The Gift of A Different Perspective

The issue with life is that there are often no right or wrong answers to the daunting questions it hurls at us. A half-full glass is also half empty and whoever opts for either of the verdicts isn’t right or wrong. In relation to life’s challenges, this means that we’ll always likely have proof that despair and hopelessness are valid responses. But it also means that if we changed our approach, we could spot a glimmer of hope. It’s the gift of a positive outlook, and I believe it’s worth unwrapping. So let’s do it.

What would happen if we didn’t see every unsavoury period in our lives as pointers that we are on course to encountering our worst fears and becoming the worst versions of ourselves? What if we saw such points as stages, moments in time that will pass?

Here’s what I think would happen.

First, I think then we’d be less inclined to give up and fall into the abyss of learned helplessness. As in a video game, we’d be sure that there’s another next stage and that this is just a phase. And if that phase seemed impossible, we’d keep at it because the next stage beckons. We’d ask other gamers for tips, find their reviews and see what hacks they might recommend. We’d wait, we’d cry, but we wouldn’t stop.

Here’s also what I think would happen. We’d be more grateful; grateful that we are still in the game. It’s a challenging stage, but we still have the privilege to throw all our tricks at it.

I also think we’d be less desperate. I think we’d be more concerned about our trajectory than our speed. The game is time-bound, but moving in the right direction at a decent pace is better than tumbling at neck-breaking speed to a catastrophic end.

Sometimes, the flimsy thread of hope available as an anchor is woven by the fibres of a different vantage point. Sometimes, the only light at the end of the tunnel is a different perspective. Find one.

Day 2 of the Not Enough Writers 30-day Writing Challenge.

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