A Perspective on Perspective
Say you’re an entrepreneur looking for your next venture. I offer you a successful business, earning a decent six-figure salary, with world travel, new homes and a European sports car, manufacturing a product that you believed in and it was legit. You’d likely jump at that opportunity if that was your kinda gig, right?
But then you go to a psychic and she says that you would simultaneously adopt a child, get divorced, become a single parent, move 6 times in 8 years and, oh, by the way, there was going to be another recession. Are you in?
Providing you put stock in her psychic abilities (I hear you scoffing now, Bill.), I’d put money on the answer being No. F-ing. Way. That would be insanity.
Perspective (n.) a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface.
- also, something friends can give you with the ability to have distance from the past and having known you through that past.
Recently, a friend gave me quite a different perspective on my life over the 8 year span in which I owned my former business. She described the following equation:
Becoming an Insta-Mom – after 42 years of living life with no other being dependent upon you for survival, suddenly adopting and becoming co-responsible for a 5 week old baby.
Insta-Divorce – Being rendered almost unable to function for nearly 3 years upon receiving an unexpected request for divorce.
Single Parenthood – and all that that entails.
Moving home 3 times
Relocating the business 3 times (plus multiple mini-moves within one building.)
The Great Recession - The worst recession since the 1930’s.
Death by Suffocation - Feeling caged with the weight of 5 employees, 15 sales reps and the responsibility of a multi-million dollar business pressing down.
I could. Not. Breathe.
She deftly pointed out that I did, in fact, create, run, own and successfully sell that multi-million dollar international business with the above equation occurring simultaneously. (While being recognized for two successive years as one of the top 100 fastest growing businesses in the Bay Area.)
Huh. Perspective. I had never quite looked at it that way.
Honestly, I never really recognized what it was that I had created – it was a successful multi-million dollar international business that was valuable enough to be sold to another company. I never gave myself credit for having employed all of those people and giving them the opportunity to support themselves in the way that they chose. I never saw just how much I had accomplished and learned.
And I certainly never recognized that I did all of that while having the enormous emotional toll that the above equation took occurring simultaneously.
We see things. And we don’t see them. Even when they’re right in front of us. In plain sight.
Sometimes it does take eagle vision. Another perspective. The wise reflections of a loving friend. To help us see what we are. And who we are. And how much strength we do have.
Again, given the choice to do it all over again, would I? Jesus. Not like that.
But today I do have a new perspective. And gratitude. And forgiveness. And love.
Today, all we can do is to have a dream, do the footwork and trust that we will have the courage and strength to show up in the service of that dream. We won’t know what is ahead. But just for today, that vision and future can look far brighter with the compassionate perspective of the rear view mirror clearly in focus instead of the blur of that of the unbearable weight of the past.