Perspective is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance” and by Dictionary.com as “the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc. in having a meaningful interrelationship.” Depending on who is looking at each definition, perspective can literally and figuratively take on entirely different meanings. I truly believe that the perspective in which we choose to view things from is a choice that must be made on an individual level, every day. I also believe that making the choice to have a positive perspective on something is much more difficult and takes a lot more practice than doing the opposite.
Allow me to put things in perspective (pun intended):
It rained today and I had to walk half a mile to work in that rain at 8:30 am. I first found out it was raining when I stepped outside, since I didn’t have time to check the weather/open my blinds because I woke up late after my alarm didn’t go off. I was annoyed and frustrated and sort of felt like I wanted to cry a little bit but the crying could have been due to the miserable allergies I’ve been dealing with this past week.
I pulled my phone out and responded to a text from my mom that I had ignored earlier when I was rushing around trying to pull myself together. In the message after my initial response to her, I said I was headed back to work after the 3-week haitus that resulted from a combination of finals week and my own personal laziness.
Me: “First day back on that work grind today”
Mom: “ugh…me too after a 4 day weekend…had to psych myself up for it.”
Mom: “we need to remind ourselves we r lucky to have jobs.”
At first, in my head I became annoyed with her response because looking on bright side while I was soaking wet and shivering sitting in the office chair I would be parked in for the next 5 hours was more difficult than it was most days, but then I realized how right she was.
I am lucky to have a job that’s good enough to pay the cable bill every month, and a roof over my head to keep me out of the rain when I’m not walking to work. I have clothes on my back and there’s food in my fridge and I’ve got a collection of friends and family that love me on most days. It might be raining and my clothes might be wet and my attitude might be crappy but life is still pretty damn good, even when it’s not. My clothes will dry and the rain will bring flowers and even though my situation was less than ideal I still had it pretty awesome when I looked at it the right way.
Although it takes practice and effort, it’s important to remember that things could be worse. Having a positive outlook isn’t always the easiest option initally, but being able to spin the negative into positive will ultimately make your life much easier than dwelling on what’s not going your way.
And when you can’t find anything positive to say about your situation you can be happy that you’re not on website!