It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out

“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.”

—Carl Sagan, 20th Century American Astronomer

Image from medium.com

Who in your personal or professional life do you consider the most closed minded and stubborn? If you are like many of us, you might say, “Where do I start?” and be able to create a reasonably long list in mere minutes. What are the benefits and down sides of having such a closed-minded view of things?

On the other hand, who are the most open and receptive folks you know? Who are those who will try on the views and perspective of others, easily and fully? What are the benefits, and in the case of today’s quote, the downside of seeing the world primarily through the lens of those around you?

EXERCISE:

Imagine your mind is a screen door or window. How would the flow of air on a summer day be similar to the healthy flow of new ideas with a wider perspective foster more quality relationships and life success?

 

Not enough people in the world

“Not enough people in the world, I think, carry a cosmic perspective with them. It could be life-changing.”

—Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist

Image of Neil deGrasse Tyson

Image from mountainx.com

Perhaps no single person since Carl Sagan has excited the public more about the wonders of science than Neil deGrasse Tyson. His recent work as host of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey goes steps beyond Sagan’s 1980 version, Cosmos: a Personal Voyage.

Learning about how our universe works and taking a cosmic perspective has me appreciate equally my smallness and my connection to the whole of everything. This perspective has given me a passion for learning and self-development. That, in turn, has provided me much joy and satisfaction, and permits me to embrace the impermanence and the miracle of being alive.

EXERCISE:

How would taking a far more cosmic perspective of your life provide you access to living an even more extraordinary one?

At the end of the game pawns and kings go back into the same box

“At the end of the game, pawns and kings go back into the same box.”

—Italian Proverb

Image of a chess game in progress

Image from Unsplash by raw pixel

We live in a world of comparisons. Over the millennia, there have been kings and slaves, the wealthy and the poor, the elite and the untouchables.

Examine your own professional and personal worlds for comparisons such as executives versus clerical staff, movie stars, professional athletes, and attractive individuals versus the plain and less talented.

In chess and in life, kings and queens have far more advantages and opportunities to come out on top versus the pawns of our world.

What is the cost we and society pay each day because of this superior/inferior perspective?

EXERCISE:

How would viewing one another as equals with our shared humanness help us all realize a more wonderful life before we go back in the box?

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”

—H. Jackson Browne, Jr., Author of Life’s Little Instruction Book

Image of a blue barn door with a large red heart painted on it

Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson

The human heart is an extraordinary organ. Weighing about ten ounces, this fist-sized miracle pumps life-giving oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout our bodies, without missing a beat.

The heart, like our brain, generates a powerful electromagnetic field. The electrocardiogram (ECG) has a field more than 60 times greater (based on amplitude) than brain waves generate in an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Some researchers believe that this electromagnetic field can code and connect individuals beyond our five senses, potentially transmitting and exchanging both positive and negative energies.

EXERCISE:

How would viewing life from a more heartfelt perspective help you see more of the invisible wonders of life?

You may wish to explore the work of the Heart Math Institute to see what they have been working on for over 25 years.

There is a bigger picture

“There’s a bigger picture. Just step back from the canvas.”

—attributed to Ilona Simone

One of my favorite Netflix Original Series is called Tales by Light.

Each episode highlights a specific masterful photographer, examining their world in great detail. The techniques they use to capture our world include a wide variety of lenses, and viewing their subjects from multiple levels.

From ground level to the top of a ladder, or a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon or drone, their images reveal more of their canvas, and a far more interesting and beautiful perspective on their subject.

EXERCISE:

Where in either your personal or professional world are you simply too close to a particular subject? Where would stepping back to gain greater objectivity and perspective shed more and better light on your view of your world?

The reason I talk to myself is

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”

—George Carlin, Late American stand-up comedian and social critic

Image of George Carlin

Image from content.time

George Carlin, who passed away in 2008, was noted for his black comedy. No subject escaped his probing and ingenious mind. He had a surprising and penetrating way of making aspects of human nature hilarious to millions of people.

Today’s quote points out that we are constantly talking to ourselves and find our own opinions, perspective, and general views on all subjects of greatest appeal and value. Carlin knew that our favorite subject was ourselves. He was clever enough to poke fun at it, making him one of the most popular comedians of all time.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can the understanding that each of us talks to ourselves and prefers our owns answers help you improve your relationships and the results you desire, personally or professionally?

Better keep yourself clean and bright

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”

—George Bernard Shaw, 20th Century Irish playwright

Image of man washing windows on a tall building

Image from Flickr by Jason Bain

It is early spring here in Michigan. With increased daylight, warmer days, and a few more birds chirping, many of us are embarking on some spring cleaning.

Two activities that are often on the list are cleaning or replacing the furnace filter, and washing the windows, to clean our air and brighten our views.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you clean your own perceptual filters and brighten your windows on the world to lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life?

Consider doing this exercise with your family or work community so that you can engage additional social support and increase the likelihood of success.

Don’t Be Discouraged

“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”

—Author Unknown

Image of keys in a circle

Image from Flickr by Hayley Mechelle

What current personal or professional issue has you upset, frustrated, and perhaps at a breaking point? Where are you ready to throw in the towel and give up on a matter of great importance?

You may even feel that you have tried everything possible and don’t have it in you to go on.

Beyond the RAH-RAH of the If at first you don’t succeed… stuff, how can you remain patient and persist in new and different actions to open the locks of opportunities you seek?

EXERCISE:

Seek out the support of a friend, mentor, family member, or coach to tackle this matter. They will likely help you find the inner strength to go on, and the added perspective to achieve what you desire.

Friday Review Perspective

FRIDAY REVIEW: PERSPECTIVE

Our perspective can change in an instant. Here are some perspective-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

 

 

 

 

“The optimist already sees the scar over the wound; the pessimist sees the wound underneath the scar.”

 

 

 

“There are people who would love to have your bad days.”

 

 

 

 

 

Keep the Bigger Perspective in Mind

“Keep the bigger perspective in mind, not getting caught in life’s little whirlpools.”

—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation

Image of a whirlpool

Image from Clipartfest

What are some of the events in your personal or professional life that have brought you down, upset you, or even caused you to feel angry?

Select just one event, and play with it through a variety of perspectives to see if you can rise out of the downward spiral.

Who in your world would barely notice the issue, or not be impacted at all? How would they view this issue?

Who do you know who would find the lesson in this issue and use the silver lining to better their life?

Who in your life is creative and innovate, always finding a way to achieve their objectives in spite of obstacles or challenges?

EXERCISE:

What new and different approaches and perspectives can you try to better navigate the swirling whirlpools that pull you down?

Consider asking some of the people you identified above for their coaching.