From mud to migraines – how marrying my opposite gave birth to Life Lenses™

This cartoon from Emotionz via Jules Andre-Brown, had me laughing out loud.

‘Do you get headaches doing that?,’ my boyfriend asked me, genuinely puzzled, while peering over my shoulder.

‘Say what?!,’ I thought, confused as mud, as I continued making my lists, relaxing into the task of sorting through the flotsam & jetsam of our lives & putting it all down in neatly organized lists. (Yes lists, plural.)


Something shifted in me though. A fit of curiousity was stirred & shaken.


How could the same thing that relaxed me & gave me a beloved sense of organization be pain inducing for my boyfriend? (To say the guy did not share my rabid focus on lists was an understatement.)


Fast forward & said boyfriend & I are coming up on our 22nd wedding anniversary. And that juxtaposition of viewpoints of lists waaaaayyyy back when ended up being the cue for a lifelong fascination with perspective. How does my radar pick up stuff you miss & vice versa? How can two people see the exact same thing & yet have such different opinions?


How can something I love, something that brings me ease and fills me with strength, be something close to tortuous and confusing for someone else?


And how do these different opinions in the workplace get in the way of clear communication, strong relationships, and truly understanding & benefiting from differences, not to mention more & easier productivity?


Instead of wresting with difference & diversity I wanted to dance with it.


That fascination with perspective has become Life Lenses™, an interactive assessment I designed to give you outta sight insight. It’s a playful exploration of how we each see the world. Life Lenses™ helps illuminate what comes onto your radar easily & naturally, as well as what you may miss because it’s odd, uncomfortable or awkward.


So let’s get back to those lists.


He said, She said – – aka Not everyone sees life the same way


In addition to lists, I love systems. I love organizing. I have an eye for detail. I’m a good finisher of tasks (leaving something undone gets under my skin & bugs the heck out of me). I’m a Carrot, one of the Life Lens™ pairs.


A saying for us Carrots is ‘God is in the details’ or ‘Success in any endeavor requires single-minded attention to detail and total concentration.’ (Willie Sutton)

My beloved loves strategy. He loves talking vision. He’s comfortable with the big picture. He has an eye for trends. He’s a good starter of tasks. He’s a Mountain Life Lens™ – the polar opposite of a Carrot Life Lens™.


Some sayings for Mountains are ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff (Richard Carlson) or ‘If the vision is there the means will follow’ (Faith Popcorn).


Calling all Carrot and Mountain Life Lenses™


Next week we’ll dig more into two of the lenses – Mountain and Carrots. But in the meantime take a guess – leave a comment below & tell me whether you think you’re a Carrot or a Mountain Life Lens™ & why. I’d love to hear.


Me n’ my lists will be waiting.



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16 Responses to “From mud to migraines – how marrying my opposite gave birth to Life Lenses™”

  1. David Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 5:52 am

    I believe I am a Mountain lens person, party because I don’t have sufficient focus on detail to be able to explain why!

  2. lucy Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 5:53 am

    I am a proud carrot.. in a similar relationship as yours. If I don’t organize everything, I feel like I’m missing something 🙂

  3. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 5:59 am

    I’m laughing out loud David. Love it!

  4. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Hi Lucy- I hear & match your need to organize!

  5. Michelle Pante Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 6:30 am

    i’m kind of both and it’s wacky. sometimes i feel l all spacey and big picture and other times i’m right in the soil. guess i can do my best to harness the duality!

  6. Roberta Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I can be both big picture and small detail. I tend to err more on the side of mountain. I tend to be more intuitive than planning. Planning doesn’t always work for me. I tend to have things percolating in the back of my head. What looks like inaction on the outside is bubbling away on the inside and when I make decisions people think that I am being spontaneous.

  7. Carol Dixon Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I am totally a mountaintop! It is way more fun to think and plan, even if it comes to nothing. Dealing with the minutia seems so, pedestrian in comparison. I know someone has to do it but thank goodness it isn’t me….

  8. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Hi Michelle- you are truly a dual kind of person, having to come to know your brilliant mountain insights, as well as your systematic, laser eye approach to details. Rock the duality!

  9. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Hi Roberta- I love the image of bubbling away that’s perceived as spontaneity by others. So insightful. It also speaks to some other Life Lenses™ which I’ll talk about in upcoming posts.

  10. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Here here Carol, to claiming your gifts & assets. I find it interesting that carrots say the exact opposite- how the big picture, strategy can be mind numbing & overwhelming & how the details & systems are what brings light & life. Here’s to rocking your strength Ms Mountain.

  11. jmcadam2011 Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Love the differences it does allow us to learn so much. I am a list maker, but no one would ever know how detailed I am as my abstract way of doing things is way more visionary..I think I am a mix…

  12. Patty Says:
    November 10th, 2016 at 11:48 am

    A carrot or mountain??? I need to understand how the vision will be implemented, I need a bit of detail, but I don’t have the focus to “do” the details, but I will ask the questions so I can “see” the vision more granularly…..

  13. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 11th, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Hi Patty- in the language of the Life Lenses™ I call that a tweener- you can see out of both lens – from the mountain (trends, big picture, strategy) as well as the on the ground carrot (details & systems).

  14. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 11th, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Yes yes- differences, if we allow them in, have so much to teach us. See the comment I made to Patty- perhaps you’re a tweener (leaning to one side or the other, but just slightly, so the other lens doesn’t seem all that unfamiliar or foreign).

  15. Joshua Says:
    November 14th, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Instead of wresting with difference & diversity I wanted to dance with it… that has made my day.
    I suspect I am a mountain

  16. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    November 17th, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Hi Joshua- I’m so glad that made a difference for you. I know you & your team works hard at that.

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