Perspective, as we know, differs from Paradigm in that the former illustrates how we might see something and the latter explains what it is we are capable of seeing. The following short story offers us a powerful reminder of how the same set of circumstances can represent two very different assessments…
Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.
The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
The essential difference in the eyes of each of these salesmen is how the first salesman saw no opportunity not for his company, but even less in the people he had come to visit; to serve. The second salesman however saw an opportunity that could be shared, and could literally influence a way of life for a group of people.
We could explain this also in terms of seeing a situation’s problems and disadvantages, instead of its opportunities and benefits. Therefore, it is indeed highly important that we seek the best of any scenario and to do that requires that we remember our ability to choose how we will see something. The power of choice provides both a wider perspective and a farther-reaching opportunity.