Perspective. It’s an alternative lens on life that can save you. The knight and shining armor shielding you from the bitter occurrences of everyday life that can seep into your pores, tainting your heart and mind with cynicism and regret.
You’ve probably been told throughout your life the mind is a powerful weapon. Nonetheless, it’s your perspective that functions as the ammunition.
Loaded, it can defend our sanity against adversity or it can become the source of our own deterioration, mutilating our thoughts and morphing the world into an enemy.
I’ve contemplated this a lot; this idea about why certain people are blessed with an abundance of resources, love and direction, yet they find themselves adrift in an endless abyss of dissatisfaction, falling prey to wrestling with everyday obstacles.
Then there are those individuals who have struggled daily, have nothing, and still, they smile each day in the face of adversity—deciding to make the most of every scrap that’s in front of them. So, what’s the difference?
This brought forth a recent conversation I had with a dear friend. She said to me, “You know, out of all you have experienced, you have such a good heart. I mean, you are kind even when you are hurting; you haven’t become embittered by life.”
I explained that I choose to take the road of empathy—understanding that my own personal battles cannot be rivaled to others’, because everyone experiences life differently. If I can have compassion for people’s struggles, then suddenly my own skirmishes become a blessing in disguise—it’s about perspective.
Perspective is where you will find the strength it takes to move forward after being exposed to death, addiction, abuse, disappointment or any other toxin mixed within life’s Molotov cocktail. So, consider this a reality check:
1. Life isn’t fair.
The first step in consciously changing your perception in the hope of happiness is to accept things for what they are. Sadly, the world does not genuflect for victims. Life is not always fair. When you begin to accept this fact, you can then focus on what it takes to move forward; to pick up the shards from broken experiences and mold them into beautifully crafted masterpieces.
2. You have a lot more than you think.
We live in a competitive world. Social media encourages temptation to “show-off” materialistic bluffs we possess, often leaving others reminded of everything they don’t have. But if we can begin to omit our ego from competitive drive, we can begin to recognize and empathize with the real day-to-day problems. Understanding that you always have it better than someone else will make you a kinder person—that’s a promise.
3. Think happy thoughts.
Not matter how you phrase it, there are times when life just sucks. It seems as though you’re constantly traveling uphill, with no source of absolution. You look around you and see the desolate fact of life: Someone always has more money than you…a better job, family support, ideal opportunities, a relationship, and so much more. Why did get you get stuck with the short end of the stick? Perspective, my friend. By staying optimistic, not only will you begin to see the things you do have (regardless of how big or small they may be), but also, enthusiasm and appreciation are the winning tokens in life that can land you the jackpot of happiness.
4. You have a long road ahead.
Isn’t it funny that when you’re experiencing a painful hiccup in life, it seems, at times, permanent and never-ending? When your mind warps you into believing your internal (or external) pain is eternal, remember that life is made up of hills and valleys. You’re facing a hill in life’s journey, and you WILL eventually reach a valley. It’s inevitable that you will find yourself mountaineering another hill, but remembering that you have climbed mountains in comparison to your current hump reminds you that you still have a long road ahead—and you can and will get through it. Plus, the scene at the top always makes the struggle worth it.
5. Every day is an opportunity to grow into a better version of yourself.
We have all made mistakes; big mistakes, small mistakes, life-long regrets, and more. Some of us have carried hefty weight on our shoulders for years, brought on by ourselves, or those we loved and trusted. Those burdens often leave invisible shackles binding you to the ghosts of your past. Perspective is the difference between an enchained, stagnate soul and a full, optimistic heart. Regardless of where you came from, what you did and who you used to be, every day is a new opportunity to be a better version of yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint—so enjoy it while it lasts.