perspective - perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 4 - perspective 5

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.  Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

Betty Smith


Stop a minute to contrast your keen interest in your own affairs with your mild concern about anything else.  Realize, then, that everybody else in the world feels exactly the same way!  Then you will have grasped the only solid foundation for interpersonal relationships; namely, that success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person's viewpoint.

Kenneth M. Goode

Help others solve their problems; standing farther away, you can often see matters more clearly than they do. . . The greatest service you can render someone else is helping him or her help themselves.

Baltasar Gracian
Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there.

Robb Sagendorph

A youth is to be regarded with respect.  How do you know that his or her future will not be equal to our present?



Somebody was saying to Picasso that he ought to make pictures of things the way they are--objective pictures.  He mumbled that he wasn't quite sure what that would be.  The person who was bullying him produced a photograph of his wife from his wallet and said, "There, you see, that is a picture of how she really is."  Picasso looked at it and said, "She is rather small, isn't she?  And flat?"

Gregory Bateson


Perspective is one of the most important aspects of our lives.  How we see things
determines more of our happiness our unhappiness, positive or negative feelings, than
we might ever imagine.  One person's undefeatable obstacle is another person's
stumbling block; what I see as an insult another person may see as a funny joke.
The ways in which we react to things are usually a reflection of how we've seen them.

tom walsh


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There's something special for everyone to do.  Remember, no
experience is a bad experience unless you gain nothing from it.

Lyndon Baines Johnson


Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle
every telephone, stop every motor and halt all activity
for an hour some day to give people a chance to ponder for
a few minutes on what it is all about, why they are living
and what they really want.

James Truslow Adams


Perhaps we only think we know where we are going as all the while we are really
going somewhere quite different.  I have done many things in order to achieve
a valued goal only to discover in time that the real goal my choices have led me toward
is something else entirely.  Something I could not even have known existed
when I first set foot upon the path.  The purpose underlying life often wears the mask
of whatever has our attention at the time.  The very reason we were born, our greatest blessing,
or our way to serve may come into our lives looking like a new car, a chance to travel,
or a cup of the finest coffee.  The truth is that we are always moving toward mystery
and so we are far closer to what is real when we do not see our destination clearly.

Rachel Naomi Remen


If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each
person's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Education is more than schooling.  It is a cast of mind, a willingness to
see the world with an endless sense of curiosity and wonder.
   If you would be truly educated, you must adopt this cast of mind.
You must open yourself to the richness of your everyday experience--
to your own emotions, to the movements of the heavens and the
languages of birds, to the privations and successes of people in other
lands and other times, to the artistry in the hands of the mechanic and
the typist and the child.  There is no limit to the learning that appears
before us.  It is enough to fill us each day a thousand times over.

Kent Nerburn


It's not what they do to you, it's what you do
with what they do to you, that counts.

Jean-Paul Sartre



Things are only worth what you make them worth.



Beware, as long as you live, of judging people by appearances.

Jean de la Fontaine


- perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 4 - perspective 5

Close your eyes and you will see clearly.
Cease to listen and you will hear the truth.

Taoist Poem


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Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water.  And
everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes
you cannot even breathe deeply, and th
e night sky is no home,
and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are
down to your last two percent, but nothing is infinite, not even
loss.  You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day
you are going to find yourself again.

Finn Butler

I am sure it is a great mistake always to know enough to go in when it rains.  One may keep snug and dry by such knowledge, but one misses a world of loveliness.

Adeline Knapp

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

G.K. Chesterton

In order to maintain a well balanced perspective, people who have a dog to worship them should also have a cat to ignore them.

Peterborough Examiner


One does not need to fast for days and meditate for hours
at a time to experience the sense of sublime mystery
which constantly envelops us.  All one need do is to
notice intelligently, if even for a brief moment, a blossoming tree,
a forest flooded with autumn colors, an infant smiling.

Simon Greenberg


Each circumstance and event, tragic or happy, is attracted to us by what we
have been and are, and in itself offers to us, by a right reaction to it,
the opportunity of spiritual development.

Raynor C. Johnson


For many years now I have listened to the stories of people with cancer
and other life-threatening illnesses as their counselor.  From them
I have learned how to enjoy the minute particulars of life once again,
the grace of a hot cup of coffee, the presence of a friend,
the blessing of having a new cake of soap or an hour without pain.
Such humble experience is the stuff that many of the very best stories are
made of.  If we think we have no stories it is because we have not paid
enough attention to our lives.  Most of us live lives that are far richer
and more meaningful than we appreciate.

Rachel Naomi Remen



Remember, a small trouble is like a pebble.  Hold it too close to your
eye and it puts everything out of focus.  Hold it at proper viewing
distance and it can be examined and classified.  Throw it at your feet
and see it in its true setting--just one more tiny bump on the pathway.

Barbara Johnson


Slow down and take the time to really see.  Take a moment to see
what is going on around you right now, right where you are.
You may be missing something wonderful.

J. Michael Thomas


Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you
are perfect.  There is some work that will never be done if you
don't do it.  There is someone who would miss you if you are gone.
There is a good reason for becoming better than you are.
There is a place that you alone can fill.



