As change accelerates, the ability to stay mentally and emotionally flexible in order to ride the waves of discontinuity becomes even more essential. As we explored in the last blog, “core orientation” it is essential to provide a sense of a center from which to “roll” with the changes and not lose sight of what matters most. This blog looks at the next key aspect of building mental and emotional flexibility and it is expanding PERSPECTIVE so that options can open and wiser choices can be made in the midst of chaos and discontinuity.
Perspective is essential is we are not to get lost or lose our way in the details, myriad facts and issues that get stirred up while moving through changes and challenges. Perspective is really the “gift” of being able to step back, away and up from what is going on and to gain a broader understanding of the situation. It is akin to being lost in a maze where you can not see the twists and turns and the clear way out and then suddenly finding a big step ladder and in climbing it being able to see the whole maze laid out before you. You then see with a wider and larger view and when you climb back down into the maze can move through it with greater surety and confidence.
Perspective is created when we pause to ask questions such as: “Fifty years from now, what difference will this make?” “If my future self, ten years from now, could give me advice and help me view this from a larger perspective what would she/he have to say?” “How would (Buddha or Christ or ….) view this and what might they say and do?”
A fancy term for this ability to shift and expand perspective is “re-contextualizing.” It is used in psychotherapy as well as by the most gifted leaders to “reframe” a situation or challenge or problem into an “opportunity.” When perspective narrows down then we get lost in the details and lose our ability to make the best of what is before us, getting bogged down in “false” (limiting) choices. The power of this reframing process is that it helps create a way of viewing and seeing a change that is painful or challenging in a more generous and effective way that generates more creative and vital choices.
So, building on these first three blogs on creating greater resiliency in order to deal with change, I have two questions for you:
!) Have you created your sense of core orientation so that you have a clear center from which to move and around which all the changes and challenges can revolve?
2) How will you begin to expand your perspective(s) on change and challenges by reframing and expanding the context? What questions and processes will best help you to shift / expand your viewpoints and understanding?