By: Tina Baiter
Have you ever noticed the answers to some of life’s biggest challenges often come quickly when you approach them from new angles or with a new attitude?
I recently reread one of my favorite books, The Noticer, by Andy Andrews. In the book, an old man named Jones shows up in the lives of random people when he needs them most. While it would be easy for Jones to just tell people how to solve their problems, instead he helps the other people in the book develop their own solutions.
The key to finding the right solution to a problem usually comes in finding a new perspective. The ability to change your perspective on life can often turn a devastating situation into a powerful one.
Find Lessons in Situations
Last night I had a friend call me to vent. She was upset at something a co-worker had done. The more she talked about it, the more you could feel her temperature rise (and we were on the phone). Her co-worker had stolen one of her ideas and used it in a presentation to their boss. The boss had hated the idea, but my friend was not mad over that. She was mad she had not been given credit. Apparently, her co-worker stole a lot of ideas from other people.
After she finished telling her story, I told her there were two things she could do:
1. She could continue to stew over the situation and be angry, but the ironic part there was she was the only person angry. Her co-worker obviously had no problems stealing the idea, and her boss didn’t know the difference.
2. She could grow from it. I told her she should start sharing her ideas with the right people, instead of hiding behind them. My guess was the co-worker who constantly stole the ideas of others was not afraid of rejection. That co-worker was willing to openly share ideas in the right arena.
The light bulb went off. My friend had spent most of her professional career too afraid to share her ideas until she knew the ground she was sharing them on was solid. She didn’t want to face rejection. Her perspective was narrowly focused on one arena – her fear. That fear was holding her back. Now instead of being angry at her co-worker, she felt a new sense of power. She was going to start sharing her ideas with the right people.
Rethink the Way You View Things
One of my favorite stories in The Noticer is when Jones meets Andy in the first chapter. Andy is really disgruntled about where his life has ended up. As the duo munches on a can of sardines and some Vienna sausages on the beach, Jones asks Andy what they are eating. Andy responds, “Sardines and Vienna sausages in the sand.”
It was a very obvious answer, that fit a very real situation.
Jones opted to put a different spin on the cuisine. His description was the pair was eating “surf and turf with an ocean view.”
What about you? What conflicts do you have going on in your life that may need a new perspective? Remember that for every negative thing that happens, something positive can be found. Start turning the negative things in your life into “ocean views” instead of “sandy dinner tables”.