`There are no facts, only interpretation’. – Fredrich Nietzsche
More than a century old, this saying by the German philosopher is still relevant today. Can we really say what is right or wrong or is it merely a view of perspective or circumstance? Is your perspective holding you back from living to your full potential? Could changing your perspective of something have a positive impact on your life?
However, perspective can be subjective as it is seen through the individual’s own judgement, values and perspective of a situation. For example, when you walk into an art gallery and look at a piece of art you find beautiful, it may be that the person next to you finds that same artwork not so nice. While both of you are in the art gallery because you have an appreciation of art, your opinions of what you like are different.
How can this be so?
When you are born, your conditioning of how you view the world is formed from that of your parents. They shape your views based on their own belief systems including what they like and how they view culture and experiences. Your experience is based on what you experience as you grow through life and how they have affected you.
So if you find the art beautiful your perspective is optimistic while the person who does not like it will see it differently. This can lead you to thinking your viewpoint is the right one without taking into consideration why someone may think differently.
You therefore become defined by your experiences, and this is how you approach life. In some instances you are unable to see passed your perspective which makes it difficult to change. Therefore, you are both right about the artwork. But how do you respect the other person’s perspective without argument?
Being able to respectfully disagree is a skill in listening to what the other has to say and understand why they see something differently. Sometimes this may also change your viewpoint when you listen to someone else explain why they think differently to you. You can see beyond the limiting beliefs shaped by your experiences.
As you learn to let go of your perceptions and consider that there may be another way of seeing a situation, without infringing on your values, you may find that you grow as a person. Your maturity level increases as you learn to accept that there is another perspective to consider.
Changing your perspective means finding courage and humility to intellectually empathise with another person. It takes imagination and self-awareness and depends on the context of a situation. What we take for granted can be seen as a privilege by someone in a less fortunate position.
By challenging a perspective, whether yours or someone else’s, you allow yourself to consider the situation with compassion and in turn your wisdom grows. If you are prepared to change the way you look at something you can change how you see things. In turn your mindset shifts about your overall view of the world around you.
Ultimately when you learn to change your perspective, you not only end up changing your life, but you gain the power to change the world.