Recently I’ve had a few conversations around the topic of regret – both with those who feel like they’ve missed an opportunity (fear of missing out) and those who, upon reflection, feel like they made a bad choice.
This can be incredibly frustrating to focus on, especially when it comes to our businesses.
Earlier this week I made a trip out to my favorite spot west of town with my camera in hand. And as I stood in the dirt on the side of the road, the air was so quiet I began to think about the idea that so much of our businesses is all about perspective.
When it comes to looking back on our choices, there are a few lessons photography can teach us.
The first lesson is position. For years, my favorite spot was a mile down the road. I liked it there, it felt perfect. But if I’d stayed there, I would never have captured this sight:
Being in the right place is half the battle and while it can be frustrating to feel as if you made wrong choices, they got you to where you are today. Just like my literal journey down the road, it’s all about moving forward.
The second lesson is timing. Maybe you “missed out” on an event, a contest, or you’re already too old for the 30 Under 30 (ahem, guilty). Show up a few hours too early or late and you’ll miss the sunset entirely.
Sometimes the timing is simply off and you can see that with the perspective that time brings.
The third lesson is focus.
Do you ever think some people are just crazy? They have big dreams or tell you that your business could be something so different than it is today.
They might not be delusional (although… consider the source); maybe they’re just seeing something you don’t because you’re looking in different directions.
Imagine me, kneeling in the dirt and hoping there were no snakes to get this picture:
The final lesson is knowing your filter.
Ever get advice that doesn’t make sense? Remember that our perspective on any situation, business included, is influenced by the filter of our life experiences.
Two people can stand side by side and see two different sights.
Embracing another perspective is tricky and often requires more than a surface understanding – when someone is sharing what’s their experience, background, primary goals? Having the lens which they look through is a key starting point.Want to know the difference between the three images below?
Simply switching the filter.
When it comes to reflecting on past choices or making new ones remember to be kind to yourself. We gain new perspective and filters with experience and time.