perspective - perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 5 - perspective 6

We can see in the puddle either
the mud or the reflection of
the blue sky, just as we choose.

Lucy Fitch Perkins


If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying.  Would you sell both your eyes for a million dollars. . . or your two legs. . . or your hands. . . or your hearing?  Add up what you do have, and you’ll find that you won’t sell them for all the gold in the world.  The best things in life are yours, if you can appreciate yourself.

Dale Carnegie

Anna was saying to herself:  why do I always have this awful need to make other people see things as I do?  It's childish, why should they?  What it amounts to is that I'm scared of being alone in what I feel.

Doris Lessing
You need only examine your present situation to discover unlimited resources and opportunities.

Ari Kiev

When life's problems seem overwhelming, look around and see what other people are coping with.  You may consider yourself fortunate.

Ann Landers

To view your life as blessed does not require you to deny your pain.  It simply demands a more complicated vision, one in which a condition or event is not either good or bad but is, rather, both good and bad, not sequentially, but simultaneously.

Nancy Mairs


There is an old story about a man who wrote to the department of agriculture
in his state to find out how to cope with the crabgrass that was spoiling his lawn.
The department responded with a number of suggestions.  The man tried them all,
but he could not completely eliminate the crabgrass.  Exasperated, he wrote the
department again, noting that every method they had suggested had failed.  His
yard was still riddled with crabgrass.  He got back a short reply:
"We suggest you learn to love it."
   This is the art of reframing, redefining something so that it is no longer as
problematic.  It isn't the situation that is changed, of course; it is
your perspective on the situation.

Robert H. and Jeanette C. Lauer


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Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.

Richard Bach


An archer competing for a clay vessel shoots effortlessly, his or her skill
and concentration unimpeded.   If the prize is changed to a brass
ornament, the hands begin to shake.  If it is changed to gold, he or she
squints as if going blind.   The abilities do not deteriorate, but
belief in them does, as he or she allows the supposed value of an
external reward to cloud the vision.



There is no danger of eyestrain from
looking on the bright side of things.



An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

G.K. Chesterton


It is not the eye that sees the beauty of the heaven, nor the ear that
hears the sweetness of music or the glad tidings of a prosperous
occurrence, but the soul, that perceives all the relishes of sensual
and intellectual perfections; and the more noble and excellent
the soul is, the greater and more savory are its perceptions.

Jeremy Taylor


Hey mister, where you goin' in such a hurry?
Don't you think it's time you realize
There's a whole lot more to life than work and worry
All the sweetest things in life are free
And they're right before your eyes?
You've got to stop and smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings every day
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't stop and smell the roses along the way

Mac Davis



When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice it is small, but
we do not criticize it as "rootless and stemless." We treat it as a
seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.  When
it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature
and underdeveloped, nor do we criticize the buds for not being open
when they appear.  We stand in wonder at the process taking place,
and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.
The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies.
Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be
constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each
moment, it is perfectly all right as it is. A flower is not better when
it blooms than when it is merely a bud; at each stage it is the same
thing--a flower in the process of expressing its potential.

Timothy Gallwey

- perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 5 - perspective 6

We do a lot of vacillating between old ideas and new ways of thinking.
Be patient with yourself through this process.  Beating yourself up only
keeps you stuck.  It's better to build yourself up instead.  Anything you say
or think is an affirmation.  Really be aware of your thoughts and your words;
you might discover that a lot of them are very negative.  Many people tend
to approach life through negative eyes.  They take an ordinary situation like
a rainy day and say something like, "Oh what a terrible day."  It isn't
a terrible day.  It's a wet day.  To create a wonderful day sometimes takes
just a slight change in the way you look at it.  Be willing to let go of an old,
negative way that you look at something, and look at it in a new, positive way.

Louise L. Hay

Our individual point of view is changing all the time.  For instance, my world
when I was nine years old was completely different than when I was thirteen,
or seventeen, or when I became a father, or when I became a surgeon, or
when I became a shaman.  In this way, my world keeps changing all the time,
and the same is true for you.  Every day, every moment, you change your
perception of the world, and it changes constantly as you change.
However, there is a part of you that does not change.
Can you find that part inside yourself?

