Saturday, 24 August 2013

How the wrong perspective can destroy your life. Embarking in losing ventures is the antithesis of self-development. A fundamental principle of personal growth

A wrong perspective can block more of your initiatives than any external obstacle. If your vision is short-sighted, you will not perceive anything beyond the immediate. If your vision is blurred, you will get lost in speculative discussions. If you look too far away into the future, you will lose touch with your environment.

How the wrong perspective can destroy your life

At the turn of the 10th century, thousands of peasants in Europe believed that the world was coming to an end. Their incentive to work diminished sharply and, as a result, agricultural output decreased. High food prices led to the fulfilment of their prophecy, since many families starved during the winter that inaugurated the second millennium of our era. A wrong perspective annihilated part of the population,

Drug addicts and compulsive gamblers embody an extreme type of short-term mentality. Their world is restricted to what will happen in the next hours or minutes. Their minds do not register the physical and financial consequences of their actions. Their numbed sensitivity ignores danger signals. Their grasp of reality has shrunk to the minimum. Warnings cannot reach their ears.

Are the above examples valid? Do you consider self-evident that man needs a proper perspective of life? If everybody agrees with this conclusion, is the whole discussion pointless? Frankly, I don't think so.

Embarking in losing ventures is the antithesis of self-development

If you really believe that the issue is settled, you might be making a fundamental mistake. The truth is that, every year, millions of individuals destroy their lives by embarking themselves on counter-productive ventures.

People quit hard-earned positions and abandon established professions in pursuit of unworkable projects. Sometimes, individuals risk their health or physical survival by getting involved in losing propositions. Occasionally, such delusions affect a large segment of the population.

These tragedies happen so often that we have grown desensitized to them. This phenomenon is so apparent that we have lost the capacity to see it. Lack of perspective wrecks innumerable human lives. The seriousness of the problem is deeper than we are willing to admit; its size, bigger than statistics can register.

Leading a prosperous and happy life requires that we discard ideas that don't work. Trying to accomplish the unworkable serves to fuel vanity, not well-being. Nobody will be helped if you attempt to accelerate change beyond what the environment can take.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by MJorge under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Reason is the most powerful tool for dismantling falsehoods. Are you exaggerating the likelihood of disaster? Are you allowing your emotions to blow risks out of proportion?

Thinking must take place before action if such action is to be productive; planning must take place before implementation if success is to be attained. Self-confidence needs to be built before it can be applied; skills must be acquired before they can be employed. How can we overcome exaggerated fears and take well-calculated steps? In which way can we increase our chances of success?

Reason is the most powerful tool for dismantling falsehoods


If we grow convinced that we stand a good chance of accomplishing our goals, we will become less worried and more adventurous. Logic is our cardinal ally for contesting overblown concerns. The best way to face fear is to demonstrate its irrationality, namely:

Are you exaggerating the likelihood of disaster?


The intensity of a potential catastrophe is independent of the likelihood of its occurrence. Salesmen promote insurance policies by painting vivid pictures of misfortune, but their sales presentations seldom mention the actual statistical probability of such misfortune taking place.

The perception of risk is also heavily influenced by cultural stereotypes. Saving rates differ from country to country according to how citizens see their future; the willingness to change jobs and move to a distant city is higher in the US than in Europe; the proportion of the population that invests in the stock market also varies from country to country.
 

Are you allowing your emotions to blow risks out of proportion?

Potential dangers need to be quantified in order to be properly assessed. If emotions take control, they will exaggerate the negative consequences of risk. On many occasions, the material damages that people actually suffer are minor compared to the accompanying psychological discomfort.

Many things we fear arise from stories written by marketeers. Why do California residents protect themselves more often against earthquakes than against divorce? Because salesmen market earthquake insurance very effectively, while at the same time, few couples are aware that a pre-nuptial agreement can protect them against a devastating divorce.

Taking the time to assess risks objectively is essential for making good decisions


If you are considering a challenging professional move, forget about irrational fears and ask yourself the right questions: if your new job proves to be a disappointment, what is the actual likelihood of your becoming unemployed? Even if you lost your new position, how long would it reasonably take you to regain employment?

We worry about risks that have been exaggerated by marketeers trying to promote their products or services. Those who sell pension plans frequently paint grim pictures of retired people living in poverty and rightly so. There is no reason why salesmen should refrain from offering their insurance policies, but it is up to us to appraise risks according to their true gravity.
 

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by RA_photography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us