Focusing on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power, but energy directed at things we can’t influence is wasted
Perspective is everything. That is, when you can break apart something, or look at it from some new angle, it loses its power over you. Fear is debilitating, distracting, tiring, and often irrational. Pericles understood this completely, and he was able to use the power of perspective to defeat it. The Greeks understood that we often choose the ominous explanation over the simple one, to our detriment. That we are scared of obstacles because our perspective is wrong—that a simple shift in perspective can change our reaction entirely. The task, as Pericles showed, is not to ignore fear but to explain it away. Take what you’re afraid of—when fear strikes you—and break it apart.
Remember: We choose how we’ll look at things. We retain the ability to inject perspective into a situation. We can’t change the obstacles themselves—that part of the equation is set—but the power of perspective can change how the obstacles appear. How we approach, view, and contextualize an obstacle, and what we tell ourselves it means, determines how daunting and trying it will be to overcome.
The way we look out at the world changes how we see these things. Is our perspective truly giving us perspective or is it what’s actually causing the problem? That’s the question. What we can do is limit and expand our perspective to whatever will keep us calmest and most ready for the task at hand. Think of it as selective editing—not to deceive others, but to properly orient ourselves. And it works. Small tweaks can change what once felt like impossible tasks. Suddenly, where we felt weak, we realize we are strong. With perspective, we discover leverage we didn’t know we had.
Our emotions Our judgments Our creativity Our attitude Our perspective Our desires Our decisions Our determination
Focusing exclusively on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power. But every ounce of energy directed at things we can’t actually influence is wasted—self-indulgent and self-destructive.
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
Click to set custom HTML
Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”