My niece Sophie is in her final year of an engineering degree, and acing it (something which would never have been said about my university years).
Over dinner at my brother's place recently, we were talking about how she was enjoying engineering and what she was learning. She had learned a lot and it had changed the way she sees the world, she added.
Sophie looked out at the back yard, to where a rope swing with rubber tyre hung from a huge tree. "For example, when I look at that swing," she said, "I see the swing with force arrows pointing out from it. And when it's swinging, my god, it's just full of arrows shooting out everywhere."
I promptly moved the wine glass away from her. "I think you've had enough wine, young lady," I joked.
But it's true - we all have different perspectives, different lenses, different reality.
I studied a lot of film-making at uni, and when I was making TV commercials as a creative director, I could never just go and watch a movie at the cinema to unwind. I was looking for storylines, I was wondering why the director framed the shot that way, I questioned the editors cutting away from a scene too late.
That was the lens through which I saw the world.
So which lens (or lenses) do you see the world through? Be aware YOUR reality is not everyone's reality.
Same world, different viewpoint, different experiences.
This can be a strength when it's relevant, but be aware of when it might cloud your judgement. Be ready to flip viewpoint, switch to a different lens.
It might help you see see the other person's point of view better, or overcome an obstacle in a challenge you're facing.