The power of perspective

by on May 21, 2010
in design

Sometimes it seems to me that adults take everything way too seriously.

We see ourselves as self-important, our work as self-significant, and we can get wrapped up in sophisticated beliefs, becoming rigid in our thinking mind, our attitude, our approach, and our perspective. What is it that we give up, or forget under the day-to-day pressures, and responsibilities of adult life?

We forget to play. We stop laughing. We stop experimenting. We take things for granted. We make assumptions.

We lose sight of the joy that exists in every moment if we just tune-our-perspective, let-go of our ego, and take the time to see it.

If we consciously recall the perspective of the six year old (yes it’s still inside every grown adult) we can reclaim the powerful simplicity of this outlook. The next time you’re stuck in a really tough area, or have invested tons of cycles trying to circumnavigate a technical constraint, take a step back, see the challenge with joy, appreciate the opportunity it is providing you, and ask yourself or the group this question…

‘What would a six year old do?’

You might very well just be over thinking the problem. Sometimes the clearest, most-obvious solution really is the best solution.

On the value of time

by on January 16, 2010
in life

When I was thirteen years old I was hospitalized for several weeks with an acute ruptured appendix. Without going into the intimate details, suffice it to say that there were multiple complications and there were moments where the doctors, my folks, and I weren’t entirely certain I was going to pull through.

Several months later after finally recovering at home I learned that my best friend had died tragically in a motorcycle accident. He also was thirteen.

These two events were my first real encounters with my own mortality and the fragility of life. Both events fundamentally changed my perspective relative to time and it’s value.

Several years ago I finally got around to reading Steven Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effectively People.” In this very insightful book one of Steven’s seven principles is the idea of “Living with the end in mind.” In the book Steven talks fairly clinically about clients of his and how their near death experiences changed their perspective. While such a topic may make folks uncomfortable, seem dark, or morbid within western culture, speaking from firsthand experience this has in fact been the single most powerful and motivating factor in my life. I came to this realization at the age of thirteen.

Many people sleepwalk through life fantasizing about some convenient, neat, and timely end. They might procrastinate and assume that there will be time to live their dreams, “someday”. Sometimes folks snap out of it about half way through, and have a mid-life crisis and finally start living life pro-actively and unapologetically. They start doing all of the things that they always dreamed of doing, that they put off for so long. They start living with intention, in the present.

So I say why wait until the mid-point to start living? Why put your dreams on hold, why procrastinate, when the only guarantee in live in life, is right now, right in front of you, the present. What are you doing right now to live the live of your dreams?

So as scary as it may seem, stop taking life for granted, stop living your life on the assumption (and it is an assumption) that you have unlimited time here, stop putting it-off . Start making time for your dreams, make them happen, live fully in the present right now, go!