Tag Archives: Perspective

Expand Your Desire

The Wolf Of Shave Ice

There are a lot of skills you can learn.

Unfortunately, we humans don’t really like doings things unless we have to, or there is a VERY compelling reason.

For example, plenty of “diets” are based on celebrities.

Like the Daniel Craig (James Bond) diet, for example.

Want to know the real secret of the Daniel Craig diet?

It’s got nothing to do with what he eats.

It has EVERYTHING to do with the incentives.

If YOU got paid millions to take your shirt off in the movies, you’d probably be able to get pretty ripped as well.

Unfortunately, few of us will ever be given a guarantee like that.

We normal humans have to try our best just to get a chance.

But then again, guys and gals like Daniel Craig didn’t get lucky.

It wasn’t like he was just strolling down the street one day and some Hollywood dude rolled up in his limo and asked if he wanted to play James Bond.

Usually people that have that much success started building it when they were very young.

Take Bill Gates, for example.

When he was a teenager, LONG BEFORE he even thought about an “operating system” he was hustling.

Meaning he was always trying things to see if he could make money.

Or that guy in the “Wolf of Wall ST.” movie.

(Jordan Belfort played by DiCaprio)

Before he was a wolf of wall street, before he even knew ANYTHING about wall street, he and his buddies sold shave ice on the beach.

On their own, they bought the raw materials (ice, flavoring, some kind of cart, etc.) and in one summer they netted 10K.

Nobody told them what to do. Nobody game them any guarantees.

They just had a deep DRIVE to succeed, and they went out and made it happen.

If you check your favorite Actors page on IMDB, you’ll see the same story.

Most A-listers today started when they were VERY YOUNG.

Even AC DC teaches the same story.

“It’s a long way to the top if you want to Rock n Roll…”

But here’s the thing.

That DRIVE isn’t just in SOME people.

It’s in EVERYBODY.

YOU.

Sure, some people are “lucky” in that they find a quick and easy way to “monetize” this natural human drive.

But it only SEEMS easy when we look at them AFTER they succeed.

Every huge success had the same fears, worries and concerns.

But they pushed through them, and kept their eyes on the prize.

So can you.

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Entrepreneurial Mind

Drill Into Some Cookies

Hammer Out Your Skill Zone

There are a lot of good metaphors about our comfort zone.

The elephant that was tied up as a kid, for example.

Then later, they removed the rope, but he still was afraid to go outside of his rope-zone.

That’s all he was comfortable with.

Or the shark whose growth was stunted because he was kept in a small tank.

But the thing about comfort zones is they distort our reality.

Sure, we can see things just on the outside of them, recognize that they make us uncomfortable.

Which means we can sort of define the “boundary” of our comfort zone.

You can think of a small area just outside our comfort zones as a kind of defining “outer limit” of what we MIGHT be capable of.

But beyond that, we really can’t perceive of anything at all.

I had a friend once who was baking cookies. She wanted to make three times as many, but she absolutely COULD NOT do the math required to do so.

So she was stuck.

She had an IDEA of what she wanted, but she couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Imagine somebody, on the other hand, who could EASILY complicated arithmetic in their heads.

They could plan things with a lot more accuracy.

Therefore they could SEE things in their future with a lot more accuracy.

We can only see based on what we MIGHT be able to do, in the case of the comfort zone and the cookies.

Imagine walking down the street in a foreign country, where you have NO IDEA what any of the signs meant.

Imagine that same scenario but with a HUGE “to-do” list.

Shopping, laundry, getting a haircut, buying shoes, etc.

Simple things would be difficult.

The more you are comfortable doing, the more clearly you’ll see MORE options.

The more things you are capable of understanding, the more clearly you’ll see all the opportunities outside of your SKILL zone.

If ALL you have is a hammer, you’ll only find nails.

But if you have a MASSIVE set of tools in your brain, you’ll find a lot more things to use them on.

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Use Your Brain

Is Your Brain An Ornament?

Imagine if you got a box in the mail.

It was really heavy, so you thought it was something cool.

