Perspective is Everything
It’s going to be a short one today … in case it escaped your attention, we’re in that alternate dimension known as school holidays! This involves getting up just as early as you do during term time, and going to bed much later, the whole household spending at least half the day in pyjamas and getting to do all those things that you never end up doing like …. playing chess. Indeed, chess has become the game of choice in our house.
I didn’t have anyone to teach it to me as a child. I read the rules on the box and learnt the moves for each piece, but I didn’t get a feel for the thing, and didn’t end up taking to it. Now my nearly seven year old son has discovered it – on the computer of course. I had so long ago decided that I didn’t understand chess, that I didn’t even ‘see’ the chess game icon. Of course my son had no such preconceptions and clicked the icon. You play against the computer, and you can always undo the last move if you make a mistake, so it’s easy to learn, and in the space of 2-3 days we’ve both begun to get into it. A few years ago I bought a beautiful (second hand) glass chess board from a school fair. So we’ve now progressed to playing each other on a proper chess board. It feels ever so intellectual 🙂
My boy is becoming a really good chess player … well ok, he gives me a run for my money! As yet he hasn’t worked out how to put a good face on when he loses a game though. This morning I pulled out all the stops and did my best to beat him, and wonder of wonders the tide turned and the game started to go my way. Well, out came the big sulk. In an effort to restore peace I suggested “I tell you what, let’s turn the board round and I’ll be the white pieces instead”. He thought there was nothing more he could do with the pieces he had, occupying the positions they were in, so really I wanted him to see that actually there was plenty he could do, and that he might even win. We drew with just a king left each in the end, which proved my point and avoided further sulking!
He got me thinking though, as he usually does … isn’t that a great thing to be able to do in life? When you think you’ve got no options left, mentally ‘turn the board around’ and experience things from the other person’s point of view. You suddenly get to see your (and the other persons) weak and strong points from the opposite angle. You’ll also notice opportunities that were there all along but weren’t visible to you before. Perspective is everything. You could ‘zoom out’ and take a wider view. Usually when we take a step back and see the bigger picture, it’s far easier to make decisions, and we get to see that nothing is quite as big or little as it first seems. Or you could take it the other way and zoom in … when you get up close to a situation, break it down into its component pieces and really analyse it, you often find that things weren’t what you first thought, as well as a new way of dealing with matters.
We tend to subscribe to this hypnosis, don’t we, that we are somehow locked into our bodies and can only ever see things from where we stand. That’s the beauty of the mind and the imagination. I think we as humans tend to waste our imagination quite a lot. OK it’s great for day dreaming and for having a laugh, but how often do you use yours for discovery? Whilst what you can do with your body is locked into earthly space and time (at least for most people), your imagination isn’t locked into anything except the walls you put round it. So if you can’t physically move from where you are to get a different view point, fire up that imagination and go for a spin … you may amaze yourself with what you discover…
This week contemplate something you might feel checkmated on … and then change your perspective so you can win the game!
Oh and happy holidays everyone!