Perspective | Alyssa J Freitas: Perspective

March 6, 2015

Perspective

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about perspective. Perhaps it's because for the first time in my life I had someone close to me pass away. Or perhaps it's because I've started to find myself getting invested emotionally with my job, organizations, aspirations, and relationships. To say that I had a tough week a while ago would certainly be an understatement; I cried more in the span of four days than I did in the last four years! But as hard as that was, I got through it and now I am more prepared for the next time...because there will always be another problem!

It is so easy to get caught up in what is going on in your own life: the struggles in school, the problems with friends, the disappointments when you don't get what you're shooting for, however putting it into perspective is all you need to do. On the extreme end, look at what goes on in the news. The political upheaval, the wars being waged, the people who fight to meet their basic needs...these are the people who have the real problems! Granted, we all have our own reality, but this is not an excuse for selfishly focusing on your problems when things could be much worse.

I had a conversation the other day which reinforced my view on putting problems into perspective and empowering yourself to be positive and optimistic. What my friend and I discussed was decision making and, save for dangerous choices, any decision you make can be changed if you come to find that it is wrong for you. If you join an organization but realize it does not align with your goals, you can quit. If you choose a major that you discover is not your passion, you can change it. I'm not suggesting that you do whatever you want without fully thinking about it, or get into situations with no regard for the consequences, but I am saying that you need not torture yourself over decisions or lose your sense of perspective when things don't go as you hoped.

One last thought on perspective. At the start of the fall semester my boss had everyone pick a quote out of a hat and told us that even if we did not find it to resonate with us now, it was sure to take on meaning through the course of the year. Here is the one I picked: "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it" -Rafiki in The Lion King. Now, I don't like The Lion King at all, but that's beside the point. I've never really had anything terrible or hard to deal with before, so when I initially saw this quote I didn't think it would apply to me. But as it turns out, my boss was right (that tends to happen...). Running from the past, ignoring it, or dwelling on it will not do you any good. Evaluating it and understanding what you could have done or what was out of your control and then learning from it is the most productive thing you can do.

When you find yourself worried, or upset, or stuck on the past remember to put it in perspective, learn from it, and move on!

What do you do when you're dealing with hard things?

-AJF   

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