Perspective and Clarity in Difficult Times

Perspective and clarity are two contributing elements to help you live a meaningful, flourishing, and prosperous life, and having a strong sense of Self-Trust can help.

In the current global pandemic, it can be even more difficult to achieve perspective and clarity, because of concerns many have about work, money, family and what the future might hold.

When we get hooked on worrying about the realities of work, money, family and what the future might hold, we can easily loose perspective and clarity about appropriate actions we can take that are within our control.

No matter where you are or what you have right now in your life, that is where you are and what you have … and that’s the reality of where you need to start from.

A helpful question

One question to help bring you more perspective and clarity is this:

What are you doing with your current reality of where you are and what you have?

Asked another way:

What appropriate action can you take, that is aligned with your personal values, no matter how small a step it might be, to help move you more toward living a more meaningful, flourishing, and prosperous life?

A Thought Experiment for You

Try this thought experiment with me. Take an A4 sheet of paper … and imagine it represents your potential to live a meaningful, flourishing, and prosperous life.

I would like you now to imagine that your life is represented by a circle, and please draw a circle on the A4 sheet of paper so that your circle shows clearly the extent to which you believe you are, right now, at this moment, living up to your potential meaningful, flourishing, and prosperous life.

Now that you’ve drawn your circle on the A4 sheet of paper, unless your circle touches all 4 edges of the paper, any gap between your circle and the edges of the paper represent potential for you to live an even more meaningful, flourishing, and prosperous life.

In a book that shares a series of lectures that Viktor Frankl gave in March and April 19461 he writes this:

“It is never a question of where someone is in life, or which profession he is in, it is only a matter of how he occupies his circle in life and fills his place.”

Gender language aside, how are you ‘occupying’ your circle and what are you ‘filling’ it up with to help you achieve your potential?

Frankl goes on to add this:

“Whether a life is fulfilled does not depend on how great one’s radius of action is, but rather only on whether the circle is fully filled out.”

A reality check

Each of us needs to recognise and accept that where we are and what we have is where we are and what we have.

That does not mean we need to accept that it will always be that way (unless of course your circle is touching all four sides of your potential).

Frankl’s advice is to fill our circles with as much appropriate and values-driven actions within the realities of each given situation.

One of the three lenses of trust that I work with my clients is the lens of Self-Trust2.

Self-Trust consists of, among many things, having the confidence and pride in who we are, what we are and why we are (our character) and the control we have (the discipline, willpower, and grit) to consistently take appropriate action to be the very best version of ourselves.

Applied Self-Trust is one of the contributing elements that brings perspective and clarity to our lives in difficult times.

  1. Frankl, V. E. (1946). Trotzdem ja zum Leben sagen. Drei Vorgrage (… Say Yes to Life in Spite of Everything. Three Lectures). 2019 edition. Penguin Random House UK.
  2. The other lenses are (1)Trust-Others and (2) Earn Others’ Trust
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