Written by Kristin Harrington

My driveway has taken a beating from Michigan winters, showing significant wear and a pothole that needs fixing soon. A few weekends ago, my four-year-old son decided to ride his scooter across the driveway. The pothole had become a big mud puddle after a recent rain, much to my son’s sheer delight. I watched him play in the mud, rejoicing in the thrill of getting as dirty as possible.

Watching him play in the mud reminded me of the power of perspective. While I see a damaged driveway needing repairs, he sees a scooter ramp, a play area, and even a runway for picking me flowers. The difference? Perspective.

Moments of perspective are a rare gift that reminds us of the power of celebrating what’s going right in our lives. It’s all too easy to fall into the pattern of complaining or cynicism, seeing life through a lens of negativity. Candidly, I worry that I often see life this way, a pattern I’m doing my best to disrupt. My son’s time in the pothole allowed me to break this pattern, even temporarily.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the power of perspective:

The present is powerful. Perspective is closely tied to our mindset. When I find myself in a negative mindset, it’s because I’m dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. To shift my perspective, I try to focus on the present moment. One helpful technique I’ve learned is “The Five Senses”: name five things you see, four things you hear, three things you smell, two things you taste, and one thing you can touch. This exercise grounds me in the present, away from negative thoughts, offering a sense of calm and clarity. It reminds me that life unfolds in the present, empowering me to shape my thoughts and actions positively.

Change your lens. When life feels like it just isn’t going your way, pausing to ask “what can be celebrated” is a powerful way to change your perspective. A colleague asked me this question during a recent late night at work, filled with too much complaining. The simple reminder changed my attitude and reminded me to look for the good in the situation. Changing how we see things, even just a bit, can make a big difference.

Celebrate little wins. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong or what’s not going our way. However, focusing on the positives, no matter how small, can shift our mindset and make challenges seem more manageable. Celebrating the little victories can bring joy and gratitude, even during difficulties. I’m not suggesting we ignore the realities of our lives but rather celebrate the small wins alongside the challenging times.

Kids can introduce perspective, especially when we least expect it. That pothole still bugs me, but now it also makes me smile. Changing the lens in which you see the world can change your life if you let it.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through its innovative coaching programs.