the best leaders are ones who have a strong grasp of perspective, but I’ve realized recently that perspective can also make us better friends, partners and citizens. After watching those who approach the world with a positive perspective, I’ve noticed five key skills that they all have in common:
Understanding the big picture.
Ask yourself, what’s my role in my family? My community? The greater world? In LimeLife, for example, our Beauty Guides understand that their businesses have an impact on their entire team. Their sales benefit an entire group of women and their families. When we consider how our actions impact others, it often encourages us to think a bit more deeply before acting.
Having a sense of possibility.
Rather than getting stuck in the here and now, consider the future. What are the most positive outcomes that could arise? What are the lessons we can learn? Today, we can think about how the pandemic has given us a greater appreciation for time with our loved ones and sense of responsibility to our communities. These are lessons we can carry forward, creating a more positive tomorrow.
” Rather than getting stuck in the here and now, consider the future.”
Working together to overcome obstacles.
When the obstacle in front of you seems insurmountable, take a look beside you. Chances are, there are others next to you with the same goal. When we join forces, even the tallest mountains become more manageable. Remember that the weight of the world doesn’t have to fall on your shoulders alone.
Responding, not reacting.
This is a skill that requires a bit of practice. When we step back, take a breath and consider the situation before reacting, our minds offer up a much more helpful solution. Remember the two women at sea: the one who took a moment before reacting was able to remain calm under pressure. When you find yourself in an uncertain situation, don’t be afraid to admit it. You don’t need to have all the answers before acting but taking in as much information as possible leads to a much more constructive response.
Choosing communication that’s rooted in love.
Gossip is simple and tempting, a quick and dirty way to connect with others. In a similar vein, it’s easy to fall victim to the constant negative news cycle that jumps off of headlines and social media. These forms of communication are like a sticky sweet candy – easy to gulp down, but hardly satisfying or beneficial. It’s wonderful to want to be an informed citizen of the world but spend a bit more time seeking out and sharing words that nourish your soul.
The beauty of perspective is that we all have the opportunity to shift ours whenever necessary. In challenging circumstances, we have a chance to choose how others view us. If we react angrily, sharing frustrated posts on social media, that’s who people will remember. But if we shift our perspective, embracing the opportunity to be hopeful and helpful, we’ll have an even greater impact.
How has your perspective evolved over the past couple of months? Is there anyone whose perspective you admire? Let us know in the comments!