Imagine this. You are stuck in a rut. A single type of problem keeps repeating itself again and again, every few months or even weeks. You complain about it, you talk to a close friend or family member about it, you blame others, you crib about it, you try to change it, you try to accept it — still nothing works. The same kind of problem comes back again.

It could be anything. From a minor emotional issue to something that is hard to accept. It angers you, bothers you to the extent of making you upset even by the smallest of trigger. Or it could be something that you desire the most and it’s a long way away from becoming fulfilled.

So what to do when it has been more than 6 months (or a year) of you trying hard to make peace with that recurring issue but it just won’t go away?

Sometimes, acceptance is what is needed. But when there’s an inner resistance, you feel like you don’t want to accept it, then put acceptance on hold.

Instead, try changing your perspective.

Since childhood, we learn, absorb and are taught a lot of things that might not be good behavioural traits for us now in the present. Same goes for beliefs. Some beliefs are passed down onto us knowingly — like the ones about faith and religion — while other beliefs we might have absorbed unknowingly by watching and observing those around us.

Those same beliefs and perspectives may now be an obstacle on our path and we may not even realise it.

For example, i grew up with a belief that in order to be loved, i ought to be a good daughter, good student. Even a simple error or mistake was unforgivable for me. I became a perfectionist and a people-pleaser.

I’d do anything to avoid conflict and later on, since i stopped being myself for pleasing people, i started hating to be around people, and i loved being alone coz it was so liberating, peaceful and without any conflict ever.

Introversion is good, but making it as an excuse every time to avoid socialising or meeting and visiting your own family (or extended family) — definitely not good.

So whenever you see a problem or an upsetting issue repeating, or when you find yourself stuck in the same rut — just pause. It’s time to change your perspective about it.

With age, sometimes our vision becomes blurry. We blame situations or things, but the situations and things that have become blurry are still the same. It’s our own vision that needs correction.

And since we cannot change our eyes, we can at least wear specs and make corrections to our vision so that we can see clearly again. Don’t want bumping our toes with obstacles now, do we?

Changing our perspective means changing how we look at a particular problem or situation.

Take a step back and examine it when you are calm and clear-minded.

Do not let your own opinions or beliefs about it colour your judgement.

If possible, write all the facts down. Just the facts, not the ‘he said’, ‘she said’, ‘they want’, ‘i want’ or your beliefs about what you think. If thinking in terms of facts is not possible, try keeping your current perspective about it as objective as you can.

In my example, i preferred to be alone at the cost of relations of people bcoz through my experience, i found being alone more peaceful and pleasing than being around people who — at one point or another — want you to do things the way they want or the way they expect.

Now, with these facts, imagine a knob near you. It’s a time-knob. You can go in the past or fast-forward it to the future.

Pick a random number and fast-forward the time-knob. Imagine how your future would be in that particular year. Now imagine your current problem. Would it still be there? If yes, forward it even more. And there will also be a point in that time-knob when you won’t be existing. We are all mortals, after all. Will any of our problems matter as much as they do when we are dead?

Sometimes when we get too much in our minds, entangled by our problems, we forget to appreciate how mortal we all are and how life is really a gift. We forget to appreciate the beauty of life, the wonders around us, the relationships — no matter how good or bad.

If we start appreciating this beautiful yet mortal Life, we might not get so entangled by such problems of me and mine, of unfulfilled desires and anger.

Would you be angry and complaining if you knew you had numbered days on earth left? Wouldn’t you start making a bucket list instead?

Another good exercise to change perspective is to think and imagine what all you would do, if you had a week, a year, 5 years and 10 years to live.

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”

~ Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

You are here galaxy universe perspective
Imagine, not just the Earth, but the Universe.

Keep this bigger picture in mind. Every day. On waking up, while going to sleep. Make it your mantra — to imagine the Universe, our atomic place in it and our mortality.

Once it becomes a habit, and our perspective changes to see the bigger picture of life, we will start noticing the blessing more instead of the problems.

Instead of feeling fat and out of shape, you would feel grateful that you still have a body. Appreciating your body might make you keep it healthier instead of self-sabotaging and pitying your looks.

Instead of seeing irritating behaviours of people around you — at work or in family — you’d start noticing the good relations you have. You’d appreciate the people in your life.

Instead of complaining and blaming situations, you’d start taking action to either get out of the situation or to change the situation in some way or change yourself.

Life is impermanent, but so are our problems — no matter how huge and unsolvable they seem.

All we need is to change our perspective and see how smaller those problems are in the bigger picture of Life.


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