But you opened it up and all it appeared to be was a black shiny object without any buttons or instructions or anything.

But it looked cool, you couldn’t really tell what the material was, so you put it up on your shelf.

Maybe sometimes people would ask about it, and you’d make up some story so you wouldn’t feel like a goof for accepting a strange package and using it as decoration.

Imagine if you went to a garage sale, and found a really cool set of paintbrushes. Maybe a few easels, and a massive set of paints.

While standing there, you looked up something similar on Amazon and found a set of the same stuff sold brand new for several thousand dollars.

And there it was, in front of you, virtually untouched, for five bucks.

You scooped it up, thinking maybe you’d sell it, or maybe even spend some time on YouTube learning the basics of painting.

It might end up being a cool hobby.

But the set of paints ended up in YOUR garage, in the same corner, covered by the same sheet.

We do this all the time.

Get stuff that we WAY underutilize, if we utilize them at all.

The prime example of this is our brains.

Capable of ENDLESS learning. (Well, we can learn as long as we draw breath).

Yet how much of your time is spent learning new things?

Having our brains and using them the way we do would be like spending millions of dollars on the world’s fastest supercomputers, loading them up with the best software available, and then using them to watch YouTube, or check social media.

Problem is that most of us associate learning with school.

With discipline, memorization and learning the most incredibly boring stuff on Earth.

Luckily, our brains are WAY more efficient than that.

And when you learn to unlock your potential, that’s when you’ll REALLY start to appreciate your gifts.

Click Here To Learn How

The Mountain Man’s Secret

The Fish

Once there was this guy who lived up in the mountains. Through a particularly strange string of events, he’d found himself with quite a bit of money, enough to quit his job for good. At first he spent time traveling around, and learning about different cultures, a few languages here and there. But when the thrill had worn off, he longed for place to spend the rest of his days in quite solitude. On thing he learned about himself was that he rather enjoyed being by himself, and could spend hours just sitting and gazing out at a peaceful meadow or countryside farm.

So he spent time searching for the right place, until he stumbled on this area in a semi rural mountainous area. He bought several hundred acres, after making sure there was sufficient water, and electricity wouldn’t be a problem. He had to contract with some construction engineers to get his electricity and phone lines wired in, but that wasn’t much of a worry.

After everything was built and set up, he had himself a nice cabin that was right on the edge of a large meadow, with a rather large stream running through the middle of it, and a fairly dense forest. Traveling through the meadow, it would become more and more flat after a few miles, and then open up into a large valley, which channeled down to meet the main highway. The road came only part way to the valley, after that there was access only by off road vehicle.

He’d gotten specific permits from the county planning office, and surprisingly had to sign several legal release forms, as for a good part of the winter, his cabin would become completely inaccessible, except by helicopter. That was why he chose to build his cabin on the border between the meadow and the woods.

Should a particular emergency arise, it was still feasible to get to his place by helicopter, even in the deepest snow of winter. But just a mile or so into the woods, he would be completely cut off for until the spring thaw. While he liked the outdoors, and enjoyed being alone for long stretches of time, not having access to emergency medical aid was not something he wanted to worry about.

During the other months, getting from his cabin to the main road through the valley below took a couple hours, and then to the nearest town where he could buy supplies was another hour. So he would make a run every couple of weeks, and load up his pickup truck with as many supplies as he would fit.

Make no mistake, because I’m using the word “supplies,” please don’t picture some scraggly mountain man buying beef jerky and shotgun shells. This guy liked his modern creature comforts just like the rest of us. In his cabin he had a large flat screen TV that was of course connected, as well as his Internet connection via satellite linkup, and having traveled the world extensively, he had acquired a taste for fine foods. He had an industrial size refrigerator, and a large walk in freezer that he kept fully stocked at all times, as well as an impressive wine cellar he had built to specific specifications to match identically that of a restaurant he’d grown quite fond of in the south of France.

But on to our story. One thing he particularly enjoyed was fishing in the stream/river that had started somewhere up in the mountains, ran down in front of his cabin (albeit a couple hundred yards awards away, as recommended by the builders) and became very large sometimes down the meadow.

