It takes a powerful perspective to ensure we grow. Growth is a funny thing because it is both reactive and proactive. It is reactive, in the sense that it happens whether we want it to or not. The nature and health of our growth might not be great, but there will be change! It is also proactive, meaning we can influence and steer our growth through our habits, attitudes and resources. Growth really means maturity, so how do we ensure we grow in a healthy and proactive way? As individuals, how do we step in the fullness of who we’ve been made to be, so we can do all we’ve been called to do?
To grow healthily, we need to cultivate a panoramic perspective. Panorama is a Greek word that literally means ‘all sight’. To live panoramically means to see all that needs to be seen, from all angles and vantage points, and make use of the knowledge that then becomes accessible to us. Simply put, it is seeking knowledge and using wisdom to apply what that knowledge shows us.
I propose that there are seven ‘sight-lines’ that reveal principles for us to continually consider and draw from in our growth journey. Each of these powerful perspectives brings us knowledge that will naturally lead to growth for us personally, and benefit the arenas we are part of or lead.
I want to look at each of these perspectives in turn, defining it and proposing an action step that we can take as an individual to increase this perspective in our personal life.
1. Hindsight is a powerful perspective
Hindsight sees with a redemptive perspective. It ‘looks behind’, back at the past, seeing it with 20/20 vision. Hindsight enables us to ask “where have I come from?” which helps our understanding that there are things from our past that shape us – for good and for bad. However, we may need healing from some experiences as well. Healthily-minded hindsight understands that we can be shaped by the past in a positive manner – even traumatic or painful events – because everything is redeemable. It is foolish to ignore any wounds, which will most often manifest in our lives as a specific pattern of fear or insecurity. If we don’t address unhealthy roots, the fruit of our lives will be impacted.
Action Step: To improve our hindsight, thoughtfully consider if there is any kind of repetitive pattern of fear, pain or insecurity in your life. Contemplate to determine the root of it, and what you can do to begin your healing process.
2. Farsight is a powerful perspective
Farsight sees with a hope-filled perspective. It ‘looks far ahead’ because it is the realm of dreams and inspiration, fuelled by the ambitions and dreams we carry. It thinks about ‘what could be’. Farsight asks “what am I dreaming about?” because if we do not dream or hope, we will become stagnant and embrace duty or drudgery, losing much meaning about our day to day life.
Action Step: To improve our farsight, create a dream journal that lists all the things you carry in your heart that are futuristic – your hopes, ambitions and dreams for your life. When you have compiled your list, thoughtfully consider what steps you can take to advance in moving towards some dream fulfilment.
3. Longsight is a powerful perspective
Longsight sees with a purposeful perspective. It ‘looks long’, considering where we want to go with our lives and end up. It considers our personal mission as our intended destination. Longsight asks “where am I going?” because it understands that a wise journey considers the destination first, in order to best select the wisest route. Our purposeful longsight must be influenced by our hope-filled farsight, otherwise, we risk living in a driven way without joy. Longsight, when anchored with hope, gives us vision that allows us to move our lives on a path towards our dreams, with purpose.
Action Step: To improve our longsight, write a list of passions (activities you love doing), purposes (causes you want to contribute towards), and plagues (problems that you want to fight). Consider your hopes and dreams as well. Thoughtfully work through your list, highlighting any that stand out to you, or resonate with your hopes, ambitions and dreams.
4. Nearsight is a powerful perspective
Nearsight sees with a present perspective. It ‘looks close’, seeing what is before us and around us this current season of life. Nearsight asks “where am I today?” in order for us to be able to review, reflect and analyze our current circumstances. It knows that to successfully reach a destination, one has to know where they currently stand. Nearsight prevents us from being so heavenly-minded, we are of no earthly use!
Action Step: To improve our nearsight, thoughtfully consider two questions – “what is happening within me?” and “what is happening around me?”. Our level of personal favour, our current level of success, and our roles and responsibilities will help us focus these questions. The first discovers the internal attitudes, mindsets and challenges within us, whilst the second discerns the external circumstances we are situated within. Consider your responses and what partnering with them would look like in your life.
5. Insight is a powerful perspective
Insight sees with an introspective perspective. It ‘looks inwards’, seeing the situation within our inner world. Insight asks “what am I cultivating?” in order to discern the personal culture we carry. Holding it up against our vision, we can assess whether our current internal world will help or hinder our journey. It is important to not just identify what has and currently is being cultivated, but also what needs to be cultivated. Through insight, we identify areas of attitude, mindset and character – so-called ‘soft skills’ – we must grow or prune if we want to be successful in the ways we hope to be.
Action Steps: To improve our insight, thoughtfully reflect on attitudes and mentalities you have, and whether they are constructive or destructive to your goals. Do they line up with your personal values, or undermine them? Ask yourself what cultivating the required attitudes would look like, and how you could develop them.
6. Oversight is a powerful perspective
Oversight sees with a developmental perspective. It ‘looks at the big picture’, considering our overall strengths and weaknesses, and our corresponding needs. It examines every aspect of life, pulling everything together in a thorough assessment. Oversight asks “what am I building?” because it understands that our personal infrastructure – our beliefs, knowledge, skills, and experience – are key in our growth and development. Through oversight, we analyse what ‘hard skills’ we have, what we lack and what we need to build. It paints a picture of what building success, for us, needs to look like.
Action Steps: To improve our oversight, take a personal audit. Consider your vision and calling. What knowledge, skills or experience do you currently lack that you need to obtain to successfully fulfil your call? What things are getting in the way or hindering you? Thoughfully consider what steps you can take that will address challenges you face, and develop any areas that you need.
7. Foresight is a powerful perspective
Foresight sees with a strategic perspective. It looks at ‘next steps’ by embracing both the present and the future, connecting them by identifying what needs to be done on today’s journey to reach tomorrows destination. It asks “what should I be doing?” and turns the lessons of the other perspectives into actions. It generates momentum by determining goals, targets, and objectives that ensure that we don’t just think or talk about what we should do, but we act.
Action Steps: To improve our foresight, pull together all the actions steps you have created as a result of the previous six perspectives. This is the beginning of your personal growth plan. Thoughtfully work through each step systematically and consistently, celebrating your successes, even if they seem small or insignificant. Find someone who will commit to partner with you during your journey and offer support, encouragement, challenge and celebration at different times as you need it. This can be someone who knows you well, or someone who doesn’t, such as a coach.
Each of these seven perspectives is equally valuable, but one or more may stand out to you at this moment. Routinely and thoughtfully working through all seven will cause catalytic growth in your life. To find out about how I can coach you in any of these seven essential perspectives, please contact me for a free consultation.