Changing your Perspective – How big things can be seen as little things

 “When you realize that by changing your perspective, big things can be seen as little things, it becomes much harder to worry about anything”

TUT Note from The Universe May 25, 2012.

Yesterday I received a phone call from someone about an issue we had been discussing, an issue that was of some concern to me.  I had already had discussions with a colleague of hers and thought we were moving towards a solution.  When we started this discussion, I quickly realized we were coming from very different perspectives and this could be a challenge in seeking a resolution.  She stated a point upon which her perspective had been developed.  I was surprised to hear this and had some questions about the accuracy of this point.  Upon hearing this, I became curious and asked for further information so I could clarify accuracy.  This was not forth coming.

At this point in the past, I would begin to feel intimidated by the person and my gremlins would have started screaming in my head, “you are wrong and this is going to be a big problem for you”.  From there I would start to worry about my abilities and then…….the worry continues.

Rather than taking this approach I reflected on my current beliefs and also the TUT message above that arrived in my inbox the same day.  Instead of allowing the gremlins space in my head, I decided I would take a different approach, remaining curious and open and creating a different perspective.  My new perspective held no position, instead it was based on patience, a wait and see approach.  Once this was established in my head, I was able to defer my opinion until I had the information needed to confirm accuracy of her position and a detailed description of what that means.  I made my request for this information which she agreed to.  I now can file this issue, including my perspective on it, until I receive the requested information – worry free.

“When you realize that by changing your perspective, big things can be seen as little things, it becomes much harder to worry about anything” – TUT Note from The Universe May 25, 2012.


What are you worrying about?

What is it about your perspective that is generating this worry?

How can you look at it differently and change your perspective so you can dim down the worry and remain open and curious to all possible perspectives?

What did you learn?

Did that just happen? How ‘404 error’s’ are affecting your relationships

Have you ever had a 404 error with a friend, a colleague, or a spouse?  You know, a moment where you think everything is going well and then all of a sudden for no reason you feel stonewalled, disconnected from the other person and you have no idea what went so wrong?  Like a page of your story, your relationship is missing and you are the only one who can’t seem to find it.  I have had a few 404 moments in my life, one quite recently, and unfortunately, unlike the internet – in life we don’t get a big screen that flashes “404, page not found”, giving us a heads up there has been a disconnect.  Instead, most of us get confused, hurt, or frustrated making assumptions of what that page could have been, or may have been, that went missing.

Renny Gleeson in his TED talk “404, the story of a page not found” (4:08) highlights how these frustrating 404 moments can be turned into opportunities and how every error is really a chance to build a better relationship –  “Little things, done right, matter.”  Gleeson describes a 404 page as “a feeling of a broken relationship”, one we would add that leaves us feeling badly, blamed and like we have done something wrong.  So, in real life when you feel a 404 page in your relationships with friends, colleagues, or family – whether you are sending it or receiving it, how can you use that moment and turn it into an opportunity?  What can you learn from it?  And how can you use it to build your relationships?

As Gleeson says “A simple mistake can tell me of what you aren’t.  Or remind me of why I love you”.

 Reeny Gleeson’s TED “404, the story of a page not found”

How to switch a ‘404 error’ moment into an opportunity:

ASK QUESTIONS:  If you feel a ‘404 error’ moment and there is a disconnect in your relationship, stop and ask yourself some questions:  What is this about?  Who is this about?  What would you like to see as different?  Take the time with the person you are feeling disconnected to (or from) and ask some questions to gain clarity around what took place.  It will allow you to bring some understanding to your relationship, message respect to the other person, and you will learn something new.  It will also allow you both to build a new page of your story – one that will make your relationship stronger and more collaborative.  As Gleeson says “little things, done right, matter”.

TEST YOUR ASSUMPTIONS:  What assumptions are you making about this 404 error?  And what role are you playing in how it’s all unfolding?  We all have a set of beliefs that guide us, and can at times not serve us well.  Take the time to test your assumptions  (more often than not we are wrong) and discover where your beliefs stem from – it’s amazing what we can learn about ourselves, and others.

REFRAME:  How can you turn this into an opportunity?  Think about what you have learned about yourself and the other that can be applied in the future of your relationship or relationships with others?  Sometimes what we think of as our biggest mistakes can actually be our biggest opportunities.

