Perspective is something that’s difficult to see/understand because when you’re “in the moment”, it’s difficult to see your life and experience unbiased. It’s something that you often can’t even understand until the situation is long past, or at least long past enough that you can’t do much about it. But understanding has helped me understand that “things aren’t always as they seem in the moment.
Let’s first take a look at the definition.
A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.Google.com
The holidays seem to bring out the best and worst in people. Just take a trip to Target and see the worst. Or just hop on a flight somewhere and see how people act. I swear, that the worst in humanity comes out when people travel during the holidays.
I won’t go into my holiday travel grievances. Just follow me on Facebook and you’ll find me airing those “Festivus” grievances all the time. 😂
But the holidays also bring out some of the best in humanity. It’s all about perspective, and that’s what I’d like to talk about here.
Christmas Eve Perspective
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Or actually as I type this at 12:56am, it’s Christmas Day. Many of you spent time with your families, tucked the kids into bed, and are preparing for an awesome Christmas Day tomorrow.
But there are some of you, who are out drinking (or are “in” drinking), thinking about how this year could have been better . . . and how 2020 is going to be your year.
This year for me, I think I’m getting a little of both actually. I already wrote my most recent blog about being Home Alone for the holidays. I’m with my Brother & his family and my Mom for Christmas this year. I don’t get Kailyn back until the 27th. From my perspective, that sucks. But on the 30th, I’m sure I’ll be so happy that she’s home, that it won’t matter anymore.
Any of you who know me well, or who follow me on social media know how much I respect my brother. He’s the Lead Pastor at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa. There’s also a Crossing Church in Las Vegas, but it’s not affiliated. If you’re ever looking to check out an online church on Sunday from the comfort of your own home, I’d highly recommend checking them out on Facebook. All their services are broadcast online. (And I am VERY biased in my recommendation). Hahahahaha.
Tonight I was blessed to be able to attend his last Christmas Eve services of the year. It’s always a pleasure to hear him speak, and I tease that I only tune in when he talks about me in his services, but truth be told, I learn a lot from listening to him speak. I’m not sure when he got so wise. Must have been after I stopped picking on him as a kid.
The message tonight was about being “WITH” God. I wouldn’t consider myself a highly religious person, but I do believe.
During his service, he asked the congregation this, “Think about your FAVORITE present you got as a child, and then tell that to the person next to you.” I was sitting next to my mom, and I whispered to her, “I don’t think I can remember a specific present I got as a kid, but I know I liked them all!”
He then went on to talk about some of his favorite memories of Christmas as a child. I have to admit, that I was sucked into these stories and could imagine myself being there, because I WAS THERE. When he talked about our family, where we sat while we opened presents, how we felt, and the excitement that was in the Brownback Home on those December 25ths, I FELT those experiences.
He then made the point, that most people won’t remember what they got as a kid, but they’ll remember the feelings and emotions that came with Christmas. They’ll remember the love.
How did this little kid that I use to pick on, become such a smart man, loving father, caring brother, compassionate son, and incredible husband? Not to mention, an influential leader of his congregation?
It was a special moment for me sitting in that audience listening to him speak to 100’s of people about our family, in a way that connected with all of the people listening. Helping them become better persons. Helping them remember the true meaning of Christmas.
That’s religion to me. Not what you read/hear about on Fox News and CNN. But that’s probably for another blog. Super deep subject. 🙂
The reason this gave ME perspective, is that it reminded me that I won’t remember not having Kailyn in 2019 on Christmas Day, but I will remember opening presents on the 27th with her and the LOVE that will fill my home that evening.
I don’t have to perceive that feeling right now, but knowing that perspective changes everything, allows me to go to bed soon, excited about what’s to come.
One of the things that I feel I’m the MOST BLESSED with, is to have some very incredible friends I’ve met over the years. Friends who have given me perspective on life. Bartenders, cocktail services, waitress/waiters, business owners, CEO’s and extremely successful entrepreneurs . . . all professionals in their own fields, and all who have given me perspective in life.
I’m not going to go through all of the things I’ve learned from them, but here’s a few:
- Tip well . . . especially during the holidays. A tip can change someones day, mentality and even life (in some instances).
