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The Power of Perspective

Posted By: Randy GageNovember 20, 2009

Last weekend my softball team was in the playoffs.  Right before the first game my second baseman asked me if I was nervous.  I responded not at all.  

He wanted to know how I could be so relaxed. I could only laugh.  Then I explained that I believe I’m like a cat with nine lives, and I’ve already used three or four of them.  That’s the power of perspective.

When you have stared down death, somehow a little sporting event just doesn’t seem all that dramatic or nerve-racking.

Perspective lets you know the things that are really important, and the ones that really aren’t worth a second thought. It lets you evaluate things subjectively.

Is getting overcharged two dollars at the supermarket worth a trip back?  Or would you be better spending the time earning another fifty?

Is the fact someone was careless and inadvertently cut you off on the highway worth blowing the horn, swearing and raising your blood pressure?

Is it really your kid’s fault that they knocked over their milk after you told them not to knock over their milk?  Or did you manifest that anyway?

If your spouse is loving, loyal and caring – is it really a hill to die on that they squeeze the toothpaste in the middle of the tube?

Mentally review all of the things you made a big deal over during the last week.  Were they really that important?  Or are you focusing on the negatives and missing out on the positives?  How is your perspective?

-RG

31 comments on “The Power of Perspective”

  1. Sounds like a don't sweat the small stuff column 🙂 I've been working toward this attitude for awhile. Now to get my husband on board.

  2. THIS IS SO TRUE...SOMETIMES MY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TAKE OVER ME AND IT ONLY TAKES A SMALL SITUATION TO UNLEASH MY ANGER..MAYBE BECAUSE I'M SO TIRED OF PEOPLE BEING SO RUDE ...

  3. Isn't it funny how some people revert to their automatic response of the 'Don't Sweat The Small Stuff' phrase because it's familiar to them yet in doing so they settle for what they think they know thus closing their mind to further interpretation. It is likely that they then go right back to repeating the same prior behaviours. As Randy points out, "Perspective lets you know the things that are really important, and the ones that really aren’t worth a second thought. It lets you evaluate things subjectively."

  4. I really think hidden in a discussion on perspective is the idea of leverage. Not just leveraging your time and money, but your thought patterns. Can you be a negative worry-wart and still be successful...you bet. Are you more likely to be successful being positive, people-driven and service-oriented? You bet.

  5. Right On! Sometimes we have to go through some crap to learn this but the sooner we learn it the better off we are! Once you learn to let things go and operate out of love, the happier we become.

    Bravo!
    Lucinda

  6. I can see myself in every situation - i've worked with those issues but still I get out of controle - but why is it so hard ? maybe its also a matter off inner peace - so lets find the inner peace !

    Klaus
    denmark

  7. Since we're human beings, we naturally focus on the negative out of pure survival instinct. It takes time to make the proper shifts in your mind. Although I haven't used it the best in some situations, in other situations I've looked at what's happening or going on as a third party, an outsider.

    It's probably one of the most important things you can do, especially in business, however, I need to use that perspective a lot more in my own personal life. And what you said about getting overcharged at the supermarket had me cracking up!

    I remember when I was younger, my mom was nuts over stuff like that. She'd go back if it was 50 cents or a dollar! The whole time I'd always be thinking in terms of how much gas it cost to go back, how much of your own time you're using up that you can be using towards something else, etc.

  8. I сonsider that the perspective is very powerful and complex property of thinking. I noticed that I try to learn this aspect for years, and the main task for me was to use the perspective permanently. It helped me in complex situations, which I had in the past. It guided me to do, what I really want and need for. It the main condition to break out from limitations of herd.

    I like to think about greatness of love, endlessness but fullness of Universe, The main values of life, The creation of the world, Power of spiritual laws which is acting our lives all the time. That's why I am so happy to find a person, who know the real value of the things, who write about this for us everyday, who attained a lot in his life and who taught me important things, before I learning by doing it myself.

    Thanks a lot, dear Randy.
    I wish I could say more.
    Krono, Ukraine.

  9. Amen. Having kids has really given me the opportunity to figure out what is the small stuff, and what is big, bigger, biggest.

    Sometimes, I'll make the small stuff big stuff. Then I'll see how my kids handle small stuff and i'm amazed at how they give situations just enough energy to handle it and then move on.

    It reminds me to keep it all what it really is.

  10. I learned the hard way too that not everything is small stuff. Being aware & knowing what is important and what is small stuff is important.

  11. Defining your own perspective is the first step. 24 years ago I held my young daughter in my arms as she passed away from a sudden illness. What I watched my daughter go through for only a day and a half (from the onset to her passing) defined the rest of my life. I knew from that moment forward that nothing could be as bad as what I witnessed through her. While I still miss her to this day, she provided me with persistence, endurance and courage. Not much bothers me when I put things in this perspective.
    Great Blog Randy

    -Walt

  12. Ha, Mr Gage...

    Today my computer died. I had been told intuitively it would. I didn't back it up.

