We see and we think we understand and thus we tell ourselves we know but life is much more complex. First, what we “see” depends on where we choose to direct our attention. Secondly, we interpret, based upon our world view, what we have chosen to observe, and we call that interpretation fact or reality. Oh, but it so rarely is just that alone.
There are over 7 billion of us on this Earth and countless conflicts have occurred because of our lack of understanding that each of us sees the world differently and each of us is living in a “reality” of our own making, based upon beliefs we call “facts” which differ and which we tend to voraciously defend. How we frame a situation powerfully impacts how we respond. There is the story of a man boating in early morning fog when another boat collides with him. Angry at the cosmetic damage at his beloved craft, he prepared a stinging retort until the clearing mist revealed a slumped figure in obvious medical distress. Enlarged perception, new feelings.
As we grow in self-awareness, we learn how our framing of a situation creates our emotions and thus our response. Our goal is to create a powerful state of calm composure; one of my favorite responses is a simple “interesting!”, a frame which allows me to approach a situation unruffled and with poise.
Becoming aware of how our attitudes, world view and habitual, reflexive responses i.e. our perceptions, are impacting our reality is not easy; it requires effort and discipline but the rewards are many.
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Robertson Davies
“People see what they want to see and what people want to see isn’t always the truth.” – Roberto Bolano
“You will always define events in a manner which will validate your agreement with reality.” – Steve Maraboli
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
“Your perception of the world around you is not necessarily the same as what is actually occurring.” – Peter Ralston
“One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.” – Tom Robbins
“Reality is ultimately a selective act of perception and interpretation. A shift in our perception and interpretation enables us to break old habits and awaken new possibilities for balance, healing, and transformation.” – David Simon
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier