My good friend, Tim, attached his flat screen television to a wall mount – the kind that allows the screen to be turned to the right or left – and installed it on the wall. He then sat down and watched a movie. It worked just fine.
Then Don came over. The moment Don walked into the room and looked at the television, he said to Tim, “Oh, that won’t work.”
Since Tim has already watched the setup operating perfectly, he had no idea what Don was talking about… until Don sat down on the sofa and smiled at Tim. Ah. That’s all it took. Tim now understood what the problem would be.
You see, the couch is positioned at a somewhat “L” angle, perpendicular, from the television. As such, one person on the sofa can watch the television, positioned where it was on the wall, without any problem. However, if a second person joins the first person on the couch and they both want to see the screen, there would be a problem… unless the person closest to the TV is very short.
The simple fix: move the wall mount up about 18 inches, which is what he did. With the exception of the holes that now needed to be filled, it was no big deal.
Because Tim was affixing the television to the wall with one perspective in mind – that of his position from the recliner – an eye-level placement made perfect sense… to him.
Perfect, that is, until Tim gained the perspective of someone who has never seen his television from the angle that he has always viewed the screen, and who has only viewed the TV from an angle different from the one familiar to him. This elevated Tim’s view of the situation and made him realize he needed to elevate the screen.
The Obvious Analogy
The obstacle blasting analogy here is obvious.
One individual’s own perspective tends to be limited to their personal knowledge and life experience. This is why elevation is always required. An elevated outlook that includes being open to new information, not being threatened by the different perspectives others might offer, and knowing there is plenty more for you to learn … about plenty of things.
Make it a habit to put yourself, and keep yourself, in a state of curiosity …
- I wonder how others might see this thing differently. I should bring it up in conversation, listen, and ask follow up questions
- What do I think of as wrong that other people see as right – and vice versa – and what accounts for those differences?
- How do I know I am right?
- How would others potentially be negatively impacted by this decision? I should consult with them first
- I wonder what I might have in common with people who see things differently than me in politics, in religion, in lifestyle choices, etc.
- Who do I know who looks at things differently than I do? I should keep them close
Instead of assuming everyone sees things the way you do, make it a habit to ask quality questions that elevate your thinking above and beyond your perspective. It is safer to assume that everyone sees things differently than you, and that they have a good reason to do so, than to assume everyone agrees with you because you think there is no reason why they wouldn’t.
The potential for personal growth is limitless for those who are not threatened by change; those who can handle being corrected once in a while; Be genuinely curious. Curiosity is like an antenna that is always tuned to better answers. Even better questions.
An elevated outlook includes, rather than excludes, others. It is a certainty that crossing paths with a variety of different people of different backgrounds than yours – their life experiences, their knowledge, and how those elements feed into how they see the world around them – will contribute positively and powerfully to your life.
Something to Keep in Mind
What if you know all this? You practice it. In fact, you pride yourself in being inclusive of the views of others. You have benefited from the wisdom and insight and the richness in relationships that all of this brings to you. Great. That means it is time to take that elevated way of thinking one step further if you have not already done so.
What am I talking about? Love.
Let me explain.
If personal growth tends to come easier for those who are open to new information, which of course is a truism, then the opposite is true. Those who are not as open to new information as you are (those who are less likely to be reading articles at a personal development blog, for example), have a limitation that they have likely had for some time. Let’s talk about those people for a moment.
In the same way the potential for personal growth is limitless for those who are not threatened by change and challenges to their worldview, those who live under a delusion of infallibility – the idea that My outlook on things is settled – have unknowingly created impassable obstacle to personal growth.
Loving those difficult people who don’t seem to “get” what you believe comes easier to you. Why do I suggest … No. Take that back. Why do I insist that loving “closed minded” people is an absolute must for those who are committed to a better, more elevated outlook on life?
including the possibility of learning better ways of doing things, new If we limit We are all limited by our own perspective of whatever it is we happen to be looking at or dealing with at any given time and situation. Unless and until some new information is introduced into the “vault of correctness” , better, introduces something new, it is not only easy for us to assume that ours is the right perspective; it is a given that we will think ours is the only perspective. some new information or point of view, something or someone
This is indeed a huge limitation because almost all of us work with, and/or live with, others.
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