    Completely. All my contacts gone. No email address book saved. Can't access anything. I remember Art Jonak lost all his contact once... and I always wondered how Id react in the same position.

    And I paused. Smiled. Hearing your voice in my head: "You manifested that!"

    I don't know if I manifested that - I just didn't follow the hunch, and make a plan before all collapsed. The computer has been ill for a long time.

    This time I didn't respond "I hate you!" I marvelled at the scope of chemicalisation happening in my life. There isn't any area that needs to be cleared up now! That's it!

    I just sent out a wish and prayer for the answer forward. And allow my intuition to guide me.

    Hey - I didn't die. On the scale of the world - this is nothing. Just a curious aspect to the journey...

    If it wasn't that I manifested it... what could it be? Clearing out for new and better? 🙂

  13. Wow Walt, what you wrote has really struck me. I am the father to three children and cannot imagine the loss of a child. But it sounds like your daughter has helped to provide you with a powerful life. The closest I have come to that was my BF all the way from grade school was suddenly gone in a car accident when we were 39 years old...you just don't expect that. I can see where I have gained courage from that experience many years ago. Thanks for the insight and it certainly does put it all into perspective.

  14. First of all, Thank You Randy for the important reminder.. Alan Cohen says in his book "Relax into Wealth", not sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff.. LOL

    Sometimes something that seems petty actually is not. It's important we are able to make a distinction. But I certainly agree that losing temper when someone cuts you off, over charges a half a buck on a check or doesn't return a phone call when you expect them to isn't worth investing any energy. Besides, if we spent all our time expending energy on petty stuff there wouldn't be any left for important things!

    Thanks again!

  15. -RG,

    I've been in between and rock and the proverbial hard spot for the past 3 months and it's about to get harder.

    When we we talk about manifesting things I never wanted this but I know that I may have to go through this to get where I want to be.

    So I'm keeping a proper perspective on things.

    -djm

  16. Great timing, Randy. Over the past week or so I've been taking a real hard look at this concept as it relates to my day-to-day living, and I've realized (gained perspective on) how often I make a big deal over little things - which tends to blot out the joys gained from the 'really' big things. Your comment about the spilled milk is spot on. I'm slowly learning that if I don't get all hyped over things such as that, the happy little smile I receive for not over-reacting is absolutely priceless.

  17. HI
    RANDY
    I can not believe that i was manifesting the things i did not want to happen in my home by focusing on the negatives and visualizing it (out of fear) putting so much extra care.i just want to find the things where i put them and always they are misplaced and i kept searching everyday. i realized that it was my perspective and feelings about those things rather than the actual thing that used to make me overreact.thanks.
    i am gonna check this now.

    Thanks a million.

  18. It is a sense of relief to let those small, and petty, issues. That's much the same for me as the "lack of pain" when you stop beat your head against the door. And when you create that opening - you have to make a concerted effort to fill it with the good stuff. That allowed me to focus on me, my needs, my perspective - it was so gratifying! With awesome results! Thanks RG.

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  • 31 comments on “The Power of Perspective”

    1. Sounds like a don't sweat the small stuff column 🙂 I've been working toward this attitude for awhile. Now to get my husband on board.

    2. THIS IS SO TRUE...SOMETIMES MY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TAKE OVER ME AND IT ONLY TAKES A SMALL SITUATION TO UNLEASH MY ANGER..MAYBE BECAUSE I'M SO TIRED OF PEOPLE BEING SO RUDE ...

    3. Isn't it funny how some people revert to their automatic response of the 'Don't Sweat The Small Stuff' phrase because it's familiar to them yet in doing so they settle for what they think they know thus closing their mind to further interpretation. It is likely that they then go right back to repeating the same prior behaviours. As Randy points out, "Perspective lets you know the things that are really important, and the ones that really aren’t worth a second thought. It lets you evaluate things subjectively."

    4. I really think hidden in a discussion on perspective is the idea of leverage. Not just leveraging your time and money, but your thought patterns. Can you be a negative worry-wart and still be successful...you bet. Are you more likely to be successful being positive, people-driven and service-oriented? You bet.

    5. Right On! Sometimes we have to go through some crap to learn this but the sooner we learn it the better off we are! Once you learn to let things go and operate out of love, the happier we become.

      Bravo!
      Lucinda

    6. I can see myself in every situation - i've worked with those issues but still I get out of controle - but why is it so hard ? maybe its also a matter off inner peace - so lets find the inner peace !

      Klaus
      denmark

    7. Since we're human beings, we naturally focus on the negative out of pure survival instinct. It takes time to make the proper shifts in your mind. Although I haven't used it the best in some situations, in other situations I've looked at what's happening or going on as a third party, an outsider.

      It's probably one of the most important things you can do, especially in business, however, I need to use that perspective a lot more in my own personal life. And what you said about getting overcharged at the supermarket had me cracking up!

