If the world was one long moving walkway, it would seem very clear which way to go.
You could hop on, enjoy the sights around you, and head to where you need to go automatically. No stress, minimal effort, and in the right directions: forward.
If the moving walkway represented time, you would assume it was linear, that is, a straight line from A to B.
What if, instead of a moving walkway, you were presented with a carousel that went around and around, and up and down? Or a roller coaster that inched slowly upward and picked up speed and momentum on its way to the bottom? Maybe it’s a lake whose waves rippled out in all directions.
Whichever way you go, it’s important to pay attention. The journey is the experience of moving through time and space, without it we only have point A and point B.
These past few months for me have been insightful, in fact I could say they have been life changing.
Since graduating from University I have been inclined to throwing myself into work, no matter the cost on myself or others around me, I have come to learn that through reflection and perspective. As a mater of fact, this daily blog started as a means to fill the time, and now it has grown to become an active, real time diary of who I am.
Who am I? For the past 15 years I had been too busy to ask. One day the busyness stopped, everything went quiet – literally. The phone stopped ringing and buzzing with text messages, emails, and other notifications. My diary became empty, and stayed empty. While everyone went to work I had all the time and space in the world but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I felt like a shadow of myself.
Over the following weeks I engaged with the few people from my network, people from all backgrounds, all disciplines, and I began to seek their knowledge, advice, but I still had no plan. One such meeting with a friend who I hadn’t seen for years (who is now a leadership coach, and an amazing one at that) managed to point out the obvious to me… although it wasn’t so obvious to me then! She put it all into perspective for me when told me “it’s like you’re floating in space, grabbing at things as they float towards you”, she was dead right. I will forever value her wisdom and kindness.
It would be foolish to think that I have it all figured out now, however I can say that I know myself in a way I never did before. Something I could have never found out if I didn’t stop and ground myself.
I am fortunate to have the people I do in my life, because if it weren’t for them I may still be floating in space.
Your arms don’t hang by your side in space like they do on Earth because there is no gravity. It feels awkward to have them floating in front of me.
– Scott Kelly, retired Navy Captain and NASA Astronaut
It’s what recreates depth and dimensionality within a flat 2-dimensional print.
If done right, perspective sells products. It determines which sneakers you buy, or which glasses you’ll wear. Nobody wants to eat a flat looking hamburger.
Perspective gives tone, shadows and highlights. It makes us feel, smell, and taste what is not there. It really does sell.
Perspective also frames your reality. Like photography, perspective will add dimension to your life. It will give it depth, shadow and highlight. If you lack perspective then your life will become 2-dimensional.
Whenever my son would get into a stressful situation, I gave him this advice (which I took from Jocko Willink, ex US Navy Seal), “Relax. Look around. Make a call.”