- Treat others as you’d like to be treated. It’s cliche, but it’s true. The flight attendant, Starbucks girl, gas station attendant, or valet. It’s never too much of an effort to be nice.
- Love, and love deeply. And don’t be afraid to tell someone. You may not get the chance if you wait too long.
- Family is everything.
- Friends are a close second. (In some cases, friends can become family)
- Perspective is everything. What is today, will probably not be tomorrow. And what is tomorrow CAN BE what you are looking for today.
- Life is short. Grab it by the balls and make it your bitch. (Sorry if this is a little too “in your face”, but I can’t think of another analogy that fits better!)
- Don’t sweat the little stuff . . . it’s just little stuff. Anything you won’t care about in a week, is something not worth caring about.
- Eat that last piece of pizza. Grab that second scoop of ice cream. Then hit the gym and make it worth it.
The Wisest of Friends
I have a friend Kalika who I’ve always respected. A single mom, entrepreneur and forward thinker. I’ve always admired her from afar, and over the past half-decade I’ve gotten to know her a lot better. She thinks a lot like I do, and sometimes her words are moving. I thought I’d share a post she left on Facebook a few days ago.
You’ll see some of her points are overlapping mine, but she says them in a way that articulates them better than I. I sent her a text telling her I was going to have to rewrite mine now. 🙂 . Here they are (with her permission to share):
- Don’t sweat the small stuff, and as they say, it’s all small stuff
- Stress is created by things that need to be done that are not done. So if something needs to get done that’s in your control, just do it already.. And you’re stressed over something you can’t control, ask yourself if you being stressed will help the situation. If the answer is no, stop.
- Wherever you go, there you are. Living in NYC this summer was a life long dream come true, but I have realized location doesn’t really matter as long as you can get to where you need to be, when you need to be there.
- Always be moving. Get on planes, go to meetings, send emails, make calls, get up, show up. If you aren’t consistent in this you will get nowhere.
- Be kind, always, but the minute that kindness is taken for weakness, be a force to be reckon with.
- Learn to level up. If we aren’t pushing and challenging ourselves to be a better version of ourselves each year, what are we really doing?
- Take risks, embrace change, do something that scares you. Get uncomfortable.
- Know that everyone has their own game. The magic happens when you learn how to play in the same court together.
- And last but not least, excuses are for the weak, and blame is for cowards. Strive to be the person who speaks of neither.
Damn, those are some powerful words, and some free advice from a successful person that I’ll be striving to work on myself.
Final Thoughts on Perspective
Life seems to have a way of working itself out. From time to time we think about the situation we’re in and it seems hopeless. I’ve been there. But with a little time and distance, things seem to work out.
Sometimes you have to leave it to karma. Admittedly, karma doesn’t always work as FAST as we’d like it to, and sometimes it seems like karma skipped someone. But I’ll share with you my favorite phrase in business.
“You don’t know what you don’t know”.– Someone Smarter Than I
This is a well taught business principle, and one that works in all aspects of life. You just don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know what that bitchy flight attendant has going on in her life, nor do you of your boss. The things you don’t know you don’t know are the things that can destroy your life, your business and your happiness.
As you can see from the pie chart above, these things occupy a HUGE amount of space in your life. What you know is just small part.
What I can tell you is that perspective changes the odds in business AND in life. It allows you to see things you wouldn’t have seen before, and that’s why it’s so important.
The reason I wanted to talk about these things, is that although they are scary, they’re also wonderful. It’s the “things you don’t know you don’t know” that lend themselves to words like HOPE, and OPTIMISM, and FAITH.
My hope for all of us, is that “what we don’t know we don’t know”, with a little perspective and hope, will lead us to the best year of our lives. And if 2020 isn’t our year, that the optimism and faith will make 2021 our year. And if not that year, the next, and so on, and so forth.
Apply this to our lives, our children’s lives, and our businesses and we will truly be the best we can be.
I’m sorry if this is sounding a little corny, but it’s what I believe and I hope that by seeing my perspective, you’ll understand why I believe what I do about humanity, my business, my friends, my family and my own life.
I want to wish you all the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.
Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you.
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year,