Today the greens are greener,
the clouds are puffier,
the things that are important
are more important,
and the things that aren't
have gone way down.

a man who escaped death

The magic that he taught me was not confined to words; he had a way of generating in me an excitement about things I had always taken for granted.  He might point to a bank of clouds.  "What do you see there?  Colors?  That's not enough.  Look for towers and drawbridges.  Look for dragons and griffins and strange and wonderful beasts."
  Or he might pick up an angry claw-brandishing blue crab, holding it cautiously by the back flippers as I had taught him.  "Pretend you're this crab," he'd say.  "What do you see through those stalk-like eyes?  What do you feel with those complicated legs?  What goes on in your tiny brain?  Try it for just five seconds.  Stop being a boy.  Be a crab!"  And I would stare in amazement at the furious creature, feeling my comfortable identity lurch and sway under the impact of the idea.  So the days went by.

Arthur Gordon
The satiated person and the hungry one do not see the
same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread.

Jelaluddin Rumi

The enchanting, and sometimes terrifying, thing is that the world can be
so many things to so many different souls.  That it can be,
and is, all these things at once and the same time.

Henry Miller


We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.

Virginia Satir


Whenever you hear anyone talking about a cultural or even about a human
problem, you should never forget to inquire who the speaker really is.  The
more general the problem, the more the person will smuggle his or her own
personal psychology into the account he or she gives of it.

Carl Jung

Yes, it is better to look from the window than not to look at all,
but to look through the window cannot be
compared to the windowless sky.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


You do not have to sit outside in the dark.  If, however,
you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness
is necessary.  But the stars neither require nor demand it.

Annie Dillard

At around age six, perhaps, I was standing by myself in our front yard waiting for supper, just at that hour in a late summer day when the sun is already below the horizon and the risen full moon in the visible sky stops being chalky and begins to take on light.  There comes the moment, and I saw it then, when the moon goes from flat to round.  For the first time it met my eyes as a globe.  The word "moon" came into my mouth as though fed to me out of a silver spoon.  Held in my mouth the moon became a word.  It had the roundness of a Concord grape Grandpa took off his vine and gave me to suck out of its skin and swallow whole, in Ohio.

Eudora Welty

It is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Napoleon Bonaparte

People have the illusion that all over the world, all the time, all kinds of
fantastic things are happening.  When in fact, over most
of the world, most of the time, nothing is happening.

David Brinkley


Inside yourself or outside, you never have to
change what you see, only the way you see it.

Thaddeus Golas


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

Big doesn't necessarily mean better.
Sunflowers aren't better than violets.

Edna Ferber

They who will live for others shall have great troubles,
but they shall seem to them small.
Those who will live for themselves shall have small troubles,
but they shall seem to them great.

William R. Inge


Some people like living in black and white worlds. Let them stay there.
Appreciate all the colors you see in your world though.

Ashly Lorenzana



We live in a world of events, and our lives are affected by these events
because of the way we see them.  This is also true of people.  People are
to us the way we perceive them.  Our perceptions are based on qualities
that we are not happy with in ourselves--qualities that we use as a means
of making a judgment.
As long as you see someone as a problem, you must remain in these
circumstances so you can be "right" about him or her.  It is only when
you are willing to allow people to be as they see themselves, without
your judgment, that you can free yourself from these circumstances.

Ernie Forks


You can't travel the back roads very long without discovering
a multitude of gentle people doing good for others with no
expectation of gain or recognition.  The everyday kindness
of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in
the headlines.  Some people out there spend
their whole lives selflessly.

Charles Kuralt
On the Road with Charles Kuralt


One can get just as much exultation in losing oneself in a little thing
as a big thing.  It is nice to think how one can be recklessly lost in a daisy!

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A dozen people could carefully study a lovely panoramic view and
then draw or paint a picture of it, and the result may reveal a dozen
different pictures with striking differences of detail.  Each person is
seeing the scene that appears before him or her with eyes that may
be basically the same in physical anatomical structure.  However,
each person can bring a preconditioning of consciousness that may
be unique to him or her.  An unhappy person may see things that
tend to justify his unhappiness.  The pessimist may see discouraging
signs wherever she looks.  The positive person usually seeks to find
the good in a situation.  And the honest person can find the truth in
the situation at hand and create his or her own reality.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

When you look at the world in a narrow way, how narrow it seems!
When you look at it in a mean way, how mean it is!  When you look
at it selfishly, how selfish it is!  But when you look at it in a broad,
generous, friendly spirit, what wonderful people you find in it!

Horace Rutledge


We can choose to see life as a series of trials and tribulations,
or we can choose to see life as an accumulation of treasures.


perspective - perspective 2 - perspective 3
perspective 4 - perspective 5

There are things I can't force.  I must adjust.  There are times when
the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.

C.M. Ward

It does not so much matter what happens.  It is what one
does when it happens that really counts.

Laura Ingalls Wilder


Quiet time and solitude are vital to helping me keep perspective.  I
consider myself fortunate to have so much quiet built into my profession. 
I spend long hours by myself at my easel.  And while I work, I think--of the
future, of my loved ones, of God's goodness and the many exciting
opportunities that surround me.  I ponder the challenges I face, the
needs of others, the direction my life is going.

Thomas Kinkade



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