The other day I was standing in front of the refrigerator with the doors open (something I tell my children not to do). I was searching in vain for the syrup. I couldn’t find it. Hard as I tried, looking in the same spot, it never magically appeared. Then my daughter walks up behind me, takes it from the shelf in front of my nose and hands it to me. Humbling. I couldn’t find it myself because I kept looking where the syrup should have been. I was unwilling to consider that it might have been put in a different spot (as if our refrigerator is so organized to begin with!) Sometimes you need a different perspective, someone else to look at your situation to help you see clearly.

A few signs that you may need a new/different perspective.

1. When you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, getting no where. Maybe you have fallen into the status-quo rut. You do things the same way as always, but you’re left with a gnawing feeling that it could be better. Or you want it to be better, but are unable to even imagine doing things differently. A change in perspective can help you to see your situation in a new light, giving you new ideas of ways to do things.

2. When you are too close to your own situation. My daughter came into the picture with a completely open mind. She didn’t have a mind-set of where that syrup was suppose to be, so she could look anywhere and quickly find it. It’s the whole forest/tree scenario. It takes someone from the outside to help you see what’s right in front of you.

3. When you can’t see any possibilities. A different perspective opens you to possibilities thinking. What are all your options? Familiar with the old saying, “More than one way to skin a cat?” When you have done the same thing, the same way, since you can’t remember when, it might be time to invite someone else in.

A different perspective opens a whole new way of thinking, like walking through the door to a whole new world. I love Thomas Edison’s perspective on his initial failures to make a light bulb. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That’s the perspective he needed to keep moving forward. As I sit in the warm glow of my desk lamp, how thankful I am he had a different perspective than I might have had, and kept on trying.


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