Perspective is king. Life is shaped by what we see. But life is also shaped by how we see. Our perceptions matter; whatever we perceive will influence our thought process. So it makes sense that our decision-making improves if we see the right things and if we see them the right way.
How we view ourselves affects how we view others, and how we view others affects how we respond to others. To develop as influencers, 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 becomes accessible to us.
There are seven ‘sight-lines’ that reveal principles for us to continually consider and draw from in our life journey. Each will bring us knowledge that will naturally lead to growth for us personally, and benefit the organizations we are part of. The seven perspectives are:
Hindsight is the perspective of history. It looks back at the past redemptively, seeing it with 20/20 vision. It asks the question ‘where have I come from?’, understanding that there are things from the past that shape us – for good and for bad – that we may need healing or to draw lessons from.
Farsight sees with a prophetic perspective, if I may use that language. It is the realm of dreams and inspiration, looking ahead and thinking about what could be. It asks the question ‘what am I dreaming about?’, because it understands that if we do not dream or hope, we lose much meaning in our day to day life.
Longsight is the perspective of purpose, looking ahead and considering whether the current route is the best route. Longsight asks the question ‘where am I going?’ because it understands that what we do today shapes what our tomorrow looks like. It takes what our farsight has seen, and allows us to move our lives on a course towards those hopes with a renewed sense of purpose and vision.
The perspective of the present is nearsight – seeing what is before and around us. Nearsight asks the question ‘where am I today?’, reflecting and analyzing current circumstances. It knows that to successfully complete a journey, one has to first know the starting point.
Sometimes we have to look inwards and ask ourselves ‘what am I growing?’ This is the realm of insight which sees internally at what is not just being cultivated, but what needs to be cultivated. Through insight, we identify areas of habit and character – so-called ‘soft skills’ – we must grow or prune if we want to be successful in the ways we hope to be.
Seeing the big picture, oversight pulls everything together and asks ‘what am I building?’ We all have personal infrastructure – our beliefs, knowledge, skills, and experience – and oversight helps us analyse what ‘hard skills’ we have, what we lack and what we need to build. It draws on the lessons learned from the other perspectives to paint a picture of what success, for us, needs to look like.
Foresight sees what is next. It asks the question ‘what am I doing?’, and turns the lessons of the other perspectives into action. It is the perspective of strategy, determining goals, targets, and objectives, ensuring that we don’t just think, but we do.
All seven perspectives are equally valuable, but one or more may stand out to you at this moment. Tell me in the comments below which perspective has the most immediate relevance to you in your current season.