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Perspective: Check Your Vision.... What Do You See? Because What You See Is What You Get!
Is there anything worse than blindness? Yes! Eyesight ... but no vision!
Man is only limited by the audacity of his imagination!
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
Mediocrity is a place and it is bordered on the north by compromise, on the south by indecision, on the east by past thinking, and on the west by lack of vision.
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The starting point of success, the starting point of changing your life, and the starting point of turning your setbacks into setups for comebacks is vision. In order to turn your setback into a setup for a comeback you must have vision! You must have a goal and you must stay focused on the goal. Vision is the first part of the quest to turn your setback into a setup for a comeback. First, let'smake sure we understand what vision is.
Vision is an image of what's possible for your life and your perspective or way of looking at life. If you have a vision of your life, then you have a view of the destination for your life and a view of what you're after. Scripture says in Proverbs 29:18 (NKJV), "Where there is no vision the people perish." What goes unsaid is, "Where there is a vision, the people will flourish!" You must have a vision in your life in order to turn your setbacks into setups for comebacks.
It is important to define the word vision. First, many people believe that vision means eyesight. Do you need eyesight to turn a setback into a setup for a comeback? The answer is NO! Helen Keller proved that. She was born blind and deaf, yet she became one of the greatest women of all times. Stevie Wonder proved that you do not need eyesight to become great. He was born blind and poor in Saginaw, Michigan, but he had a vision to become great and he kept trying and trying until he was discovered and signed by Motown Records. Stevie Wonder has gone on to become one of the most prolific musicians of this century. Ray Charles also had a setback as a child when he started losing his sight at the age of five. His mother didn't have the money to take him to a specialist, and he eventually went blind. He could have given up, but he decided to fight for his dream. He went on to become an American icon.
Jose Feliciano was born poor and blind in Puerto Rico. Some of the neighbors suggested that he get a cup and beg for money like blind people were supposed to do, but Jose refused! He found an "old piece of guitar" and taught himself how to play. He practiced day and night, night and day, sometimes until his fingers bled. Today Jose Feliciano is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He wrote a song we sing every Christmas called Feliz Navidad. You don't need eyesight to turn a setback into a setup for a comeback.
The first type of vision is eyesight, the next type is hindsight, which is being able to look back at past events. Is hindsight necessary to turn a setback into a setup for a comeback? Again, no! It's good to have hindsight, so you do not repeat the mistakes of the past, but unfortunately most people who start dealing with the past get stuck in the past! They think in the past, dwell in the past, live in the past. They cannot get past the past! They dwell on what people said to them ten years ago, or what happened to them as children and then cannot get past it. I say, The past is supposed to be a place of reference, not a place of residence! There is a reason why your car has a big windshield and a small rearview mirror. You are supposed to keep your eyes on where you are going, and just occasionally check out where you have been.... Otherwise you are going to crash!
I love this quote about life. "The difference between life and school is that in school you get the lesson and then you get the test. In life you get the test and then you get the lesson." Without a test there can be no testimony. As the German philosopher Kierkegaard said, "Life is often understood backwards but must be lived forward." Learn from the past but don't dwell there.
The third type of vision is insight! Insight is the power to see a situation and get to the inner nature of things. It is that "still, small voice within us." Some call it intuition, which means "inner teacher," and others call it perspective. I see insight as being a combination of your experiences, logic, perspective, and sensitivity to your inner voice as well as to a higher voice guiding you from within. Unfortunately most people have turned the volume down. They do not listen to the voice within. They listen to all the cynics and negative people on the outside. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of our victories and stop looking at our failures. Listen to the small voice within that says, "Look, you have had some successes and have even greater things yet to come. If you did it then, you can do it now. Just try! You can do it!" Turn up the volume on your inner voice and realize that you can do incredible things if you just try.
The last kind of sight is foresight! Foresight is the ability to see into the future, not as a fortune teller does, but as a person who is creating what they see in their mind. As the axiom states, "The best way to predict the future is to create it!" Foresight is about destination and determination; it is the sight that allows you to see down the road and believe what you see is possible. Scripture says, in Roman 4:17 (NKJV), that foresight is connected to faith, where you can "call forth those things that be not, as if they were." Foresight, mixed with insight, creates a powerful force called a dream; and dreams are the seeds for success. You must be willing to dream and believe that the dream is possible, no matter how many others say it is impossible. Insight and foresight mixed together are the keys to tapping into the power of vision and are the keys to starting on the comeback trail.
