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William S. Cottringer

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By William S. Cottringer
Last edited: Friday, October 12, 2007
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2007

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The one thing that matters most of all is having the right perspective. Here what the right persepctive sounds like.

Bill Cottringer

“It is not the things in life that bother us but rather our opinion about these things.” ~Epictetus

What was Jack Palace meaning , as Curly in the movie City Slicker, pointing with his finger in the sky and repeating the words, “the one thing?” What is the one thing everyone can do that is free, which will increase your IQ, success, happiness, peace of mind and abundance? Simple answer: Get aligned with the right perspective. This is actually easier done than said, because thinking about it can get in the way and slow things down. Plus your perspective is something so close to you that you can’t see it, especially when it is the wrong one keeping you from getting what you want or being where you want to be. It is like your skin.

The trouble with trying to slow down long enough to see and think about your particular perspective or viewpoint about something, is that your viewpoint—the place in time and space where you are doing the seeing of this something—is closely connected to the something you are seeing. How do you separate the two? We do know that to see something different, all you have to do is change your vantage point physically or temporarily. Early travelers who ventured to the reported edge of the world, only to find out their boats didn’t drop off, changed a ‘reality’ that affects us all. So have courage people who have challenged ‘sacred truths’ that have been disproved over time.

First, let’s nail down a concrete definition of what we mean by the right perspective.

Right Perspective: Seeing something in a way that gets the results you want; having a complete and correct perception of a situation so you can act on it appropriately.

Sometimes it is helpful to give some concrete examples of what we are trying to get at, such as these real life, right perspectives:

• When you are in a hole, it matters not whether you jumped or fell in all by yourself or were pushed in by others; only you will get yourself out of the hole.

• No matter how bad things are now, they will eventually get better.

• We usually get what we expect to get; if we don’t like what we are getting then we might consider an adjustment of what we are expecting and doing to get it.

• What goes around comes around; we can’t get anywhere until we start applying the Golden Rule consistently and persistently.

• Everything good can’t happen all at once; we have to exercise patience in appreciating little gains in the right direction.

• Everything happens for a good, beneficial purpose when you wait and see and look for it.

• You can’t change a reality you don’t like until you take the time and make the effort to understand all the important aspects of that reality; sometimes you even realize nothing needs changing and that is wisdom, not laziness.

• Our minds make artificial extremes of ‘opposite’ things like good and bad, right and wrong, useful and useless, and rich and poor, and this dualistic mental demon makes reconciliation—coming up with creative compromises between opposite things—much more difficult.

• It is a waste of time to try and change someone else until you learn how to change your own approach to that person and start managing your own self better. By then you aren’t so worried about the other person.

• We are all trying to find out what matters most—the simple things that are important hidden away with all the chaos and nonsense overload; It is much easier to communicate with people at the same place in this journey, once you plow through the chaos and get to the simplicity on the other side.

• At some point, we see an overwhelming number problems that make up a huge gap between where we and the world are and where we need to be. This can be discouraging, but the largest, impossible gaps have a way of evaporating when we get busy doing some good in one small area.

• Wherever we are and how ever we got here, is all for the purpose of getting us to move forward in this journey we call life.

• Without love, faith and hope, life can become too much of a burden for anyone. They are the greatest gifts from above.

• Being positive and optimistic has its payoffs—better health, fewer ailments, more wealth, better marriages, more happiness and a longer life. This perspective is a no-brainer, but shame on pessimistic, cynical parents.

• Taking ownership of the failures and mistakes that keep you from being where you want to be is a huge step in the right direction.

• The energy that drives everything in the universe may not really be divided into positive and negative; it may be the stronger or weaker use of the same positive energy of the Oneness.

• The saying “the truth will set you free” means what it says. When you see the whole truth, without judgment, dualism or moral flavor, you begin to feel what real freedom and peace of mind are all about. You are no longer being held hostage by your wrong and incomplete beliefs and thinking.

• We all have a unique purpose in this life and when we develop the skills and determination to carry out that purpose we succeed with intrinsic motivation recharging our batteries spontaneously and perpetually. This is a no lose situation.

• Our human potential is only limited by our limited thinking about this potential.

• Your perspective of time—seeing it in the conventional, mechanical way of the past, present and future sequence, as opposed to seeing the psychological fluid aspects of the now moment—has a lot to do with how much or how little of it you have.

• Conflicts in life can be the source of great unhappiness and failure.. The right perspective to have about conflicts is that they are opportunities for you to learn, grow and improve in using assertive communication to resolve the conflicts; they are not something to avoid, attack or run from. Eventually you have to accept the reality that what conflicts you resist will persist until you deal with them effectively.

• Success is all about having the right perspective and the right perspective about success is that it is what you get from what you do to get it—translating your dreams into reality with your talents, determination, hard work, service to others and resistance to quitting.

• You will never have what you want until you learn to want what you have.

• No matter how bad life has been for you in the past, it can be good starting right now. That is if you believe that to be true .

• Nobody feels comfortable with change but resisting inevitable change usually results in the most discomfort.

• If you take the time and make the effort to understand a problem well below its surface symptoms, you will have most of the solution because you already have a store of good solutions which you are just looking for a good problem to use them on.

• Our destination is using our free will to make the choices that help us to do and think the things that will help us to be happy and successful. When we get other results, we are not making the right choices in exercising our free will responsibly.

• The quickest and best way to know what to do is to stop listening to the endless ego chatter of your psychological conscience and start listening to the simple yes-no advice of your moral conscience. Definitely easier said than done though!

• Abundance starts with generous appreciation and giving.

As you can see, getting the right perspective is not an easy thing to do. It takes lots of experience in moving towards and a lot of realities to understand along the way. But the biggest step you can make in the right direction to get the right perspective is to realize the utter importance and value of having one! Curly was right!

“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda.

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA., along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence), The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree), and Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or


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