On Friday I had a minor surgical procedure. It was completed at a surgery center. I could have gone to the hospital for it, yet the surgery center was just easier. It was one of those procedures that the doctor had recommended. What I had going on was not threatening my life, yet despite all other attempts to make things better things were not getting better. So I said yes to the surgery.
This was real deal surgery. Fasting all day as the surgery was at 4pm. Going under anesthesia needing someone to drive me there and drive me home. My eldest daughter volunteered to take me. When she picked me up she asked how I was doing without eating all day. My perspective was that there are so many people without food and water daily that my belly was just fine without food for a bit.
The doctor who was doing the anesthesia asked me the same question about not eating. I answered in the same framework I answered my daughter. My daughter and I sat there chatting while I waited in my fancy gown with my surgical hair net. It in area next to us was a woman who had many years on her. She was clearly a seasoned citizen. Her conversation with the doctor was about the difficulty getting someone to bring her. This lady talked how she lived far away. Was the doctor going to be working at the hospital near her any time soon? Despite the challenges to get there, this nice lady was grateful for all the good as I clearly heard her express it.
I sat (well laid) there knowing I have people who will help me out. Knowing that I reside close to the surgical center, knowing I have health insurance with an employer who will reimburse me for the copay. Do I have challenges in my life? Yep. My challenges compared to others are on the minor scale. My perspective helps me to see them that way.
Perspective is defined by dictionary.com as “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view”. If you think of it our perspective influences how we see the world and how we interact with the world.
My perspective could have been completely different. I could have been angry about not eating, I could have been frustrated that I was undergoing this procedure, I could have gotten grumpy that we had to wait longer than expected, I could be upset that I will not be able to do some of the things I love to do for a bit after the surgery. I could have had a whole lot of negative attitude.
We all have the right to feel how we feel. Sometimes our perspective about things is off kilter. Yep off kilter. There are situations and experiences that are minor inconveniences for us that are major for others. An example of this is being late to work because someone else was in a car accident. Who is the person or person’s really having a tough moment here?
How we view and take in the things we see is our perspective. We own that. Do our experiences and history have a role in shaping our perspective? Absolutely. Yet at the end of the day we can change, tweak, modify our perspective.
Wayne Dyer said “when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change”. So powerful and so true.
What is your perspective? Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Are you happy to have anything at all in the glass?
I have had the most incredible conversations with individuals who have intense challenges in their lives. Homeless, grief, sexual assault, no community of people around them, addiction and more. If I were to do a percentage of those with an amazingly strong, positive perspective my guess would be 90%. Yes 90%.
An article in Tiny Buddha by Warren Davies states “studies suggest that only 10 percent of our happiness comes from external factors. The rest of the happiness pie is made up of our genetics and our “intentional activities”—the thoughts and behaviors that we do deliberately, which includes our attitude”.
Let me repeat this 10 PERCENT of our happiness is external based which means 90 PERCENT comes from our attitude, our perspective. Which means you have the ability to work at changing your perspective if you so choose. It takes about 30ish days to break a habit and put a new one in place. In the big scheme of life that is a tiny bit of time to make a big change. It will require dedication, determination, and repetition. Change is possible if you decide to pursue it AND work at it.
So if you are like yep I want to have a more positive perspective what do I do, here some steps you can take:
- Be aware of your thinking thoughts. Do you look at life events in a negative lens? Put people, places, things down or look at them in a positive perspective.
- If your thoughts are more of the negative kind, challenge them and replace them. Yes you have the power to change your thoughts. Once you do anything in a repetitive nature your brain will change along with it. This is called changing neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Our brains have pathways like grooves on the bottom of a shoe. If you want to change how your shoe wears out you need to walk differently for a period of time until it becomes your new normal.
- Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Did you get that about gratitude? Look for the silver linings in what is going on in your life. I can tell you from some of my dark personal life experiences it makes a TON of a difference. If you need to work at looking at life in a more grateful manner that is ok. We are all evolving creatures. Not one of us is perfect!
- Remember each and every day that you are doing the best with who you are and where you in life. Be kind and gentle to how to talk to yourself. Be nice to the resident of your body.
Incredible, glorious humans on this beautiful day you matter. You are the only you there is every was and will ever be. Your perspective reflects how you feel about you. If you need to make some perspective tweaks go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
May your positive perspective be with you💜
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Upsplash