There were plenty of trout, mostly rainbow, but a few brown trout in the stream. Despite all of the exotic food that he special ordered from time to time from the specialty stores in town, nothing tasted as good as freshly caught trout. He had developed several recipes that he used to prepare them, his most favorite being a simple lemon, garlic and butter concoction.

As he approached the stream, he found spot to start fishing. Long a fan of lures, he chose a spinner of no particular important, loaded it up and tossed it in. He slowly reeled it in, tossed it out again.

He did see a few interested fish, but none of them seemed too interested in his lure. He tried another lure, same thing. This wasn’t out of the ordinary. He’d once gone eight days in a row without catching any fish, so this wasn’t particularly frustrating, or out of the ordinary.

Until he saw it.

As he slowly reeled his lure back, after the 17th cast (had he been counting) there was a very large, very gold/orange fish following his lure. At first he thought it was one of those Japanese carp that some people build ponds for in their back yards, but it’s shape wasn’t quite right. The strange thing about this fish was that it didn’t immediately retreat when his lure drew close to the shore as he reeled it in. it seemed pause a little bit, swim up stream, and then drift just pas the point where the lure was to be pulled from the water. As if it somehow knew in advance where the lure was going to be extracted from the water.

After he set his rod for another cast the fish quickly darted back down stream. But when he cast and reeled in his line again, there was the same fish. Except this time, he was the only fish there. He performed the same peculiar behavior following the lure in, and then darting upstream, and drifting down just to the point of extraction. Then he (it) would linger just long enough, and then literally turn and dart downstream.

This went on for about more casts, when he decided to try another spot. He walked down stream for about thirty minutes, and found a spot where there was a large bend in the stream, where the flow slowed considerably, enough for large pool to form, much like a small lake.

He walked around the lake, stopping in several places. Each time the same thing happened. He’d cast out his lure, reel it, and it would be followed by the same peculiar fish, that would do the same peculiar thing.

Finally he decided to call it quits, as the sun would be setting within an hour or so. He walked back up stream toward his cabin. Just before he arrived, he decided he’d try one last cast. But there was that same fish, only this time, it didn’t dart away so quickly when he pulled is lure from the water.

He swam back and forth, seemingly agitated, jumping from the water at each turn. Perplexed, the stood and stared.

And then it happened.

There was a monstrous earthquake, that seemed to last several minutes. He could hear the rocks up through the forest come tumbling down the hillside, the loud cracking of trees as they plowed relentlessly through the woods.

When the shaking stopped, the fisherman looked down at the valley where he’d been fishing all day. All along the side of the river, as far as he could see, almost exactly parallel to the river, was a giant crevice that had opened up in the earth, and was slowly pulling all the water from the stream into it. Pretty soon the stream, now a gushing river, had completely changed direction.

He turned, quite shaken, and walked slowly back to his cabin, not sure what had just happened. One thing he did know, and that was he didn’t think he’d be eating fish any time soon.

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Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Inside Or Outside?

Definitions

I remember when I was a kid, I showed up to school (it was second or third grade) and my friend had this great puzzle that he couldn’t wait to share with me. It was one of those mind puzzles that is designed to trick you into answering one way, when in reality the answer is something completely different. One of those that as soon as you’ve been had, you can’t wait to go and share this with somebody else. Of course, I fell for the “trick,” but I had a sense there was more to it than the seemingly simple answer he gave me. It wasn’t until later I discovered the true answer lied in basic physics.

Sometimes you come across something that appears to be one thing, but then it turns out to be something else entirely. And once you figure out what it really is, you can’t imagine how you thought it was what you used to before you were able to discover the truth. Like if you grab a bottle of what you think is water, and it turns out to be nectar that somebody had prepared to put in the hummingbird feeder, you’ll quickly realize what it is, and you’ll never be able to look at it the same way again.

Once your brain makes the simple connection, that same container that you used to think contained regular water will forever be linked with sugary sticky hummingbird food. So long as whoever is in charge of filling the hummingbird feeder uses the same container, it will be almost impossible to make the same mistake again.

