one or two?
Think back to the last time you had an eye exam. Aside from the preliminary tests, the bulk of the exam time was spent trying to find the ideal lenses (contacts or glasses) for your eyes.
While you sat in the chair, the doctor manipulated the lenses, then asked repeatedly, “Which one is better – one or two? One or two? This process continued until he found a lens for each eye that provided you with clear vision.
While an eye doctor’s goal is to help his patients with what they see, my goal is to help people with the way they are seeing things. Instead of managing eyesight, it’s a process of managing mindsight.
Having said all of this, one of the most powerful things you can do as a parent, teacher, or coach is to lend perspective to the young people you oversee. Help them to try on new lenses, if you will. It’s not about always having the answers, but rather empowering them with the ability to change their perspective at any given moment. The ultimate goal, just as it is with the eye exam, is to find an ideal lens that leaves them feeling powerful, not powerless.
Below are four different lenses, along with a brief description of each. I invite you to print this portion of the blog and share it with your child, student, or athlete.
Glenda recognizes that a key indicator of happiness is one’s ability to be grateful in the midst of any circumstance. She’s constantly searching for the good in a situation that others may label as bad. Some of the thoughts you might hear Glenda say are…
“Even though that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, I’m grateful for new opportunities.”
“Some say this class is boring. I’m choosing to be grateful for the chance to practice patience.”
“I can either complain about what I don’t have, or celebrate what I do have.”
Cameron is grateful for the gift of imagination. When things don’t go his way, he tends to step back from the situation and use his imagination to seek positive, empowering thoughts. Some of the things you might hear Cameron saying are…
“This isn’t happening to me. It’s happening for me.”
“This situation is a lesson and in every lesson is an opportunity to learn.”
“I didn’t fail. I’m just one step closer to getting it right.”
“It’s not that I can’t do that. It’s just that I can’t do that YET.”
Edward knows that the deepest need of the human heart is to be understood. Therefore, instead of judging others, he tries to put himself in their shoes. Instead of just feeling sorry for someone, he tries to feel with them. People like to be around Edward because they know they are safe in his company. Some of the things you might hear Edward saying are…
“I wonder what that person is going through?”
“I know that people who are hurting sometimes hurt other people. I’m going to give them kindness.”
“Although I don’t agree with their opinions, I respect them enough to give them space to share.”
“When I listen, I’m going to listen with my eyes, ears, and heart.”
Pam spends most of her day complaining about what should be. She’s constantly blaming others for her daily challenges and spends a lot of time battling unwelcome emotions like anger and frustration. Some of the things you might hear Pam say are…
“This isn’t fair.”
“Why is all of this happening to me?”
“My life would be so much better if ___________.”
“He/she always ruins my day.”
Unfortunately, the powerless lens often serves as our default lens. If you think about it, it’s quite easy to complain, blame, or make excuses. This is why it’s so critical to practice using the other lenses. Over time, they will become habitual.
Happy lens changing! One or two? One or two?