perspective - perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 4 - perspective 6

Both optimists and pessimists
contribute to our society.
The optimist invents the airplane
and the pessimist the parachute.

Gil Stern

We have moments of such clarity, of such appreciation of the incredible web of interconnected events that carry us from breath to breath, day to day, as long as we live--and the next moment we fret about how much we weigh.  Or who we didn't send a Valentine.  Or who forgot to compliment the dinner.  Or whatever.

Sylvia Boorstein

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Mother Teresa

A carpenter and his apprentice were walking together through a large forest. And when they came across a tall, huge, gnarled, old, beautiful oak tree, the carpenter asked his apprentice:  "Do you know why this tree is so tall, so huge, so gnarled, so old and beautiful?"  The apprentice looked at his master and said:  "No. . . why?"  "Well," the carpenter said, "because it is useless.  If it had been useful it would have been cut long ago and made into tables and chairs, but because it is useless it could grow so tall and so beautiful that you can sit in its shade and relax."

Tao Story


It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.

C.W. Leadbeater


They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold;
and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.

Khalil Gibran


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Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me.

Sigmund Freud


The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred
is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life,
in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's backyard.

Abraham H. Maslow


When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take
a precious penny of my own and hide it for someone else to find.  I was greatly
excited at the thought of the first lucky passerby who would receive a gift in this
way, regardless of merit, a free gift from the universe. . . . I’ve been thinking
about seeing.  There are lots of things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises.
The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand.

Annie Dillard


People are buffeted by circumstances so long as they believe themselves
to be creatures of outside conditions.  But when they realize that they are
creative powers, and that they may command the hidden soil and seeds
of their being out of which circumstances grow, they then become the
rightful masters of themselves. . . . Circumstances do not make the person;
they reveal the person to him or herself.

James Allen


Whenever I hear a statement that seems to be complete nonsense, I
try to pay closer attention to the meaning behind that statement, for I
know that somewhere in there is a grain of truth that may fly in the face
of what we "know" to be right and true, but that can provide me with a
truly new and unique way of seeing things.  And it's the new that keeps
my life vital and dynamic, not the old, "sensible" way of looking at the
world.  Besides, most of the "sensible" beliefs about life and living are
disproved, leaving us to wonder why we believed in them anyway.

tom walsh


There are no little events in life; those we think of no consequence
may be full of fate, and it is at our own risk if we neglect
the acquaintances and opportunities that seem to be casually
offered, and of small importance.

Amelia Barr


Since we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions,
which are invisible to others, while we see others mainly in the light
of their actions, which are all that’s visible to us, we have a situation
in which misunderstanding and injustice are the order of the day.

J.G. Bennett

The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to everyone the
reflection of our own faces.  Frown at it, and it in turn will look
sourly on you; laugh at it and with it, and it is
a jolly, kind companion.  

William Makepeace Thackeray


I know what’s happening in this world—there are liars and
cheats, there’s prejudice, violence, greed, sickness—I know
what’s happening.  I’m not going to let it deter me from
living my life, though.  Look, I live in this world, and dammit,
I’m going to be cheerful and positive about living in this world.

Joseph Raymond

 perspective - perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 4 - perspective 6

If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection
to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question
of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at
our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know.  Often finding
meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar
things in new ways.  When we find new eyes, the unsuspected blessing
in work we have done for many years may take us completely by surprise.
We can see life in many ways:  with the eye, with the mind, with the intuition.
But perhaps it is only those who speak the language of meaning, who have
remembered how to see with the heart, that life is ever deeply known or served.

Rachel Naomi Remen


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Please feel free to re-use material from this site other than copyrighted articles--
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May you never miss a rainbow or a sunset because you are looking down.


Envy not success, nor pity failure, for you know not
what is success or failure in the soul's reckoning.

Neale Donald Walsch


What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

John Lubbock

The possibility of stepping into a higher plane is quite real for
everyone. It requires no force or effort or sacrifice.  It involves
little more than changing our ideas about what is normal.

Deepak Chopra


It is a form of violence, to not
see a being for who he or she
really is.  You think, "Oh, that's
my son." But the lens, "my son,"
completely obliterates the multi-
dimensions of that being.  Maybe
you only see your disappointments
in that child, or you aspirations
for that child, but that's not the child.

Jon Kabat-Zinn


All people have stars. . . but they are not the same things for different people.
For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.  For others,
they are no more than little lights in the sky.  For others, who are
scholars, they are problems. . . . But all these stars are silent.
You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.

Anais Nin


How old would you be, if you didn't know how old you were?

Satchel Paige


If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

Bette Reese

It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing
we have to do that makes life blessed.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I tried to learn, not from reason but from my senses.  But as soon as I
began to study my perceptions, to look at my own experience, I found
that there were different facts.  There was a narrow focus which meant
seeing life as if from blinders and with the centre of awareness in my head;
and there was a wide focus which meant knowing with the whole of my
body, a way of looking which quite altered my perceptions of whatever
I saw.  And I found that the narrow focus way was the way of reason.
If one was in the habit of arguing about life it was very difficult not to
approach sensation with the same concentrated attention and so shut out
its width and depth and height.
But it was the wide focus that made me happy.

Marion Milner



This, I thought, is how great visionaries and poets see everything--
as if for the first time.  Each morning they see a new world before
their eyes; they do not really see it, they create it.

Nikos Kazantzakis


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We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually
our desire changes.  The situation that we hoped to change because
it was intolerable becomes unimportant.  We have not managed to surmount
the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us
around it, led us past it, and then if we turn around to gaze at the remote past,
we can barely catch sight of it, so imperceptible has it become.

Marcel Proust

 perspective - perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 4 - perspective 6

It sometimes happened that you might be familiar with a person for several
years thinking he or she was a wild animal, and you would regard that
person with contempt.  And then suddenly a moment would arrive when
some uncontrollable impulse would lay his or her soul bare, and you would
behold in it such riches, such sensitivity and warmth, such a vivid awareness
of its own suffering and the suffering of others, that the scales would fall
from your eyes and at first you would hardly be able to believe
what you had seen and heard.  The reverse also happens.

Fyodor Dostoevsky
The House of the Dead

It is not things in themselves that trouble us but our opinion of things.



My friend Diane was regularly irked by her husband Jerry’s habit
of making toast in the morning and leaving crumbs on the kitchen
counter.  Many times she asked Jerry to clean up the crumbs, but
her requests didn’t change his behavior.  One morning Diane again
found crumbs and started to complain in her mind. Then she
considered, the only thing worse than coming into the kitchen and
finding crumbs would be to come into the kitchen and not find Jerry.
Diane realized that crumbs in the kitchen were a very minor issue in
light of the deep love she felt for her partner.  That was the end of
the crumb problem for Diane and the beginning of peace of mind.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy



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