Have you ever had a decision to make, but never seemed to be able to find a solution? No matter how hard or long you pondered it, no clarity seemed to come. Most of us have been at that place where we felt stuck, not knowing what to do or how to solve a problem. I look at a situation one way, and slowly the fear of making the wrong choice would creep in, and I freeze. For me, I live in this place of inaction for way longer than anyone should, allowing my fear of wrong choices to cause opportunities to pass, and have missed out on important events with family and friends. I would often stay so focused on the way I was looking at a decision and the fear I was feeling, but rarely breakthrough to find a solution. I am learning new tricks to combat this. I feel every person can move ahead when they are stuck by trying to get a different perspective.
I was visiting Walt Disney World when this message of “new perspective” really stuck in my head. Within the Magic Kingdom, there is a ride know as The Jungle Cruise. The Skipper takes you through different rivers of the world, full of scenery and animatronic animals, while telling really corny jokes. As the boat progresses, there is a waterfall in the scene. Later, the boat circles around and goes under the overhang of rocks causing the falls to be on the other side of the boat. At this point the skipper makes a joke about seeing the “backside of water.” On one particular ride, this joke became more profound and less funny. I have ridden the ride about a dozen times and never has it made a light bulb go off. It made me realize that the way we look at things has a dramatic impact on the outcomes.
Brooks Atkinson once said “The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” For many years I have looked at everything from a fearful point of view. Fear of making the wrong choice paralyzes me, not allow me to evaluate things differently. Doing this killed the creative mind and the ability to act within me. Changing our view point in any situation allows us to grow and learn. It opens our minds to new experiences.
Many times people have given the advice to step away from a problem. That distance and inaction will allow you to come back fresh. Recently, however, I have been challenging myself to step around something that is going on in my life. Like the golfer on the green, who makes a complete circle of the hole before putting, we should look at our trying situations from all angles before being fearful.
When was the last time you saw the “backside of water,” and allowed yourself to look at something from all sides?