The brain is pretty good at making quick connections like that. Strong responses are usually wired in pretty quickly, while lukewarm or cool responses can quickly be forgotten. Which is why it takes so long to learn boring information to regurgitate on a history test.

Some things, on the other hand, are more difficult to pin down. No matter how hard you try and isolate them in your brain, they just seem kind of fuzzy, and you have to get a good look at them to remember what it was you were thinking of. Some things you kind of have sort of a vague, fuzzy idea of what they are, but unless you are experiencing it directly with one or more senses, it can be tough to remember exactly.

Like that one restaurant you went to that one time with that person you thought might turn into somebody special, and you remarked who good the whatever it was tasted. But as you sit there now, and think about that, can you really remember the color of shoes of your waiter? Can you remember how many glasses of water you drank? Would you be able to list all of the ingredients that went into the particular dish you ate, or how much of it you ate?

Of course, these examples are simple, undisputable facts that you either remember or you don’t. But what about things that don’t have a rigid interpretation? You may remember a movie as being hilarious, but your date may remember it as being crude and offensive. You may remember something as completely delicious and mouth watering, but your date may remember it as horrible or too salty. These memories, of course, are open to the meaning that you give them. And the meaning you give to things is based on a whole slew of personal history and varies elements of your disposition.

But what about things that blur even that line? Certain things need to be defined before they can be described. Is a drum of crude oil good or bad? I suppose it is good if you can imagine all the products that can be made from it. I would probably be bad if you dumped it in your living room.

How many sides does a cube have? The following answers are all correct:

Two – The Inside, and the outside
Six – Top, bottom, front, back, left, right
Twelve – Same as above, but include the inside and the outside

Any answer you give is correct, just as long as you can back it up with a proper definition.

Which brings me back to my friend’s second grade puzzle:

Which side of the record goes the fastest, the side closest to the whole, or the outside? The answer most people give is the outside. But the trick answer is that they both go the same speed, because they are connected.

Of course, both answers are correct. If you are measuring the speed according to angular velocity, then they are both going the same speed. Each goes through 360 degrees in the same time period. However, if you are measuring them according to linear velocity, then the outside is going much faster. The linear velocity of the outside is greater, because the linear distance is a function of the radius. Since it’s further out, it travels faster.

Two definitions, two different answers to describe the same set of circumstances. How many other things can you think of that can be described differently based on how you define the terms?

To find out how to define things best suited for your own personal success, check out what’s behind this:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Lunar or Solar?

Change Perspective

The other day I was talking to one of my neighbors, one of them that I don’t talk to very often. It seems that there is a local festival happening this weekend, and she was trying to explain its significance. Something to do with the lunar New Year. Every year the lunar New Year comes at a different time, and the length of winter is thought to be dependent on the arrival of this day.

It got me thinking about the overlapping of the two calendars, the solar and the lunar. The seasons are based on the earth’s rotation around the sun, and the lunar New Year is based obviously on the moon. The revolution of the moon around the earth has nothing to do with the revolution of the earth around the sun. They are two completely different physical systems, although they are nested. The moon/earth system is nested within the earth/sun system.

When you take the larger scale of time, based on the seasons and the sun, and compare it to the smaller system, it can seem entirely random. Some years the lunar New Year comes early, while other years it comes later. And over the years, humans have developed a rich mythology to describe the relationship between the two.

Of course, from an external and much longer perspective, they are simply two oscillating systems, one inside the other, and behave according to fairly simple physical laws. But within the system, you have all these stories and mythologies about dragons and spirits and whether or not you’re going to have a good crop based on how much moon you can see at a certain time of night.

Being able to switch in and out of an objective/subjective experience is beneficial helpful and a lot of fun. If humans were always stuck inside the subjective experience, of watching the moon dance across the sky, we would never have evolved past human sacrifices to ensure the crops would grow every year.

