Look at the two photos below. The one on your left appears to be snarling and angry, while the one on the right seems serene. Now, slowly back away from your computer screen while staring the photos. When you get a few feet away from the screen, the photos will switch places! They were carefully designed in such a way as to fool the eye.
So which one is angry? Here’s the important answer: it all depends on your vantage point! Of course, whether the left or right one appears to you to be serene or angry at any given moment makes no difference in your life whatsoever. But the principle is still true that by simply changing your point of view, life’s circumstances can change their appearance from harmful or beneficial, or vice versa.
For the first few years I spent as a motivational speaker I was always disappointed. I was either downcast by the fact that my schedule was so full I had no time with my family, or distressed that my schedule was so empty that I wasn’t making any money. Finally, I chose to simply change point of view. Now, when my schedule is full I’m happy to be making money; when it’s empty, I’m happy to have time at home with my family. The circumstances have not changed! Only my chosen point of view was altered. But the result is that I spend more of my time rejoicing over my situation instead of lamenting it! Here’s the application: pick a situation that is frustrating to you and identify something positive about it. Now just focus on that!
Some people tell me, “That’s phony!” But I would argue that it’s no phonier than focusing on the negative aspects. Both are true. The glass is truly half full and half empty at the same time. But which half you focus on will change your mood, your outlook and the way others respond to you. Neither is phony; each is equally true and accurate. But only one choice is productive and wise.