zen. business. life. : tao

Perspective

30,000 ft, Colorado

At certain places and certain times, most often when we are far removed from technology, and the normalcy of life. Maybe under a set of stars or adrift in an endless ocean, watching a sunset or walking in the rain, we see the world for what it truly is. The planet, life, our life, all life through a different lens and sometimes, even if just for a moment we can see the true divine game that is unfolding around us, this true meaning and connectiveness of the universe. Even if we have no words or ability to even describe this feeling, thats ok, because these direct experiences are life, they are the truth, the are exactly what you are living for and trying to describe and strive for everyday of your life. It is the indescribable that is precisely everything you are doing day in and day out, its all connected, part of the same dance. In short. You are the god you seek. Sometimes you just have to look at things a little differently, perhaps… even change your perspective. -mr

Leaving Denver I look out the small frosty window at the tops of the rocky peaks 20,000 feet below and breathe deeply in this sanctuary as the madness of the Christmas season unfolds below.

It’s the day after thanksgiving and on the ground everything is chaotic. Life is consumed with consumption, stress, traffic, crowds, anxiety, and a general feeling of not enough. Not enough time, not enough money, not enough space, not enough security lines open at an overcrowded airport. And then there is silence.

The silence and slow drone of the engine as you climb to cruising altitude high above the world below. Everything seems to slow down and become a calm and beautiful place, with opportunity, mystery and excitement every time you look out the window. It’s the same world. Nothing has changed except my perspective.

I think this is why I have always loved flying and traveling and maybe even the very same reason other people love it as well although they just don’t know it yet. Why? because flying forces us to change our perspective. Our actual view of the world changes when we fly. We are looking down instead of out now. Then later when we arrive in this new place, which is just that, new and it forces us to re-examine and question what we thought was our permanent reality, our normal lives. This is a very, very good thing and I think you should seek to change your perspective often, but you don’t need a plane or an airport to do it… more on that later.

For me, the last few years I have basically been involved in eCommerce and the sale of products online. So, for me, it’s always about driving enough eyeballs to an offer until a percentage of those people buy. The trap that is easy to fall into is there are just not enough people interested, there are not enough buyers…etc and sometimes I have felt that way. Maybe you have experienced something similar in your job or career.

Then I get on a plane and I find that most everywhere I go, I often cross or land in large cities as most of us do when we travel. For me, it is at these times that my perspective on my career and the opportunity around me changes.

From the plane you can really see the massive urban sprawl below and see all of the different houses, each containing 2-5 people spread out as far as the eye can see and knowing that it’s only a small infinite decimal fraction of a corner of this huge city, which is in the corner of a massive state that is in one small area of an even larger country that is part of an even larger continent that makes up not even 1/100th of the total world’s population. It is then I see the real opportunity and the real picture, because I was able to change my small myopic view of the world to that with more perspective and context and in turn it changes how I view everything around me… at least for awhile.

It’s true, over time we fall back to autopilot and our awareness of the world around us begins to shrink again. There is no more amazement with life or the amazing things taking place all around us, it’s just life, and this is exactly when you need a change of perspective: Go climb a mountain and look down, watch a sunset from a new location, go outside and look up at the stars at night, stand on your head, lay in a hammock, watch the clouds move across the sky, rent a boat, go for a swim, hop a plane or do whatever you have to do to change your perspective on the world.

One last example. As of now, I live in San Diego when I am in the states and surf often. One of my favorite parts about surfing is being able to look back at the coastline that I reside on during the day. It looks completely different. I spend 23 hours a day there, but somehow in that hour of surfing, from that perspective, it looks… well, better and more hopeful, more beautiful and more full of opportunity.

This truly exemplifies what the Buddhists call “nothingness.” Without going off on a complete tangent, the concept is that nothing in this world has meaning until we give it meaning. That is why two people can view the same event in two completely different ways and changing your perspective can often show you the “nothingness” of life. The way that you are creating the life around you by your thoughts about it.

Wayner Dyer published one of my favorite books on the Tao Te Ching and called it “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” with the general premise being that when you change the way you look at the world, the world you look at changes.

Try this on for size today. Find a way to change your perspective on things, be it physically like described above or mentally in regards to a specific issue or thought that has been present in your life. Start to question what you think is the ultimate reality of the situation by offering new ideas, thoughts and perspective and see if you can’t try to see your life through a different set of eyes. Ultimately the goal is to realize that you have the ability to control how you view the world and this realization can open a lot of doors in life and in business, not to mention make you an amazingly flexible entrepreneur, business partner and copy writer (think empathy).

-mat

PS- Use this change of perspective technique anytime you need to leverage your creativity in something such as goal setting or writing. Freeing ourselves from the confines of our daily lives and expanding our perspective allows us to think, plan and strive for more than we can currently see day to day.


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you already know the answer…

San Diego, CA

Most of our so called “problems” in life come from not having a clear direction on what will truly make us happy right? Here is my thought: To the question on how to live a happier life, be more successful and marry the love of your life, you actually know the answer already, the problem is, your asking the wrong question.

Should I do this or that?

Should I take the job? Should I marry the girl? Do I really love him/her? Should I risk it all? Should I do business with him or not? What is my real passion? Should I hire this person or not? Why am I unhappy? Does this get me closer to my purpose or further away from it?

These are questions that we all ask ourselves everyday, almost out of habit we have learned that we need to analyze all of our decisions. Let me mull it over, let me think about it, well…food for thought. This is the norm, but you know what I really think?

I think most times….we already know the answer. You know it deep down, but something is holding you back from either admitting it or taking action on it. Now I am not talking about math problems here, but real life and business questions. I think the answers to what is going to make us happy and what is going to get us closer to that elusive meaning or purpose in our lives is already within us and we know that. That’s why it hurts!

That’s why it hurts when your NOT on purpose. That’s why it hurts when you wake up everyday and go to a job you hate. That’s why it hurts when your with the wrong person. That’s why it hurts when you compromise your companies ethics for a quick buck. That’s why it hurts and you feel bad inside when you know your being lazy and not living up to your potential.

That’s why it hurts. Your soul is making it painful for you so you will actually wake up and listen to it. Who knows maybe even one day you will wake up and say “this doesn’t feel good… I am going to go do something that does.” Thats your internal guidance, so listen to it.

If you asked 100 people what do you really truly want to do with your life and gave them a minute to think, 98 of em would be able to give you an answer. The trick is you have to be truly honest with yourself. Don’t over-think it and start rationalizing or controlling your thoughts based on logic. Be honest and trust that knowing.

Here is the kicker, out of those 98 people who know what would truly make them happy, maybe 1-2 of them would actually be doing it. So the real question is why are we not following this internal knowing, why do we stay in jobs, relationships and life situations that are less than we know we are capable of. I would contest that the answer is fairly simple and you already know that too, it’s fear.

Get rid of the fear, and nothing will stop you.

So next time you have a big decision to make, quit asking the question because you already know the answer. Instead ask yourself why am I not doing it already? What am I afraid of? and address that.


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