Advances in science continue to give us an objective, outside perspective so we can do away with hoping and praying to the gods, and to not only understand our natural environment, but to decipher it and plan accordingly. It makes life a lot easier if you know it’s going to rain with a certain degree of expectation.

On a personal level, this can be just as useful, but it can prove to be a little bit more difficult. If we look at our behavior from an objective viewpoint, some of our behavior that gets us into trouble can be pretty obvious. But it can be hard to do that. It’s very easy to stay within our own subjective experience and only see things as they show up in our own experience, without planning how to react.

One model in NLP is the ability to switch between the objective and subjective experience. One exercise I did at a seminar was particularly eye opening. It can help greatly if you ever feel yourself getting sucked into an argument that you suspect might not end well.

The exercise goes like this. You can do this with a willing partner, or completely covert.

While talking to somebody, try switching in and out of your “self.” During the conversation, imagine that you are above the both of you, and objectively watching the discussion, as if you are watching a debate between two unknown candidates on TV. Then switch into the other persons perspective, and watch yourself talking, and take the opposing viewpoint. Then switch back to an objective viewpoint, and then switch back into your own viewpoint.

This can be tricky and confusing to say the least, so it’s best to try this with a conversation that will allow for several pauses while you collect your thinking. Don’t do this while talking to your boss, or an important client at work.

It can be particularly useful to free yourself from a subjective viewpoint that isn’t as supportive as you think it is. You may even get a better perspective, and a few different ideas.

The more you practice this, the better you’ll get at it. I’ve known several sales people who perfected this technique, and were able to change their approach with clients during a conversation that resulted in them getting a sale, where before they wouldn’t have been able to.

They report that when they switched into their clients viewpoint, they got some ideas on how to better present their product or services, as well as some interesting insights into how to overcome some objections, many times even before they came up.

I’m sure you can think of many different areas where it would be good to be able to flip in and out of your own subjective experience. Try this and have fun.

For more information on how you can powerfully enhance your brain and you life, check out the link below. There are several products that will powerfully enhance your life.

Powerful Metaphysics

Powerful Metaphysics

The Power Of Perspective

Are You In, Or Out?

I remember once I was talking to a friend of mine in a bar. It was about halfway between afternoon and night, and there weren’t that many people there. We had met earlier by coincidence, and decided to hang out for a while. He started telling me these problems he’s having with his girlfriend. He says that he’s having the same problem with his current girlfriend that he’s had with all of his previous girlfriends. Right when they get to the “serious commitment” stage, he starts to do all these stupid things (stupid according to him) that he claims that he doesn’t know why he does them, and they invariably lead to fights. These usually continue until the relationship breaks up.

I asked him if he does these things intentionally, and he said that he didn’t. He said they were little things that added up over time, like showing up late or flirting with other girls when they were together. Eventually she would put him on the spot, because to her it would seem as if he wasn’t taking the relationship seriously. He would always claim that he was, she would press him, they would fight like that for a couple weeks or months, then they’d break it off. It was always her that broke it off, saying that she wanted something serious, while he didn’t seem like it, despite his objections to the contrary.

He claimed he has no idea why he does those things, and only starts to do them when the relationship is beginning to get serious. To an outside observer, it seemed to me to be a clear case of unconscious self-sabotage. Part of you wants something, part of you doesn’t, for whatever reason, so you are conflicted at a subconscious level, and this comes out in your behavior. It seems to me that my friend, despite his conscious objections, doesn’t quite feel ready yet for a serious, committed relationship, on a deep unconscious level and it comes out in his behavior. He is in his late twenties, and a serious committed relationship to a guy that age usually means giving up the single life for good.

I asked him if he really wanted that kind of relationship, and he said he really did, but he didn’t know why he was doing these things. I am by no means qualified to give advice on this, but it seemed clear to me (especially after a couple beers) that he had some issues regarding commitment that he needed to deal with before was able to go into a life long relationship with both eyes open.

I haven’t really known this guy for that long, and I didn’t really want to ask him about his childhood or if his parents were divorced, but I suspect something happened to him earlier that made him feel extremely and deeply conflicted about committing to one person for life.

