Change Your Vantage Point

Change Your Vantage Point

Why Study This Mantra...

You will pick up the ability to change your perspective when you're stressed out or things aren't going perfectly in your life, which let's face it, happens all too often. This is a great power to have at your fingertips!
“Imagine if our negative feelings, or at least lots of them, turned out to be illusions, and we could dispel them by just contemplating them from a particular vantage point.”
– Robert Wright


We all get distressed, disappointed, frustrated, or upset. Whenever this is the case, MOST of the time, it's up to US to resolve it. Sometimes it's by fixing the situation. But more often than not, it's by fixing our perspective.

This month, you'll learn how to do just that. To find serenity where you previously suffered. To change that which you can, and to accept that which is.

Before you begin...

Before you start thes practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest). 

Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?

The Practices

Today's affirmation: "I accept."

Daily Practices

Vantage Point Mindfulness

Each time I notice my mantra today, I will let it be a reminder that I am aware of, I acknowledge, and I accept my current thoughts, emotions, environment, and physical state. If I routinely find myself in thoughts, emotions, or an environment I can't accept, I will ask how I might avoid, alter, or accept them.

  • Avoid: If the evening news makes me anxious, I'll turn it off. If traffic makes me tense, I'll take a longer but less-traveled route.
  • Alter: If I can't avoid the situation, I will alter it. I will express my feelings. I will alter my schedule to create more balance. I will work to compromise with others.
  • Accept: If I can't avoid it or alter it, then I will accept it. I must also accept that it's causing me stress is because it's going differently than I would like. Instead of this, I will embrace the way it’s going, not try to control the uncontrollable, look for the upside, and appreciate it as an opportunity to grow and learn. This is the hardest one, and the most important to focus on.
  • Architect: To the degree that I can, I will architect an environment that reduces stress. This could mean exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, going on walks, trying aromatherapy, listening to soothing music, laughing, or setting aside time for leisure. I will determine what destressing looks like to me and focus on living in that space this month.

    Monthly Challenge: Flip Your Problem

    What is the biggest thing that’s causing suffering in your life? (Not pain, but suffering. Leave aside any physical ailments. Focus on suffering – that which you have the power to turn off.)

    What issue or problem is keeping you up at night, causing you stress, making you bitter or frustrated? Write that thing down. Write down what makes you so angry about it. Write down what you wish would happen.

    Now on another sheet, write down the same problem, but as a solution. In this new scenario, you enjoy having this problem. This time, you feel it’s playing out EXACTLY the way you want. Write down why it's a good thing – what good it's going to bring into your life because it's playing out this way. Now step back, read your work and smile. You can do this in your journal.

    Guided Journaling

    Changing Your Vantage Point

    As I remove my mantra tonight, I will identify one thing that caused me distress and evaluate it:

    1. Could I have avoided it? How?
    2. Could I have altered it? How?
    3. Did I miss an opportunity to accept it? How might I have changed my vantage point so I would be instead loving the journey. For example, if I was stuck in traffic, I could've taken that opportunity to (safely) look around and appreciate the beauty of nature and the architecture of a freeway.

    The Reasoning

    For a definitive look at this month's mantras and practices, including what philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and scientists throughout history have thought, taught, and advocated, click below.

    Learn the Context