"The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don't have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it." — Chris Pine
No matter the situation, if we want to change our experience then we have two options: 1) We can leave the room, and if that’s not possible—after all, sometimes bad things happen even to good people—then 2) We can change our perspective.
The comedian Steven Wright puts it well when he says:
“Sometimes even when you lose you actually win; kind of like playing musical electric chairs.”
I’m reminded of an elderly woman I once met whose life was saved by choking on a piece of food. They thought the man who performed the abdominal thrusts on her may have broker her ribs, but when she was x-rayed the doctors didn't find any broken ribs. Instead they found an aneurism that was about to burst.
One interpretation of this experience is that there’s nothing good about having a near-death experience, but another perspective is to recognize that without this experience there’s no way the doctors would have found her perilous condition in time to save her.
The Magic Word Perspective reminds us to take a step back in every situation and consider the bigger picture. We just may discover an opportunity that we would have otherwise missed. And who knows? Maybe one day this may save your life…
The next time you find yourself struggling in a losing situation, try to look at the situation from another perspective. See if what you’ve been after is really in your best interest; see if the game you’ve been playing is really a game of musical electric chairs.
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.