See the World Through The Lens You Choose

Two people sitting in a room, at the same table, having the same meal at the same time, can actually be worlds apart. How? Because they look at the world through a different lens.

I love astronomy, and I’ve learned that by choosing different lenses or filters for my telescope, I observe different things in the night sky. By just changing the lens, the things I view can appear or disappear before my eyes. Objects can be overwhelmingly bright and painful to view or they can be a beautiful sight to behold. I believe our lives are similar. The lens we choose to see the world through can greatly influence the things we see and experience.

Years ago, I realized that I needed to evict people from my life because the lens they viewed the world through was negative, fearful, hurtful, and sometimes caustic. It was not the lens I chose.

Focus Your Lens, Change Your Words, and Inspire Your World

The first thing I realized when I came to this conclusion was that words matter. What you say about your world experience helps determine the world you live in and the people you attract into your world. What you put in your head shows up in your world. Whether you’re talking about an abundance mentality vs. a scarcity mentality, the law of attraction, or the glass being half full, words matter.

The most common example of this in my life involves my “being busy.” I talk to so many people who say, “You must be so busy.” I no longer say “yes” to that question. Today, I say, “I have a full life.” You can be busy — or you can have a full life.  Almost everyone says that their life is busy. But busy shouldn’t be a goal you pursue. Having a “full life” is a goal worth pursuing and having a “full life” brings me joy. Truly words matter.

Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with cancer. I never said to people, “I have cancer.” I always said I was “diagnosed” with cancer. It was my diagnosis; it was not who I was. It took a while but now, rather than saying that I am in remission, I prefer to say, “I am healthy”. Words matter.

Last year drove home my point. While everyone was talking about being in lockdown or quarantine, I spoke about experiencing the “Great Pause” in life. The pause button was pushed on all of our lives for over a year. I found that how people responded to the Great Pause made a tangible difference relating to their experience and their life. Those people who learned how to embrace that mentality, when possible, were much happier than those who were mired in the horror of the situation.

When my wife of 31 years passed away in 2020, it would have been easy to say I was horrible when people asked me how I was doing. But instead, I tried to reframe the grief I was experiencing into something that would allow me to have a different worldview. I’d answer friends by telling them that it is “one day at a time for me” or, “I’m putting one foot in front of the other.” Feeling horrible was the truth, but I also believed that living in that mental space would not help me through the difficult times. One day at a time, and one foot in front of the other, was the lens I chose to focus on. Even when you feel horrible, words matter.

We live in fearful times. I’ve learned people get frozen by fear or they get focused by fear. I propose that you get “focused by fear”. Focus on a lens that will help you see through the fog of chaos that surrounds you and look for the possible.

Look for the positive. Look for how to reframe your situation so you can deal most effectively with the hand you have been dealt. Choose the lens that you see the world through. And always remember that words matter.

8 thoughts on “See the World Through The Lens You Choose

  1. Dear Dr. Misner,
    Of all of the your blogs that I have (and there have been many!), I think that this one is my favorite and will remain bookmarked. Through your wonderful program, “Ivan’s Inner Circle” and accompanying book, “Who’s in Your Room”, I had learned many things. Many of which are addressed in this blog. Occasionally, we are faced with a lot of adversity. As you point out so well is that it is not what we are faced with but how we respond. You have also taught me that attitude is contagious. If you are a reader of this post and you happen to see someone without a smile, give them one of yours and let them know that you care.
    Warmest Aloha, Mark Seery

  2. Dr Misna, This is terrific, thanks
    I will share this with my friends and family and save this
    Similarly I had a mate struggling with cancer, I would contact him regularly to see how he was going
    His constant response was
    Just one day at a time
    Have a great day

  3. I love this perspective! You can either look at things negatively or positively …I decided a long time ago to go the positive route. It really does change your thinking and your experiences.

  4. Dr., Ivan Misner, me da tanta alegría este compartir suyo. Dado que acompaña mi creencia que trato de transmitir hace mas de 25 años en mis clases. Muchas gracias.

  5. Dr., Ivan Misner, me da tanta alegría este compartir suyo. Dado que acompaña mi creencia que trato de transmitir hace mas de 25 años en mis clases. Muchas gracias.

  6. Amazing. Life is about choices. I saw a glass of water at the half-way mark. My lens choice the glass is half-full not half- empty. This viewpoint and your prayers have enabled me to be Blessed with 5 cancers, 4 Strokes, and 1 Open Heart Surgery. This Journey has given me the Privilege to Serve Others in Need to Live their BEST Life NOW!!!

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