Appreciate the Enormous Power of a New Perspective

by  Bill Fox  |  Leadership Development
Flying at 4,500 ft. over the Susquehanna River

Wow – what a beautiful view!” was one of several responses I received when I posted this picture on my Facebook page last weekend. I took this picture with my iPhone while piloting a Cessna Skyhawk on my return trip from Pennsylvania back to Virginia. At the time, I was flying over the Susquehanna River south of Harrisburg, PA. The view was even more stunning from the plane!

But here’s the sad fact that I have become painfully aware of: Most people on the ground have no idea what possibilities are revealed when their situation is viewed from a higher perspective.

Most of us are so immersed in the details of our lives that we never see the possibilities. We focus only on what we see right in front of us, or on what happened last week, or on what we think or fear might happen in the future.

But what if we chose to take a more reflective perspective? What if we were able to hold a higher vision?

What would we notice? And what different choices would we make?

But here’s the important point I want to want to make: Our current perspective is creating our reality. Until we make an effort to take a different perspective, not much is going to change—no matter what else we do.

We so often are focused on what’s right in front of us that we never give ourselves the opportunity to consider a more reflective perspective—the kind of higher perspective that would allow us to create what we truly want and open ourselves up to new possibilities.

Rather than shifting our perspective—at least periodically—we instead focus on getting all the different parts of our current reality to work more effectively and efficiently. And we wind up making the same choices that everybody else is choosing because they say it’s right. We are not choosing for ourselves.

Sadly, I see this all the time in my work with helping organizations improve. They adopt one methodology or way of doing business that everyone else is choosing—and, more often than not, they experience repeated failures or marginal results. They don’t allow people to collaborate and to co-create something even better.

So how do we get a new perspective to create something different and better?

How about something like: Flying an airplane is a wonderful way to shift your vantage point. But you don’t have to be up at 3,000 feet to gain a new perspective. The best way I know to gain a new perspective on the ground is by asking questions.

But this is important: Don’t try to answer the questions. The questions themselves will change your energy and allow you to become more aware of the possibilities.

What kind of questions?

Try these great questions courtesy of Access Consciousness. These happen to be a few of my favorite questions that I use every day – repeatedly:

  • What else is possible?
  • How does it get any better than this?
  • What would it take to change this?
  • How could this turn out better than we ever imagined?

Now It’s Your Turn

  • What’s your best question for getting a new perspective?
  • Please share an example of a question that opened up a new possibility for you.
What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

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Articles By bill-fox
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What People Are Saying

Marilyn D Jacobson, PhD  |  14 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Bill, I resonated with your ideas about different perspectives. I advocate periodic turning the prisms to my clients and try to do it often in my professional and personal life. Since I travel frequently, I am also aware of how orderly the world looks at 10,000 feet and how disorderly it seems at times on the ground. Thanks for your ever interesting points of view.

Bill Fox  |  17 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Marilyn, thank you for your comments and kind words. Great idea on turning the prisms. That’s also a great distinction to call out on how things look more orderly from a higher perspective. For me personally I find that helps me see what may be more important from another vantage point. It also makes me feel that the chaos we often are so close to has a higher creative purpose. I’d also like to highlight here for others that you are the author of am amazing book, Turning the Pyramid Upside Down. Your book has contributed to my ideas that are showing up here. -Bill

Ted Nicholas  |  14 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Great stuff. A usefull question for me when I’m stuck in my thinking or in a negotiating situatio is to ask: What if we did this in a different way? The implied message is that if we do it differently it will be better and we will get unstuck.
You are right about the energy rising even before having the answer.

Bill Fox  |  17 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Ted, thanks for your kind comments and so glad to hear you enjoyed the post. I really like your question too: What if we did this in a different way? What a great way to get unstuck! Thanks for leaving a comment. -Bill

Sibel Mutlu  |  16 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Hi Bill, I completely agree with your above ariticle and really liked the way you explained it. I think it’s really important to ask these kind of perspective questions at differnt times of our lives. I would suggest the following questions which I really like: “What would you be doing if you weren’t affraid?”, “Is it really what you need/want to do or do you just feel obliged to?”

Bill Fox  |  17 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Hi Sibel, thanks for your great questions and kind words. I really like the idea of asking what would we be doing if you weren’t afraid. I know fear has stopped me from asking more questions than I would like to at times, but I’m getting less and less afraid to ask them. :) I’m happy to hear you liked the way I explained it. Thanks for leaving a comment. -Bill

Tony Gallardo  |  16 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Bill, great article; I see the value of your outlook in my own circumstances frequently. Trying to change ones perspective can be difficult, but if we do it, it often rewards us with great new insights. The fact that it may be difficult does not mean it is impossible, and is well worth the effort.

Bill Fox  |  17 Jul 2013  |  Reply

Tony, I’m glad to hear you liked the article, and I appreciate the kind words. As you say, the rewards from changing our perspective are well worth it. Your post gave be an idea for a question we might ask ourselves: “What would it take to make it easier for us to change our perspective more frequently.” Thanks for your comment. -Bill

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