Houses are clearly a lot bigger than ants. But if you look down on houses from a long distance, they look the size of ants. Train tracks are always perfectly parallel, but if you look at a long line of tracks, it looks like the tracks touch way in the distance.
What are we talking about? Perspective.
In drawing, the visual angle of the tracks leads to a vanishing point – where parallel lines appear to converge, where objects grow smaller or increasingly faint and ultimately disappear altogether.
Perspective is a gift from God for those of us with finite minds. It’s a filter to tell us what is relevant and what is immaterial. I can’t handle seeing everything at once. I can only process a limited amount of things. Because things that are closer appear bigger, I can more easily process the things that are immediately affecting me and at least temporarily ignore those that aren’t. This is productive unless my perspective is distorted – when normal starts to look like a Picasso painting.
We all have a perspective. What’s yours?
Perspective is the gateway, a translator, where external reality is translated into internal reality.
Discouragement is a perspective. Discouragement is a perspective not reality. It might be “my reality” – my take on reality, but it isn’t reality. This is critical to understand if you are dealing with a faulty or negative perspective… because to us perspective is reality. Your perspective doesn’t change reality, but it changes you.
George Peters wrote in True North,
Because your circumstances, opportunities, and the world around you are always changing you will never stop calibrating your compass. When each part of your compass is well developed, you will be pointed toward your truth north.
Since life routinely distorts our perspective, we need to regularly recalibrate. Often perspective becomes our semiconscious way to deal with reality. As a result it’s often deep-seated, even fundamental belief. But it’s not unchangeable.
Question how well your perspective is serving you. Analyze your perspective and how it is affecting your life and business. What I immerse myself in affects my perspective. If you want… if you need… to change your perspective, you must change your focus. What is your true north? What has your attention?
If your perspective is not serving you well, you can guarantee you are spending your time focused on the wrong stuff.
Many of the most powerful business insights have biblical sources. Paul, one of the top two or three key leaders in the early church wrote this,
Finally, friends, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you [Philippians 4:8, 9].
The level of your peace, the level of your confidence, is absolutely affected if not determined by your focus.
How would you characterize your perspective? How can you tell if it has become distorted? What do you do when it does?