I was reading this book recently about psychology, and the author was talking about this thing called cognitive dissonance. This is the amazing ability of people to be incredibly self-deceptive. Scientists, namely evolutionary biologists suspect this arose out of the need to constantly deceive one another. Back in the day (before agriculture) when people lived in small groups of a couple hundred or so, it became really important to be able to detect “cheaters” in the group. People that wouldn’t contribute their fair share would pose a serious threat to the safety of the group, so humans developed this uncanny ability to detect when others are lying, through body language and facial expressions.

So, the more we developed a sense for detecting liars, the better we got at deceiving. In order to better deceive our neighbors, we had to be able to deceive ourselves, so we wouldn’t give off any subconscious clues. It’s been time and time again that one measure of a psychopath is somebody that can tell a lie, knowing it’s a lie, and get away with it.

So we have this automatic capacity to easily deceive ourselves, not only to lie to others without getting caught, but also to lie to ourselves to protect ourselves from facing inconvenient truths about ourselves. Keep in mind that this is always happening unconscious. We don’t go around telling lies on purpose.

A good example is when two people meet in a bar, and “hook up.” In the moment, they really believe that they are “right” for each other, and that there is at least the potential for a relationship. In reality, the urge to have sex is so great, that the reality of the situation is ignored, and self-deception allows one or both people to believe that this encounter is more than it really is.

Many people know somebody that has been in an abusive relationship, one that is obvious to outsiders that they should get out of. But from the inside, they convince themselves that it would be better to stay. If they were to leave, they may have to face the thought of being alone, or rejected, or worse.

The secret is to be able step in and out of your own personal situation, and see things from different perspectives. In NLP they call this “associated” and “dissociated.” People that can see themselves objectively in a situation are “dissociated” while people that are seeing themselves from a person, subjective point of view are “associated.” One is not better than the other, but it can be extremely helpful to be able to switch back and forth to get a better understanding of the situation that you’re in.

People that are stuck in an associates state are the people that are stuck in abusive relationships, or people like my friend that always ends up self sabotaging himself without knowing why. People that are stuck in a dissociated state are people like Spock (who is a fictional character), and psychopaths who have no conscious or feelings or morals.

When you study NLP, you learn how to do this at will, so you can be in any situation, and check it from a dissociated viewpoint, to make sure it’s healthy and empowering, and then switch back to an associated viewpoint, so you can enjoy it as much as possible.

If you’re interested in learning how to use NLP in your own life to increase happiness, wealth, and positive relationships, click on the link below. This is a basic course that shows you exactly how to use NLP to structure your thinking so that getting what you want out of life is automatic.

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

House of Receding Horrors

I remember when I was a kid there was an amusement park I would go to. It wasn’t a huge amusement park like Disneyland or anything, it was one of those small, local ones that some cities have near beaches. They had a few rides that were ok, if you were a kid. Sometimes I wonder how those places can get insurance with all the questionable people they have working there. I don’t think I remember ever seeing somebody working there that seemed like a person you see working someplace else, like at the grocery store or your local coffee shop or something. The kind of person that gets to know you and what you buy or order or whatever.

If you’ve ever seen a person like this outside of their your normal meeting place it’s always kind of weird. You either don’t recognize them, and wonder where you know them from, or you recognize them, but you both feel kind of awkward because you are away from your normal comfortable meeting place. Maybe I’m paranoid, but sometimes the thought strikes and makes me wonder if all those times they are being friendly is because of their job or not.

One thing about this amusement park always scared me. It was the haunted house. I had only been inside twice when I was a kid, and both times scared the crap out of me. I only went in because my friends and I all dared each other. Of course I didn’t let on how scared I was, and I suppose my friends were all the same, to some extent. But I can’t forget how scared I was both times. The place was dark, you couldn’t see where you were going, it had this weird smell like an old doctors office that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and there were these weird sounds that you couldn’t really tell where they were coming from. It seemed like no matter which way you were facing, the sounds seemed like they were behind you and getting closer by the second. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. Probably the thing that terrified me the most was at one point I almost panicked, and had to leave, but I couldn’t find where the exit was. There were no exit lights anywhere, and all I could hear were those sounds like some old lady breathing right behind me, and everywhere I turned seemed to be a dead end. I almost fainted from shock.

