Look around you. Now, hold your phone up in the air and take a photo. Is what’s on your phone the same thing you see when you look around? Nope – but both realities still exist… right?
Genesis 50:20 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today.
We can choose what angle we view things through. Evil is present, so is JOY. We can see life. We can see death. We can speak into either of those. But more importantly – we can choose who we seek perspective from.
Sometimes even the most successful and brilliant minds overlook grand opportunities. We surround ourselves with our safety net. We lean on those we trust most. That’s wisdom. But sometimes we are blinded by our own perspective. I’m gonna share a few examples with you…
In 1977 Kodak had a young employee who developed the first digital camera – Kodak patented the product but set it aside because they made too much money off of film to invest in its development. In years to come competitors continued to develop products similar to Kodak’s and by the 90’s their technology far exceeded that of Kodak’s. As of 2015, Kodak is still operating at a loss of almost $2,000,000.00 a year. What if they had been open to this young inventor’s idea?? Where would Kodak be? How much earlier would the general public have had access to digital media?
In 1999, EXCITE had the opportunity to purchase GOOGLE for $750,000.00 – this was only 1% of EXCITE’s net-worth at the time. The CEO of EXCITE, George Bell, refused the offer because GOOGLE CEO Larry Page wanted to include a clause that would force EXCITE to replace all of its search technology with GOOGLE’s technology. George Bell didn’t like the GOOGLE interface and thought it was a step behind EXCITE. Today, we all know GOOGLE is the largest search engine in the world, never mind all the other markets that GOOGLE has entered. EXCITE is no longer. What if that CEO had sought out other perspectives?
Blockbuster turned down the opportunity to purchase Netflix. In 2000 – Netflix proposed an agreement with Blockbuster for Netflix to handle all of Blockbuster’s online components and Blockbuster could host Netflix as an “in-store” component. Blockbuster refused – they were later given the opportunity to outright buy Netflix. Again, they refused. Blockbuster had the market for online inventory and wasn’t interested in Netflix, as it was struggling to stay-a-float. But in 2007, after a change of CEO’s, Blockbuster dropped its development of the online component. Within three years, Blockbuster filed bankruptcy and Netflix is the leading online video component. What if the CEO had been open to the online media component? We could all still have our Blockbuster key fobs – lol!
In 1999, a simple math error cost NASA and the space program millions of dollars. A Mars Orbiter was lost in space because of a simple miscalculation by dozens of NASA engineers. The manufacturing company used imperial measurements while the NASA engineers used metric measurements. Somewhere in the process, they forgot to communicate and convert the differences. The Orbiter was worth $125,000,000.00. It never made it back into orbit. These are some of the most brilliant minds on earth that overlooked something simple.
Xerox and Nokia could be added to this list as well, they both made similar errors that gave competitors the edge they needed to take the lead in their industries. I’m certain there are dozen’s more. It’s so easy to overlook opportunities for improvement when we only see things through our own perspective.
In society we see and hear all kinds of remarks regarding the “Millennial Generation”. Also referred to as the “Snowflakes”. How many opportunities do you think will be missed by business executives with “millennial” inventors because someone is blinded by their own perspective?
**on a side-note, please forgive my inner nerd and history buff! I love this stuff! I’m sorry if I lost you in the bore of the facts… tune back in here ↓↓
So now you are wondering what all these crazy business blunders have to do with you and your divorce????
Imagine if these business tycoon’s had adjusted the angle in which they viewed the opportunities ahead of them???
Are you using the instrument on the left, when the tool on the right is available? See, just like tools and technology, we have new resources and perspectives available to us everyday. We just have to use them. So often we want to see a change in ourselves or our perspective but we keep using the same tools and resources. If you want to see a new perspective, look around and survey the instruments your using. Can you make a change?
Colossians 3:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Who do you call first when an emotional crisis is brewing? Who do you call first when your ex screws something up? Who do you call first when your mind is flooded with the thoughts of all that went wrong in your marriage? Who do you call first when you aren’t sure how to handle a situation? Which instrument do you pull out of your tool box? The one on the left, that you have to figure out how it works? Or the one on the right that does the work for you as long you put it in the right place?
Proverbs 11:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.
Yep – I’m talking about God. HE SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST CALL. He is the first step in changing your perspective. He’s the first step in changing your reaction. And He’s the first step in changing your outcome. So the first adjustment we need to make in our angle is going to Him before anything else.
I’d love to make this post look like I have it all together and all I need to do is call on God and I’m done. Technically, yes, that’s the only call we really need to make. But let’s be real here, how many of us still feel worry and anxiety and give-in and make another call even after we’ve given something to God??? ME! I have! I still do, sometimes! But who is that second call?
