Two dancers swirl on a TV show. I’m watching on my TV. So is a live audience, and a camera operator, and a director/editor, and a …..

Changing perspective can change everything.

Inspiration is not about one perspective being better than another. It’s about recognizing that there are multiple perspectives and any one or combination of perspectives can give birth to inspiration.

Change your perspective and you change your view.

That new view can change your experience of something and lead to new insights and ideas. Creating is about exploring perspectives.

Feel stuck? Try exploring the variety of perspectives occurring in a moment.

For example: this photo of Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke’s opening dance during the 2011 Dancing with the Stars episode. I took it while standing in front of the TV. That’s my perspective. But, how may others exist in this moment?

How many do you see?

Some are obvious, some are not. Go back, and check the picture above. Think about that moment in that TV show (check a video here). Then, add to my list ….

  1. Rob Kardashian as he dances
  2. Cheryl Burke as she dances
  3. The view of the camera operator moving into position ….
  4. … of the audio and lighting techs looking for shadows, hot spots, dead zones …
  5. … wardrobe and makeup artists watching from offstage or on close circuit TV …
  6. … of the director who chose this shot (how do their responsibilities affect their perspective?)
  7. the competitors and an announcer watching from the balcony above the dancefloor (how do their desires affect their perspective?)
  8. musicians performing onstage with the dancers (how does their detachment affect their perspective?)
  9. the judges and an announcer watching the dance from the sidelines
  10. the audience, including former competitors, family members, friends (how do their relationships, emotions, change their perspective?)
  11. the competitor’s family and friends watching at home, at a party, at a bar
  12. millions of anonymous viewers watching live or on a recording at a later time
  13. potential future dancers, competitors, judges, techs, wardrobes, make-up artists
  14. agents and managers
  15. a dance teacher who gains new students because of a show they may not even watch
  16. a clothing designer inspired by a costume
  17. a painter inspired by the photo above who may never have heard of the show
  18. a budding photographer moved to make fun of it on a Reddit conversation ….
  19. a budding inventor who is being forced to watch the show by a sibling and cares nothing for dance, but who wants to be the one to make that dance ‘live’ in your living room floor or to put you in the dancer’s shoes via virtual reality,
  20. a 21st century educator who’s never heard of the show, but wants to teach others to dance using that virtual reality tool ….

Clearly, the impact of an event or thing ripples out. So do the perspectives and ideas of those involved in it or affected by it. We earthlings are still having our perceptions shaped around a multitude of ancient and current events, discoveries, decisions that we are completely unaware of.

While it doesn’t matter whether we are aware of the source of our perception or not, playing with perception is a tool gives us insight that we can use to generate.

Want to?

  • increase the scope of your ideas? Expand your view to include more perspectives.
  • increase the depth and meaning of your ideas? Use empathy to dive into the lives and emotions of those viewing from different perspectives.
  • solve different problems? Shift your perspective and discover new problems.

Start by identifying your perspective. Brainstorm others. Map perspectives as we did in this post.

Then explore: what does the moment look like from each of these perspectives? Empathize. Envision. Pick a perspective and occupy it, live inside of it. What does the view look like, feel like? Get a sense of the thoughts, emotional states, responsibilities, and reactions of each perspective. (Want help with that? Read post on Thought Experiments)

Inspiration flourishes when we shift perspectives and a get a different, more whole picture of something.

Try it! You might find yourself dancing along before you know it.

© Christie James, 2013