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Two different lines of sight

Parallax Insight

April 25, 20243 min read

Parallax: a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight.


Recently we experienced a total eclipse in the Niagara region during which the moon came between Earth and Sun and put us in nighttime mode for approximately four minutes. What does this have to do with parallax?

As I was looking up, hoping for a glance of the sun’s corona (with eye protection of course), at the same time I saw the skies above Toronto, approximately 65 km away. The city was not in total darkness but had a warm, golden glow above it. That is an example of parallax, seeing something along a different line of sight.

Try this simple semi-scientific exercise:

Extend one arm out in front of you.

Hold your index finger straight up.

Close your left eye.

Look at your finger and then focus on one object across the room.

Now close your right eye and open your left one.

Look at your finger and notice how it has moved its position in front of the object across the room.

Parallax Effect Graphic

This is because you have two eyes that observe your surroundings from two different positions.It’s a matter of parallax. (If you do this with a little kid you’ll appear like a magician to them.)The parallax aspect is useful in comparing points of view and one’s place in a given situation.I must admit that the pre-eclipse hype left me cold. I actually said to a friend “I could care less about the event”. And when a pre-emptive state of emergency was announced in Niagara I was even less interested. Now, thinking back to my experience during the eclipse, I must admit that it was a surreal, almost spiritual experience which lasted through the entire next day.

For business owners, understanding that ideas and approaches that differ from the ones that are set early on require frequent reset to meet the needs of changing markets, different types of clients, new business projects, unforeseen challenges and changing financial needs. Meeting new opportunities with the right tools all add to the total experience of success. Allowing for a parallax point of view can enhance that success.

What I learned from my feelings around the eclipse is that we become so wrapped up in the “must dos” of daily living, that we cannot see beyond them. We don’t take the opportunity to consciously see the parallax or other sightline of possibilities, personally or professionally. It takes something or someone external to us to provide a parallax of sorts, i.e. to show us things from a different point of view.

A Business Coach brings parallax insight into the coaching.

In all the chaos of our lives, it is important to take the time to decompress in whatever way works for you personally, whether it means taking a day away, going for a walk, communing with nature or watching an eclipse. The quiet and disconnection, even for a few minutes, can rejuvenate the soul, allowing for reflection and reset to move forward with renewed focus. For those who listened and were present in the moment, even the birds went silent for four minutes.

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Carola Mittag

Carola is a retired business owner and executive, who now writes for others in a 3rd act career!

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