Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life.

18 Jun

We all know the classic maxim, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”  Well think and act like the person you want to be.  Who is to tell you you’re wrong??

“Wait, you’re not an outgoing person.”

“I’m being outgoing now, aren’t I?”

   The phrase, “That’s not me,” is a logical fallacy.  What one is really saying is, “That is not the kind of choice I have made in the past.” Yes, there is a certain value placed on consistency.  However, that parochial value is vastly outweighed by the need for utility.  We’ve all heard the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Well in that same vein, it follows, that, “If it IS broke, fix it ya jackass!”

   Your only true limitations while on this earth are what you can do physically.  You may not be able to slam dunk.  Okay, get over it.  Everything else is a mental game.  With just a few tweaks (doses of reality) regarding the way you perceive yourself and the world around you, it is possible to achieve all that you desire in life.

  If you don’t like something about yourself, what you’re doing, where you’re going, change it.  No one is benefitted by  your remaining miserably stagnant, or even simply less satisfied than you feel you could be.  Unless you’re Hindi, you only get one go-around so why not make it the best ride it can be??

  It occurs to me that fear of failure or what other people think are the primary forces that tether us to our current positions; both of which are clearly compelling concerns.  However, they need not hold so much power.

FEAR OF FAILURE.

  So what? Everyone has failed at something. Putting yourself out there takes guts plain and simple. No matter what the end result, one should be proud for having taken that risk.  Who would you have more respect for? The guy who approaches the young starlet to ask her on a date but is kindly rejected, or the guy who is too scared to even try and looks at his feet when she passes by?? Come on. That’s easy.

  At the risk of sounding platitudinous: How are you going to know if you don’t try??

   In this sophisticated day and age, we have evolved beyond the primitive need for fear in most instances.  Unless you don’t already know that fire is hot, fear is no longer a protective force, and really only exists as an obstacle.  It is something that blocks the path to what we truly desire.  Realizing it’s atavistic utility, one should be able to consciously move beyond fear’s influence.

   Moreover, let’s be honest, fear of failure isn’t really the fear of failing.  You could fail at something a myriad of times without a care in the world so long as no one was looking.  What we are really afraid of is what other people will think; societies judgment of our value and worth.

Given the perfect transitioning opportunity…

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.

  This is my favorite because one can simultaneously acknowledge the absurdity of this concern while conceding the paralyzing grip it can have on us.

  Clearly, it is silly to think you can know what any one person, let alone a group of your peers, or society as a whole thinks about you, or any given action you take.

First, we are often wrong in our assumptions about how others perceive any particular frame in your life’s reel.  

   You can not possible know what any one person or group of people is thinking.  Ever.  Even if they communicate their thoughts to you directly, this, as you know, could be laden with half-truths, ulterior motives, and other vagaries which make even the spoken word inherently unreliable.

 In reading body language and other cues, the risk of misinterpreting signals or assigning personal relevance to behaviors that may simply have nothing to do with you warrants heavy caution here.  Thus it would be particularly foolish for one to assign substantial weight to such glaringly tenuous conclusions regarding the inner thoughts of another.

  So let us not assume we know what other’s think, how they perceive us, or the judgments they cast at any given moment.

   We roll our eyes every time we hear that a psychic has had visions leading to the discovery of a missing person– obviously bogus. We mock anyone who would believe in mind-readers or fortune tellers yet proceed to rely on our own brand of telepathic clairvoyance to guide our life decisions.  Indeed a double-tisk in our direction.

So point one: You can’t read minds or predict the future. (Sorry.)

Second, when it comes to other people’s list of priorities, whatever you’re doing is almost certainly not on that list.

   Yes, we are the center of our universe (metaphorically speaking).  And given that natural solipsistic view, we assume that we must be the center of everyone else’s universe.  They must be thinking about me as much as I do. Clearly false, but it helps to have this fallacy pointed out.

   No more than a moment’s introspection regarding how much time you dedicate thinking about others should reveal this truth: No one is thinking more about how you appear than you are.  Other people have their own stuff to deal with. They aren’t losing any sleep pacing the floor meticulously analyzing your every move, success, and folly.

   So the one passing thought they might have about you, that you can’t read anyway, and that is likely as important to them as the oatmeal they had for breakfast, should obviously not dictate how you live your life.

   Bottom line, you really aren’t that important.

   While at first blush these words might smack of insult, what they should really provide is a sense of relief.  And knowing that you are the only person on earth with a magnifying glass over your head should embolden you with the freedom to make choices, take risks and live according to what makes YOU happy and feel good about yourself– not according to your misguided idea of what others think of you.

CONCLUSION

   You don’t know what other’s think, how they’ll react, and it really doesn’t matter either way.  Outside influences and opinion are fleeting.  You are the only person who has to live with you every second of every day.  You are the final arbiter of what is right, what makes you happy, and the only person who can make the decisions that get you where you want to be.

   I hope that I have presented a good case for my position that changing your self-focused perception to one better reflective of reality can and should manumit yourself from any self-imposed limitations on your success and happiness.

   As always, feedback is most welcome and appreciated.

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5 Responses to “Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life.”

  1. Henri Baker June 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    food for thought

  2. BEBE Joyce June 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    This is beautiful

    • J.D. St. Michaels February 2, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

      Thank you. I give great thought to what I write. Very nice to be appreciated.

      Best,

      ~ JD

  3. Anonymous June 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    i like that alot. will try

  4. BillyMayz June 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Extraordinarily insightful and inspirational writing. Damn. That’s some good stuff right there. I think maybe you’re right.

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