Inspirational Ateeq Hussain is a businessman who changed his mindset and changed his life. A former taxi driver, he now runs two successful ice cream parlours in Huddersfield. Here’s his latest Monthly Monday Motivation.

Did you know that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change?

Or as the author C. S. Lewis said: “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

We’ve all been in a situation where we or the person we’re in discussion with says something along the lines of: “It depends how you look at it” or “It depends how you feel about it”, or “It depends how you think about it.”

Did you know you could choose to look, think and feel about circumstances or things in a certain way, whether it be positive, negative or somewhere in the middle?

Too often we allow petty annoyances and trivial worries affect our perspective on life which takes our thoughts and attitudes towards the negative end of the spectrum. This can leave us feeling depressed and anxious. In this state of mind we are no good to anyone, especially ourselves.

We may manifest this negativity by showing ingratitude, apathy selfishness and a whole host of debilitating emotions. But, and this is the key, we also close the door to many wonderful and lucrative life changing opportunities that come our way. Why? Because our perspective is off kilter. We aren’t getting the full picture, we’ve allowed it to become distorted.

Let me tell you a story about the pioneer of modern personal development, a man called Napoleon Hill. He was approached by a distressed elderly businessman after one of his well attended seminars. The discussion went (paraphrased)  as follows:-

BM – I’m finished, I’ve lost it all. My business has crashed and there’s no way of recovering it and I’m too old to restart. Everything is gone, all my equity and life’s work is no more. I don’t know what to do, I’m in despair. Please advise me what can I do.

NH – Are you sure everything’s gone?

BM – Yes, yes it’s all gone, not a single penny remains. I’m totally finished with no hope of recovery.

NH – In that case, let me ask you a few questions to double check what you’re saying is accurate. Do you have a wife and what does she make of the situation?

BM – Yes I have a devoted wife who is content to stand by my side through thick and thin. She would never leave me and has even offered to help by selling her jewellery and other possessions.

NH – That’s wonderful. What about your children. What do they make of it, your predicament?

BM – My children are really quite supportive and loving to me and have offered many times to help financially but I keep refusing. I don’t want to burden them with my troubles.

NH – Well, it’s good to know that your children are willing and able support you as you supported them in your younger years. How about your friends?

BM – I have some truly wonderful and generous friends who have known me a long time. They have also offered to help us through this difficult time and I have accepted their offers from time to time.

NH – Well it seems to me that you haven’t lost it all, your life’s work which includes your family and friends are still very much intact and are ready to support you in whichever direction you wish to go.

BM – You know, you’re right, I hadn’t thought about it like that. These are priceless possessions that no amount of gold could ever buy. I guess it’s not too late and I’m not too old to make a fresh start. I’ve got plenty of support because I’ve nurtured and fostered my relationships, I have so many wonderful people around me to encourage and support me. Gosh! You’ve really opened my eyes. I’ve been making the situation worse than it is by my negative attitude. I guess I wasn’t seeing the big picture. I’ll let you know how I get on. Thank you for helping me see clearly.

Now I don’t know what happened to the elderly businessman after this conversation but I like to think that it altered the trajectory of his life massively. Who knows. I find it striking that a few simple questions from the right person at the right time can have profound effects on the fabric of one’s life.

No matter who you are, what your background or life circumstances you have many, many, priceless possessions to be grateful for and a quality of life that others are envious of but the lack of perspective may be holding you back from manifesting your potential and sharing your gifts with the world.

READ MORE: More Monday Motivation: You don’t have to change the world – just make yourself a little better every day

What are you going to do about it? It all depends how you look at it! Is it maybe time to improve where you’re  standing to get a better vantage point and begin to see reality as it is rather than what you have been taught to think it is? Improve your perspective by taking in lots of different perspectives and then making up your own mind.

As Jim Rohn’s mentor, Earl Shoaff, used to say: “Don’t be a follower, be a student.” A student, by nature, has the ability and willingness to change depending on what they discover.

Wishing you peace, prosperity and a constantly improving perspective.