Change Your Perspective

There’s a great mindfulness activity I like to do with clients.

It has no name. But it goes like this:

Pick a random object and come up with at least 20 unique uses for it. For example, a keyboard (since I’m typing this on a keyboard) can be:

  1. A piece of art to hang on the wall
  2. A book end
  3. A whiffle bat
  4. A frisbe‐esque toy
  5. A paper weight
  6. A door stop
  7. A shovel
  8. A ramp or slide for toy cars to roll down
  9. A lean‐to to make a Barbie tent
  10. A shade for your eyes
  11. You can place it on your head to practice your posture and balance
  12. You can use it to mold play‐doh
  13. You can use it as a tray
  14. You can take all the keys off and use them as blocks
  15. You can paint words on it to make a sign
  16. You can use it to break glass
  17. You can use it to pound/tenderize food
  18. You can affix it to the wall and turn it into a shelf
  19. You can prop up a table that has one leg that’s too short
  20. 20. You can use it to trace a box or draw a straight line

Ugh...That was hard...

And it’s a good practice to look at things from a new perspective, challenge pre‐conceived notions or the status quo, and be non‐judgmental of the object and of yourself...nothing kills creativity like judgement.

So how is this practice helpful? I imagine that you are used to looking at certain things in the same way all the time. Maybe your emotions, maybe your partner, maybe your commute to work, maybe a challenging coworker or challenging project. You judge it, take it for granted, are bored with it. You are angry. You are resentful. You are dreaming about escaping or dreading the “same old thing.” You have lost some spark and joy. But what if dinner could turn from a chore to a time to laugh and connect with your partner? Your commute could turn from an exercise in frustration to a time to sing your favorite song or enjoy a new audio book. Sadness could turn from an emotion you avoid to an emotion that helps you slow down, reflect, and connect your values. The options are endless.

So...What can you look at differently today? Pick one thing and spend just 5 minutes doing this simple yet effective practice. What was the one change of perspective that impacted you most?

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