Your perspective is how you see yourself, others, and the world.
And your experiences and exposure to other views has a way of influencing yours — not always for the better.
From our own experience, we know how it can help to read through life perspective quotes written by those who’ve learned to hit “refresh” on their outlook.
With that in mind, we’ve curated this collection of quotes about perspective to help you heal and refine yours.
Because cynicism shouldn’t be anyone’s go-to mentality, but neither should blind optimism.
What Does Having Perspective Mean?
People with perspective are sensible, compassionate, and level-headed. They don’t make mountains out of molehills nor unnecessarily whip up drama.
Additionally, they see the big picture, tend not to center themselves in every situation, and can identify the good through the bad.
Ultimately, having perspective is an excellent quality that affords several benefits, including:
- Better mental health
- Better emotional balance
- Stronger friendships
- More productive working relationships
- Enhanced cognitive function
- More internal peace and calm
- Heightened resiliency
If someone says you have “great perspective,” take it as a compliment — because it amounts to high praise. Moreover, remember that perspective is something you can improve and cultivate.
The easiest way is to start by reading books and articles — fiction and nonfiction alike. The key is pushing yourself past your comfort zone. Don’t stick to writers and ideas with which you agree.
Seek out sources from all sides and perspectives.
How Using Quotes on Perspective Can Improve Your Life
You’ve undoubtedly heard the old aphorism about seeing the glass half full. Though simple, it’s a powerful touchstone when contemplating perspective.
Because we are what we think.
We’re not suggesting you adopt a toxically positive mindset; that’s just as damaging as living in a suspended state of cynicism.
Acknowledging and accepting the full emotional range is vital for maintaining good mental health.
But it never hurts to shift your perspective when navigating rough seas. The trick is being able to slide into a more advantageous lane quickly. And that’s where change-of-perspective quotes come in handy.
Reading, sharing, and contemplating words of wisdom helps us:
- Stay focused on the goal at hand (changing perspective)
- Expand our philosophical palate
- Feel better about the world around us
- Effectively communicate complicated sentiments concisely
- See our problems in a more realistic light
They’re also highly motivating, making them great temporary mantras and affirmations.
51 Powerful Perspective Quotes to Shift Your Mindset
1. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― C.G. Jung
2. “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ― Aldous Huxley
3. “No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” ― Ansel Adams
4. “What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.” ― Martha Graham
5. “Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.” ― Irving Berlin
6. “Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue. . . . ” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
8. “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” – William Blake
9. “If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.” – Wayne Dyer
10. “What is behind your eyes holds more power than what is in front of them.” – Gary Zukav
11. “It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware.” – Albert Einstein
12. “We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as the world we see, and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world.” – Stephen R. Covey
14. “Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.” – Hans Margolius
15. “The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” ― Oscar Wilde
16. “I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation. I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.” – Martha Washington
17. “And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
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18. “Look at everything as though you are seeing it either for the first or last time, then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” ― Betty Smith
20. “The moment you change your perception, is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.” – Dr. Bruce H. Lipton
21. “One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” ― Tim Burton
22. “Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” ― George Carlin
23. “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” ― J.M. Barrie
24. “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” ― John Lubbock
25. “The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
26. “If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
27. “Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small.” ― Corrie Ten Boom
29. “Once you put everything in the right perspective, even bad times can be an opportunity to refresh your appetite, your desire.” — Alex Zanardi
30. “It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” — Kristin Armstrong
31. “A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way.” — Allen Klein
32. “Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.” – Sterling K. Brown
33. “Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life.” – Joni Eareckson Tada
34. “It’s useful to go out of this world and see it from the perspective of another one.” – Terry Pratchett
35. “You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective.” – Denis Waitley
36. “Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.” – Alan Kay
37. “We are used to women’s narratives being defined through the male perspective. I challenge that as a concept.” – Danai Gurira
38. “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” – Stephen R. Covey
39. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelis
40. “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
41. “One moment the world is as it is. The next, it is something entirely different. Something it has never been before.” – Anne Rice (from Pandora)
42. “Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror.” – Colin Powell
43. “The task is…not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.” – Erwin Schrödinger
44. “While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” – Dorothea Lange
45. “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” – Steven Wright
46. “It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” – George Eliot, (from Middlemarch)
47. “People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” ― Isaac Asimov, (from I, Robot)
48. “Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.” – Wayne W. Dyer
49. “The best things in life aren’t things.” – Art Buchwald
50. “It’s important to have people who are absolutely willing to say you’re wrong or who have a totally different perspective than you do on everything. Fresh ideas are hard to come by, and good ones are even harder.” – Shonda Rhimes
51. “If you’re wondering what I mean by ‘miracle,’ it’s simple: a miracle is a shift in perspective from fear to love.” – Gabrielle Bernstein
How Will You Use These Perspective Quotes?
Now that you’ve looked through these quotes about seeing things differently, which ones will you keep handy to refresh your mind when you’re feeling down?
Which ones do you find most motivating, reassuring, or insightful?
Thanks to sites like Cafe Press, you can turn a favorite perspective quote into a mug, a t-shirt, or something else you’ll use regularly.
You can also use a whiteboard or sticky notes. And don’t overlook their value as potential journal prompts.
Find those that speak to you, and make them your own.