One time used to hang out in this bookstore once a week, and it only took the people a couple weeks to realize that I ordered the same thing every week. Pretty soon when they saw me, whoever it was, they would just smile and say “large iced tea?” right away with raised eyebrows just to make sure. I remember seeing one of the girls that worked there in a total different environment, and before any of those uncertain feelings or questions came up, she said “large iced tea!” with a smile, instead of this time, saying it like a question, she said it like a statement of recognition. It took care of all my concerns in one fell swoop.

I visited my friend a couple weeks ago that lived in the town where they had that amusement park. I was sure that it would be torn down and replaced by affordable housing or something, but it was still there. Just for fun my friend and I went to that haunted house, and I’ll admit I was a bit nervous going in, but boy was I surprised. It smelled like some incense you buy at a car wash, and the sound they had piped through was completely laughable. It sounded like some old woman who had been smoking for too long, but it was on this crappy loop that lasted only about four seconds, and kept repeating. There was an obvious gap when the tape repeated itself, which gave it an odd cartoonish feeling. And even though the exits weren’t marked where they normally would, because they had to have them noted by law, they had decided them to write them on the ground. So all you had to do was look down and see where the arrows were pointing to leave. The exit was never more than a few steps away. I couldn’t this pitiful haunted house had caused me so much fear earlier. I guess that’s what happens when you let your imagination run away with you.

What You can See From the Ferris Wheel

There is a department store downtown where I live. It is a fairly upscale department store, and it is right next to the main station, where all the different lines converge. The department store has eight different floors, with different items on each floor. As is customary in Japan, there is a large supermarket in the basement, which has many delicious foods from all over the world. That is not what is interesting about this particular department store. If you’ve ever been shopping in Japan, or know somebody that has, having a large, multi story department store with a large international supermarket in the basement is nothing special.

What is particularly interesting about this department store is that there is a gigantic, and I mean gigantic, Ferris wheel on the roof. Not exactly on the roof, if you go to the ninth floor, you can board, if that is the correct word, the Ferris wheel and sit in the carriage as it takes it’s time to go round the large circle, giving you a splendid view of the surrounding areas, including the Seto Inland Sea.

It’s interesting the different perspective you get from seeing something from a different viewpoint. Sometimes I ride my bicycle from my apartment to downtown, and sometimes I take the train. Both offer a different and unique perspective of the journey. When I’m riding my bike, I have to be careful for traffic lights, pedestrians, and if I choose, I can take different routes. There are many ways to get from point A to point B in any city, as I’m sure you are aware. Different modes of transportation allow for different ways to travel.

On the train, however, I am completely limited both in time and in location. I have to catch the train according to the train’s schedule. If I am late, it will not wait. If I am early, I have to sit and wait. On my bicycle, I can leave whenever I want, take my time, and eventually get to my destination. I can even change my mind and arrive at a different destination that I originally planned. This is impossible on the train. I suppose I could go one or two exits past my intended destination, but then I would be face with the embarrassment of having a ticket with an insufficient fare. I would then have to pay the extra in coins. On a bicycle, I don’t’ have to worry about any of that. I don’t even have to worry about looking at my watch. I don’t even need to wear a watch.

The train, of course, does have its advantages. It is air conditioned, which is nice during the summer. You can read a book or study philosophy or practice yoga on the way there. All of these are difficult on a bicycle. The train is a lot faster. You have the opportunity to chat to your neighbor on the train if you so desire. That is hard to do on a bicycle. I don’t know if you’ve ever ridden up next to a stranger and started a conversation, but it doesn’t usually work out very well. They tend to look at you as if you are a bit off. A train, on the other hand, provides a fairly easy way to do this. You can comment on a book she is reading, or take your time to exchange flirty eye contact, or even ask an innocuous question to open up the conversation.

