A few years back, much was made of Pastor Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life—as it should have been. The book impacted readers, as they read scripture, interpreted it and applied it to their lives to effect change.
But in today’s post, we’re going to shift focus slightly from purpose to perspective.
What if we could learn to employ a perspective-driven life? What would that even look like? How can we live in a perspective-driven way?
Filter and amend when something comes into your brain. Though we usually react in a particular way, if we take time to allow the statement or action to come into our inbox and rest there while we filter it before we file it away or react to it.
When someone says something to you, immediately process it in a positive way—not leaping to the possible negative meaning. For example, say your boss catches you on the way out of the office on Friday afternoon and says, “Hey Leslie, I need to see you in my office first thing Monday morning.” Instead of fearing the news is bad and worrying about it all weekend, we’d be neutral or even positive to our boss’s words.
If you get bad news, compare it to all the great things going on in your life. Case in point, a friend’s work hours were shortened a year ago, meaning she took a huge cut in pay. Instead of lamenting her decrease in salary, she told me, “I’m so thankful I get to spend more time with my kids.”
Remember that the trials and troubles in the world pale compared to the riches and glory in heaven. When we view life through the lens of eternity, we focus more on relationships, spiritual development and introspection. When we view our circumstances myopically, we can’t see past our troubles to joy and peace and contentment.
Rethink minor irritations. This is an easy one—to say, not do. But if you can begin to employ this strategy, it will change your life. Here’s an example. My husband drinks coffee each morning and leaves his cup by the side of the sink. Now, in our household we try to live by the “leave it better than you found it” philosophy. Everyone knows I’m not the Family Dishwasher. Bret knows he should wash out his mug and put it in the dish drainer. So, when I used to come into the kitchen and see the mug, I’d immediately get agitated. Did my husband think I was his maid—put on this earth to clean up after him? (Possibly.) Well, I didn’t like that idea. I confronted him. For a few days, he diligently washed out his mug. Then he’d get in a hurry and forget for a day or two . . . or 20.
The Lord soothed my spirit one morning when I came in the kitchen and saw the mug by the side of the sink. “Leslie, I know Bret left his coffee mug on the counter for you to clean again. But he didn’t do it because he thinks of you as his maid. He was probably in a hurry and didn’t think at all. He loves you and would never do anything to hurt you. Plus, keep this in mind. You have friends—widows—who would give anything to have a coffee mug to clean.” This tiny shift has completely changed my perspective on seeing that mug by the side of the sink.
What aspect of your perspective needs changing? What one thing can you do—starting today—to improve your perspective?