Perception | How traveling, relationships, and school have shaped my perspective
Our perspective can either inspire us, or hold us back. It’s important to recognize when our current ‘truths’ are causing roadblocks in our lives and need a little reconsideration. Challenging our own set of beliefs means stepping out of our comfort zones, being open to debating the other side of the argument, and acknowledging that we might be very wrong. It’s not easy! But we all know when we need it; that window to new inspiration and motivation. When my outlook starts bordering negativity, and I’m feeling less resilient, I know it’s time to push the boundaries of my perspective.
Our perspective is a product of all our lessons, it’s who we are, and what we ultimately share with the world. Whether wonderful or unwanted, experiences that challenge our routines, our expectations or our egos, bring new perspective. For me the lessons that have shaped my perspective the most, have come from traveling, relationships and school. These things have all challenged what I had previously ‘known’, and have made the biggest impact on my day-to-day, most notably in my understanding of happiness.
The first time I recognized my perspective shifting, was after my first traveling experience in Costa Rica. It was the first time that my eyes were opened to a different way of life, different values, and different priorities. I was surprised to see how happy and generous people were despite how little they had. They didn’t seem stressed about not being about to afford ‘things’ either. They were content with the abundance of things that they had placed value in, and were happy to share anything they had with any stranger they met. This different reality, taught me that generosity has nothing to do with wealth, and that what we prioritize has a direct effect on our happiness.
Relationships have also taught me a lot, forcing new ways of framing my thoughts. There’s a fine balance between navigating how to maintain your sense of self, and getting swept away by romance. It’s an incredible feeling, in a relationship, when you feel that someone is invested in your happiness and makes you experience a different level of joy. But, if your happiness is wrapped up in someone else, any threat to the relationship becomes very personal….and it’s hard to bounce back if that relationship ends. So, my lessons were to know what makes you happy, how to keep a smile on your own face… and if there’s a person in your life that affects that ability, know when to set your boundaries. At the end of the day, our happiness is our responsibility.
School, and more specifically naturopathic medical school, taught me my limits. It forced humility, it forced perseverance, and taught me the fine line between pushing… and depleting myself. I learned that I had to let my ego soften around how I wanted to ‘perform’ in the program, and tune in to when it was ultimately causing my health to suffer. It challenged the need for external gratification, forced me to define my own meter of success, and prioritize balance for the sake of my health and happiness. Never let the chase to fulfill perceived expectations tip the balance of your well being.
The beauty in perspective is that it can change. When we recognize that our perspective is causing stress and resistance in our lives, we have the ability to re-evaluate our thinking, and be open to seeing things in a new light. Whether plot twists challenge us, new experiences show us, or friends objectively share with us, we gain insights and perspective. Perspective shifts happen by being open to differences, available for change and having trust in the process.
There’s a fluidity to perspective, and it will continually shift with our experiences if we let it.