Positive Path Recommended Reading

Gaining A New Perspective
By Michael Angier

Have you ever watched an artist paint a picture? He or she works close to the canvas, painting small sections at a time in the process of bringing the whole creation into being.

But every once in awhile, the artist must step back from their work and look at the whole picture. Only by stepping away from what we're working on can we gain the proper perspective. The proper point of view is crucial to the end result.

It's no different for any other creation. Whether it's a business, a project or your life, you need to step back occasionally in order to get it right.

From a distance, you can see things you can't see when you're up close and personal. The difference is in working ON your project instead of working IN it. It's all too easy to plug away at something but miss the important distinctions needed to create an elegant result.

Stephen Covey calls it "sharpening the saw". It would be foolish to keep sawing away without stopping from time to time to make your tool more efficient. But unfortunately, that's what too many of us do.

Just as in music, we need spaces between the notes in order to create the melody. A continuous collection of notes with no spaces is not harmony … it's noise.

You may need to take a vacation--to get away from it all with no work or study. At other times, it's best to take a course or attend a conference to harvest some new ideas. Sometimes, it may be better to take a complete break; to go away and just do something totally different … take on a volunteer project, build a house for Habitat for Humanity or some other worthy cause.

The important thing is to take the breaks. Without them, we lose our creative spark. We don't enjoy our work or our life as much. Our stress increases and both our work and our health suffer.

We need breaks in our days, in our weeks, our months and our years. Try taking mini-breaks during the day … a 10-minute meditation, an exercise class at lunch. Even a 60-second, stand-up-and-stretch break makes a difference.

Just like we need to sleep to rest our body and our conscious mind, we need interruptions in our routine. We need a change of pace in order to keep pace with our best.

Be sure to schedule your time off and then take some spontaneous breaks as well. Orient your life so it becomes easier and affordable to do it on a regular basis.

People in the academic world are expected to take a sabbatical … a year off every ten years. Why should business people or those in other occupations be any different? Just because you've never done it before doesn't mean you can't, or you shouldn't. Step back from your masterpiece of choice and gain a new perspective. Get a new attitude. Reap some breakthrough ideas. Put some spaces between your notes.

You, the people around you, and your work, deserve it.

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