Looking at life from the Third Person

Recently, whilst travelling between clients, I heard on National Radio about a study carried out in the States. Some psychologists had looked at a large cross section of the community and got them to consider life from the third person.

What that means is to try and stand outside and look into your business and into your life and see how it looks. You are actually the person looking into your own life. Someone else described it as a 'helicopter view'. Getting out of yourself, getting up in the helicopter and looking down.

Apparently it is a technique that has been hugely successful in helping people to solve their own problems that they could not see before.

So being the radical practical person that I am I thought I would take a look at myself and my business from outside and see how it looked to me. Something I have probably not done before. And the question arises: what did I see?

Well I realised that I spend a huge amount of my time helping my clients to build their businesses and their assets but I have probably failed to look at continuing to build my own assets. I also saw areas that I could improve on. How I could do things better and how I interrelated with other people.

I also realised it was a very objective way to view myself, and how I view my business and my family and what I could do to improve it.

Looking at farming we often have everything rolled into one heap. One chequebook, one wife, one farm, a herd of cows, farm plant, one family, all rolling around in a big washing machine in our head. We get so involved and so wrapped up and it is often hard to be objective and make good decisions. Sound familiar?

Once you get the washing powder off yourself by taking yourself out of the washing machine, standing outside and looking in seems a very logical way of unravelling and improving every part of our lives.

Putting the farm into a Family Trust and getting some separation of the assets is a big start. But that's another issue.

I understand that these psychologists could make huge improvements with their clients if they could get them out of themselves and looking back in.

I often talk of our perception being our reality. How we see life is how it is for us. Others will see it differently. Again, the key point here is that by stepping out and looking back we can be more objective.

I often say to my own team and to my farm owners "Look at it from the other person's point of view, stand in their shoes and stop looking at it from in your shoes. See how the other guy looks at it and try and understand his perspective."

It is pretty powerful. Looking at how your staff see the world may change the way you treat them. Their reality is miles away from yours yet we think and expect them to work as hard and be as dedicated as us. We need to sit down and actively listen to their goals and aspirations and not look at it from our own perspective.

And if life is tough, and if it is running you over, try and stand on the outside and look in.
    What better decisions you could be making?
    How could you treat your staff and family better?
    Are there better ways to run your business?
    Could you lift your game?
    Could you make more effort?
    Could you take some quality time off?
    Could you seek better advice and make better decisions based on that advice?
So, in summary, I picked up on a report on the National Radio. I think we can all benefit from stepping outside of ourselves and looking back in. I think that the mental challenges that farming throws us require us to be more objective and logical than we have ever had to be in the past.

If we have every part of ourselves, our business, our family all rolling around inside our head it is going to be very difficult to be objective.

Looking at ourselves from the third person, or a 'helicopter view' has some clear advantages.


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