Perspectives: What’s Possible From 30,000 feet?

A lot of the work we do in professional coaching is around perspectives – looking at things differently, examining things from a different point of view.  The photo above was taken from an altitude of about 30,000 feet.  It is a great visual representation of the different perspective available from that place.

From 30,000 feet we’re able to grasp, ever so tenuously, the enormity of it all.  Sensing this enormity invites us into a space where we can contemplate life from a different perspective.  Unfinished taxes or a to do list a mile long aren’t quite so pressing when you’re 30,000 feet in the air.  I’m not saying those things don’t matter, they may, but they’re probably not what are foremost on your mind as you stare out over clouds for as far as the eye can see.

I was working with a client recently who came to our coaching call knowing exactly what she wanted to discuss during her session.  Upon reviewing her coaching topics on her coaching prep form, submitted prior to the call, I noted the topics seemed to be at what I would call a 5000-foot level – specific problems needing to be solved.  Something else she mentioned in her form though gave me pause for thought – “Was there a higher altitude topic here?”  A few minutes into the session, I took the chance, and with her permission asked a 30,000-foot question.  This question stopped her in her tracks and resulted in her casting aside the 5000-foot level topics and choosing instead to coach around something of much greater importance to her.  Her coaching session provided that place for 30,000-foot contemplation and for less than the cost of an airplane ticket.

I know we aren’t all lucky enough to take flights on a regular basis that allow us to consider life from this perspective  – I know I’d love to – but I can’t help but wonder what might be possible for you if you set aside your 5000-foot level perspective and consider your challenges from a 30,000 foot place instead?


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