Perspective is what an artist uses to make drawings on a two-dimensional surface come to life. It’s what lets a photographer capture a scene in a way that grabs the viewer’s attention and transports them to that precise moment and location. But the value of perspective isn’t reserved only for those in the creative trades—we all can benefit from the ability to step outside of our usual fixed point of view and see things differently. It’s a valuable way for you to become more adaptable, confident, and empathetic towards others. Here are some methods for gaining a new perspective that you may find easy and accessible.
Go on a road trip
Travel is a wonderful activity that can enrich our lives with new experiences; it’s no surprise that many millennials have prioritized travel spending over more traditional purchases, such as buying a car or house. But many people who travel for pleasure focus only on the destination and still essentially operate within the same daily framework. In the process, they could be missing out on valuable lessons in perspective.
An extended road trip exposes you to challenges and spontaneity, as well as encourages you to focus on small things and interact more with other people. It even strips away the pervasive influence of technology and the rigid structure of our schedules. When you’re ready, outfit your vehicle or check out the local RV dealers so that you can embark on a proper life-changing adventure.
Read a good book
Not everyone has the time or inclination to head out on the road for a significant period, and that’s OK. You don’t have to drop all your commitments and responsibilities to go on a journey that will enrich your perspective. Practicing reading as a skill can provide similar benefits. A nonfiction book expands your knowledge by helping you wrap your mind around complex concepts and relate them to your personal life, for instance. Well-written fiction is more than a great form of leisure entertainment—it lets you develop empathy through exposure to the points of view of different characters. No matter what genre you prefer, a good book can be one of the easiest ways to dive into a new experience and broaden your perspective in life.
Reach out to others
If you’re trying to see things from a different point of view, it only makes sense to ask someone else to share their own perspective. Our friends, family, and trusted colleagues are all good sources of opinions that may vary from our own. Do each other a favor during mealtimes—put away your devices and re-learn the art of conversation. Doing so will help you to connect with others on a deeper level and be able to step into their shoes, understanding how they can see the same matters differently, and why. Take it a step further and connect with strangers by helping out. Through volunteer work, for example, you can better appreciate how life experiences are unique and valuable.
If you ever feel like your life is too stale, your outlook is fixed, or your ability to understand others is limited, then diversifying your perspective through these simple activities can be the exact solution you’re looking for.