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A Matter of Perspective

September 17, 2010

As I thought about a topic for my first blog entry, I kept coming back to one main theme: Perspective. This word, to me, has two different meanings: the “point of view” or attitude that a person takes toward something and the “true understanding of the relative importance of things” (thanks, New Oxford American Dictionary).

Recent life changes have made me think a lot about both types of perspective. Last month, I moved to Nashville from 600 miles away, a big physical change in that first type of perspective, to pursue a dream career in the music industry. Since I was leaving a good job and would be moving away from my family and close friends, I did not take this decision lightly, but when the call came offering me the opportunity, I accepted on the spot. I wasn’t putting my career ahead of my personal relationships, but it became clear that pursuing this dream would benefit my overall attitude by helping me focus on my life’s purpose. I had come to a greater understanding of what was truly important to me.

Also, I am excited about the fact that I bring a different “point of view” to Centricity as a guy with accounting/finance experience who also has a decent understanding of the music business and an obsession with music. Being an introvert in an industry full of extroverted people will make things challenging for me, but hopefully I can bring a fresh outlook to the business. Most of all, I’m looking forward to working with and learning from people who have a different point of view than I do.

In terms of the challenges we all face in finding a “true understanding” of our values and desires, I believe that if we look hard enough, we’ll find that God presents us with “silver linings” that help us to get back to that core belief we have of what is important to us.

One challenge that I had recently was when I had a minor car accident (it was only my car and no one was hurt). While dealing with it was frustrating, I found some understanding through the whole process.

When I pulled onto the side of the road and turned off the engine, I was surprised at how calm I was, and I’m not sure that six months ago I would have reacted in the same way—could a change in my perspective have changed the way I reacted in this type of situation? Then, a series of events reinforced the idea that what had happened was relatively less important than other, good parts of my life, and that things would work out for the best.

  • While I waited on the side of the road, I pulled out the Bible on my iPhone and read from Job, and when I came to 11:16-17, I felt better: For you will forget your trouble; you will remember it like water that has flowed away. And life will be brighter than the noonday; though there be darkness, it will be like the morning.

From then on, I forgot about the bad circumstances of the accident, concentrated on “the big picture,” and had some good life-affirming experiences that evening:

  • The tow truck driver offered me a ride to the airport to get a rental car. I was really impressed by this total stranger who reached out to help without so much as a suggestion from me.
  • I dropped my car off at the mechanic and called a taxi to take me home. After a little chat about my car situation and being new in town, the cab driver told me two things about his life: (1) that he had traveled around the country for a while and had settled in Nashville because “music was his life,” even though he had no talents relevant to the field, and (2) that he was driving the taxi as a second job to support his two kids because it was the right thing to do. When he dropped me off, I thanked him, and he said, “try to relax tonight.”

I walked into my apartment after that feeling comforted but, more importantly, knowing that I had made the right decisions to change my point of view by coming to Nashville, to adjust my attitude by being more positive, and to modify my beliefs about what was important by making my career change.

Think about some of your own life experiences, maybe one big change and one big trial you’ve experienced—how have they altered your Perspective, your view of what is important? How difficult did you find it to react in a positive way, or at least find some “silver linings,” when you faced tough challenges? Were you able to learn something about your true self?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. SE-Dubs permalink
    September 17, 2010 2:37 PM

    Fantastic article Ben, and I’m thankful to hear of your ‘planned’ encounter with the tow truck driver and cab driver. Best of luck in your pursuits.

  2. Dad permalink
    September 18, 2010 7:49 AM

    First of all, learning of your accident by reading this stopped me momentarily, then I quickly realized you must be OK to be writing this. With every day you make me more proud to be your father. I have told people about your new “perspective” and all are excited and happy that you are living your passion. Most wishing they might have made the same kind of decision.

    The only thing that can stop us from fulfilling our personal legend is the fear of failure. Have no fear. For where your heart is, there, too, shall be your treasure.


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