What 404 moments have you had?  How did it affect your relationship?

“The REAL TO DO List” – How many are you doing?

A friend posted “The REAL To Do List” on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and it was a great reminder of how we get bogged down with our own to-do lists of task completion, often over looking or giving … Continue reading

The Butterfly Story

The Butterfly Story (Author Unknown)

I was jogging one evening in the park and came to rest, as was my custom, by a large rock. There I noticed a cocoon on the tree close by, and at that very moment, a butterfly was emerging from the cocoon. As I watched the butterfly struggle, I got the idea, “gee, this is a tremendous symbol for what I do as a minister and counselor: help people out of their bonds. I help them fly.”

So I reached up and very, very carefully began helping the butterfly to escape the small hole he had eaten in the cocoon, laid it on the rock close by and watched as the butterfly started to stretch its wings. I felt very happy about stumbling upon this miraculous scene and decided to use this story as the subject for my next sermon. I was greatly excited by this thought and before the day was out I had completed the sermon.

That same evening when I was running again I stopped by the same rock and saw the cocoon and, sure enough, the butterfly was off the rock and had fallen to the ground. I was stunned. I thought perhaps a bird or another insect had attacked it; but I examined it and there didn’t seem to be anything damaged on the butterfly; it was just dead.

I was very upset about this, and I went home to look in my encyclopedias to try and determine what had happened. What I found out was that it is the struggle that the butterfly makes by forcing its way out of its cocoon and eating its way through its own bounds that enables it to gain enough strength to emerge whole and strong. The very action of fighting its way through the cocoon is what gives it the strength to fly.

The fact that I had tried to help by assisting the butterfly out of its cocoon had only made matters worse; I had, in fact, limited the butterfly’s ability and strength and the butterfly was unable to fly on its own. By helping too much I had enabled the butterfly out of its bounds, yes, but in the process, I had killed it. The sense of my sermon changed. I began to realize how it is that people must not only be willing but also must do the work themselves to become more whole and complete.  (Taken from Conscious Communication by Miles Sherts, pg 67)

We find The Butterfly Story to be a beautiful metaphor for communicating as leaders or parents.  So often as leaders (both informal or formal) we do things for people thinking we are helping, or because it’s easier.   As leaders of organizations, how many of you tell others what to do or do tasks for those who work with you with the intention of helping or getting them to the end result quicker?  What are they learning from that?  How is it strengthening them as future leaders and building innovation in your organization?  Like the Butterfly, adults are self directed learners and having things done for us, or told to us, disempowers and handicaps our abilities.

As parents, how many of you do things for your kids that they are capable of doing, or learning, on their own?  How many of you tell your kids what to do when they have the ability to figure it out themselves?  This messages that as parents we believe that our kids are not capable of problem solving, we hinder their critical thinking, their growth, and their strength.  We expect them to be self-reliant, mature, confident, capable individuals, yet we rarely give them the space or tools to grow into such people.

Like the man wanting to help the butterfly, we believe that people have the best intentions when wanting to “help” others.  We ask you to bring a new kind of awareness to situations when offering to “help”.  As leaders, how can you support those you work with so they are in control of problem solving and creating their own solutions?  Not only will this model message trust to those who work with you that you believe they are capable of finding their own solutions, thus building those relationships, it is the first step in collaboration, which leads to what all organizations want – innovation.  As parents, how can you empower and support your child to do things for themselves or solve their own challenges that may arise?  Again, this builds trust and messages to your child that you believe they are capable, they have the tools to solve their own solutions and your child will hear from you that they are enough – building confidence, self-esteem, and giving them the courage to take risks.

Through listening and asking open questions one can facilitate learning much more powerfully than telling or doing something for another person.  It may not be easy as the role of the leader and the other person may not be quick to solve their problem or complete their task.  However, like the butterfly – it’s the process that gives us strength and allows us to learn making us complete people in the end.   It creates stronger, wiser, collaborative and innovative organizations, as well as strong, loving, nourishing and collaborative families.  Nourishing conversations not only empower ourselves they empower others.

What’s your Butterfly Story experience?  What did you learn from it?