Flashback to last week. After a who’s on first type of conversation with a teacher, the air was sucked out of my gut faster than a cheetah chasing it’s prey & all the hairs on my arm stood at attention while I had a slight taste of bile in my mouth.
I had just realized I booked several international flights for family members based on the wrong dates for spring break. School holidays started that very day, not in a week as I had planned. My youngest was to be flying from Kenya to Canada to visit his eldest brother at university. I had a business trip planned to London. And my partner had booked business travel to several countries, all based on what turned out to be wrong dates.
(I am resisting the urge to attach the school calendar, which I frantically looked at many times, wondering if I was loosing my marbles. Yes it said 206-2017, yes it had the spring dates I’d booked around. Obviously dates had changed, but I didn’t know that.)
I’m happy & relieved to say that everything turned out. Our youngest went from +26 Celsius to -20 Celsius & is enjoying brother time. I’m about to head off to London & hubby has been flitting around the globe as planned.
But, not before major anxiety.
Heading: I needed a fresh new perspective & fast.
Check out last week’s post for how a tape measure inspired fresh insight. While today I’ll walk you through how I gained perspective using this very messy spring break mix up as an example. It’s based on my Life Lenses® assessment. Even if you haven’t taken the assessment (which I’m designing to be available online later this year), you can still get a sense of how the lenses can help you gain insight.
Why do we need a new perspective? Because when something’s not working we tend to do more of whatever it is that’s not working. We say the same thing over & over (the only variation being the level of exasperation in our voice) & don’t necessarily stop to try a new approach.
Here’s a few ways to look anew for fresh insight
First the framework. Here are the Life Lenses® & a brief summary of how each lens tends to see the world. Feel free to click on the links if you want more information.
|Where to look||Which Life Lens® does this speak to?||Details|
|1. Look up||Mountain Life Lens®||Take a bigger, broader view|
|2. Look down||Carrot Life Lens®||Take a focused, detailed look|
|3. Look around||Journey Life Lens®||Take a look at the process, the ‘how’|
|4. Look forward||Destination Life Lens®||Examine where you’re headed, what your goals or objectives are|
|5. Look within||Stop Life Lens®||Pause, reflect, ruminate|
|6. Look without||Go Life Lens®||Get going, take action, try something new, jump in|
|7. Look to the intangible||Heart Life Lens®||Focus on what your intuition, your gut is telling you|
|8. Look to the tangible||Head Life Lens®||Focus on the facts, logic, information|
Here’s an example of the Life Lenses® views in action
Remember, I’d just found out that multiple international trips had been planned based on my understanding that spring break started in a week, not that very day. Here’s how I used the lenses to help.
A fast call to hubbie & some heated invectives later (for the complex family plans have been as carefully orchestrated as a complicated algebraic equation) & involves the 4 of going to 3 different countries separately. So what did I do? How did I look out and beyond the situation I was in? I’ve broken it down for you:
|Where to look||Which Life Lens® does this speak to?||Details||What it looks like in my example|
|1. Look up||Mountain Life Lens®||Take a bigger, broader view||When I was cursing on the phone to my hubbie, I was careful to tell him that no one was hurt, no one had died & while I was thoroughly frustrated we’d figure this out – while this was not a great a situation, the big picture was that everything, in general, was ok.|
|2. Look down||Carrot Life Lens®||Take a focused, detailed look||He took on the details– contacting airlines to see what was possible to change at this late date.|
|3. Look around||Journey Life Lens®||Take a look at the process, the how||Our original plan involved all of us traveling so the change was a pretty big deal. We needed a new plan so my husband took on contacting our other son in Montreal, to see if a longer visit would work (our younger son is visiting our older one; yeah for brother time!)|
|4. Look forward||Destination Life Lens®||Examine where you’re headed, what your goals or objectives are||I drafted an email to the school to figure out how we got to this point to make sure it doesn’t happen again (my goal)|
|5. Look within||Stop Life Lens®||Pause, reflect, ruminate||I was reeling & pretty angry so I elected to pause & not send the email right away. I’ll come back to it later & then send it.|
|6. Look without||Go Life Lens®||Get going, take action, try something new, jump in||I’ll send the (likely edited) email in a few days – I’ll be ready to take action and move on.|
|7. Look to the intangible||Heart Life Lens®||Focus on what your intuition, your gut is telling you||My youngest doesn’t always react well to last minute change so I was careful how I frame this ‘opportunity’ to him and I had faith in my abilities to convey this news in the right way to him.|
|8. Look to the tangible||Head Life Lens®||Focus on the facts, logic, information||The tickets will get sorted & everyone will have a great spring break.|
Your turn. Take action
- Review the lenses & determine which ones you’re most comfortable with
- Pick a sticky situation, something you need to get new insight on. Then try looking the opposite way you normally do. For example if you’re a big picture, Mountain Life Lens® try looking down & examining systems & details. If you tend to look to the tangible, Head Life Lens®, try seeing what your intuition has to say.
- Please let me know how it goes, in the comment section below or by emailing me. I’d love to hear.
- I invite you to send me three words that describe how you feel about conflict. One reader said: polarized, tense, pressure cooker. What are your words? Simply click on this link to submit your 3 words. And feel free to share the link if you’ like. I’ll turn the responses into a spiffy piece of art in an upcoming post. (And don’t worry, it’s all anonymous.)