Shifting Perspective

A small shift in perspective can mean so many things. Often it means the difference between success and failure. Or, it can mean the difference between joy and burnout. From an NLP point of view, perspective is the context that we choose to put events into.

Right now, I am writing on a laptop in a hotel about 2,000 miles from home. I am having a ball even though there have been all sorts of “problems” on the trip. Why am I so happy? I got away from the daily routine—really, the first time in about 2 years. I had been away from home three or four other times in that time period, but those trips involved care of family problems. Such things happen when you have a parent approaching 90. I think I had become almost numb to life.

This is a ski trip. Want to know the kicker? Doctors orders: no skiing for me. But my wife can, and this was her trip. To tell you the truth, before we left I didn’t care whether we came on the trip or not. I would have been just as happy to cancel it. When people asked me what I would do while she skied, I would tell them, “I’ll sit in the hotel room and watch porn.” It always got a laugh–I was showing my lack of really wanting to go on the trip in a harmless way.

Or so I thought, until we sailed through security at the airport. My spirits lifted, and I started having fun—even flying Delta Airlines, the worst airline in the world. To be fair, all of the airlines are the worst airline in the world.

Over booked, uncomfortable seating, and four hours of nonsense. Oh, did I mention that the flight seemed to be full of small children and infants. Who the hell takes an infant skiing???? The only two kids that I have ever liked being around were my own. They really weren’t all that much different than other kids, but they were, well, they were my obnoxious little rats. Somehow, that made it different. Back to the flight.

Did I mention that the only book I brought with me on the plane turned out to be one that I had read a few months back—it wasn’t that good the first time, either. I don’t drink. And Delta does not offer any hallucinogenics on the little cart they push up and down the isle. Somehow, the stewardess did not seem to like my suggestion that they should start selling them. I’m sure the revenue would be more than enough to get rid of the idiotic baggage fees and such. And the passengers would be so much happier, no matter what atrocity Delta committed.

What to do for the next four hours of my life? I watched the “moving map” on the video display on the seat back in front of me. It was fascinating—and it would have been even more so with a little acid! And there was Mick Jagger and the early Stones on the MP3 player. All-in-all, a very enjoyable trip in spite of Delta’s best efforts to maim and cripple me for life.

I am having a ball on this trip despite not doing any of the normal stuff that you do on a ski trip. Why? Because I choose to look at the funny things that are going on around me. Sure, I would like to be up on the mountain sliding around on a couple of boards, but the Doc says that is not a good idea. So, I walk around and look at the skiers who are walking around in their ski boots. Ski boots were invented in a French dungeon in the Middle Ages as a hideous torture device. I do not have to wear ski boots this time—plain old sneakers!!!!

We choose our perspective. Choose the one that works the best for you.