The BBC recently posted an article about John Taylor, the bass player from the ‘80s group Duran Duran, and how his perspective has changed from 1985 to now. He had one comment in particular that really hit home:

“I made a very definite decision a couple of years ago [when he was 50 – ed] that I was now middle aged. And it was actually a really good decision to make, because I’d been feeling like a very tired young man for quite a few years, and making that acknowledgement, suddenly I felt like a very sprightly and hip middle aged guy. [emphasis added]

Here’s what I really appreciate about this: he’s the same guy. Nothing has changed, except how he views himself and his corresponding expectations of himself. He’s not doing wishful thinking and clinging to the past and he hasn’t turned himself into an old man before his time. He got rid of his delusions of youth and was able to look at his reality and define it in a way that really works for him.

The great and incomparable Zig Ziglar also spoke of a similar transformation. He grew up poor in a small town in Mississippi and talked about thinking about himself as a little guy from a little town when he started out as a salesman. Then, after encouraging words from a hero/mentor, he saw himself differently. He shifted his perspective and began thinking of himself as a salesman with the potential to be one of the greats. Same guy, same skill set, different perspective, different attitude, different approach, and different results.

Our perspectives and beliefs can inspire us to grow or turn us into our own worst enemies by shrinking, confining, and crushing our potential. There’s a lot in this world we can’t control, but one of the things we have full power over is how we look at ourselves.

What perspectives are you choosing?

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