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Perspective: It’s Never Been More Important

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Perspective has many definitions because it can mean something different to each of us. When I think of perspective, I essentially think of the big picture. Putting situations in perspective is taking them beyond the moment themselves and placing them in the grand scheme of life and your goals. The purpose is to not give singular moments more credit than they deserve.

Putting moments in perspective allows us to relax and approach things in a controlled manner. I can’t think of another time where perspective and mindset were more important than they are right now. It’s not a matter of downplaying the situation, but rather facing it head-on and seeing it for what it truly is. I think it’s incredibly important to think about the path you’re on in life, specifically your approach.

This time has impacted us all in unique and mostly negative ways, including myself. However, this situation has been much easier to handle for some than for others. I think that’s in large part due to perspective. Without mental discipline, focus, and commitment, surely this time would be a lot to deal with. The goal of this article is to help you get past that and to make the rest of this experience as beneficial for you as possible.

Why putting things into perspective is so important

I’m no expert, so take my advice as you will. However, I’ve had lots of real-world experience specifically with perspective and mindset. I’ve drastically changed my life, how I interact with it, and my overall outlook simply through introspection, training my mind and keeping myself focused.

There was a time in my life where I was so depressed, so filled with constant anxiety, that I could barely even function. But through effort and dedication, I was able to slip out of this part of my life, lose 80lbs along the way, and excel in school and professionally. That doesn’t mean I’m not subject to hardship like everyone else.

Like many people, I lost my job because of this pandemic, but the difference for me was that my mindset and ability to put things in perspective was already sharp. Despite all that has happened, my focus has always been forward-looking and not letting the moment define me. Refining your mindset and utilizing perspective can make any situation manageable and allow you to realize your full potential in life. 

When I talk about putting things into perspective, it’s important you know that doesn’t mean I’m saying to downplay moments or not care. The point is that we often get lost in the moment. Society is quick moving and we struggle to take a second to breathe. Even when we have all the time in the world to breathe, we struggle in seeing moments as part of the greater whole.

You can live in the moment, but don’t let small moments be so destructive internally. We must put the small moments in perspective so that we can better handle the big moments. This piece is about getting you to take control of the small moments first. Hopefully with these tools and pieces of advice, you’ll be able to establish a framework for the bigger occurrences in life.

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

Here are three strong ways to start utilizing and refining perspective in your life:

1. Stop, Breath, Think, React

For most people, it’s as simple as just taking a second before reacting. This is crucial for me, as my natural emotional reactions are almost always destructive rather than productive. Whether you’re the same way or not, slowing down and taking a breath is always a useful technique in life.

Before you blow up over just missing that subway train or on that guy who bumped into you, take a second, breathe, think, and then react. We all have countless moments every day like this. At the end of the day, is it that big of a deal if you miss that subway train? It’s these little moments that’ll start to make all the difference in your overall happiness levels once you start addressing them.

2. Reflect

Reflection is an important tool for so many aspects of life. As it pertains to perspective, reflection will allow you to refine your approach. As you reflect, you’ll be able to think about actions and how you want to move forward. Looking back at situations, you can see where you may have handled something the wrong way, or notice where your mindset was off.

Without reflection, I don’t believe it’s possible to address problem areas moving forward. Only by reflection can you expose these areas, think about them, and then input a strategy to address them moving forward. It’s important to know that the past can be very important and useful, but only if you use it to learn and not to dwell on it.

We all make mistakes and have bad days. If you have these moments, don’t get lost in your frustration, use them as a learning experience to avoid them in the future. Reflection can lead to incredible realizations, but it can also lead down a dangerous path if you let it. Beating yourself up about a moment that has already passed brings no value to you whatsoever, remember that.

Reflection’s key function as it relates to perspective is that it’ll allow you to be more aware of thoughts, actions, and feelings in real-time. You’ll be able to catch yourself in these negative ways of thinking and acting much easier, which gives you the chance to correct in real-time. 

Reflection works like that, it’s not going to be clear cut or always work when you want it to. If you have an area you struggle with, then put it in the forefront of your mind and dissect it. 

“I visualize where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become.  I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.” – Michael Jordan

3. Know Where You’re Going

Ultimately the best way to focus on the things that matter is having an end destination or direction of some kind. Whether it’s a dream you have, a job you want, something you want to accomplish, or even a way you want to live, you should have something. 

Direction is a powerful motivator in life and is incredibly useful in utilizing perspective. For example, I know the values I want to live by and the kind of person I want to be, yet I don’t have a clue where I’ll be in a year from now. Nonetheless, those values and personal characteristics are still incredibly useful for me.

When I find myself in moments in which I’m not acting or living in the way I wish, I’m able to refocus to get back on my desired path in life. You’ll begin to see how these small moments you’ve made such a big deal of, in reality have little impact on your ability to still achieve what you want in life.

Focus on what your priorities are in life, think about what you want, and what you care about and let that be your guide. The more you do so and the more you focus on these priorities, the easier it will be to overcome the smaller moments of frustration, sadness, and pain. 

If you start overcoming the little things in life routinely, you’ll find that the big things aren’t as daunting as you perceived them to be. Establish some kind of direction in your life and let that be what drives you forward.

As we move forward during this time of crisis, I urge everyone to try and get some good out of it. For as terrible as this situation is, it also provides an essentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to refocus and refine our approach to life. Perspective is a powerful tool in life if utilized in the right way. Why not use this rare time in life to ensure you’re heading in the right direction?

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Garrett Rutledge is a freelance writer who lives in New York City. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Syracuse University, with a double major in Management & Supply Chain Management and a minor in Writing. Throughout his adult life, Garrett has been heavily dedicated to personal development. Whether it’s going through a massive weight loss journey or overcoming depression, he remains committed to bettering himself. He now looks to use his writing background and experience to help others on their own personal development journeys.

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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