A Legacy of Perspective

By Barry Maher

Perspective is everything.

If you’re anything like me, from time to time you may need to step back, to put your goals and your efforts toward those goals in context, to help place your work and your life in a more meaningful perspective. A more meaningful perspective for you. Not for your boss or society or your friends or even your family. For you.

A while back, I bumped into a friend at a convention. A consultant, an author and a speaker like myself, she’d had a dream for a number of years and she was finally beginning to act on it. And she was running around excitedly, picking everyone’s brain—so enthused she was almost throbbing. It was great to see. This was on a Saturday afternoon.

The following Friday, she woke up with bruises all over her body. Her husband was terrified, and he insisted that she go to the emergency room. She was more than a bit scared herself, so it wasn’t hard for him to get her to go.

Within three hours, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Six days and 137 units of blood later, she was dead—from complications of the treatment. Thirty-nine years old. And her dreams are still waiting.

But as sad and as tragic as that was, that’s not the real kicker to the story. The real kicker to the story—which should probably kick every single one of us in the butt every single day of our lives—is that there’s probably no one reading this that couldn’t tell a similar story.

Yet in spite of that, how often do we find ourselves piddling away our days, strangled in the minutiae of the moment rather than acting from a perspective of what we really want to do with our time, of what we really want to accomplish, of how we really want to live?

Perspective is everything. As for me, I just might take this afternoon off.

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