One of the biggest blocks to self-growth is believing our perspective is the only one.
Over my life, I have constantly had to remind myself of the singularity of my point of view: when my wife and I disagree on travel plan, when a business partner sees a different path, or when a driver cuts across the road dangerously. I could allow myself to live in a world where my laws are the only standard. But I would never grow.
It’s healthy to take a check periodically and reign in our egos – to put our point of view in its place among the vast perspectives in this world.
Here are three incredible quotes on perspective that should shape your thinking:
“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.”
– John Rogers
This blogger, and fellow ENTP, talks a bit about the writing process. When a writer sits down and creates a world, he is mimicking the real world. Characters have motivations and backstories. But unlike the real world, we get to watch two sides unfold.
The best stories are those with developed, relatable bad guys. We get to see why they believe what they do. We have sympathy. We can’t know the full story, but we can offer people the benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps the angry waiter at your favorite restaurant was just diagnosed with cancer or dealt with a faulty car on his way to work. While it doesn’t excuse their actions, our imagination can give us the power to encourage.
“Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.”
It is unnatural for most people to have an open mind when it comes to what others believe and claim. Our truth seems paramount. But it is a healthy part of growing to consider other ideas and viewpoints.
I generally find deeper commitment to my beliefs when I discover the history and thought behind them. The other benefit of living an open-minded life is that we do learn to respect those who differ from us, and therefore learn to work with all types of people.
“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for… In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the coloring, sportsmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”
– John Lubbock
Everyone has a different lens with which he or she sees the world through. I usually think in terms of investing, business and social impact, where others may see medicine and healing. I work knowing that my way is not the only way to do things. This frees me to work in my own niche, and respect those who balance out the world by using their strengths.
Which of these quotes inspired you today? Or what other quote challenges your thinking? Share your favorite quote in the comments below!
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