7 Tips to Help You Gain a New Perspective

7 Tips to Help You Gain a New Perspective 7 Tips to Help You Gain a New Perspective
OK, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I just want to give up! I can hear you whispering, “Yeah, me too.”

No matter your field of expertise or lot in life, I can guarantee you’ve run up against problems that seem insurmountable. Whatever the circumstance, these are the times when you feel like giving up.

When Problems Seem Too Big

Let’s face it, there will always be problems that seem impossible to solve. You will always have moments when you want to throw up your hands and walk away. But the odds are that you’re not the first person to tackle your particular problem. There IS a solution waiting to be found, you just haven’t found it yet.

What you really need is a change—a change of perspective.

Have you ever stood outside a skyscraper and looked up? It’s almost impossible to conceive how something so massive was ever built.

Your problem can look like that.

Now, go up the elevator to the top floor and look down. Everything down below seems so small. All you did was change your position and thereby change your perspective.

Realize the Need for Change

Here’s the deal. When you changed your perspective by taking the elevator to the top floor, you didn’t accomplish it under your own power. Sure, you’re the one who took initiative to make the transition, but you didn’t design and build the skyscraper, you didn’t pay for the electricity to operate the elevator, and you didn’t create the new view out of thin air. Your approach to solving problems should be similar. There’s absolutely no reason you should be going it alone.

Maybe you’re just stuck in a rut. Have you heard the old saying, “A rut is nothing but a grave with both ends kicked out?” If you’re stuck, you need to step back and consider whether you’re doing the same thing over and over, hoping to accomplish something new. That’s the very definition of insanity. Break out of the ordinary and try something new.

7 Tips to Help You Gain a New Perspective

  1. Ask for help. See if a friend or trusted colleague has any fresh ideas. You don’t have to do this alone, even if finding the solution is your responsibility. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for some input. Ask, “How would you do this?” or “Where would you start?”
  2. Walk away. No, you’re not giving up, you’re simply stepping away from the problem for a while. Instead of banging your head against a wall, try letting go and do something new while your mind keeps chipping away in the background. The subconscious mind has an amazing ability to solve problems on its own.
  3. Start over. As hard as it might be to scrap whatever progress you’ve made so far, sometimes it’s the best solution. Take a break and start fresh. It doesn’t mean all the time and energy you’ve spent so far has been a waste. On the contrary, once you start again, you’ll find the best places to insert your old data in your new approach.
  4. Overhaul your routine. Change things up and see if that sparks your imagination and critical thinking. Routine is good and helps us get things done efficiently, but you may have let bad habits or unnecessary actions creep in over time. Maybe your routine is fine, but you’re bored. Change it up! Inject something new into your schedule that gives you a boost.
  5. Broaden your horizons. It’s always possible you simply don’t know enough to make an informed decision. Have you looked at your problem from every side? Have you done your due diligence to tear the problem apart so that you’re intimately familiar with every little tidbit? This is the Eastern method of problem solving. (You can learn more about this from Chris LoCurto.)
  6. Break out of your two-dimensional view. Similar to #5 above, how deep does your vision go? Is your perspective two-dimensional—like an elevation drawing of a building? Sure, it may be detailed, but it’s only surface detail. Go deeper and learn more, as if you’ve been tasked to create a full architectural blueprint suitable for constructing the building you’ve envisioned—that’s 3D perspective. Then, create a timeline for your solution. When’s the deadline? How long will the necessary steps take? How much advance notice do you need to give your team? That’s a 4D perspective.
  7. Ask someone else take the lead. You many need to swallow your pride and admit that you’re not the best person for the job at hand. That doesn’t mean you’re a failure, but it does mean that you’re headed toward failure if you don’t make a major adjustment. It also doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It’s a sign that you’re wise and humble enough to recognize that someone else should take the lead. Now you get the chance to be a team player.

What are some ways that you find a new perspective? Share your methods and ideas in the comments.

Become a Solution Seeker

solution Become a Solution Seeker

A World in Need of Solutions

A couple of weeks ago, I went down to the gas station to fill up the car. I usually fill up at the same station and have for several years now because they usually have the lowest price and they’re conveniently located near my office. For the past couple of months, the pump that I always use—yes, I’m a creature of habit—has been out of receipt paper. Every time I go to fill up, I push the button that tells the pump I want a receipt. It says it prints one out at the end of the transaction but nothing ever comes out.

Well, this day I was griping to myself in my head, “I wonder if they’ve refilled the paper yet? How can they be so lazy and not refill it after so many weeks?” Then I caught myself. Why was I putting all the responsibility on the gas station instead of working to be part of the solution myself?

The solution was as simple as driving one stall over and using a different pump.

Am I Part of The Problem?

You see that? For weeks I was upset that they were so lazy. I waited for them to solve my problems for me. Not once had I considered moving to a different pump. I mean, that was my pump, how dare they not fix it for me! Not once had I considered walking into the gas station to see if they even knew there was a problem with the pump. I just assumed they were lazy.

When we decide to not be solution seekers that means we’ve stopped learning. Waiting for someone else to come along and solve our problems for us is a sign that we’ve shut down and don’t want to do the hard work ourselves. We call others around us lazy when we’re the ones who could use a good swift kick in the pants.

