2011-09-08

The importance of perspective

David Huggins

Would you run a long distance with one hundred pounds of excess weight strapped to your body? No? Then why would you run through life with useless or unhelpful ideas lodged in your mind?

From our earliest days of independent thought, each of us has been exposed to innumerable values, beliefs, ideas and suggestions that have taken up residence in our working minds. We rarely engage these intruders and when we do, we don’t feel good about ourselves because they’re not really “us”. We continue to carry them anyway. 

I’ve had a few – ‘negative people’, ‘extremist opinions’, ‘lingering grudges’, ‘spiteful rejoinders’, ‘unfounded accusations’, ‘resentments’, ‘envious interpretations’ – the list goes on! It’s like I’ve set up a frame and then let these undesirable, negative items creep inside to crowd the useful and productive ideas I know I want to keep. Because we do allow the undesirables to stay, two consequences follow. Firstly, they insert themselves into our thoughts uninvited and color our images of the world around us. We’re forced to remove them before they cause too much lasting damage. Secondly, there’s little room for new ideas or experiences, no matter how good they might be. 

I’ve found that these negatives can appear to be so much more powerful that more positive thoughts in claiming my time and attention. My mind has to work extra hard to counter the influence of the undesirables and it tires me. Also, I’ve had occasions when I’ve missed a positive idea because there wasn’t enough space to retain and work at it. 

So I’ve decided to identify each of these undesirables in turn and then to deliberately expel it from my mind. Today I targeted ‘extremist opinions’ and decided that I would no longer accept any input that even appeared to be extreme, no matter how interesting it might seem, how curious I might be about it, or whatever source of origin it claimed. 

As I did this I found a few long-term residents of similar nature, political, religious and even humorous and I ditched these as well. That’s a real weight off my mind! 

How about you? What one undesirable thought can you delete from your thinking right now? Is there a positive thought that you could insert in its place? Do it now!

 

Do it again tomorrow!

 


David Huggins MASc, FIoD, CMS is an experienced behavioral scientist and executive coach who’s dedicated to bringing out the best in individuals and groups. His insights and direct contributions have taken business leaders to elevated dimensions in performance. He can be reached through his websites at www.andros.org and www.polarisprogram.com © 2011 Andros Consultants Limited. All rights reserved.  

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