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 – what we can call essential perspectives.
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 of these essential perspectives brings us knowledge that will naturally lead to growth for us personally, and benefit the organizations we are part of. The seven essential perspectives are:
Hindsight sees with a redemptive perspective. It ‘looks behind’, back at the past, seeing it with 20/20 vision. Hindsight enables us to ask “where have I come from?” which helps our understanding that there are things from our past that shape us – for good and for bad. However, we may need healing from some experiences as well. Kingdom-minded hindsight understands that we can be shaped by the past in a positive manner – even traumatic or painful events – because God redeems everything. It is foolish to ignore these wounds, which will most often manifest in our lives as a specific pattern of fear or insecurity. If we don’t address unhealthy roots, our fruit will be impacted. I wrote more about this in one of my books, where my chapter ‘Wounds and Lies‘ examined the damage they can do to us and our ministry, and how we can get free from them.
Farsight sees with a prophetic perspective. It ‘looks far ahead’ because it is the realm of dreams and inspiration, fuelled by the prophetic words and dreams God has spoken. It thinks about ‘what could be’. Farsight asks “what am I dreaming about?” because if we do not dream or hope, we will become stagnant and embrace duty or drudgery, losing much meaning about our day to day life.
Longsight sees with a purposeful perspective. It ‘looks long’, considering where we want to go with our lives and end up. It considers our personal calling and mission as our intended destination. Longsight asks “where am I going?” because it understands that a wise journey considers the destination first, in order to best select the wisest route. Our purposeful longsight must be influenced by our prophetic farsight, otherwise, we risk living in a driven way without God’s input. Longsight, when anchored in the prophetic, gives us vision that allows us to move our lives on a path towards our hopes, with purpose.
Nearsight sees with a present perspective. It ‘looks close’, seeing what is before us and around us this current season of life. Nearsight asks “where am I today?” in order for us to be able to review, reflect and analyze our current circumstances. It knows that to successfully reach a destination, one has to know where they currently stand. Nearsight prevents us from being so heavenly-minded, we are of no earthly use!
Insight sees with an introspective perspective. It ‘looks inwards’, seeing the situation within our inner world. Insight asks “what am I cultivating?” in order to discern the personal culture we carry. Holding it up against our vision, we can assess whether our current internal world will help or hinder our journey. It is important to not just identify what has and currently is being cultivated, but also what needs to be cultivated. Through insight, we identify areas of attitude, mindset and character – so-called ‘soft skills’ – we must grow or prune if we want to be successful in the ways we hope to be.
Oversight sees with a developmental perspective. It ‘looks at the big picture’, considering our overall strengths and weaknesses, and our corresponding needs. It examines every aspect of life, pulling everything together in a thorough assessment. Oversight asks “what am I building?” because it understands that our personal infrastructure – our beliefs, knowledge, skills, and experience – are key in our growth and development. Through oversight, we analyse what ‘hard skills’ we have, what we lack and what we need to build. It paints a picture of what building success, for us, needs to look like.
Foresight sees with a strategic perspective. It looks at ‘next steps’ by embracing both the present and the future, connecting them by identifying what needs to be done on today’s journey to reach tomorrows destination. It asks “what should I be doing?” and turns the lessons of the other perspectives into actions. It generates momentum by determining goals, targets, and objectives that ensure that we don’t just think or talk about what we should do, but we act.
Each of these seven perspectives is equally valuable, but one or more may stand out to you at this moment. Routinely and prayerfully working through all seven will cause catalytic growth in your life.
To find out more about how I can coach you in these seven essential perspectives, contact me for a no cost, no commitment coaching session.