Yesterday, my part of the world was buried in 12 inches of snow. People were spun out on the freeway and large tree limbs had collapsed under the weight of the frozen blanket. Slow traffic, hard shovel-work and the threats of illness are all part of the winter experience. It’s a burden. It’s an inconvenience at the least. But I choose to see the beauty in burden. This is simply a change in perspective and planning.
How to change your perspective. “Perspective” is the way we view a situation. If you find yourself feeling down and negative, you could have a perspective problem. To change your perspective to a more positive one, answer these questions:
- “Will it matter a year from now?” We tend to get too focused on the inconveniences of the moment without a long term look on how or if the situation will affect us in the future.
- “Is it really that bad or do I simply feel it’s that bad?” Our emotions can lift us up or push us over the cliff. However, emotions aren’t right or wrong, they simply are. When you feel negative about something, simply ask “what is the reality of the situation.” This tends to limit the emotional input and get a real view of life.
How to plan. “Planning” is the act of anticipation. They key is that it is an act. I know that I’ll need to give myself a few extra minutes this morning to get into work. I need to plan for it. Here are some questions to answer to help in planning for a potentially frustrating situation:
- “What potentially could cause frustrations in me tomorrow?” This question digs into the emotion of frustration and identifies your own personal triggers. For me, I despise being late for anything. Because I know that that will frustrate me tomorrow, I’ll take necessary action today.
- “What can I do right now to prepare for later?” Life teaches that we can’t be prepared for everything but we can give it a shot. If you can identify those people, situations or events that give you the most frustration, then you can be intentional about avoiding or emotionally revving up to encounter them.
Right now, I’ve changed my perspective about the snow – choosing to see it as a beautiful way that God gives moisture to the ground and repaints the earth. I’m also donning my warm clothes to go “mow the driveway” with my snow blower.
Question: What are some ways you change your perspective and plan for frustrations?