Have you ever noticed that people see life differently? The same event can happen in front of ten people, and all ten will have a different perspective, opinion or judgment about what just occurred. The facts of the event were the same, but they were interpreted differently by each pair of eyes who observed it. Call it a “Life Lens” – the filter through which you see your world.
This simple truth came to my attention again this morning. Lately, I have struggled with balancing work, family and the various writing projects I have stacked on my desk, waiting for my attention. At the start of each week, I set goals to start the writing flow again, but something always seems to get in the way. I found myself blaming work, the bills that made me go to work, and even the fact that we had severe weather two weeks ago!
This morning, as I was mulling over what I could do to get moving again, I realized something – my Life Lens was obscured and cloudy. As I waited for the perfect time to clean my desk, attack those projects and get productive, I became more and more frustrated. Because I looked for solutions outside of me, I felt like I had no control. My life seemed to be spinning and I was just along for the ride. Some days, it felt like I was about to go over the edge of a cliff!
Then I made a simple change in my perspective – my Life Lens. And now I know I am the one driving the bus. What did I do that radically changed my outlook (and consequently, my mood)?
I defined who I am first, then looked at what needed to be done.
Let me explain. During my quiet time this morning, instead of feeling guilty for not finishing the multiple projects that litter my desk, I took a deep breath and let the frustration, guilt and anger go. My body relaxed and I could feel the tension leave my shoulders. Then I pictured what I wanted for myself and let that image take over. I keep reminding myself of that image and from that place, I make decisions that support it. A quick synopsis of my thinking pattern follows.
This morning, I declared that I am a successful writer who has a cluttered desk. What does a successful writer do with a messy desk and a lot of unfinished projects? She begins the process of organization and planning, because she knows that she cannot write well if she is distracted by other minutiae.
See the difference? Instead of blaming everything outside of me for my clutter, I can now move forward because I have defined myself (and changed my perspective). My Life Lens is sharpened and the tasks before me are clarified by the definition I give to myself.
And when I look in the mirror tonight and reflect on my day, I know I will feel good about the progress I made. The reflection I see will be Who-I-Am, not a woman who sometimes feels that life is slipping away.
Define yourself, clean off your Life Lens, then go live your life. There is no better time than now.