On Perspective


Perspective has genuinely saved my life.

In my twenties, I wore stress like a badge of honor. I was working in the rapid-fire pace of the film industry, leading public relations teams, producing national and international events, press junkets and always working.

I mean, always working. 

I’d work in planes and the airports I frequented without pause. I’d check email at night, on weekends, and even in the bathroom. I believed that hustle would get me to where I wanted to go. I seldom stopped to cherish anything I already had, particularly my relationships, because I was too busy striving for the next iteration of health, wealth, love, and joy. 

I was moving so quickly that when deep joy or challenge arose, I didn’t actually engage them; I just attempted to acknowledge them on the fly or bull-doze my way through them. I was too busy doing ‘important things’ to slow down and engage the fullness of life and those within it.

Perspective is everywhere, everyday when we are present to it.

I was just too busy living in the past or planning for the future that I was ignoring the present and all it had to give me.

Simply put, I began learning perspective the hard way. 

Perspective will come looking for us when we don’t choose it on our own. 

In my late twenties, both my parents grew gravely ill and needed full-time care beyond what their resources would allow. My father’s business also needed day-to-day management to keep it running while he was in recovery from a heart attack and subsequent triple bypass. Balancing a high-demand career with their healthcare and business needs just wasn’t possible. 

I packed my bags, sold nearly everything I owned, quit my career, and moved home to the country to help care for them. Truthfully, I struggled with this decision immensely. I felt like I was placing my own life on hold to care for theirs. This feeling was equal parts selfishness and honesty. I hadn’t yet come to realize, though, how much this care-giving experience would forever reframe my perspective on how to live. 

My days were suddenly filled with tasks that mattered far more than checking email, navigating team dynamics, producing events, and hopping onto the next plane for the next city. I traded in hustle for healthcare. Urgent inbox needs were replaced by my mother’s vital three-times-a-week-kidney dialysis treatments. Without dialysis, she would die and the nearest dialysis center was an hour away so I began trading frequent flights for frequent driving.

It didn’t take long for my long-distance relationship to end either. Friends moved on with their busy lives; extended family did too. I felt like the world was passing by as I stood still. Yet beneath all these layers, what once seemed so important diminished in value in the light of my parents fighting daily for their lives. 

My mother’s death changed everything for me. Death is the great equalizer in our lives. It cuts through the excess weight and noise to bring us home to our own mortality, our own truth.

I quickly became weary of my own bullshit — my excuses, fears, and shame were done leading my life. It was time to cherish the abundance of health, wealth, love, and joy I already had within me and around me. This perspective shift reframed my actions, communication, relationships, and priorities.


Months later, I returned to the film industry for awhile but it no longer held the same grasp over me. Shortly thereafter, I consciously transitioned careers to begin guiding people to live out their own narratives courageously instead of focusing on narratives for the silver screen.

Narrative had always been my thing but this perspective shift forever changed how I saw them. 

 Real life—and how we choose to live it—had begun to matter more than anything else. 

Perspective is life’s way of realigning us to what really matters, to who really matters. Sometimes perspective arrives through death, disease, or disaster. Sometimes it arrives through darkness and rebirth. These intensities aren’t necessary, though, for its arrival. Perspective can be frequently found in the deepest of laughter and the littlest of joys too.

When we are courageous enough to get over ourselves, to stop numbing ourselves, and actually begin to feel things through, we open ourselves to the life we’ve always wanted by being present to the life we already have. Perspective resides in the present; we just have to look for it. The sheer abundance in this place is rooted in something far more sustainable too. 

Allow the perspective shift, friend. Allow both the joy & challenge too, listen to them.

All is a part of your becoming. Always with you in this practice,

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An intuitive leadership and life coach for 14 years and founder of The Courage Practice®, Tonyalynne Wildhaber coaches individuals, leaders, coaches, and soulful entrepreneurs to make friends with their courage in a conscious way.

With a unique approach of integrating inner wisdom with outer strategy, she partners with you to courageously step into your highest potential, navigate challenge and transition with greater ease, and transform your abundance and life from the inside out.

Tonyalynne is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council specifically for her integrated leadership and life development approach. She is a frequent contributor to Forbes, WomELLE, and Thrive Global. She is head-over-heels in love with the Pacific Northwest, drinks iced coffee in all weather, regularly nerds out on women’s soccer, and is attempting to train a little Yorkie named Ollie.


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