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Sunday, October 08, 2006

The progression of perspectives

Our perspectives, or points of views, should be in a constant state of change. There are three points of reference involved in the development of our point of view; our current position (needs / wants / desires), our alignment point(beliefs / standards / values), and our target(goals / behaviors / dreams). All three of these reference points are constantly changing whether we are cognizant of it or not. Our main concerns should be: what are we allowing to influence our reference points and how are these influences effective change in our lives? These two questions have a profound impact in one's life. They are possibly the two biggest choices one has to constantly make throughout life. The realization that the constant absorption of external influence is out of our conscious control should dictate the extreme importance of the conscious choice of what environment you allow to control you. The old saying "birds of a feather flock together" has huge implications.

The first reference point I will talk about is the target or goal. Where do we want to go? Having a destination is very important. In fact it is so important that when there is no goal or target we tend to be idle and self defeating. A target or goal does not have be a tangible object or destination either. Often times our destinations are more internal. We embark on outward journeys that facilitate our arrival at an internal shift in our paradigms. The question of destination is paramount to who we think we want to be. Once I allow myself to become idle, void a target or destination, I greatly increase my chances of doing or becoming that which I fear; an internal failure. I need and want growth. I will not, nor can I grow while I am in an idle state. Picking a target can be tricky and disheartening however. My target options are often based off of the other two points of references; my position and my alignment point. For example: If my position is that I have very little education and my alignment point is that I am stupid the target goal of becoming a doctor is not going to seem possible, therefore I will most likely not set it as my goal.

My position IS a very tangible and realistic assessment of my strengths, such as: my abilities, talents, experiences, knowledge or education, influences. The stronger the assessment the more target options I have. If I only have a BB Gun I can not target much. But if I have a Marine Expeditionary force at my disposal I can target anything. This is where many on us have been deceived by authority figures in the past. Teachers, parents, and the like have often times communicated to us that we have limited abilities and should not target much. Sometimes as children we rebelled against authority and limited ourselves to the exposure of more strengths. Either way, we have developed an internal opinion that limits our targeting options. As parents we MUST not stunt the targeting options of our children. We MUST encourage them to look at the 360 degree horizon and dream of any target they want.

Our alignment point is the point that either limits or expands our targeting options. As I mention in the above paragraph, authority influences in the past can and I am sure have, limited our targeting options. Our alignment point IS our belief structure. A structure that our sub conscious and creative sub conscious is constantly building and rebuilding. The story of the little engine that could is about the rebuilding of a belief from the I can't to the I can. The problem with the alignment point is that we have thousands of beliefs that can effect one moment of time. The thought of rebuilding a thousand of these beliefs becomes overwhelming. It becomes much easier to set idle and attempt nothing even though our internal mindset despise such actions. This is where choosing the best influential environment for ourselves becomes a major watershed for what we think we can and can not accomplish. It is in this arena where church are supposed to provide an influence that promotes value based strengths. Strengths that tell us that even though we may be "beat up" up, we are not screwed up. A church environment that beats up people (hence the constant rejection of sinners, which, I might add, in reality we all are) becomes a negative influential environment. In this environment I would develop an alignment point that I can't achieve and that I should just be idle and do little least I become more rejected. NASCAR drivers are taught to not look at the wall. Because when they look at the wall the tend to hit it. Do not get me wrong, these drivers are well aware of the existence of the wall, they just do not focus on it. We all are aware of the existence of morale wrong (sin) but if we are constantly made to look at it, what do you think we will hit? So, if I want to have a positive alignment point I need to choose environments that are positive and forward thinking in their influence.

Understanding the fact that my Point of view is in constant change should make me aware of the importance in constantly assessing my current position, my alignment point, and my target. Being aware of the importance of the assessed strengths which my current position is based on should create a desire to build those strengths. Being aware of how vulnerable my alignment point is to external influence should create the need for me to protect and shield what influential environments I expose myself too. These choices can and will help me begin to realize true personal growth and expand my targeting options.


fatnlazy said...

When my oldest son was found to have some "learning disabilites" the teacher very wisely told me that if I treat him like he has them, he will act that as tho he has them.
He is now in the 11th grade and doing very well with out any resource classes.

Talking Bear said...

FNL, That is great. What a great example of how to use this knowledge. You get it, good job!!!

Soaring Eagle said...

Talking Bear,
I think you have an excellent point here. I believe this is one of the larger issues I see working with young people. They are told by their parents, authority figures, and peers that they are less than they are and can’t do better … “this was good enough for your mother and I” pattern of thinking.
There are many stories that I have about young adults that worked with me. They entered the Army, and after completing their Basic Training and Advance Individual Training, held their heads high because of their accomplishments. Their Drill Sergeants did not tell them that they could not run a half mile, but told them they could and would run five and at times more. When challenged and told they can, most did well. Be it the Army, Marines, Navy, or Air Force, these young people rise to the challenge and make it farther than they would have expected themselves to do prior to entry into the military.
I am using the military as an example because I can draw on that experience. But, regardless if it is military, civilian college, or holding a paying job, we can do it and they are constantly told they cannot. Eventually they will have a self-fulfilling prophecy with lowered expectations or failure.
I think I understand your comment that sometimes as children we rebel against authority and limit the development of our strengths.
I don’t expect that young people have the life experiences to always be able to set appropriate goals, and each child develops at a different rate, this has to be left up to the parents and these are the same people that have in many cases been limiting the development of goals by their children.
I don’t have a solution to what appears to be a revolving series of lowered expectations, but working with young people AND parents, and seeing them as a working group is our answer. This will not solve all the incidents, but will help some. Working with only one end of an equation (just youth or just parents) will not work.
I believe you have an excellent point here.

Talking Bear said...

Soaring Eagle, (I love the Name) Thanks. These are some of my observations from my own life. I think your are exactly right. The self-fulfilling prophecy is exactly right. What prophecy to we expect these individuals to fulfill, good or bad. Replace the you cant with the you can and will......I love it. Thanks for sharing...

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