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  • Writer's pictureZenisha Gibson

The Power of Perspective

By definition, our perspective is how we perceive (see) something. When talking with my daughter earlier today, we discussed how part of our perspective is connected to our priorities and what we value. Which got me thinking. How does what we prioritize impact the way we think, act, and feel (or perceive things)? 


What I came to realize is, when your priorities are skewed, it’s likely your perspective is too. And if your priorities are skewed, it might mean what you once valued, you may no longer value. Consider this example: Let’s say one of your priorities is to eat better. And although you want to eat better, when offered chocolate cake (insert your favorite dessert), you skew your perspective and tell yourself; "I’ve been really good lately and it’s a special occasion." So, you decide to indulge in the chocolate cake. Your perspective is skewed and thus your priority of eating healthy is skewed.


In this situation it could be helpful to ask yourself, what is it you really value? Eating healthy or indulging in chocolate cake? Or both? And then ask, what is your definition of eating healthy? If eating healthy means eating well all week, but also allowing yourself one piece of chocolate cake on Sunday, then you can determine your perspective about eating healthy has changed, and thus your priority of eating healthy looks different.


But if you are determined that the priority of eating healthy does not include the piece of chocolate cake, then it might be helpful to determine where that came from. Did you read it on a blog? Did your doctor tell you not to eat the chocolate cake? And then you would need to determine what their priorities were to understand their perspective about eating healthy.


The real power of perspective is to understand your own perspective about things, you must understand your priorities and what you value. What speaks to you? What does your intuition say?


Another example could be your dating someone new. They seem to be amazing in those first couple of months. You feel giddy when they call, and get butterflies whenever you’re with them. But by month three, they’re not as responsive to your text, or less and less talkative and not proactively making plans with you. None of which is the worst thing in the world.


However, let's say you decided that YOU were your top priority and a part of this decision to prioritize yourself was to pay attention to how people made you feel. And if they made you feel bad, to tap into your intuition that might be screaming "It’s time to end this before I invest anymore."


If you choose to ignore your intuition, you ignore your core values and thus you skew your properties and your perspective. You could make up excuses for them. For instance, they’re going through a hard time. We are just getting to know each other, I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. 


In this case, this would be completely contradictory to your decision to prioritize yourself and pay attention to how people make you feel. The perspective in this case that serves your priority is: "acknowledging I am just getting to know them. They could have stuff going on. Nonetheless, I don't feel good around them and that doesn’t align with my priority to spend time with people that make me feel good." 


When we don’t honor our intuition, which is directly tied to our priorities and values, ultimately connecting to our perspectives, we can easily betray ourselves. Which is never a good thing and typically causes harm to ourselves in the long run. One way for sure to get good and clear about what your priorities and perspective are is to journal. I can’t tell you how many times my thoughts were all over the place and when I put pen to paper things suddenly got clearer. You can’t fix everything by journaling. But you can most certainly gain clarity on what’s important to you (priorities) and why (perspective). 


~Zen

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