The Power of the Perspective
Posted on March 28, 2014 | By Stefan | 1 response
When I read that the lost Malaysian aircraft had probably been high-jacked I was struck by how the perspective we take can strongly influence our feelings and moods. You see I felt relief; perhaps the passengers were still alive! And being a father myself, I could well guess how much more parents must have felt relief.
Then we learned that the aircraft had crashed and we again felt the deep sorrow.
But what is this? How can we feel relief – even joy – when hearing such terrible news that an airplane has probably been high-jacked?
The answer is that it is all a matter of the perspective we take. Information exists in a context. We don’t react to some information in isolation; what we hear is always parsed by our context. This is of course nothing new or strange, but the power of it became very real to me when I pondered my reactions to the news that the plane had probably been high-jacked. The power of our perspective came like a shock to me!
Dalai Lama describes how our ability to shift perspective can be one of the most powerful and effective tools we have to cope with life’s daily problems in the wonderful book The Art of Happiness.
So, this is nothing new really. However, this had been more of an intellectual knowledge of mine; the tragic incident with the Malaysian aircraft brought it to life. In a way, I guess, we always try to find something good even from terrible news such as that. Perhaps that is why I have pondered this strange reaction lately and been trying it out.
For instance, recently when talking to my son, I tried to apply it. Being 15 years old is not easy and when you like to make music and edit video movies on the PC it can sometimes be hard to understand that you have to eat, sleep, do your homework, help some at home and exercise too. So, I described how he would have to have lived if he had been born a hundred years ago. No PC. No TV and much stricter rules. Well, I think it helped some. Now, that medicine must be repeated I know.
And for myself I got pretty upset when I found out that CreateSpace does not pay out royalties to banks in Sweden via bank transfer. They insist on sending a check! Stone age practices in our modern times! Most banks in Sweden refuse to touch checks and if they do they will charge an exorbitant fee. For instance the Swedish bank Nordea will charge a MINIMUM fee of 1200SEK. That is about 136 Euro! Why does CreateSpace not allow bank transfers for all EU countries such as KDP does?
It made me pretty upset, but then I thought. I am an unknown author so why do I not look upon my books, published through CreateSpace, as advertising for my eBook versions published by lulu.com? (Lulu.com makes it easy for you to get royalties.) And it will result in a lower price on my paperbacks, because of no or a very low royalty. This will make my paperbacks even more attractive. And then to top it, I can use this as an example in a blog! The more I changed my perspective the better I felt!
Or is this just, an attempt to get something positive out of that Malaysian air tragedy? Life must after all go on, and we need ways to think so it can go on. Well, I guess that is also a way of shifting the perspective!
There is true power in the perspective! Hope you will find some of that power too!