The Power of Perspective
In the battle against the negative mindset it is vital that we cultivate a more empowering perspective, and in doing so we can build a healthier attitude towards life and situations. Having a healthy perspective is knowing that no matter what happens, there is always someone who is worse off and in need of more help than you. Having a healthy perspective means that a person can stop focusing on the problem and the pity of the situation and start to focus on the solution. Having a healthy perspective is knowing that no problem is too big or unbearable because at some stage in the past there was someone who went through the same thing, and grew from it.
To build an empowering perspective we must constantly catch our minds out any time we find ourselves complaining or wishing for more favorable circumstances. Every time you find yourself doing that, ask the following questions; "are there worse things that could have happened?" "Is this a real problem or just a 'first world' problem?" "Have people gone through this same issue and come out of it alive and stronger?" "How can I benefit or profit from this problem?" "Am I acting with my emotions in stead of with my mind?" "Will I be feeling better in five minutes, and if so, doesn't that mean that I could just be feeling better now?" "Is over-reacting to small issues becoming a habit in my life?"
One way to really cultivate your healthy perspective on life is to become a student of history and of the world. Nothing to my knowledge can better strengthen a persons perspective than for him to study the hardships of those who came before us. If you have a sound understanding of the past then it is easy to recognize how lucky we truly are. If we can understand different cultures, people, religions, and beliefs then we will be in a much better position to understand people, and to look upon others judgement-free.
The habits of gratitude and perspective go hand in hand. If you have gratitude for your life then it is easier to gain a healthy perspective, and if you have a healthy perspective then it is easier to have gratitude for that which you have. Because of this, I would suggest that you start writing a gratitude journal. Every night before you sleep you should take five minutes to write a list of things that you were grateful for that day. Every time you actively seek out things to be grateful for you are training your mind to look for beauty, and therefore you are building your healthy perspective on life. It sounds like a new-age positivity idea, but if you don't do it then you won’t get the results. The fact is that your mind will mold itself around those things that you focus on, so if you are building the habit of focusing on the good in your life then your mind will stop focusing so much on the bad, it’s that simple.
It is a true sign of emotional maturity to have a strong sense of perspective. The person who tantrums because a parcel is two days late is no better off than the child who kicks and screams because he cannot have iced-cream. There is no difference in these scenarios; both the adult and the child lack perspective.
Once you have found this perspective it is time to help it grow by strengthening your responses when you do have troubling situations pop up in your life. When you have a good perspective your mind is clear to think maturely, and so you can ask important questions like; "how can this problem make me stronger?" "What actions can I take right now that will minimize the effects of this situation on my life?" "If things go terribly wrong, what is the worst that could happen to me, and how long would it take, and what actions would I take to recover from the effects of this issue?" Once you start asking these questions your mind is empowered to take action and to look for solutions in stead of complaining and wishing for a better situation.