Every crucial experience can be regarded either as a setback, or the start of a wonderful new adventure, it depends on your perspective!
Mary Roberts Rinehart
We will sometimes have defeats in life but you can have defeats without being defeated, you can fail without being a failure. Winners see failure and defeats as merely part of the process to get to win.
Do you get upset because roses have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses?
Perspective is an important part of the vision concept. Perspective means how do you view the situation? How do you see it? Do you see this as a problem or do you see this as an opportunity? Do you see it as a change or as a chance? Do you see it as a new beginning or as the end? Do you see it as an entrance or as an exit? Do you see it as the end of the road or as a bend in the road? Do you see it as a setback "period" or do you see it as a setback "comma"? In other words, do you see it as the end of the sentence, or do you see it as just a break in the sentence, a slight pause? Finally, do you see it as a setback, or as a setup for a comeback? This is a very important question that will greatly impact how you will respond.
First, is the glass half empty or is the glass half full? Is the night ending or is the day beginning? Whatever perspective you choose will have a major impact on the decisions you will make. The decisions you make will determine the actions that you will take. Then the actions you take will determine the results you create.
Is the glass half empty or is the glass half full? This is a question I remember hearing as a child for a Peace Corps advertisement on television. At that point I wasn't exactly sure of the answer, or the significance of the question, but it seemed to me that there was still a lot of milk that could go in that glass. In retrospection, I realize how fortunate I was to be brought up by parents who were positive and who conditioned me, from an early age, to view life from a positive perspective. They helped me to see that the glass was half full rather than half empty. Unfortunately, far too many people are conditioned from an early age to look for, and find the glass half empty. They view life from the negative perspective. Yet even if you were conditioned that way, it doesn't mean you have to stay that way. It is a choice! I say that one of the keys to turning setbacks into comebacks is to have a positive perspective, to be able to look at the situation and decide whether it is a setback or whether it is a setup for a comeback. That is something you can choose.
Some people manage to use adversity as a motivational force, which helps to strengthen them, while others allow adversity to crush and limit them. The key is how you view adversity. You must decide to have and maintain a positive perspective. Your uplook determines your outlook, and your outlook determines your outcome, and that is when you start to realize that "yes, you know I really think I can make a comeback."
Wherever you find a crisis, you will also always find an opportunity. Napoleon Hill, the author of the classic book Think and Grow Rich, wrote: "Every adversity contains, at the same time, a seed of equivalent opportunity!" You must be willing to see that and then be willing to take the steps to turn those adverse moments into exciting, life-defining moments. The key is how to turn those moments of adversity around so you too can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
If there were no problems, there would be no opportunities! The old saying states that the key to success is to find a problem and solve it. Sometimes you don't even have to look for a problem; the problems find you.... You'll have a setback! When you have a setback, you also have a choice you must make. Do you see it as a setback that you should cry about or do you see it as an opportunity that you should be excited about? It truly is your choice. You can see it as a problem or as an opportunity.... It's your choice.
Doctors solve problems, and we pay them for the solution that they supply. If we have a pounding headache, we will pay to have the doctor make it go away. In fact, the worse the pain, the more we are willing to pay. The same is true for the plumber, the lawyer, the electrician, and the auto mechanic. The key is, if you want to be successful, find a need and fill it. Find a problem (or in some cases when the problem finds you), then solve it! Wherever there are problems, there are also opportunities! If there were no problems, there would be no opportunities.
Even with the challenges of life, I still say that the good greatly outweighs the bad, the happy outweighs the sad, and the pleasure outweighs the pain; but it depends on how you choose to see it. From what perspective do you choose to view it? Do you see it from a positive perspective or a negative perspective? Life is challenging, but it is also a wonderful and beautiful adventure. From the minute you are born to the minute you die you will have some beauty and you will have challenges. Anyone who doesn't is either lying or dead! You must decide what you choose to focus on. Do you look for the good or do you look for the bad?
