How changing your perspective can increase your possibilities.
ONE MOMENT AGO…
…certainty reached its pinnacle point. Unless and until time travel is possible, it cannot be changed. The event is absolute in certainty. However, its impact on your NOW and future is still open to change. Even if time travel were possible, most would agree that the uncertainty of what changing the smallest aspect of your past could potentially do to the future of not only yourself but also to the future of those you have loved and cared for would be far too high of a risk to take. The possibility is certain. Note: I did not say the effect is certain — the existence of possibilities (infinite possibilities) is certain. And that is the point of this post. Rather than dwelling on what we cannot change, why not instead take the opportunity to change your perspective on the events and the impact they have on your NOW and future while embracing all the possibilities the uncertainty of tomorrow brings?
CERTAINTY & POSSIBILITIES
Much like Yin Yang, Certainty and Possibilities are complementary opposites. Life — just like the weather is full of uncertainty. It is this uncertainty that most fear causing them to spend enormous amounts of energy worrying. The farther out you look, the less certain things become, but along with that uncertainty comes endless possibilities. As certainty descends — possibilities ascend. I hypothesize that the same holds for the past in reverse. As you look farther back, the certainty descends, and possibilities ascend in the vein of perspective.
How can certainty of the past descend? That depends on your perspective. The event itself is certainly unchangeable, but how you view it and allow it to impact your NOW and future is far less certain. It seems to reason that the older the event, the less certain its impact on your future becomes, along with the greater possibility of changing your perspective. Wounds can heal and become scars of wisdom — if you let them.
A Personal Example
I was a complete jackass in high school. I can admit that now. At the risk of sounding full of myself, I was the kid too smart for his own good, not applying the gift of a strong learning aptitude in any positive way.
I was a rebel without a clue out to prove how smart I was and how wrong my parents and teachers were. Even with the wisdom and knowledge of age, I would still argue that our education system leaves a lot to be desired in the dynamics of each student’s extremely varied learning style and the level of attention they may individually need.
Shortly after my era of “jackassdom” (my new word of the week), it would be easy to fall into the perspective of shoulda, woulda, coulda. I had burnt quite a few bridges, and after a few months of regrouping, I joined the military. It was a choice that was most certainly a pivotal point in my life.
An example of how the certainty of the past descends and possibilities ascend in the vein of perspective is how I could look back and reflect on these choices many years later. I could kick myself for everything I should have and could have done in High School for very different results. Or I can look back, as I do, at the many possibilities, experiences, and growth-enabling challenges that path provided.
(Brag Alert) – Thanks to this path, while my high school peers were choosing which kegger they would attend in the coming weekend, I was deciding whether to spend the weekend in Paris or Amsterdam. Thanks to this path, I was at the Berlin Wall after it came down. My brothers-in-arms and I hand-chipped pieces of the wall down. We then attended the Roger Waters concert Live-At-The-Wall. Thanks to this path, I landed in the Middle East in Desert Storm, during which I was able to experience very different cultures and had lunch with a Saudi Prince. Thanks to this path, I am…
Although I don’t deny what some may call the survivorship bias of this perspective, I choose to call it gratitude. I am in no way recommending the path of a Jackass. My path could have gone in so many worse ways, but that is the point – there could always have been worse results to any event in your life. Choosing the perspective of gratitude and the growth enabled by any challenge you have faced can lead to better choices in your future. Let those wounds heal, scar, and guide you. Don’t let them control you.
No matter what path you choose or are handed, there will be challenges. Overcoming those challenges is living. Everything else is just surviving.Michael W. Gusky II
Even if I could travel back in time and try to guide my younger self (which I would never do given the infinite and possibly worse results), I am pretty sure the conversation would go something like this:
Jackass self: “Hey, what the hell happened to our hair?”
Current self: “Sorry, you are probably doomed since both your grandfathers are balding, but less Sun-In, hair dye, and Aquanet might help.”
I am sure the jackass still wouldn’t listen.
Are you allowing past events to ruin your present gifts?
Have you left what should be “scars of wisdom” to fester as open wounds?
That was a moment ago. How might you change your perspective to close those wounds and focus on the infinite possibilities of tomorrow?