Expand Your Perspective

To be extraordinary, you have to be willing to constantly challenge your perception of the world.

Do you see a limited view of the world or do you see the world through the perspective of others? We need to be mindful of our personal beliefs, because our moral compass can be easily swayed by the fear of personal sacrifice.

To put it in another way, we dislike what causes us discomfort—inconvenience, money or sacrifice. Even if the end result would benefit a thousand of our neighbors, we often find such positions unacceptable. We will fight against such changes because our focus is on one person—ourself—and unfortunately that means those around us stop mattering.

Here is the challenge for you. Take all of your deeply held beliefs—politics, economics, religion, ethics, morals and personal values and imagine yourself without them. If today you awoke from a coma with total amnesia, what values would you adopt? Begin your search for them.

One option is to declare to your friends and family that your mind has changed on a key issue with which you know they will disagree with you. Have them persuade you using only Reason and Logic that their belief returns the maximum value for everyone in the world. You can broach the topic by saying you are starting to see things differently. Nothing appears black and white to you anymore. Now, you see too much gray in other people’s opinions. Perform a thought experiment if you cannot bring yourself to verbally disclose a change of heart.

You don’t have to internally agree with the opposition, but you do have to surrender your own beliefs and imagine life from another perspective. Explain this other point of view. Use the human gift of Reason to empathize, sympathize and share the many reasons why someone else’s point of view is just as valid as yours.

Just as you cannot learn to swim if your arms never let go of the raft, you must let go of your personal beliefs in order to learn how to navigate a world of diverse human perspectives. We have to understand how rationalization and bias impact our beliefs and consistently challenge those assumptions. We should always be willing to have our beliefs challenged. If someone can show us a better way to do anything, why would we refuse to listen with patience? Alternatively, if someone shows you a less effective method of work, would you not show them a better way from your own perspective?

Do everyone a service by keeping an open mind and always accept that there may be a better way just around the corner if you’re willing to look for it.

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