The Power of Perspective
A large shoe company sent two sales reps out to different parts of Australia to see if they could drum up some business from the Aborigines. One rep sent a message back saying, "Waste of time, no business here.... Aborigines don't wear shoes." The other sent a message, "Send more troops. Great business opportunity here. Aborigines don't wear shoes!" It all depends upon how you see the glass: is it half empty or half full? That is a question that you and only you can answer. And your perspective determines your answer. Is it a positive perspective or is it a negative perspective?
Sometimes a setback will come in the form of an exit door. You will be forced to leave something or someone and it will be uncomfortable. It might be frightening and painful because you have to leave something or someone whom you love. You will have to change, and you don't know what will result from these changes; all you know is that you have been shown the way to the door. I say you must look at this situation from a positive perspective and say, "It's okay!" That's right, say, "It's okay!" Why? Because every exit door is also an entrance door. When you leave one place you are always entering into another place. A place filled with new possibilities and opportunities.
You may face a future, which is unknown. I know that can be frightening, but you must have courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather going forward in spite of fear. Go ahead, go forward with courage, and realize that life is a wonderful adventure. Life is a wonderful adventure for those who are willing to live it to the fullest. Just remember that every exit is also an entrance to a new place, which has new possibilities and opportunities.
The Fear of the Unknown
There was a man who was standing in front of a firing squad and was given one last wish. The captain of the guard came up and told him that he had a choice: he could face the firing squad or he could take the cave door that was way over in the dark, past the marsh and past the woods. He looked and saw a cave and asked, "Where does it lead?" The captain of the guard said, "No one knows!" He looked over again and again saw the nasty marsh and the dark woods and it looked so scary and frightening that he finally said, "Just go ahead and shoot!" And they did!
Afterward a young soldier asked if he could go and investigate the cave. The captain shuddered and said, "It's your life, but I wouldn't if I were you!" The young soldier went over toward the cave. He crawled through the swamp and trekked through the dark and came up to the cave and went in and on the other side it led to freedom, beautiful freedom. The moral of the story is that most people would rather settle for known hells than unknown heavens.
I remember having obstacles in the past that looked like impassable mountains, but after I had overcome them they looked more like little molehills. I believe we all experience that if we are just willing to look back and look objectively. Think back to problems in your life, or maybe just life experiences that you had to go through. Like going through high school or college. It might have seemed like a big deal before you started, but it was a lot smaller after you finished.
The Hummingbird and the Vulture!
In life you must understand that perspective is a powerful quality. If you look at the desert you will see the power of perspective. The vulture flies through the desert and focuses its energy on death. It looks for death and decay and it is not able to focus on anything else. The hummingbird also flies through the desert and it too must focus its power, but it looks for life. It looks for flowers and plants and other vegetation that it can use to sustain life. If you look for the negative, that is what you will find; but if you look for the positive, beautiful things you will find them also. In the Book of Proverbs 11:27 (RSV) it is written: "If you search for good, you will find God's favor, if you search for evil you will find His curse." It is up to you. You can choose to look for the beauty in life or to look for the troubles in life. If you look you will find them. Decide to have a positive perspective and a positive outlook. It can change your life.
I like this quote by Sidney J. Harris. "When I hear somebody sigh that `life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, `Compared to what?'" Yes, life is challenging, but it is also filled with beautiful possibilities, it depends on your perspective. Look for the positive and realize that a setback is not the end of the road, it is just a bend in the road.
Step One: Teaching Points:
1. Without a vision a people will perish, but with a vision a people will flourish.
2. The past is supposed to be a place of reference, not a place of residence.
3. In school you get the lesson then the test, while in life you get the test then the lesson.
4. Life is to be understood backward, but must be lived forward.
5. We can have defeats without being defeated.
6. See it as a setback with a comma, rather than a setback with a period.
7. If there were no problems, there would be no opportunities.
8. Every exit is also an entrance to a new place filled with new possibilities.
9. Do not settle for known hells when you can have unknown heavens.
10. If you search for good you will find it. Therefore, decide to have a positive perspective.