I first heard the quote, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”, when I was reading a book by Wayne Dyer, many years ago. He was quoting Max Planck, a German Physicist who is known as the founder of Quantum Physics. Essentially Max Planck demonstrated that when an individual looks at an object, the characteristics of the object actually change at the molecular level.
I internalized this quote because, regardless of what a quantum physicist says, I know this to be a fact in my life: when I change the way I look a things, the things I look at change. This goes back to the fact that we each get to make a choice about how we view the world around us. We can be a victim of circumstances and simply react to all that we are exposed to on a daily basis, or we can choose to view what we see as lessons and blessings. It is always a choice.
I spent many years of my life choosing to be impacted by all those circumstances external to me: the weather, the traffic, and my horrific boss (to name a few). And then I realized, through lots of reading and learning from those much wiser than I am, that my life, the way I live it, and the way I respond to all that occurs around me is my choice. I didn’t like feeling as if I were a victim of circumstances because deep down, I believe that life is supposed to be good and people are fundamentally good. I recognized that I can choose to focus on what is wrong or, I can choose to look at things that appear wrong and learn lessons from them.
So, whereas I used to look at a rainy Saturday or a traffic jam as an annoyance and a nuisance, I now see them as blessings: rain to not only allow growth and balance in nature, but often times, a blessing for me to take a day off from running or just stay inside my cozy house with my family all day. A traffic jam? A blessing that I’m not rushing to get somewhere and have some time to take my foot off the pedal. And my horrific boss? That one wasn’t as easy but what I did was look at each encounter as something I could learn and apply to my own leadership style and also to running my own business. Ironically enough, when I made the choice to change the way I was looking at those things, they actually did change too. My boss became someone I began to seek to learn from as opposed to someone I hated dealing with; the traffic and rain became wonderful opportunities to slow down as opposed to things that kept me contained. It’s all about perspective and we always get to choose our perspective.
I’ve made it a habit to look for the positives and the blessings in all situations; regardless of how horrible they may seem at face value. Sometimes it definitely is not easy but I do know that what Max Planck and Wayne Dyer said is 1000% true: when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. What will you look at differently today?
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