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“What’s your dominant eye?” they asked. (That’s a question I never hear). Last weekend I spent a day at the shooting range. (A sport I never do). And apparently it matters knowing which eye you tend to favor when you’re firing at a target (who knew?). At the shotgun station they said it was especially important to know my dominant eye when shooting skeet (I’m not sure why). So we did an activity to identify that eye. And to improve our aim they rubbed chapstick on the eyepiece of our safety goggles blurring the vision of our opposite eye.

I found that an interesting analogy for life. How often do I fall back on well-worn (dominant) perspectives? It’s like rubbing chapstick on any alternative lens I might use when interpreting the behavior or words of another in order to continue filtering everything through my “dominant eye.” In fact, once I’ve made up a story about why someone does what they do, it’s pretty easy to have selective hearing and vision so that I am justified in my opinion.

I recently read the books “Leadership and Self Deception” and “The Anatomy of Peace” by the Arbinger Institute. They talk about how we see others with a distorted lens, produced from our need to justify some image we have developed of ourselves or some behavior we have chosen toward them. When we find ourselves blaming someone or justifying our own behaviors, it’s a clear signal that we are using a distorted lens…and we’ve probably applied the chapstick ourselves.

It’s a fascinating new perspective I’m trying on which has the possibility of clearing my vision so I can better hit the target of strong relationships with my kids, husband, family, friends, colleagues and others. Now that’s something worth shooting for.