Perspective - Why It's Important

Our perspective is the way we see and interpret the world around us. It is how we view reality and interpret our experiences and beliefs. It is the framework through which we make sense of the world.

Z. Hereford

What is Perspective?

Perspective is our attitude or view related to a subject or thing.

It is how we perceive things in the context of the whole and judge the importance of one thing in relation to others.

As Henry David Thoreau said:

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see."

Everything that happens in your life is in accordance with how you perceive it. What is catastrophic to one person is a challenge and opportunity for growth to another.

Perspective is our subjective interpretation of reality. By understanding that there are many ways to see a situation we can cultivate and broaden our view of the world.

When a positive, healthy self-concept exists, putting things in perspective becomes an exercise in critical thinking and reasoning rather than an emotionally centered event.

Even though we cannot help but react emotionally to difficult situations, if we cannot control or change them, we can decide how we allow them to affect us.

Attitude, an aspect of perspective, is a way of thinking or looking at things. We have the ability to choose how we think or our attitudes.

William James the famed psychologist, said:

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a person can alter his life by altering his attitude of mind".

How we experience or interpret events in our lives depends on our attitude. As we all probably know by now, attitudes can be positive or negative.

If we view our experiences - good, bad, or indifferent from a positive attitude, we will probably see them as opportunities for personal growth and development.

If, however, we let ourselves get caught up in negativity when things don't go our way, we will miss out on the opportunities for growth and set ourselves up for similar situations until we understand how to deal with them.

Certainly, not everything in life goes smoothly and without incident. Sometimes, the challenges we face can drive us to the brink and make us question why this is happening and how it could have been avoided.

We would probably prefer not to deal with the obstacles thrown at us during those times. In these moments, we must think and choose how to approach the situation.

When we operate from the perspective or attitude that we are here to learn, develop, and work to reach our potential, we can't help but have a positive, progressive outlook.

Ultimately, life is a subjective experience, and it is up to us to decide how we view and experience it. As we gain new experiences, insights, and knowledge, we broaden our ability to understand life and our world.