Perspective is everything in life.
It is the reason why people can live in extreme poverty, illness or tragedy, with a smile on their face and joy in their heart. It is also the reason why people who seem to have it all can feel like their world is crumbling when somebody messes up their order. It is all relative, but we can play a pretty significant role in modeling the power of having a positive perspective for our kids.
Today, we are talking about simple questions and conversations that we can bring to the table to help shape the lens through which our kids view the world in a way that’s going to add joy and resilience to the journey.
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[01:43] The Gift of Perspective
When I personally need a kick in the pants with my own perspective on the world,I look to my friend Tim. Tim and I go way back, we met at a gym and over time we became really good friends. One summer night, I got a call from a mutual friend that Tim had gotten into a bad accident and he was in a coma. During that time, I got several calls telling me that he might not make it through the night. But in true Tim fashion, nothing was going to stop him from his next round in life and his second act was going to be even better than his first. Initially diagnosed as a quadriplegic, with the most strenuous therapy and rehab you’ve ever seen, he defied all odds and regained function in his upper body. Now, Tim does IRONMANs from his wheelchair and trains other athletes. He talks all the time about how he is grateful for that accident because it woke him up, it forced him to see the world through a different lens. He had been given a gift of perspective.
[5:02] We Have to Model it
How do we help children gain a perspective like Tim’s? We model it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wasted my focus and my energy on something really trivial (and still do sometimes). More importantly, I’ve wasted it on things that I can’t even change. We shape our kids’ view of the world by our reactions. So, it starts with us.
[6:30] Perspective Shift
We were driving to New Hampshire one day with the kids (20+ hours with bathroom breaks!) In Pennsylvania, we come to a complete standstill. We are in the mountains, there’s no rerouting and I just felt my heart sink knowing that at least one of the three kids, if not more, would need to pee or have a meltdown. And I hear our oldest say: Ugh, traffic. (I wonder where he learned that? Hmmmm). I look up and I see the ambulance lights, the firetrucks and the cop cars trying to get through. It was an opportunity to shift the perspective in that car. An opportunity to go from frustration to empathy and gratitude. So, the best way to empower our kids to start to see things through a different lens, is to show them how to do it.
We stopped right then and there and talked about how we were grateful that we were not in an accident and we prayed for those that were. It really shifted our energy and our focus in the car. It’s not always easy to do but it is always worth it!
RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE:
Connect with me on Instagram and share with me what you are choosing to shift your perspective on, for the sake of your Little Luminaries.