But something really eye opening happens when you see all the possible train and bicycle routes from high above the ground. I’m not sure how many actual stories the Ferris wheel is, but at the top, it’s at least another five stories above the ninth floor of the department store building. It gives you a perspective that you normally don’t even consider when stuck down in the subjective experience of life.

Sometimes a great way to see a problem from a useful and resourceful angle is to see it from many different perspectives. The Japanese are famous for looking at their business problems from five, ten and even one hundred year perspectives. It gives them insight that can help them be really successful in the long run. Other people have told me that they sometimes ask themselves how they will feel about a certain course of action in a few weeks time. That sometimes can help them decide to do the right thing. Many people are easily tricked into only thinking about the short-term ramifications of their decision-making. For example, if you only were able to think twenty minutes into the future, you’d likely eat, drink and sex yourself to death. Of course this would be fun for a while, but when you think of what your life would be one year from now, it gives you a different perspective on things.

I don’t know if you’ve ever considered something like this, but what happens when you imagine your life thirteen or so years from now having taken this new idea into account. Does your life look better from thirteen years about? It’s interesting when you think about it, isn’t’ it.

The Power of Perspective

I lot of people have been talking recently about that new idea that’s been going around. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it or not, but it’s one of those things where you can’t be sure if it is just a passing fad, or if this will turn into something really worthwhile. I friend of mine found a copy of this a bookstore. Not the newer one, but the original book that was circulating around before that international guru got a hold of this and brought it back into the public consciousness again. I’m not sure if he is being true to the original authors work, but it seems to be starting off on the right track. You never can tell, though. I usually like to hold off judgment on things like this until they have reached a critical mass. I don’t know if that is good or if I’m just lazy, but it seems to have worked for me in the past.

It’s interesting the way things are looked at differently when considered from different angles. Especially when you throw history into the mix. Some ideas seem totally fantastic and obviously wonderful. Nobody can find any fault with them, as they sweep the nation with a wildfire rapidity usually reserved for deadly diseases. Then ten years later, you look back in time and think, “Dude, what were we thinking?” It’s interesting how a power of perspective can greatly give you expanded views of what you think is so obvious.

I took a seminar once on this very subject. We were instructed to sit in a chair, and imagine that we were a fly flying around our bodies. With our eyes closed, we imagined the fly looking at our hair, our ears, our legs and feet. Then we imagined looking at ourselves from the ceiling, the floor, and even through the window from the outside. Then we later tried during a normal conversation. We would sit across from somebody, and while we were talking and maintaining eye contact with the other person, we would imagine seeing and hearing ourselves from the other persons perspective. This is a lot more difficult than it seems. Quite often we would stop in mid sentence as we tried to focus on all these different things at once. One cool thing that happened is that after a few practice, runs, when we were finally able to maintain this new angle of perspective and hold a normal conversation, we found that our minds became very calm and quit. You don’t really know what all those voices are chattering on about in your head until they shut up for once. I really recommend trying this out next time you are having a not so important conversation. Hold off on doing this when talking to your boss, otherwise he or she might think you are a bit off. This takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it gives you an amazing clarity of concentration and focus.

The next step in the seminar was to look at our lives from different perspectives in time. From a newborn babies perspective, trying to imagine what it would be like before learning to walk and learn the alphabet. Looking at our present abilities would be astounding to an infant. Some things that we take for granted are really wonderful gifts that we overlook. Another exercise we did was to look at our lives from the perspective of our great great grandchildren. Some of the big problems that we think are so important looked absolutely tiny in comparison. Many people found that this simple exercise helped them to discover what is really important in your life. When you can release the small problems that are taking up valuable space in your brain, and sort out the three or four things that are really important, it can really give you a fresh enthusiasm for getting what you want out of life.

I would recommend doing this as often as possible, from as many different perspectives as you can imagine. The fly, the infant, the great grandchild, even of God, if you can allow yourself to do that without violating any of your beliefs.

People that do this on a regular basis find that your world will naturally expand and you will find yourself discovering new resources that you never thought were possible before. And all of this is possible with only a few minutes of imagination.