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
Little Book of Wisdom


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Please feel free to re-use material from this site other than copyrighted articles--
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Have you ever seen an inchworm crawl up a leaf or a twig,
and then, clinging to the very end, revolve in the air,
feeling for something, to reach something?
That's like me.  I am trying to find something out
there beyond the place on which I have footing.

Albert P. Ryder


When the outlook is steeped in pessimism,
I remind myself, "Two and two still make four,
and you can't keep humankind down for long."

Bernard M. Baruch


Being disabled gave me an immense advantage.  People are kinder
to you.  It puts you on a different level than if you go
into a situation whole and secure.

Dorothea Lange



When you are annoyed at someone's mistake, immediately look at
yourself and reflect how you also fail; for example, in thinking that
good equals money, or pleasure, or a bit of fame.  By being mindful
of this you'll quickly forget your anger, especially if you realize that
the person was under stress, and could do little else.
And, if you can, find a way to alleviate that stress.

Marcus Aurelius


When we have a compost bin filled with organic material which is decomposing and
smelly, we know that we can transform the waste into beautiful flowers.  At first,
we may see the compost and the flowers as opposite, but when we look deeply,
we see that the flowers already exist in the compost, and the compost already exists
in the flowers.  It only takes a couple of weeks for a flower to decompose.  When
good organic gardeners look into their compost, they can see that, and they do not feel
sad or disgusted.  Instead, they value the rotting material and do not discriminate
against it.  It takes only a few months for compost to give birth to flowers.

Thich Nhat Hanh

It is curious that the leaf should so love the light
and the root so hate it.

Celia Thaxter

What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

Ralph Waldo Emerson



Things looked at patiently from one side after another
generally end by showing a side that is beautiful.

Robert Louis Stevenson


Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating;
there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin


We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is.  Someone--our parents,
teachers, analysts--hypnotizes us to "see" the world and construe it in the "right"
way.  These others label the world, attach names and give voices to the beings
and events in it, so that thereafter, we cannot read the world in any other language
or hear it saying other things to us.  The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that
we become undeaf, unblind, and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to
us in new voices and write all its possible meaning in the new book of our
existence.  Be careful in your choice of hypnotists.

Sidney Jourard

There's nothing wrong with the world.
What's wrong is our way of looking at it.

Henry Miller

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Learn to see what is in front of you,
rather than what you learned is there.

Stephen C. Paul


To travel a circle is to journey over the same ground time and time
again. To travel a circle wisely is to journey over the same ground
for the first time. In this way, the ordinary becomes extraordinary,
and the circle, a path to where you wish to be. And when you notice
at last that the path has circled back into itself, you realize that
where you wish to be is where you have already
been. . . and always were.

Neale Donald Walsch


We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good
for the world.  And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that
we could know with any certainty what was good even for us.  We have fulfilled
the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our
behavior toward the world--to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and
every living thing in it.  And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error
has become clear.  It is not only our own creativity--our own capacity for life--
that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.
   We have been wrong.  We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to
live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for
us.  And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn
what is good for it.  We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to
its limits.  But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the
creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon
arrogance and stand in awe.  We must recover the sense of the majesty of
creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence.  For I do not doubt that
it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that
our species will be able to remain in it.

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace

Rabbi Harold Kushner reminds us that everything that God has created is
potentially holy.  Our task as humans is to find that holiness in what appear
to be unholy situations.  He suggests that when we can learn to do this, we
will have learned to nurture our souls.  It's easy to see God's beauty in a
beautiful sunrise, a snow-capped mountain, the smile of a healthy child,
or in ocean waves crashing on a sandy beach.  But can we learn to find
the holiness in seemingly ugly circumstances--difficult life lessons,
a family tragedy, or a struggle for life?

Richard Carlson

The people who say you are not facing reality actually
mean that you are not facing their idea of reality.

