10 Steps Drastically Shift Your Perspective

I want to play a game with you.

It is called the human lottery.

So let’s imagine a giant hat with the name of every living human inside.

Would you be willing to take your name, put it inside the hat and redraw out someone else’s to live their life?

Keeping in mind there is an 85% chance you will live in poverty on less than $30 a day and a 60% chance you will only make $10 a day.

Would you play that game?

Would you sacrifice your life to redraw a new one from someone else?

Welcome to twenty things to stop doing in your twenties.

 

5. Stop Being Ungrateful.

 

How do we do that? Well, there are many ways, but here is one of my favourite ways.

Perspective.

Perspective breeds gratitude.

So I will share with you some incredible stats and numbers, which hopefully will help change your perspective on the world right now.

I know the world seems like a dark place.

The GFC, multiple wars, Russia has invaded Ukraine; COVID ravaged the world, suicide and mental health are at an all-time high.

So rather than focusing on the negative, I want to give you a fresh perspective.


I grew up in New Zealand. 

We never had much spending money as a family, so every holiday I ever had was usually camping or trips to Australia to see family.

Until I was eleven years old, my Uncle and Aunty had invited us to their destination wedding in Thailand.

Rather than spend two weeks in a friendly resort like everyone else, my parents took us there two weeks earlier. We worked with friends of ours who run a charity called Partners.

One day we arrived at a small village.

And I believe this one experience shaped my perspective on life more than anything else.

I saw first-hand the conditions some of these people were living in, and It blew my mind.

Kids living in literal dumpsters, kicking around the paper as a soccer ball. We gave them a small bag of chips, and they held onto it with their lives.

I have never been ungrateful for where I live since.

So let’s jump into the content, shall we?


The world has changed drastically over the past few hundred years, so let’s look at what happened….


  1. We live in the most peaceful time in human history.

Despite World War I, World War two, the Cold War and everything else that has happened since. We live in the most peaceful times in human history. 

And that is something to be grateful for.


2. We experience 1:50th the level of violence 

It is very easy to live life nowadays without ever facing actual violence. That might seem like the bare minimum, but humans never had this luxury throughout history.

And that is something to be grateful for.


3. Every nation on earth has gotten healthier over the last 100 years 

Despite what it may seem, this is true. Even the countries that are still impoverished. They have improved drastically. Many believe the internet is a big reason as even the poorest countries in the world have access to the internet and, therefore, education.

And that is something to be grateful for.


4. Global per capita income has tripled, AND the number of hours to earn that income has halved.

That means we are working half the amount of time for three times the money. You might be struggling to pay the bills; I get it. Sydney is very expensive. But the truth is we are all struggling in luxury. We struggle with our car keys in our left pocket and our iPhone in our right.

The fact is we are earning far more for far less than many humans that lived before us.

And that is something to be grateful for.


5. in 1981, 44% of the planet was in extreme poverty (<$1.50 p/d). Now it is less than 9.5%

We are far from perfect, but progress is being made. Despite what the media preaches, the poverty gap is smaller than it once was. And at this rate, it should keep getting smaller and smaller.

Plus, 44% to %9.5 in 30 years is incredible, and I wish this message was pushed more.

And that is something to be grateful for.


6. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuel 

And it has been for a while now, yes, we are still stuck with politicians who have allegiances to fossil fuel companies, and there is lots of money and corruption.

But the fact that renewable energy is now cheaper will go a long way in helping save our planet.

And that is something to be grateful for.


7. By 2050, with no new technology, the entire planet could be powered by renewable energy,

WITH NO NEW TECHNOLOGY. Meaning it could be much sooner!

And that is something to be grateful for.


8. Life expectancy has gone way up!

In the early 1900s, life expectancy was around 45 years old. It is now closer to 80 (almost double), and they think the next generation should live well past 100.

And that is something to be grateful for.


9. Literacy rates are way up!

In 1900 the world literacy rate was at 20%. Meaning only 20% of the world knew how to read and write. Now it is around 83%. In just 120 years!

And the long term impacts of this are huge. A planet of people who can read and write has massive benefits.

And that is something to be grateful for.


