We all know that our perspective changes our perception, however when we are in the midst of an annoying, difficult or sad conversation we tend to forget it. We start having tunnel vision tinted with our personal bias; our options seem to narrow down and our potential seems to shrivel. Our limbic system (the emotional brain put simply) takes over and the precious resources of the prefrontal cortex (the perspective taking brain) are ignored. We start to act like this little insect trapped at the surface of a smoothie shown in the picture above. Have a look below and observe the change of perspective.
When we question the filters of our perception and question our habitual story it enables us to step back and see ourselves, others and the world with more discerning attention.
For example, what comes to your mind when you see the picture below?
Of course, you know the trick by now, yes it is a small section of a bigger picture. We do the same in our relationships, in our professional life and in our community, whether we are leaders or followers. We choose aspects of reality that fit with our worldview, we draw conclusion about the whole, when actually we are only given a smaller part. So let’s just play a bit with your imagination… What do you expect this picture might depict? There may be countless possibilities, some of which are determined by your personal story and the bias that comes with it, while others are handed to you by parents, culture, the media or any external influential figures. How often do you ask yourself: Why do I see this person, this situation or myself in a particular way? Do you question your perspective enough, so that you gain a meta-perspetive? This means having a perspective on your perspective… sounds a bit confusing and in plain English: How do you know what you know? This is at the core of the issues you come across in your private, professional, organisational and community roles. You may want to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- Does this way of seeing the situation seems familiar?
- If so, what does it remind me of?
- Are there facts I am likely to ignore because they do not fit my view?
- If so, what do I find the least familiar in this situation?
- Am I giving unequal weight to some aspects of the situation?
- If so, what am I getting out it?
To finish up, I will encourage you to explore these questions with an incentive. The initial bloody red square is a piece of a delicious Polish plum yeast cake.
If you take the time to understand your perspective, you are up for a treat in the form of inner freedom and acute perception.
Check out the pictures below…
Perspective is key because this is what makes a difference in how we relate to life. Imagine a meal that represents your life. You can either:
- devour it
- consume it or
- savour it.
This is your choice and I invite you to take a perspective that takes account of many perspectives. This way you can decide how to eat your meal as you wish.