I was reminded last week of how a simple change in perspective has the power to change everything.
This stark reminder came about because I didn't have my winningest week last week. I mean, it was not the worst week on record, and I won't bore you with the details. But I just couldn't get on top of things like I'd anticipated I would.
Hey, it happens.
But more to the point, I realised just how quickly I was able to digest this reality and go to work putting it behind me. Making a plan of action for this week, to ensure that I didn't repeat things towards the same result.
I realised that I chose to look at this as an opportunity for correction, instead of languishing in the mire of what I'd lost.
Or rather, my lack of preparation.
It was a realisation that really everything comes down to how you look at things.
I mean, a sunrise can look dramatically different depending on where on earth you're standing.
And now that this powerful ability to perspective-shift is front of mind, I've recommitted to strengthening the habit of trying to see things differently, in cases where it might be beneficial.
For example, I don't view training in quite the same light as I did when I was 16. And thank goodness.
Back then I was solely focused on getting huge.
I honed in on chasing muscle size with every single session and couldn't imagine another perspective or reason for all of that hard work.
Fast forward 5 years and my thinking on training moved towards one of movement exploration and experimentation. The training itself took on a much broader purpose that took my focus and results to an entirely new and unprecedented level.
And dare I say, it nudged my life down a completely different path as well.
But it was the long way around, arriving at this way of thinking.
In this case, it was experientially forged. The excess shaved off over many years.
Remember, the lens through which we view the world has been shaped and pressed by our past experiences.
Factory-Settings Vs Change in Perspective
Our wonderfully complex brains are a predictive machine. It takes those experiences, sorts through and stores them in order to predict the future. Primarily, this is a function of efficiency. We want to be able to receive, process and respond to the world around us as quickly as possible as we navigate our way through it. Embedded in our mind are these little shortcuts, etched by learned experience. It saves us time and effort to simply follow these known highways of grooved thought.
Otherwise, everything would always be new – a constant rain of new and mesmerising impressions and we'd tire and never decide on anything.
Basically, we see some things, learn some things and combined with our human factory-settings, we arrive at a particular perspective on things. As we walk the earth and continue to take in new experiences and new information, over time our former perspectives can begin to pivot.
It can be dangerous not being open to new avenues of thinking, or a change in perspective.
And that's not to say that we can't also choose to look at things differently and entertain an alternative, as I'd remembered last week.
We can toggle to a different lens at any time to see an entirely new picture, or simply see the same picture in a new light.
As Mr Wayne Dyer famously said:
”When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
It's really quite empowering when you consider how everything that happens is because of you and the choices you make.
You can't always control the circumstance but you do have complete control over what you do.
The choice is yours.
So, let's think about how this might apply:
Here are some example situations and lens-swaps that I've come across with clients that you could adapt to your situation.
Social Gatherings: Are you ”nervous, or excited?”
Arguments: ”I'm right” vs ”What if I'm missing something?”
Productivity: ”Not enough time” vs ”It's not a priority, today.”
Business: Income, stress, hierarchy vs financial freedom, impact, responsibility
Money: Get, save, budget vs keep, wealth building, opportunity, investment
Nutrition: Restrict, flavour, convenience or fuel and performance
Training: Looks vs maintenance, independence, and mobility
Obviously, there are many other examples we could explore. And, as you can imagine, the different approaches to each category could warp the rest of your course considerably.
It's worth considering.
How would a new lens influence your training and nutrition, your work or your relationships in the long term?
How might this tiny lever generate big windfalls in vital areas of your life?