In June 2012, I went to the Bicol province to attend our yaya's wedding. From the airport, we drove through rough, unpaved roads, crossed two semi-dry rivers, and went around mountains just to get to their town.
The wedding tradition of their town was fun. There were a lot of dancing, chatting, and drinking. When brothers got drunk, they would punch, hit, and fight with other! But afterwards, they would put their arms around each other and go home together, still drunk, as if nothing happened.
Lesson learned: Don’t hold grudges. Just kidding.
Aside from being a nerve-wrecking experience, it was a wonderful, eye-opening experience. I got to experience the simple life in the province during the three days that I stayed in our yaya’s hometown.
But, something I will never forget was seeing kids walking on the same unpaved roads, crossing the same semi-dry rivers by foot, and going around the same mountains just to get to their schools. I realized that I am so privileged in this life.
When I got back to work, I worked so hard. I was so pumped up. Whenever I thought of the kids in the province, I wanted to work hard not only for myself but also for them — to give them better opportunities in the future.
But after a while, the feeling of wanting to work hard and wanting to help started to fade away. I got consumed by my worries and insecurities again. I got back to complaining about life.
Whenever we have eye-opening experiences, our emotions go on overdrive. We want to act. We want to do something great for ourselves and for other people.
However, these feelings of motivation and emotions do not last. They fade away. And when they do, we stop acting, we stop working, and we stop making progress in our lives.
We should consistently open our eyes to the world around us and widen our perspective. We should make broadening our lives a habit. We should have a consistent source of motivation and inspiration propelling us to take action.
There are many ways to widen your perspective and broaden your life consistently. Let me share with you some of them:
Go to New Places
I’m not just talking about traveling to other countries, visiting tourist spots, going to heritage sites, and enjoying the beaches. I’m talking about meeting new people from other cultures, working with them, learning from them, and experiencing everyday life with them.
Going to new places doesn’t even have to be abroad. You can start in your own country. You can go to a different province, to a different city, to a different town, or even to the village next to yours. You can even start by visiting, connecting, or learning from neighbors you haven’t talked to.
Join Groups and Organizations
You can also join groups and organizations in your workplace, in your community, or in your church. This is one of the best ways to consistently widen your perspective. By joining groups and organizations, you get to meet people regularly, listen to them, and learn from their experiences. And don’t just join them. Commit to them.
Volunteering opens your eyes to the world’s “real” problems. Whenever you have a big problem consuming you, think about other people’s bigger problems: elderly men and women abandoned by their kids, street kids abandoned by their parents, and people living in unimaginable poverty. You have to realize that not many people are given the same opportunities that you have. It may be up to you to give them that opportunity.
By volunteering, you also learn to be grateful for where you are and what you have. Gratitude makes you feel good. And feeling good helps you do things better.
Attending seminars exposes you to people who have already done what you’re trying to do and people who live their lives differently. They give you models to follow.
Seminars are also very powerful. After every seminar I attended, I get inspired and motivated to act and work on my dreams. In fact, this website is a product of a seminar I attended in 2012.
However, you have to attend seminars regularly because the feelings of inspiration and motivation fade away. Also, you have to act on what you learn immediately before they do.
Go to Church
Going to church is more than just a religious tradition. Do not go to church because it is required. Go to church because you want to learn how Jesus thinks, how much God loves you, and how other people understand His word.
Going to church also reminds me that, at the end of my life here on earth, I will leave everything behind no matter how much I achieved. It keeps worldly success in proper “perspective.”
If you do not have the time or money to get out of your house and do any of the above, you can always learn from other people through their books. Books allow you to see the world through the eyes of their authors.
To consistently widen your perspective, you don’t just have to read a lot. You also have to read deeply. Applying what you learn in real life is more important than the number of books you read.
It’s Not About You
The important thing here is to expose yourself to different people, to different ways of thinking, and to different ways of living.
Broadening your life not only motivates you to do better and makes you a better person. It also helps you live a life that matters to other people.
Make it a habit to broaden your perspective and you’ll make it a habit to succeed.
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