2022 July 5 Keeping a good perspective

Jul 05, 2022

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website by, for, and about Baby Boomers. Thanks for joining me tonight for a quick reminder that perspective is truly essential, especially when judging our own happiness. So let's get started. Actually, it's pretty funny because right now it's raining gently outside, and I am one of those people that really like rainy evenings, for a bunch of different reasons.


I know so many people that get annoyed about the weather. It's a really good example of how we choose what we want to do. The world around us happens. We can either have the perspective of It's good for the plants. It's a nice change. We need the water. Or I can't believe it's raining at night and it was nice all day.


So perspective is really important. As we mentioned last week, we talked a little bit about keeping perspective in terms of change and opportunity. To deal with change, first you have to recognize it. Sometimes change is really subtle. It happens over such a long period of time that we tend not to recognize it as change, or rather just feel that we don't fit in anymore. 


I happened across a podcast website today called Traveling with Kristen. It's a woman, Kristen Wilson. She's a 30-something who's been living abroad - a so-called digital nomad and business owner, for much of her adult life.  It's TravelingWithKristin.com, or @TravelingWithKristin on all the major social media sites.


What was interesting about it was that, at the beginning of COVID, Kristen returned to the US, back in Florida I believe she said, and was struck by how her life in the US was so different than she had remembered it. Because remember, she'd been traveling pretty much full time for over a decade, 15 or 17 years or something, quite a while.


And how living here was totally different from so many of the other countries that she had been in. She'd lived in a number of different places. Part of her business is as a travel relocation specialist. So ultimately she lived in one place for a number of years, in Costa Rica, but then started traveling around to a number of different places. So she saw a lot of the world, and she had the opportunity to come back and see the US, not only how it had changed over time in her memories, but compared to all the other places she had lived recently. So it was interesting. 


I mentioned this, not because we all expect to go and be worldwide travelers forever, but we tend to sometimes forget to consciously pay attention to what's going on around us. We all lose track of things that are going on. Then to lose track of things for a decade or 15 or 20 years, isn’t really all that unreasonable, right? Maybe we're focused on our careers, or getting the kids safely into adulthood and through school, and everything else.


There are many things always vying for our attention, but then suddenly - there you are: maybe ready to retire, maybe in your fifties and planning to retire in a short time. Then you literally don't recognize the world around you, the place that you actually live - the country, the neighborhood, your friends, it suddenly seems that everything has changed and it's changed very quickly, but did it really change that quickly, or all the while was it going on changing slowly and we just weren't paying attention?


So that brings us back around to perspective. Kristen had a lovely YouTube video. The name of the video is How I See the US After Living Abroad for 15 Years, and it talks a lot about all the changes that had happened while she was away. 


Did a lot of things happen in any period of time in the US over 15 years? Certainly they. But because she was away completely, and then came back, it was this dramatic change. She wisely stays away from America-bashing and instead takes a more introspective viewpoint of how and why things were the way they were. She chooses, as we've often spoken of here, to step back and look at the whole picture rather than be accusatory or angry. She's chosen to lay out a path to follow that's consistent with her life views and beliefs.


She thinks about the things that have happened and what drove that - the good aspects of things that drove that, and puts it in a holistic perspective of how things are here vs how they were in other places, as opposed to Everything here is bad. Everything there is wonderful.


She really avoids that nicely. Think about that in terms of how many videos that you've seen in news clips, you've seen where life is presented in this totally binary, polar terms, where everything is this, or it's that; it's love it, or you leave it.


The bottom line is if you want to have a life of peace and understanding, then you have to choose to try to both understand the situation, and look for both the good and the bad in that situation. If you just want to be angry and annoyed (of course, we all get that way sometimes) then you could just look for all the bad things that are going on and make believe there's no good whatsoever.


But really importantly, it's up to us to make the choice. If we decide to live our life and work in a way that's consistent with our goals and our vision, then we're more likely to find our lives heading in a direction that is also consistent with how we want to live.


Think about it. We are literally creating our own future by virtue of how we perceive the things around us. By the perspective that we take on the things that happen to us every single day, because every day, good things happen, bad things happen, and we can look at the good things around us and say, Ah, I like that. I wish it were better. Or, I like that. It's not perfect, so I'm dissatisfied with it or I like that, and I wish I could get some things from somewhere else and it's up to us to weave whatever story we want. How we’re going to pass life as we live it. We are, like I said, literally creating our own future.


If we envision how we want our inter-interpersonal lives to be, then we will tend to live in ways that our vision becomes a reality, naturally and with joy. So no matter what, that'll happen whether the world's stays the same or changes. It has a way of changing. 


I was talking to somebody today and they were going on about the stock market and everything else. And yeah, there's a lot of changes, but most of the changes have happened in the past couple years. It's shot up and now it's starting to, as they say, seek its own level and head back down and restabilize. So yeah, over the short term, it looked like there's really big changes, but over the long term, things have always been moving pretty much one direction or the other slowly moving up, and may go up and down, but it tends to consistently go up.


So no matter what, it's up to us to make sure our perspective is consistent with our own inner life goals. If we do that, we'll probably find that life is actually a lot of fun, worth living. So that's it for the evening. Thanks for stopping by. Stay healthy. Care for others. Remember to care for yourself, so you can always be your best.


Please remember the war in Ukraine. As always, UKR7.com if you want to contribute in humanitarian support, whatever support you wish. Lots of links, there are ways that you can contribute to the effort and help mitigate that situation.


Hopefully that's gonna come to some sort of resolution before too long. Remember one of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. As always, be true to yourself. Live the life that you align with your goals and your true feelings. Thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along.


If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Thanks for visiting. Remember to live the life that you dreamed of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everybody, and see you next week on 7EveryMinute  and 7EveryMinute.com.  Thank you.


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