Life moves us ever forward. We have one day after another – some are good and some not so much. There are people who are good at looking forward, planning and making sure that this progression of days add up to a larger something; and on the other side of the spectrum there are people for whom every day is a surprise. Then there are all of the rest of us in between.
But which way are we looking most often? Forward, back, all around? Like driving, we know that we should shift our focus between all of these views, but depending on our personality and experience we tend to settle into one habitual viewpoint. We lose range of motion after some time of this single default viewpoint.
The best mix of forward, back and all around gives us the richest context. We need that backward historical viewpoint to provide some recognition to new things. (This is similar to that old thing in certain ways.) Adding in the forward helps the new thing to reveal previously unexperienced, and possibly beneficial, perspectives and knowledge. All around provides balance and depth – we can better decide what weight to apply to everything.
But we need something to push us off our preferred viewpoint, most likely. Do you regularly use the past to decide what to do today? Do you look forward to new experiences? How often do you switch it up? I liken it to changing lanes when driving – even though I know that I should turn my head as well as using my mirrors I find that I can slip into a bad habit of just using my mirrors and perhaps a quick sideways glance. Not good.
I have had a Physical Therapist remind me that many of our motions are forward focused, so even though we start out with great range of motion we lose a lot if we don’t deliberately stretch out and back too. We need to do this with our minds too – our default viewpoints.
Have you put much thought into how your viewpoint affects your ability to move forward?
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