What do you understand by the word perspective? When someone suggests to you that you have lost perspective or to take another perspective, what does that mean?
It is easy to assume Perspective in this situation has nothing to do with perspective in drawing, but that would be a mistake.
As we look on to a situation, we can not help but see it our way, from where we are standing. Have you heard that phrase “from where I was standing….” or, “that’s not what happened from where I was standing”?
When you draw something, you look upon a 3 dimensional object and attempt to render a likeness of it in 2 dimensions on a page.
To do that, you have to look differently and master the use of the pencil,brush. You have to be selective about where you put your attention and choose with care what you focus on in the representation, so that once completed others recognise it too.
The same is true of a situation or a problem. You look on to it. You see what you see and you decide where to focus your attention. In describing to others you choose what you believe are the salient points.
When you look at a situation, all previous situations you have seen guide you.
What was similar to this? How was that dealt with? What did it mean? These are all questions silently asked in the mind as we decide what it is we are seeing.
As time goes on we swiftly judge what is important in a situation, as our experience guides us. Decisions may seem intuitive because what looks like a casual glance at something to others less experienced is for you something quite practiced. And often that is the case.
BEWARE : Here lies danger
What if there is a difference this time? What if the situation you are seeing as “same old same old” is nothing of the sort. It might be invisible to you because you are approaching it from the same perspective as before, looking for the same things, seeing the same things and reporting the same things.
An artist might walk around an object they might decide to draw the object, from a different stand point and in doing so uncover something very important about it. Something notable, that needs accounting for. That needs recording.
Having the flexibility to move around a problem or a situation does give you more information. It allows you to collect more “data points” . You can check for difference as well as similarity.
It becomes very difficult to shift perspective when you are tired, with situation after situation arising that you have to deal with again and again. You become weary because nothing changes and everything, including your thinking becomes very dull.
Take a different perspective
A general in ancient times might head to higher ground to oversee the battle ground before deciding strategy and tactics, whilst maintaining connection with those closer to the action. The purpose being to keep a multidimensional view available before making decisions.
The artist might step back a few paces to see the object in it’s wider context, to see beyond….
Stuck, tired, jaded?
When you are stuck, tired or jaded it is hard to get fresh information because it feels like you have seen it all before. This applies to all areas of your life.
It is however fresh information and new perspectives which are likely to start to provide the space for new answers to arise. Sometimes it is possible to look anew after taking a break away from it.
If you think you could benefit from a shift in perspective we have an event coming up in March that may be of use to you or someone you care about. You can find all the details if you click here.