How we chart our paths and attitudes depend on our perspectives.
My freshman year in high school, I thought being popular would make me happy. Who wouldn’t want to see herself photographed throughout the yearbook or well liked by her class? From my point of view, popular people had it all. They had name brand clothes, beautiful skin, and good grades. Oh, how I wanted those things to be happy! Looking back, I’ve asked myself “did it matter?” Well, does it?
A key principle of making wise decisions and finding lasting happiness is having greater perspective. Before crossing the street, weren’t we taught to look both ways? When we look left and right before making the decision to cross the street, our perspective increases. We give ourselves more information to make the proper judgment and avoid oncoming traffic.
As I was walking home the other day and taking pictures for Instagram, I made the mistake of turning the front camera on. The camera was facing directly up towards the sky, taking a picture of the brilliant blue sky framed by the towering buildings around me.
I have walked on that street almost every day and never knew about the beautiful view above my head! The path to greater perspective is not always as standard as looking both ways before crossing the street. Sometimes we are prompted to do things a little differently, like look up! “Look up” is the unique action we take to increase perspectives in our lives. How do you “look up”? How do we “look up” when there are so many things holding our attention? How do we know that we need to “look up”?
While we each may find our own answers, let me suggest a few from experience.
How do you look up?
Try new things and go to new places. For me, traveling has taken me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to look at life and people with love. Eating new foods, exploring new places, and meeting one-of-kind people can shape your views. You don’t have to go to a foreign country to have these experiences. You can try new things and go to new places in your own town!
How do we look up when there are so many things holding our attention?
Take a step back and prioritize. Creating priorities can help us determine the things that matter most now and further down the road. On prioritizing, I’ve learned a great lesson from Steven Covey. He said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
How do we know that we need to “look up”?
Ask yourself these three questions:
1. Will this opportunity, event, or change impact my life in 5 years?
2. Am I facing any obstacles or resistance?
3. Does it impact my self worth?
If you answered “yes” to any of the three questions above, as it applies to your circumstance, then I suggest increasing your perspective. These questions exemplify situations where a greater perspective is always helpful.
On question 3, the answer should always be “No!” You’re worth is greater than the jewels on this earth. You’re worth is priceless. You have everything within to become great. Nothing and no one can impact your self worth. At times we may feel like our worth relies on external events or circumstances, for example, I thought popularity was a key determinant. However, I learned that is not the case.
Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. … God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there. ~ President Thomas S. Monson
So, when I reflect on what I thought would make me happy freshman year, I smile. “Did being popular matter?” In those moments, I thought it did. If I had greater perspective, then I would have known that it doesn’t impact my long term happiness. I’m happy now and I have been
for years! My happiness stems from a place no one can impact but myself – my love for myself, my faith, and my eternal perspective.
By Rhea Maynes