The Importance of Perspective

Most of us, at one time or another, have used the phrase “that sure puts things in perspective.” Most often, we say this when something unfortunate happens, to someone we know or in the world in general. Whatever the case may be, the situation prompts us to take stock of our lives. Perhaps just ten minutes earlier we were complaining about something, from a bad client experience to a long line at Starbucks. Then, suddenly, we are forced to look at the object of our complaint through a different lens, perhaps realizing how petty or insignificant our complaint was in the bigger picture.

Simply put, perspective is the way in which we see the world. The Latin root of perspective means “look through.” By putting something in perspective, you are forced to “look through” our preconceived ideas and attitudes in an attempt to change your view of the world.

In real estate sales, maintaining a clear perspective is of critical importance. We need to have a good attitude in order to not only survive, but thrive in a hyper-competitive industry. It’s a business with tremendous financial promise, but, at the same time, myriad disappointments and frustration. With proper, healthy perspective, we’re able to absorb these frustrations, and plow ahead, always reminding ourselves that “stuff happens.”

Here are a number of suggestions to help you keep your perspective on solid ground:

  • Focus on short-term goals, instead of allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by a long-term outlook. To be clear, it’s important to have long-term goals against which to measure your progress and success. But in your day-to-day existence, focus on what you need to do in the moment to work toward achieving those long-term goals.
  • Concern yourself with what you can control. If a client makes a last minute decision to stay where they are after a lot of work on your part, know there is nothing you can do to change the situation. And wish them well. When the time is right, they’ll get to you.
  • Use affirmations several times a day to remind yourself of what is good, positive and healthy in your life.
  • Shut your media DOWN, as often and as long as you can. This is especially true if you’re an obsessive news watcher. Nothing can distort your perspective and drain your energy more than excessive news coverage.
  • If you don’t already have one, find an accountability partner. Beyond the obvious benefit of keeping your feet to the fire, an honest accountability partner can remind you when you are losing your focus and perspective.
  • Record your accomplishments on a daily basis, in a journal or even using cheap index cards. This is an especially important exercise during those weeks when you might be having a lot of rejection and frustration. Even if you have only one success that week (listing presentation, etc.), savor it, not focusing on what didn’t come to fruition.
  • Our minds left unattended or bored can by feisty foes, so keep working, and keep moving. Leaving yourself too much down time during the work day can often turn into opportunities for the dreaded “stinkin’ thinkin’. Yes, this is the kind of thinking that can rob you of energy and distract you from the things that are most important to your success.
  • Spend time thinking about what you are grateful for. There is nothing like five minutes of gratitude journaling at the end of each day to clarify your perspective about what is important in your life.
  • Keep negativity out of your life. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of someone else’s negativity. Of course, you want to be supporting and empathetic, especially if someone close to you is going through a challenging time. But you also need to know when such support is coming at the expense of your mental well-being.
  • Learn how to look at the world from another person’s perspective. Maybe a client or co-worker blows up at you for something you see as insignificant. Take a breath, step back and remind yourself that it’s very likely the outburst had nothing to do with you. There is great truth to the old saying that “people are never angry for the reason they think they are.”

Work on your perspective, your world view, and most things will fall into place. And, if they don’t fall into place, you’ll be better prepared to accept “what is.”