What Would They Say?

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

—Marcus Aurelius


Perspective Shift

Our perceptions are solely unique to us. What we observe is filtered through our past experiences and conditioning, and is weighed against what we want versus what we don't want. The output is an opinion of what we establish as "reality," when in fact, it's our personal reality.

So what happens when others get involved? What is their personal reality of the same event or idea? How do they see things through their filters and conditioning from past experiences? What conclusions are they coming to? It's a lot to consider, and frankly a bit mind boggling because our perspective keeps us from fully understanding their perspective. Whoa.

Standing in their Shoes

There is great value to be gained from the insight and perspective of others. It adds dimensionality to our experience and the objectivity we lack when analyzing any given experience from our myopic point of view. Our ways of being are our ways of being—similar to the saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees" where we are so immersed in the details that we don't see the larger view.

When you write from another person's point of view, you lift yourself out of your own opinions and adopt their opinions, filters and desires. For example, if it's a loved one and they simply want you to be happy, they will see you as either having achieved happiness or share their opinions on how you have not, but could (and give you plenty of advice on how to go about doing that). If they are your employer, their point of view will be peppered with the constraints of the workplace, management responsibilities as well as what they feel you need to be successful in your role.

By imagining what they would say, think or how they would react to you and what you are doing is a way to lift yourself out of your own mind and get that "forest" perspective that can add more texture to what you are creating for your ideal work experience.

Writing Template (PDF)

Writing Template (PDF)

Course Practice

Point of View Play

  1. Imagine you have achieved your ideal work in its fullest detail and promise. You are fully in it, enjoying it, thriving in it, and loving what you do every day.
  2. Think of a loved one, friend, mentor, or someone who cares deeply for your happiness.
  3. From their point of view (POV), write how they’d describe you and your experience of being in this ideal work experience. Have them talk about what you’re doing, how they feel about it, and how this ideal work has impacted your life.
  4. Repeat for different people in your life, and make at least one POV Play come from someone who does not know you well and is observing you and your work from a place of curiosity and as a stimulant to their own desire. For example, a stranger observing you engrossed in designing a new building on the computer. They watch you and in their mind are thinking, "Look at what they are creating. I love the intensity and detail and commitment to creating something so beautiful the way they want to create it." This is a powerful place to write a POV perspective of because it helps you distinguish what is wonderful in your ideal work so you see it for the whole.