The Power of Perspective

Last week as a family (Hanh, the kids and my mother-in-law) spent some time away on the Gold Coast to unwind and get ready for the New Year. It was my mother-in-law’s first time back holidaying on the Gold Coast after many years and we thought we would make it a special occasion by taking her to the SkyPoint Observation Desk at the Q1 Building for the first time (& of course she loved the view).   

Whilst we were up there I was reminded about the power of perspective – things that seemed big and significant seemed so small and insignificant when you are 77 floors (235m) above the the ground. The oxford english dictionary defines perspective as ‘a particular attitude towards something or a way of regarding something’ and the truth is our perspectives, either positive or negative, will determine our outcomes.

William James a prominent psychologist in the late 1800s said  “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind” or put another way ‘human beings can alter their outcomes simply by altering their perspectives’. In essence, we have the ability to have great outcomes in 2017 simply by having positive attitudes.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind”  – William James


1.Our relationships
We need to ensure that we have a positive attitude in 2017 in the area of our relationships. Whether it is with our spouses, children, church family, employees, clients, subordinates, superiors or our friendship circles, our attitudes towards them is important. Because our attitude will determine how we treat them, invest in them and relate with them. Now that does not mean that things will always be rosy with everyone but it does mean that despite the bumps that we should choose to have positive attitude with those we do life with. Knowing full well that if our attitude is not positive towards them it means that we will not get positive outcomes from those relationships.

2. Our Situations
Things don’t always go our way. Sometimes good things happen to us, sometimes bad things happen, sometimes unfair things happen and sometimes unexpected things happen. However, the difference between those that achieved their desired outcome and those that don’t is their perspective and attitude towards the happenstance in their lives. J. Sidlow Baxter, an Australian pastor and theologian of the 20th Century said “What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude towards it”. No matter what our situations and happenstances are in 2017, keep a positive attitude, have the right perspective, look at the bigger picture because in doing so you are able to reach your desired outcome. 

“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude towards it” – J. Sidlow Baxter

3. Ourselves
It is important that we have the right attitude about ourselves because ultimately our perspectives in situations and with others many times is simply a reflection of how we see ourselves. King David in the book of Psalms states that ‘He is fearfully and wonderfully made‘. Despite being fully aware of his strengths and weakness, he still had a positive attitude about himself. As a result, he was able to achieve so much success for  himself and the Kingdom of Israel. How you view yourself will definitely affect your outcomes for 2017.

As we launch into the New Year, remember the power of your perspective and actively choose to have a positive attitude throughout the year because your perspective determines your outcomes.

Believing with you that you achieve all your desired outcomes for this year!


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