Magic: the Gathering cards hold a plethora of information on a small rectangle of cardboard. This includes beautiful artwork, text explaining game rules, and text to provide a glimpse into the world behind the game.

In the bottom line of text for this card, known as the “flavor text,” we see an equation. This fits with the flavor of the legendary dragon Niv-Mizzet, leader of the Izzet Guild on the plane of Ravnica. The Izzet are science enthusiasts, and it’s only logical that Niv-Mizzet be quoted as stating a seemingly complex mathematical equation. But if you look closely, you’ll see that the equation asks you to rotate parts of it 90 degrees. In doing so, the flavor text reads, “Niv Mizzet = 1.”

In the same way that changing our perspective provides new insight into this card’s flavor, changing our perspective about a situation can also be helpful. This change of perspective, known as “reframing,” allows us to see a situation in a different manner by considering different viewpoints.

Oftentimes, our schemas (or internal guidelines of how to view situations) can cause us to misinterpret things. But by shifting that perspective (oftentimes with the help of a friend or a professional), we can see a whole new message. So the next time you’re in a situation that makes you sad, or angry, or any other negative emotion… try shifting the equation by 90 degrees :)

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