Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Wide is Your Lens?

I want you to take a few moments and think about your life- as it is now.

What's going well?
What's going not as well as you had hoped?
How would you rate your life on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = terrible, 10 = great)?

If you rated your life on the upper end, my guess is that you have a panoramic view of your life. This is a panoramic view of Seattle, Washington.

There's a lot to see in this picture. It may be difficult to focus on a single image as your eyes may be drawn to a variety of places in this picture. You may appreciate many different aspects of this view. I am personally drawn to the space needle, the clouds in the sky, and the water. This picture gives you some idea of how Seattle looks.

If you rated your life on the lower end of the scale, you likely have a narrow view of your life. Below is a picture of the Seattle Space Needle.

This picture highlights the space needle. I personally like the space needle, so this picture is pleasant to me. But if you are disinterested in the Space Needle or do not like it at all, then this picture is not so pleasant to you. And if this is all you see of Seattle and have never been, it makes it difficult to get an accurate sense of Seattle.

I believe that life is best viewed with a panoramic lens. This lens gives you a wide and balanced view of the many aspects of your life- things that are going well and things that you do not like so much. The narrow/zoom view of your life can be very limiting, especially if the focus point is a negative. If you've ever said or thought something like, "My life stinks because I don't have (a job I love, a relationship, enough money, etc...)" then you are using a narrow lens. It is fine acknowledge the things that you want that you do not have, but it becomes problematic emotionally to define your life by the absence of that thing. It is important to make sure that your panoramic view of your life is accurate- there's no need to make anything up. And if you're having trouble finding positive aspects of your life, I encourage you to continue panning out to a wider view.

~Dr. Stanley

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