The Power of Perspective

This is one of my favorite times of the year.

When people start asking questions like, “what are you doing for New Years?” it brings into focus the fact that the year is almost over.

And then, inevitably, I think…..How did the year go? How do I feel about the year ahead?

Whenever I zoom out and ask those more macro questions…I keep zooming out…I think about my life and my work compared to other parts of life, to other people, and other situations…

I think about the homeless person living on the corner of 30th and park, a few feet away from our NYC office…

I think about my grandfather that had to drive 2 hours each way from southern New Jersey to New York City, seven days a week to sell eggs from his farm…just a few short years after fleeing the Holocaust and war in Europe…

I think about the headlines in the news…people losing their kids to gun violence…

I think about people being silenced and “disappeared” for sharing their thoughts publicly…

I think about the people that thought they’d have a wonderful morning out skiing with friends but don’t ever make it home…

At times it can be hard to see all that we are thankful for and to appreciate all of the good things happening in our lives. This can be especially hard when scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and comparing your life to the few glorious minutes someone spent perfecting their ‘gram’ and public display for the world.

Or it can feel depressing when reading posts on LinkedIn about how people are crushing it with record-breaking numbers, promotions, and everything in between.

We’re all guilty of this and it could lead us to some dark and interesting thought exercises.

I’ve been there. I get it.

But the reality is this…

Whatever you may be going through or feeling, just try to have the perspective that no matter the situation you’re in, things can likely be a lot worse.

The power of this perspective has been one of the most important and impactful mental models for me throughout my life.

Maybe it can be helpful to you too.

Happy thanksgiving.

New Perspective

My mouth has been wired shut for 3 weeks now due to genetics and orthognathic surgery. As a result, I have not been able to speak, effectively engage in verbal conversation, or eat any food. Within this 3 week period, I have also lost a close friend adding significant layers or pain, discomfort, and tension to an already difficult time.

But through this extremely unpleasant experience, I can undoubtedly say that I have gained some new perspective on many things. I’m sure I’ll be better for it in the end.

What does it take to gain a new appreciation, a new outlook, or a new understanding?

* My friend Ceci is traveling abroad, alone, for one year. I’m sure she will be better for it in the end as well.

“I heard people speaking everything from English, to French, to Arabic to Spanish to African dialects, and I had never felt like I had stuck out as so different in my entire life. I suppose this is why I’m here; to occupy my observational post as an outsider…”

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