Margaret Halsey


Do you ever realize that you are now actually living the life which looked
so rosy and radiant with promise in your childhood and adolescence?  Do
you recognize in the days and weeks as they slip by that iridescent dream
of the future, which then enchanted your youthful fancy, as a mirage in a
desert charms the senses of the weary traveler?  Do you ever stop to think
that the time you are now trying to kill is the very time you once looked
forward to so eagerly, and which seemed then so precious; that the moments
which now hang so heavily on your hands are the same that you then
determined should never slip from your grasp until you had
extracted from each its fullest possibilities?
Why does what looked like paradise to you when viewed through youth's
telescope now seem but a dreary desert?  Because your vision is distorted.
You are looking at your environment from a wrong point of view.  You are
disappointed, discontented and unhappy, because you did not find the fabled
bag of gold at the foot of the rainbow, while you go on squandering,
in useless repining, the time that, properly used, would convert your
present seeming desert into the paradise of your early dreams.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living 



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



Articles and book excerpts on perspective:

Affirmations:  Creating Our Positive Outlook      Barry Bitman
You're a Beautiful Person      tom walsh

A Worn-Out Creed     Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Born with Love      Marianne Williamson

A Creed of the Open Road      Ralph Waldo Trine

Differences      Iyanla Vanzant

Do One Thing Different      Bill O'Hanlon

Forgiveness      Wayne Dyer

Good and Bad      Benjamin Hoff

Gratitude:  Why and for What?     Bernie Siegel

Gratitude Is Larger Than Life      Melody Beattie

Gratitude      Sarah Ban Breathnach

His Kind of Odds      Robert Fulghum

How Do We Deal with Setbacks?      Gary Egeberg

Being Impressive      tom walsh

Is Love an Art?      Erich Fromm

Keeping It Together      Rachel Naomi Remen

from Letters to a Young Poet      Rainer Maria Rilke

Mermaids      Robert Fulghum

Positive Expectancy      Bill O'Hanlon

Pruning a Tree      Bernie Siegel

Think of What You Have      Richard Carlson

You Control Your Attitude      Jeff Keller

The Broken Pot      author unknown

Call "Time Out" and Adjust Your Course      Jeff Keller

Change Your Pace      Hilton Gregory

The Christmas Alone      tom walsh

Dealing with Disappointment      Colin Clews

Depression Is a Spiritual Issue      Frederick Zappone

Do I Really Need This?  Wants vs. Needs      Jane Mullikin

Embracing the Everyday      Susie Michelle Cortwright

Fireworks, Barney, and Santa Claus:  An Unholy Trio      Gene Curry

How Do You Handle a Bad Day?      Robert Taylor

Happiness      Bob Williams

Living with the Heart of a Child      Joe Mazzella

How to Develop a Healthy Perspective      Jeff Keller

I Can't      tom walsh

I Just Don't See It      Gail Pursell Elliott

It's Your Life to Live      tom walsh

Re-Energize Your Journal Writing      Michael Boyter

Letting Go vs. Giving Up      Louise Morganti Kaelin

An Open Letter to Limp Bizkit      tom walsh

The Power of Goalsetting      Julie Jordan Scott

The Precious Present      Spencer Johnson

Put Joy in Your Life--You're Never Too Old!      Susana Bouquet

The Rainy Days      tom walsh

Redefining Retirement      Henry Fenwick

Regrets, I Have a Few. . . .      Robert Knowlton

Sacred or Scared?      Gail Pursell Elliott

Snowy Day Gifts      Joe Mazzella

Still Don't Know What You Want to Be?      Valerie Young

A Teaching on Heaven and Hell

I Want to Be Six      Author Unknown

A Story about Ugly      Author Unknown

What's Wrong with Grown-Ups?

What's Your View?      Ray Whiting

Where I Am      tom walsh

Whose Standards?      Robert Taylor

In the Wink of an Eye      Lewis Frost

You Never Know      Helaine Iris

Your Greatest Strength      Author Unknown