Chapter 3 – Tweak Your Perspective
As you prepare to present your idea to your loved ones, remember that we all look at things from different standpoints. Open your mind. Try to view things from various angles. As you explore the views, you will become aware of things you hadn’t considered before. And just like finding the object in a hidden picture puzzle, once you see it, you can’t “unsee” it. As your perspective broadens, your heart opens, and judgment lessens. You will be better able to pursue your passion without shrinking from or striking at the naysayers.
The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
Though all of them were blind,
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant
And, happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me, but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis very clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal
And, happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up he spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “The Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
“What most the wondrous beast is like
Is very plain,” quoth he;
“Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said, “Even the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can:
This marvel of an elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong.
Though each was partly in the right,
They all were in the wrong!
Action Steps For Your Passion:
1. Find a friend that you know who has an opposing view on an issue related to your passion. Ask him if he would be willing to help you understand his point of view. Without judgment, listen and learn.
2. Research websites, blogs, etc. to connect with people that are pursuing a similar passion to yours. Find out how they have handled challenges with people who didn’t share their view.
3. Choose one thing that you consider to be an obstacle to living your passion. Try looking at it from an airplane view. By tweaking your perception of it, can your flip the obstacle into a motivator?
4. Write the following words on an index card (or something similar) and keep it where you can easily access it when a clash of perspectives come up: “In the long run, does this really matter?”
Action Steps For Your Relationships:
1. Now that you’ve tried out calmly addressing an opposing view with a friend, try it with your dream-killer. Don’t choose a huge issue, just something small to test the waters. It doesn’t have to be related to your passion. The purpose is to stretch the experience of exploring his viewpoint.
2. This may seem silly if it isn’t something you’d influence on the recipient. Write a note to your dream-killer that says something like the following (adapt it to be appropriate for both of you): “Even though we don’t always look at things the same, I love you for who you really are.” Put it where he will find it when you aren’t together.