How to Have Perspective When You’re Lost In the Chaos of Life

Simple Takeaway:

Perspective is the most powerful tool we have. When you feel like life is spinning in all different directions, picture your funeral. What is it you want your spouse, your kids, your grandkids, and your friends to say about your life? Write that down. That is all that matters. Now zoom back into your life and separate the urgent from the important. It’ll bring your stress levels wayyy down.

We all get blinded by our ambition from time to time.

We get so caught up in what we want that we forget to back up and adjust our focus on what’s truly important.

That’s when we need perspective. 

Perspective is a point of view. It’s changing positions so you can see the same thing but from a different angle.

Perspective is God’s gift to humanity that enables us to do the work that needs to be done without losing ourselves in the chaos of it all.

How can you pay bills, raise a family, and work on building a dream – all without letting chaos ruin your life?

I have a story that might help.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty mason jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. 

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. 

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students just laughed, and when the laughter subsided, the professor explained.

“Now,” said the professor, “This jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — God, your family, your children, your health, and your community — if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.”

“The pebbles,” he continued, “are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.”

“The sand is everything else — the small stuff.”

He explained, “If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.”

The lesson is this:

With perspective, you can see things in your life based on how important they are instead of how urgent or emotional they are. If you don’t have perspective, you’ll stay busy chasing small stuff and never have room for what’s most important. Then you’ll wake up 10 years later and your life will be filled with meaningless things that lack substance.

Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter.

Adjust your perspective to see everything in your life in the right order of importance.

Here’s how to do that…

How to Have Perspective

One of the most effective ways to find perspective is to think about your eulogy.

What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want your life to stand for?

Whatever it is you hope will be said at the end of your life – that’s what’s important. That’s your vision.

If what you’re stressed about right now doesn’t contribute significantly to that end, then it isn’t that important.

Do you want to be the person who was absent, stressed, or irritable all the time? Of course not.

Keep that in mind next time you’re making decisions about what to invest your time in.

There will be times of imbalance.

When you’re learning a new skill or working on a project that will make an impact, you’re going to get out of balance.

But you have to bring yourself back in. And perspective is the gift that brings you back in.

Plan your day in priority order. Schedule your time around what you decide is most important based on perspective and vision.

And if everything else doesn’t get done, then it doesn’t get done. And you’ll be just fine without it.