      I remember when I was younger, my mom was nuts over stuff like that. She'd go back if it was 50 cents or a dollar! The whole time I'd always be thinking in terms of how much gas it cost to go back, how much of your own time you're using up that you can be using towards something else, etc.

    8. I сonsider that the perspective is very powerful and complex property of thinking. I noticed that I try to learn this aspect for years, and the main task for me was to use the perspective permanently. It helped me in complex situations, which I had in the past. It guided me to do, what I really want and need for. It the main condition to break out from limitations of herd.

      I like to think about greatness of love, endlessness but fullness of Universe, The main values of life, The creation of the world, Power of spiritual laws which is acting our lives all the time. That's why I am so happy to find a person, who know the real value of the things, who write about this for us everyday, who attained a lot in his life and who taught me important things, before I learning by doing it myself.

      Thanks a lot, dear Randy.
      I wish I could say more.
      Krono, Ukraine.

    9. Amen. Having kids has really given me the opportunity to figure out what is the small stuff, and what is big, bigger, biggest.

      Sometimes, I'll make the small stuff big stuff. Then I'll see how my kids handle small stuff and i'm amazed at how they give situations just enough energy to handle it and then move on.

      It reminds me to keep it all what it really is.

    10. I learned the hard way too that not everything is small stuff. Being aware & knowing what is important and what is small stuff is important.

    11. Defining your own perspective is the first step. 24 years ago I held my young daughter in my arms as she passed away from a sudden illness. What I watched my daughter go through for only a day and a half (from the onset to her passing) defined the rest of my life. I knew from that moment forward that nothing could be as bad as what I witnessed through her. While I still miss her to this day, she provided me with persistence, endurance and courage. Not much bothers me when I put things in this perspective.
      Great Blog Randy

      -Walt

    12. Ha, Mr Gage...

      Today my computer died. I had been told intuitively it would. I didn't back it up.

      Completely. All my contacts gone. No email address book saved. Can't access anything. I remember Art Jonak lost all his contact once... and I always wondered how Id react in the same position.

      And I paused. Smiled. Hearing your voice in my head: "You manifested that!"

      I don't know if I manifested that - I just didn't follow the hunch, and make a plan before all collapsed. The computer has been ill for a long time.

      This time I didn't respond "I hate you!" I marvelled at the scope of chemicalisation happening in my life. There isn't any area that needs to be cleared up now! That's it!

      I just sent out a wish and prayer for the answer forward. And allow my intuition to guide me.

      Hey - I didn't die. On the scale of the world - this is nothing. Just a curious aspect to the journey...

      If it wasn't that I manifested it... what could it be? Clearing out for new and better? 🙂

    13. Wow Walt, what you wrote has really struck me. I am the father to three children and cannot imagine the loss of a child. But it sounds like your daughter has helped to provide you with a powerful life. The closest I have come to that was my BF all the way from grade school was suddenly gone in a car accident when we were 39 years old...you just don't expect that. I can see where I have gained courage from that experience many years ago. Thanks for the insight and it certainly does put it all into perspective.

    14. First of all, Thank You Randy for the important reminder.. Alan Cohen says in his book "Relax into Wealth", not sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff.. LOL

      Sometimes something that seems petty actually is not. It's important we are able to make a distinction. But I certainly agree that losing temper when someone cuts you off, over charges a half a buck on a check or doesn't return a phone call when you expect them to isn't worth investing any energy. Besides, if we spent all our time expending energy on petty stuff there wouldn't be any left for important things!

      Thanks again!

    15. -RG,

      I've been in between and rock and the proverbial hard spot for the past 3 months and it's about to get harder.

      When we we talk about manifesting things I never wanted this but I know that I may have to go through this to get where I want to be.

      So I'm keeping a proper perspective on things.

      -djm

    16. Great timing, Randy. Over the past week or so I've been taking a real hard look at this concept as it relates to my day-to-day living, and I've realized (gained perspective on) how often I make a big deal over little things - which tends to blot out the joys gained from the 'really' big things. Your comment about the spilled milk is spot on. I'm slowly learning that if I don't get all hyped over things such as that, the happy little smile I receive for not over-reacting is absolutely priceless.

    17. HI
      RANDY
      I can not believe that i was manifesting the things i did not want to happen in my home by focusing on the negatives and visualizing it (out of fear) putting so much extra care.i just want to find the things where i put them and always they are misplaced and i kept searching everyday. i realized that it was my perspective and feelings about those things rather than the actual thing that used to make me overreact.thanks.
      i am gonna check this now.

      Thanks a million.

    18. It is a sense of relief to let those small, and petty, issues. That's much the same for me as the "lack of pain" when you stop beat your head against the door. And when you create that opening - you have to make a concerted effort to fill it with the good stuff. That allowed me to focus on me, my needs, my perspective - it was so gratifying! With awesome results! Thanks RG.

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