Like most of us, I have encountered significant personal and professional challenges in my life. While reflecting on my experiences, I began to notice my thoughts circling back on a recurring theme – the resiliency of the human spirit. And I began thinking – just how far would we have to fall before we could no longer get back up?
The answer to this question will be different for each of us because we have all had different life experiences. And it is from those experiences that we each measure how far that fall would have to be. For some people, a small tumble is enough to discourage them to the point where they no longer try. While for others, a staggering freefall can seem like a small thrill ride. Our answers depend on upon one thing – our perspective.
Perspective is a choice. It is intelligently choosing a point of reference from which we look a situation we are currently experiencing, in order to compare it against a past experience. When applied, perspective is a delicious elixer that allows us to open our hearts and minds to clarity. And with clarity comes the vision that is needed for us to develop an executable plan that will eventually enable each of us to overcome the fall and to stand strong once again.
Perspective is also a perpetual cycle. Every adversity we encounter; every failure we suffer, is a new opportunity for us to evaluate our experience, process it, and use it to codify our future experiences. Perspective is also linear. As we travel our journey, the road behind us becomes longer. It is a long road littered with our failures, our successes, our disappointments and our falls. Things that seemed monumental when we were experiencing them, now appear insignificant when we look down that road with perspective.
But above all, perspective can be healing. Perspective can free us of the repression and maladies that come with being overwhelmed. The paralysis that comes from being fearful. The pain that comes with our personal failures. Perspective washes away the opacity and provides us with a realistic view of our challenges and adversities, enabling us to get back up, dust our selves off, and keep moving forward.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” – Nelson Mandela
Question: Just how far would you have to fall before you could no longer get back up?