Greater Perspective Increases Possibilities
There is nearly always more than one perspective we can take about anything in life. Just when we think we have thought about a subject completely, another viewpoint emerges that changes our perspective! Have you had this experience?
Each new perspective opens our minds to seeing more possibilities, enhancing and expanding our understanding of reality, and unearthing opportunities.
The easiest and greatest way to expand your perspective is by simply getting input from others with different points of view (perspectives) and by asking them powerful questions.
Did you ever meet someone who enlarged your thinking? It happens all the time in conversations and meetings.
How does it happen? When we hear a different point of view, we will either accept it in part, or in whole, or we will dismiss it. Whenever we come to understand a different perspective, even a little, our thinking shifts and can be enlarged.
Asking someone their viewpoints on a subject is, in fact, the easiest way to broaden your perspective—provided you keep an open mind.
An example of this is when we look at political issues, which can be polarizing. We may be absolutely positive that our opinion is the only one that is correct or accurate. Yet another person may have completely contrary views.
That’s one of the great things about the human race—we are not all clones, nor should we be. Each of us has unique experiences, backgrounds, trials, and tribulations that have made us who we are. Imagine a world without the variety that differences in people creates. It would be very boring, to say the least.
Try a little experiment. Find someone with a different position on a subject and ask them questions about their views, in a genuinely curious, sincere, nonthreatening way. The only agenda here is to learn, not to convince them of anything. Don’t try to persuade them to your viewpoints; simply become curious and ask sincere questions about the subject and their thoughts on it. Then listen. You may be surprised by what you learn.
I once worked with a man named Joe who had different religious views than my friend Tom (one was Catholic, the other Protestant). Whenever Joe and Tom discussed religion, the conversation would grow heated and contentious. I recall one of them often becoming so frustrated with the other that he would literally turn red in the face, his veins ready to pop!
Rather than get tangled up in their conversations, I became curious about their beliefs. I started asking a lot of questions about what they believed and how they had come to those beliefs. It amazed me how well they each knew the Scriptures. We had some very interesting conversations.
I discovered that both of their beliefs were more closely aligned than I had originally thought. To this day the three of us can speak openly about our beliefs. Now, we tend to focus on what we have in common rather than what we differ on.
Furthermore, my entire perspective on what I thought I knew about their faith changed. Instead of criticizing their beliefs, I developed a profound respect for each man.
Since life is about relationships, one of the great things about asking powerful questions of others or yourself is they can open our minds to see new and fresh perspectives, and to understand more of what actually exists. This allows us to see more possibilities, leading to greater opportunities.
In addition to getting other people’s perspectives, it is rather easy to dig into your own thoughts and develop different perspectives by simply asking yourself questions. Coaches do this all the time with their clients.
Start by writing down your initial viewpoint on a subject. Then shoot for at least six to eight additional views. Begin by asking yourself questions like: “What’s another viewpoint?” “What am I leaving out?” “What would (name of person) say about this?” “What else?” and so on. The trick is to examine the subject from as many viewpoints as you can come up with, which will greatly enhance your overall perspective on a given issue. Try this with anything that is on your mind, but especially with something that you have a strong opinion about. See what happens. Your subject could be a person, an object, a place, a philosophy, or anything at all.
Is it worth taking time to examine, broaden, and perhaps change your perspectives? Only if you want greater possibilities and opportunities!
You can uncover more on this and other subjects in the book, Uncommon Sense, found on Amazon at: amazon.com/author/billabbate
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