I enjoy hiking, actually I love it. Most hikes I take are “there and back” hikes, meaning you hike to a certain point, turn around and come back the same way you came. Now if you’re not a hiker this sounds a bit redundant – covering the same segment of the trail twice instead of experiencing more of the trail with the same time and effort.
But hikers don’t feel this way at all. The reality is a “there and back” hike is as engaging as a “end to end” hike.
Because coming back on the same segment of trail never looks the same as going out. It’s as if you’re on a different segment when you walk it in the other direction. The reason is simple, your perspective changes 180º – what you see and how you see it – is different. A change in perspective always bring a fresh look at a trail you just traversed.
This is true of most situations in life and leadership, isn’t it? We often get stuck seeing a situation, an idea, a moment in history, just from one perspective and believe that’s the only perspective there is. So when we hear a different one, we struggle to embrace it because our first response is – how could be a different perspective than the mine?
But there are different perspectives of same section of a trail. Your perspective depends on how and when you’ve hiked it. The person walking towards me will see the trail totally different than I see it. Same trail, different perspective. People will walk through the same situation, wrestle with the same idea, or struggle with a particular moment differently because they’re walking through it from a different place, heading in a different direction, thus have a different perspective.
So here’s the application – in a world where there seems to be no room for another’s perspective, where mine or ours is the only valid one, never believe you have a corner on the truth. Try to come at the situation, idea, or moment from another direction, preferably from the direction that someone else has come from, so you can see it more as they see it. Always seek out other perspectives because no one comes at a moment from the same place or same time as you. By doing so, you’ll see more of the trail, have more friends to walk with, and have a more fulfilling hike.