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How to Put Things In Perspective (2)

This is the second of two companion posts on getting perspective in life. The first post was about how taking responsibility for things that are happening makes us feel more powerful. This one helps us to put current problems into perspective.


It starts with a simple question:

What do you have that you used to dream about or wish for that you have right now?


I love this question. It is one that I run through my own mind regularly. For example in the last few weeks my negative self-talk has included:

  • being frustrated that there's a paint peeling problem in a bathroom that I can't seem to sort out

  • feeling angry with myself that I tried to cut the grass too short and burnt out the band that drives the rotors on my lawnmower

  • losing confidence that I knew what I was doing when pitching for some work

  • getting grumpy because I had one two many taxi rides to give my kids one weekend

  • criticising myself because I did a long run more slowly than I thought I would.

I could go on. Actually, when I start to reflect on these thoughts they are surprisingly frequent. As they are for everyone.

But, there's a different way to think about all of those things when they are refracted through that question:

  • I am so lucky to live in a house that I couldn't have imagined 10 years ago. To only have a bit of a damp wall to worry about when I used to worry my lease could be cancelled at a landlord's whim.

  • I have a garden! And a lawnmower. Sure, the lawnmower needs fixing and the grass needs cutting, but it'll soon be spring and it will all come to life. Remember when I only had a concrete yard.

  • I'm in a position to pitch for work that excites me. Because I have a business. That I created. Something I was frightened to try for so long is actually happening.

  • I'm lucky to have 4 wonderful kids who are growing up and living full lives. I'll miss the football, drama rehearsal, teenage party conversations when they are gone. My life is full. (And I have a car!)

  • I get to run. Pretty much whenever I want. On beautiful trails in the Yorkshire hills. I just put my shoes on and go. Who cares about the numbers. Enjoy the experiences.

So whenever you find your negative self talk is getting a little too much. Take a moment to reflect on the things you have in your life and express a little gratitude.

It'll give you a lift right away 😀

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