10. The internet is levelling the playing field.

And finally, we have access to the internet. The internet has its downsides, don’t get me wrong. But we have access to unlimited information at our fingertips.

The internet is something people 100 years ago couldn’t even dream of. Yet most people are used by the internet than using the internet.

We can learn almost anything, and connecting with anyone worldwide is fantastic.

And that is something to be grateful for.


The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey


1,586,000,000,000


Do you know what this number represents?

It represents the highest ever amount someone has won in the lottery. It was won by three people who took home a cool half a billion dollars each.

Imagine how they felt!

Wouldn’t that be amazing!?

Well, what if I were to tell you that you won the lottery already.

You have won the genetic lottery.


1. The first lottery you won is that the earth supports life.

The statistical likelihood is that all the right compounds, gasses, gravity, distance from the sun etc. It would be the perfect amount to support life is so low we can’t even calculate it.

Something along the lines of 0.0001%

And that is something to be grateful for.


2. The second lottery you won is that you were born a human.

You could have been born an ant that was tormented by a 6-year-old kid with a magnifying glass. You could have been born a rat living in the sewers or a chicken stuck in a cramped hen breed to be sold at Woolies for $5.50.

But you weren’t. You were born into a species that dominates the planet.

And that is something to be grateful for.


3. The third lottery you won is that you were born in today’s world.

You already heard how bad times were in history. No one wins in history. We are living better lives than the kings and queens of the past.

Our quality of life is something most humans could only have dreamed of.

And that is something to be grateful for.


4. The fourth lottery you won is that you are still alive.

Out of the billions of humans who have roamed this planet, you are one of the ones still roaming.

And that is something to be grateful for.


5. The final lottery you won is you were born into relative comfort.

Now I don’t know anything about your life but here is what I know. If you have access to this blog, you were probably born into relative comfort.

You have a roof over your head; Australia, where I live, has free education and free health care. And just being a citizen, you are entitled to get money from the government should you be in a situation where that is needed.

Whether you realise it or not, we live in incredible comfort. I argue we live too comfortable, but I already covered that in the first idea of this series.

And that is something to be grateful for.


Finally, there is a 1 in 4 trillion chance of you being born.

That is enough for you to win the lottery over and over again, yet for some reason, we still aren’t grateful for what we have.

The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view 


I’ll finish with a short story.

A Rolls Royce pulls up outside a twelve bedroom mansion.

A young man and a young woman step out.

They are well dressed in designer clothes; he hands the keys to a valet, holds the arm of the young woman, and together they walk inside.

A young couple of similar age see them and roll their eyes from a distance.

They are dressed very well, and next to them is their Mercedes hatchback.

“Wouldn’t that be nice?” he says to the young girl.

They step inside the Mercedes and drive off.

They drive through suburb after suburb.

As they drive, another young couple of similar age looks in awe from a distance.

“Imagine driving a car as nice as that,” she says. “One day,” the young man says.

They open the door to their second-hand Toyota, wearing their Nike shoes with a Starbucks drink in one hand.

Then suddenly, you guessed it. Another couple of similar age ride past on their bikes, looking at them in awe.

A lone boy living on the street watches as they ride past happy. “They have amazing bikes, and they have each other, he thinks to himself”.

A young girl from Vietnam watches the homeless boy in the background of a movie. “How amazing to live in a country like that,” she thinks.

It goes on and on and on.


The same way we look up to celebrities and other people admiring them, thinking how lucky they are in the same way billions of people look at us.

If this is the mindset you use, you will never be happy.

Practice being grateful for what you have.

Hopefully, this has helped you realise that you have it pretty good.

And that is something to be grateful for.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”


Stay Young, Stay Driven.


Your challenge!

This week your challenge is to shift your perspective.

take out a pen and paper and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Play some music if you like.

I want you to write down everything you are grateful for. Now 10 minutes is a long time but I want to you go as small as the driver who let you in this morning.

And as big as the planet, your family or whatever it is.

And keep this list by you, whenever you catch yourself feeling down to feeling like a victim, pull it out and have a read.

Perspective breeds gratitude.

Driven Young

The #1 podcast network in Australia dedicated to educating and inspiring the younger generation about practical life skills.