Being a solution seeker doesn’t always mean figuring out the solution to a problem on our own. Sometimes it can mean swallowing our pride and asking someone else to show us the way.

Become the Solution

We forget the benefits of being a solution seeker all too often. Not only do we eventually find the answers to our problems, but we often discover solutions that we can share with others. Sometimes we discover solutions that are marketable, meaning we can either add them to our resumé or make money from the solution we discovered by offering it as a service to customers.

Case in point. My family recently switched banks, partially because our old bank was beginning to falter in customer service. Our new bank excels in treating their customers well. It’s simple things like finding a stack of deposit slips in the drive-through canister that make their customers feel special.

At our old bank, we always had to ask for deposit slips, so we got in the habit of carrying a stack of them around in our car. I have a feeling someone at our new bank experienced the problem having to beg for a deposit slip and decided to take action.

The World Wants Solutions

Over the last few years, I took the initiative to learn how to layout and convert my own manuscripts to the various ebook formats. Learning the solution to my own problem, though it took me time, saved me lots of money. Now I’ve turned that knowledge into a marketable skill and have started selling my services to other authors.

I recently joined with my wife in her existing business and began offering ebook conversions and book cover designs. So, just through simple word of mouth, I’ve completed manuscript conversions for several clients, making several hundred dollars.

The truth is, if you have a problem, you’re likely not the only person in the world with that problem. When you find a solution, see if you can find other people like yourself who need your solution.

The Benefits of Being Temporarily Undisciplined

Multnomah Falls from the base 768x1024 The Benefits of Being Temporarily UndisciplinedSo, I was on vacation the last week and a half. The family and I went up to Oregon to attend a family member’s wedding and had lovely time.

The only problem was, in terms of the flow of thing I’m involved in, the trip came at a pretty bad time, and that’s ok. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, I finished major revisions on my first novel and decided to set it aside for a while before doing one last read-through. I honestly meant to tackle this read-through during the vacation, and started it on the plane, but I just couldn’t find the will to concentrate and get it done. I didn’t pick it back up again until the plane ride home.

Now, I don’t have a real deadline since I’m planning to self-publish on Amazon’s KDP, but I had a goal of September 7. I’m not going to make it, and I’m ok with that.

I needed to take the time and let my brain veg-out, so to speak. Maybe I won’t make my self-imposed deadline, but I think I’ll come out with a better product in the long run.

Sometimes you just need to take a break from the discipline you’ve built into your life so that you don’t burn yourself out. Temporarily give yourself some off-time every now and then and recharge your spirit.

Your work will be glad you did.

Work for Your Dreams

dreams Work for Your Dreams

Time’s Running Out

I turned 40 last year, and like a lot of folks who hit middle age, I began to take stock of my life. Like everyone, I have some regrets—things I wish I had done better, people I wish I had treated better, mistakes I wish I hadn’t made—the usual self-assessment.

But there was also a slew of things that, though I had regrets about my life’s performance so far, it wasn’t too late to change.

My family recently got out of debt, and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever accomplished. I feel so much more hope for our future than ever before. It took time, work, and sacrifice, but we got there. One day we just decided that it was time to do the work to get out of debt, and that’s what we did. The truth is, we had tried to get out of debt before, but were only half-hearted about it. This last time around we were serious and attacked our debt with passion.

As part of my self-assessment, the bulk of which has occurred in the last six months or so, I started looking at other parts of my life. Had I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 40? If not, why not? Why not start now?

Part of this assessment was my writing. I’ve gone through cycles my entire life where I’ll write for a year or so, then put it aside for a year or so, then pick it back up for a year or so…you get the picture. Because of this, I really never finished anything. Sure, I completed the first drafts of two novels, started a bunch of other stories, but never took them any further. I never started editing and revising. I never really worked toward getting things out into the world for anyone else to read.

I literally couldn’t sleep one night back in March because it was bothering me so much. I got out of bed, pulled all my writing materials, notes, and files together, and spent the entire night organizing my next steps as an author.

See that? I made the decision and went for it, realizing it would take me a significant amount of work to achieve my dreams. I intend to self-publish some things, and seek traditional publishing for other works. Honestly, however, the point isn’t about sales. I won’t measure my success by how many books I sell, or how many positive reviews I receive. I will be a success when I accomplish what I set out to do, which is finishing a book, setting it free, then moving on to the next one.

Take the First Steps

I’ve been overweight for the majority of my married life, slowly gaining more and more weight each year. I started out only slightly overweight, but eventually ballooned into obesity at over 240 lbs. About six weeks ago I had another one of those moments where I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Late last year I had lost about 20 lbs. by walking everyday and counting calories. For some reason, like my past experience with getting out of debt and writing, I gave up and ended up getting fatter than I had been before.

This time around, I’m passionate about it. There’s been no half-hearted effort, and I have no intension of stopping this time. In the last six weeks I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds. I’ve got about 50 more to go to get to where I really want to be, and I’m determined to get there.

The point is this. What’s your dream? What is it you want to accomplish?

Decide right now to do it. Decide right now to do the work involved to accomplish your goal. Attack it with passion. No half-hearted efforts allowed.

Take today and think through your plan. Gather your resources. Collect what you need to help you take the first step toward achieving your goal, then go to bed tonight with determination that you’re going to get up and kick it tomorrow.

Then wake up in the morning and just do it.