A few days off over the long weekend break helped me find perspective. Taking time away from my normal hectic NYC routine to be with friends and family provided me with a chance to step back from it all, and consider everything from a different angle. I welcome these times, because I believe that gaining perspective is very important to effectively manage the challenges that life throws.
Unfortunately, the three day weekend is relatively rare. Yet that should not deter us from seeking perspective in other contexts. Without it, it’s easy to get buried in the drama of everyday life, surviving, sometimes feeling overwhelmed or out of control, without giving due time to figure out the best way to navigate the path ahead.
Sometimes life forces perspective on us, with events (breakups, unemployment, sickness, death) that jolt us into looking at things differently. Even in those circumstances, in-fact particularly then, perspective is a key tool to solving the problems faced. We shouldn’t therefore wait until we are forced to re-examine our outlook. We should create opportunities to do so.
There’s all sorts of ways to take a different view on life. In New York, I like to watch the city from the peaks of its skyscrapers, or from the Staten Island Ferry. It helps contextualize the living organism that I’m caught up in day to day. Reading a great book, or watching a powerful documentary can provide not only escape, but also a chance to consider life alongside things that are “bigger” than us. Self-care is also important; taking time to treat yourself, perhaps through exercise, meditation or a massage builds those moments to reflect. Nature can also be a very effective perspective trigger – getting out for a walk in the fresh air provides a moment for a breather.
With the power of perspective, you can see the problems for what they are, and importantly, what they are not. Your ability to solve those problems is often significantly improved, and the experience may even open up new solutions or possibilities that you didn’t think were possible. While challenges might be difficult, avoiding them won’t help solve them. Stepping back from it all helps to understand the challenges we face, and that is critical to start proactively addressing them.