Take a second to stare.

I read a great article a few weeks ago that I’d like to simplify.  You can read the article first or read the condensed version below.

The concept the article relates is “psychological distance”.  To understand this idea, you need to step outside yourself mentally.  Change your person, space, or time by imagining yourself living: as a different person, in a different country, or in the past or future.  Close your eyes if needed and take a few moments to pick your alternate reality and live in that world.  Don’t wait.  Do it.  Do it now.

It’s fun to try this exercise, but you may not find it very practical.  How can you use this technique?  Read on.

This kind of thinking will change your understanding of your world and the world around you.  This exercise gives me a different perspective on the big picture of my life and brings clarity to cloudy situations.  Here are some additional benefits related in the article.  You can leverage this technique when you find you need some help in these areas.

  1. Make difficult tasks easier.
  2. Increase your self-awareness.
  3. Increase your persuasion capabilities.
  4. Stabilize your emotions.
  5. Produce overconfidence in knowledge on occasion (avoid this).
  6. Solidify character and live your principles.
  7. Increase politeness.
  8. Increase creativity.
  9. Increase self-discipline.
  10. Generate a wise, old sage (maybe not old).

This technique is helpful with long-term goal setting.  I like to imagine at least once a year what I want my life to be in 5, 10, 20 years.  The visualization process of stepping forward 20 years into the future produces dramatic insight into what’s really important.  You’ll understand what you can’t live without and what you’re desperate to add to your life.

My recommendation is to try this when you need: to break out of a rut, to gain insight into your life, or to simplify a difficult project.  Take a 50,000 foot view of the world by stepping outside your body for a moment to see life from a different perspective.  It may not produce results every time, but it often does in a way that feels magical.  Good luck!

Elephant Perspectives

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.  Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Marcus Aurelius