Do you call the same friend with the same response time after time? Don’t get me wrong. I have a very best girl friend. I call her on the regular. I can be open and real with her. No judgement. No regrets for sharing my struggles. BUT – she loves me and my family just like her own. That means, sometimes her perspective on a situation is very close to mine. Sometimes – No, A LOT OF TIMES, I’m wrong. But those closest to me don’t see it. They, too, are blinded by their own perspective because their angle of the situation is the same as mine.
When you are facing adversity in dealings with your ex, if you want to see a change. BE THAT CHANGE. Instead of calling that same friend – even the one that isn’t afraid to tell you that you’re wrong – try calling someone different. Try asking someone who has been where your ex is. NO MATTER HOW WRONG OR RIGHT YOU BELIEVE THEY ARE. You will never overcome the obstacles of divorce by continuing to see things only from your perspective. To be frank, its ultimately why most of us ended up divorced to begin with. If you don’t want to be bogged down with the constant chaos and arguing that comes with co-parenting children after divorce, then use a different instrument out of the toolbox you have been given. Our friends and family members have great intentions, but sometimes they aren’t the right tool for the job.
Proverbs 18:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
If you are a member of a church, find someone in your church family that you believe has been in a similar situation to your ex. Ask them their thoughts. Ask them how you could communicate or function in a more effective way. It doesn’t mean that person will be right or have all the answers. It’s just you taking a step towards adjusting your angle on a problem. The more perspectives you see and hear, the easier it is to let go of your own. Now, I don’t mean go crazy with it – you need to use prayer and discernment in choosing who you speak with regarding any situation you may be facing. But I believe God surrounds us with wisdom and knowledge, the Bible says we only need to seek Him and ask for it.
James 1:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
It doesn’t have to be a fellow church member that you seek perspective from, but do try to find fellow believers. Ask people young and old. Ask another single mom. Ask another single dad. Ask people who were a product of a divorce home. If you have permission from a parent, sometimes its helpful to even ask a Childs perspective on a situation. The point here is not that this other perspective is right or even the answer to our problem. The point is to open up our hearts to empathize, even with someone we are deeply angry at or hurt by.
The analogies for perspective are endless. But I will close with one last comparison. I have a fifteen year old daughter – if you’ve read all my post, then you already know this. But if this is your first time reading my work, this is my child from my first marriage. She just recently got her permit to drive back in September. Let’s just say this teaching her drive thing is a test for my patience – lol! But I realized something on perspective about the third day she was driving. I had mentioned to her several times that she was hugging the white line on the right side of the road a little too close. I was a little annoyed that she had not corrected it – I mean she had been driving for three days now – geesh! So, as she is cruising along she comes within mere inches of a mailbox of a neighbor that I’ve known to be less than understanding of other mailbox assaulters. So I shout out “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GET OFF THE WHITE LINE!”. She reacts by slamming on the brakes and coming to a complete stop in the middle of our small town backroad that everyone else likes to use as the Nascar Speedway. I scream again, “GOOOOOOO – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? YOU ARE GONNA GET US KILLED!”. Finally, she goes. The tears start pouring out and I realize, she really has no idea why I am so worked up. We are a block from our house. As we round the corner and pull in our driveway she says – “I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong – you drive that close to the white line too.”
In my brain, I’m thinking – how in the world could you not understand you are driving on the white line and there is NO WAY in Hiroshima I drive that close to the line. But then as I’m praying in my head on how to apologize for my lack of patience, God reveals something to me – SHE’S USUALLY IN THE OTHER SEAT. Her perspective is totally different and she doesn’t realize it. She is used to riding in the passenger seat and being that close to the white line. It hasn’t dawned on me or her to adjust her angle because she isn’t sitting in the same place!
Same goes for us in our divorce. After divorce, we need to adjust our angle. We aren’t sitting in the same seat anymore. Our roles and expectations have shifted. Our boundaries are different. We need to remember we no longer have that authority in our exes life and they no longer have it in ours. We need to be ready and open for changes. Even ones that aren’t exactly what we want or think is right. If we open our hearts to new angles before the new angles get here, it makes it much easier to empathize and understand when they arrive.
We all have areas that we need to adjust our angles in. You don’t need to like or even agree with someone to be able to empathize and understand their angle. You might find that your assumptions about that person are wrong. Maybe your assumptions are right. Either way – when we adjust our angle, we change our response. We don’t have to agree with that person but seeing their perspective can allow you to have the empathy you need to respond to that situation in a Christ-like way….
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