With new perspectives come new realities.
At this very moment, you have the ability to change, modify and add perspectives and create new realities for yourself.
It happens every time you learn something new, every time you read a new book and every time you have a deep conversation and feel empathy or vulnerability.
It’s important because when you’re faced with a problem, a new perspective can help you reach a solution. Even more significantly, a new perspective can help you eliminate the cause of a problem and render a solution obsolete, liberating you from the Diocletian problem-reaction-solution mindset.
This ability to shift perspective is a kind of mental agility that can be easily developed. You have this capacity already even if you don’t know it. It’s one of the corollaries of having a brain wired for narrative… you’re able to put yourself in the shoes of every character!
Imagine what you can do with this power in your hands… it’s almost like the ability to mind read.
Can you imagine being able to interpret the thoughts of your partner, children, colleagues, clients and stakeholders?
How would this enhance the clarity of your communication? How would this increased information expand your decision making ability?
Wouldn’t it give you a greater understanding of the people in your life? Wouldn’t it give you a way to fill in the emotive gaps in your analytical models?
Achieving this flexibility of perspective comes from using your innate intelligence to step out of your usual way of thinking. Let’s play a game to exercise your mental agility…
Imagine you’ve got three, plastic colour filters in front you; one red, one blue, one yellow. Can you visualise what you would see if you hold each filter in front of your eyes one at a time?
What about when you visualise holding the red and blue filters in front of each other, what colour do you get then?
What about red and yellow? Blue and yellow?
Ok now see if you can imagine all three circles intersecting each other in a triangular formation. What’s the colour at the centre?
This ability that you’ve been exercising with this colour filter game is the same one you can use to generate multiple perspectives of seeing. It’s a way of drawing upon the massive resource of your unconscious mind by mining for specific data.
Almost anything can be used as a filter… people, beliefs, virtues, Strengths, and Intelligences can all be used and lenses or filters to give you a new perspective and increase the amount of information you have available to your decision-making processes.
Let’s illustrate this with an example… think of a situation in your life that you’re dealing with right now.
Choose a set of filters to experiment with from the categories below:
People: Mom, Dad, your Mentor.
Emotions: Acceptance, Joy, Anger.
Strengths: Relating, Ideation, Command.
Now, look at your situation through each filter from the category you’ve chosen. E.g. If you’ve chosen ‘People’, think to yourself what would my Mom do? What would she say and how would she act.
See how the situation changes. See what new information you can find. Can you do it again? This time hold your Dad in mind and imagine what would he do and say.
It’s the same with the other filters… If you were feeling angry how would you approach the situation? If you were feeling accepting how would things change? You can approach the situation with an attitude of Ideation… i.e. “Let’s see how many new ideas we can come up with!”; or an attitude of Command where you say, “Here’s how it’s gonna go down…”.
Can you see how this ability to shift your perspective opens up a whole new world of data? Every time you consciously step out of your usual ways of seeing the world and look at things with fresh eyes, you create new nodes of information. When you gather enough of these new, individual perspectives, your mind will conglomerate this data into what astronaut Ron Garan calls an ‘Orbital Perspective‘. You create a new big picture which will inform your decisions and self-expression.
You know that having quality information is not only strategically important but also a competitive necessity. This method of creating new perspectives allows you to draw upon your own innate genius. You don’t always need complicated models to make forecasts because your brain is wired with the narrative potential to process all the variables. We don’t know the true computational power of the brain yet, but we can say that your brain is processing up to 10^27 bits of data per second, (that’s a 10 followed by 27 zeros!).
Next time you’re feeling stuck with a problem, ask yourself these questions:
What would I do if I was feeling more [insert emotion, virtue or characteristic here]?
What would Mom/Dad/Jesus/Buddha do? [You can use any person, character or archetype that you admire and are familiar with].
The possible applications of this way of generating perspective is vast and your only your imagination sets the bounds.
What new perspectives can you discover today?
And remember, new perspectives create new realities!
P.S. Writing this article in the coffee shop, I got chatting to the other person also using the plug socket to charge their laptop. Toby from Germany told me about how the game of Go is designed to encourage this kind of thinking from multiple perspectives! Any Go enthusiasts out there who can share insights?
Do you want to create new realities for yourself? Get in touch with Khalil here for a conversation about how new perspectives will automatically create new realities.