I have been traveling for the past few days and have been pretty busy making some tough decisions, but I am trying to look at things from a positive perspective. Perspective is an interesting thing. If two people are looking at the same object, they may or may not see two completely different things.
I was walking my dog this morning, and we passed a guy in a truck with his window rolled down. I kind of half smiled at him, crossed behind the truck, and kept walking. The guy did a U-Turn with his truck, passed us again, and yelled something at me. I couldn’t make out exactly what he said, but from the sour look on his face, I could tell that he wasn’t simply yelling “Good Morning, Neighbor!”
I was kind of distraught for a few minutes. Did I do something to offend him? Was he saying something mean about me? Did he think my dog was ugly? In the end I could continue to ruminate over what negative thing he possibly could have said, or I could tell myself that he was simply asking for directions. Which perspective would make me feel better and infuse more positivity into my day?
As I returned home with my dog, I opened my e-mail to see that someone had replied to a comment that I had left on a website. The comment sections on this site are brutal. People attack others left and right, and I rarely comment because I don’t like the energy. Someone had written an article on this site about how travel bloggers should stop telling people that “travel is easy to do” because some people cannot afford to travel. The author asserts that by travel bloggers writing articles, they are making other people who cannot travel feel shameful and worthless. I wrote a comment talking about why I enjoy reading articles by travel bloggers. In my opinion, sharing your travel experiences doesn’t make you an authority on what people should and should not do. Travel articles are meant to be informative, not shame inducing.
I got a lot of replies stating that I must have not read the article and that I didn’t understand that traveling is a privilege for a select few. My immediate reaction was to reply to the comments that I received by being completely defensive. Instead I shared some more examples from my perspective, and left it at that. I didn’t try to get anyone to see anything my way. I just stated my personal experiences and kept it moving. I felt good that I could share my opinion about travel with others, and it felt great that I could express my perspective in such a hostile atmosphere and not feel the need to be aggressive or rude.
Today, as you go through your day, think to yourself, how can I re-frame this situation to be more positive? How can I look at it from another perspective? If you are stuck in traffic and your first impulse is to start freaking out, how can you change your perspective? Perhaps now you have time to catch up on your podcasts or reconnect with a friend on the phone. Every perspective is unique. Honor and respect the opinions of yourself and those of others, even if you don’t see eye to eye.
Comment Below: Have you experienced changing your perspective on something to see a more favorable outcome?