Sometimes a different perspective makes all the difference.

And if you don't believe us, watch this now...

A fascinating piece of footage, which for those who remember the original on our TV screens 30 years ago, will bring back memories of the impact it had at the time.

Featuring a skinhead who appears to be wrestling a man’s briefcase from his hands, the camera cuts to a different perspective and we see that he is in fact trying to rescue the man from falling bricks.

This powerful advert for The Guardian newspaper, was effective because it brilliantly tapped into our everyday stereotypes and assumptions about people and how the world works.

Pretty Ugly

Take a look at this. Read it and do what it says.

After reading it the first time, did you read each line again from the bottom up? (If not do it now, it will be worth it.) 

In this clever piece of writing, exactly the same words seen from a different perspective not only give them a different meaning, but the complete opposite meaning.

This goes to show how looking at the same thing from a different perspective can give us a different way of understanding it and even change the meanings we attach to it.

And so it is for us when it comes to how we see the world and ourselves.

When Julian was going through a particularly difficult time with back pain he wrote…

‘Although I’d sort of made a recovery, I was aware that there was still difficulty around sitting or standing for long periods of time. My back would go into spasm, or it felt like I was locking up in some way. I initially tried various therapies to no avail, then to exercise, sometimes perhaps a little too strenuously, but that seemed to exacerbate the problem – so I’d try the opposite and rest it. Over time I was gradually doing less and less in a perceived bid to save my back from possible further harm, and it was beginning to impact on my life.

Then I realised that all the stuff we were reading and doing around personal development applied as much to the way I was thinking and reacting about my back as it did to other areas of my life. My reactions were based on my beliefs, which in this instance were negative, about what would happen. I had started to think that it might be with me indefinitely and to let the notion of my bad back limit my activity in small ways, and it was time to stop.

 Recognising the unhelpful beliefs that were holding me back was the starting point for moving on to do something positive to rectify it…. Click here to find out what Julian did about it.

How full is your glass?

Glass half full

So what about you? How do you look at life? What is your perspective on your relationships, work, homelife, interests, things you want to change, your achievements and what you want for your future and the future of your family, community and the world?

Another way of looking at perspective is to see it as the meaning you give to things that happen. It’s more than just looking for the silver lining. It’s about looking for a positive meaning in a situation that might otherwise carry negative connotations. Reinterpreting your first thoughts or the judgements we often jump to, takes a bit of practice but can lead to transforming the way you think, feel, and act.

What things in your life and future would look and feel different if you chose to take a different perspective on them, to attach a different meaning to them?

Try it and empower yourself to look at life in different more positive ways. To free yourself from the self-fulfilling versions of ‘truth’ we all hold, that hinder us.

Which is why ‘Are you a half full or half empty type of person?’ is an important question where the underlying message is beliefs become self-fulfilling; where your attitude and beliefs influence not only how you see the world but the life you experience in line with your expectations.

"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right." Henry Ford