Get a New Perspective on Life

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We’ve taken a few days to observe where in our lives we are a creature of habit.  Hopefully you discovered something about yourself you didn’t realize before.

Well, there’s more to this story.  Let me take you back to Monday’s conversation…..

When I recently walked into my local Starbucks and found someone sitting in “my seat”,  I was suddenly and surprisingly faced with a range of emotions I had not expected.

The space at this particular Starbucks is set up in the shape of an L, and “my seat” is in the corner of the “L”, facing out towards the rest of the room, allowing me to observe people (one of my favorite things to do!) from a distance. The table is a two-seater, large enough to hold my computer, notepad and cup of java, without feeling like something is going to fall off the edge.  With windows to both my left and right, I am surrounded by natural light.  The ledge under the window is wide enough to place my phone, water bottle and pen.  I have access to charge both my phone and computer in one of  two different wall outlets.

Doesn’t it sound like the PERFECT seat?  It is, and it’s MINE!

So on this particular day, when “my seat” was taken, and I was forced to sit in the only remaining seat at a tiny little table right in the middle of the room, I was shocked by the range of emotions I was experiencing.  I felt like a two-year old having a temper tantrum in my head.  But I put my big girl panties on and began to write.

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Then the MAGIC happened…..

After taking a few minutes to settle in and get adjusted to my new seat, I looked up and noticed how shockingly different my perspective was.  It was as though I was sitting in a brand new Starbucks.

Everything looked unfamiliar.

Although I’d been inside this Starbucks countless times, I was noticing details I had never seen before.  Strangest of all was that I felt different, experiencing the Starbucks from a new vantage point.  I felt more alive, renewed and alert.  I could see with a clarity I hadn’t been accessing from my old seat, like a fog had been lifted simply by changing my seat.

By stepping outside my comfort zone, I discovered the magic of a new perspective.

Perspective

If something as simple as sitting in a different seat at my mobile office could create the experience of seeing life from a new perspective, I figured I should seek out the opportunity to duplicate that feeling more often.

So I experimented with intentionally CHOOSING new vantage points, new seats, new driving routes, all in order to gain a new perspective for myself.  What I discovered is a whole wide world outside my comfort zone, a world filled with magic!

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Each of us only knows what we know.  We view our world from our personal vantage point, based on our history, knowledge, and beliefs.  But then we live like OUR perspective is the truth.

You are welcome to stay there, safe and secure in your comfort zone, where your perspective is your truth.  But I invite you to challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone.  Start with something as simple as sitting in a new seat, but don’t stop there!

Here are some possible ways you can experiment…..

GET A NEW PERSPECTIVE IN YOUR LIFE

1.  Sit in a different seat – at your coffee shop, in the cafeteria, at church

2.  Park in a new section of the parking lot – at work, the mall, your gym

3.  Drive a different route to your destination – to school, the bank, your favorite restaurant

4.  Try an unfamiliar form of exercise – zumba, pilates, yoga

5.  Sit or relax in a different room in your home –  a guest room, dining room, child’s room

6.  Eat foods you don’t gravitate towards – ethnic cuisine, healthy food, locally grown produce

7.  Talk to someone you don’t know – a child, a senior citizen, a handicapped person

8.  Vacation differently – go camping, stay at a bed & breakfast, take a cruise

9.  Read something new – nonfiction, magazines, blogs

10.  Do something extreme – ride a motorcycle, scuba dive, jump out of a plane

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You can place your big toe outside your comfort zone, or you can jump over the boundaries with both feet.  Either way is AWESOME!  Just do something to alter your vantage point in life, to give yourself a new perspective.

with Joy & Gratitude,

Creatures of Habit

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Are you a creature of habit?  Someone who inadvertently develops a set pattern of doing the same things, the same way, at the same times of day?  Quite honestly, I think we all are to some degree.  I’m not necessarily referring to establishing good habits such as exercising every day, or bad habits such as biting your nails.  What I’m alluding to are those things we do subconsciously because they create structure and predictability in our lives, they solidify our comfort zone.

I discovered I am most definitely a creature of habit when I recently walked into my local Starbucks (aka – my mobile office) only to find “my seat” was taken by someone.

I always sit in the same seat, at the same table, facing the same direction.  It’s the perfect round table in the corner, facing out towards the rest of the room.

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As I entered Starbucks and turned the corner heading to my seat, I literally came to a dead stop when I noticed not only was my seat taken, but the entire section was filled with people.  I stood motionless as I scanned from left to right, and realized there was only one available spot left, a tiny table right in the middle of the room.  As I tentatively sat down and unpacked my computer, my emotions fluctuated between disappointment and being angry.  I felt exposed and very vulnerable sitting in the middle of the room that I traditionally get to observe from a distance, and I wanted MY seat!

Like any tricky multiple choice question, there were 3 viable options, but only one right answer:

A.  Get up and leave

B.  Stay there and pout about not getting my way

C.  Put my big girl panties on and start writing

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It took a few minutes, but I did begin to write, although I continued to be distracted by the fact that “my seat” had such an emotional hold on me.

Over the next few weeks I noticed the creature of habit concept showing up everywhere.  At my CrossFit gym, members repeatedly gravitated to the same section of the gym to set up their workout station.  The women in my meditation group positioned themselves in the same spot each week, as though we had assigned seating.  Whether we were eating dinner or watching television, each member of my family consistently returned to their reserved seat.

We can refer to ourselves as creatures of habit, but I think it’s more appropriate to label us as creatures of comfort.  Our desire is to stay within our comfort zone where life is familiar and predictable.  Our comfort zone is not limited to just our physical space.  The boundaries of our comfort zone are also set by the patterns and habits we establish, as well as the way we choose to think about and mentally process our lives.

It is undeniable that the majority of us thrive on living within the safety of our comfort zone.

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Take the next few days to observe where in your life you are a creature of habit (or comfort).

I have no doubt it will show up repeatedly and with clarity.

There is a whole wide world outside our comfort zones.  But before we can go there, we have to distinguish the boundaries that keep us trapped.

Have fun with this…..and don’t forget to laugh at yourself a little!

with Joy & Gratitude,