We all have a world view, a perspective that we use to explain to ourselves, to make sense of, the reality we experience, to fit it into the storyline of our lives. “The world is this, I am that, others are…”
Inevitably, unconsciously, we simplify and unconsciously distort. We all carry with us a past that frames our interpretation of the present and our predictions of the future. Since all 7+ Billion of us have different pasts, there are billions and billions of different interpretations for any given moment of present reality. Obviously, all of them can’t be fully “right/accurate/correct”; each contains some measure of biases.
For us to live fully and effectively, to experience our best possible lives, it behooves us to step back and become more aware of how the lens through which we view the world impacts us.
What is the story you are telling yourself right now? How have you framed today? Are you sure of that interpretation? What other possible ways exist? What else would you see if you looked at the world with different eyes? Fresh eyes? What would you see without your present story taking up space in your mind?
“It is a more inspiring battle cry to scream, “Die, vicious scum!” instead of “Die, people who could have been just like me but grew up in a different environment!” – Eliezer Yudkowsky, AI Researcher, founder of LessWrong.com
“I like to turn things upside down, to watch pictures and situations from another perspective.” – Ursus Wehrli, b. 1969, Swiss comedian and artist
“Life is about perspective and how you look at something… ultimately, you have to zoom out.” – Whitney Wolfe Herf, b. 1989, SLC, Utah, co-founder, Tinder
“Each person does see the world in a different way. There is not a single, unifying, objective truth. We’re all limited by our perspective.” – Siri Hustvedt, b. 1955, novelist, essayist, poet
This blog was inspired by the following post from Marc and Angel to whose Twitter feed I subscribe
When a negative past experience narrows our present perspective, it’s mostly just a defense mechanism. Every day of our lives we are presented with some level of uncertainty, and our innate human defense mechanisms don’t like it one bit. So our mind tries to compensate by filling in the gaps of information by clinging to the stories we already feel comfortable with. We end up subconsciously trying to make better sense of everything in the present by using old stories and experiences as filler. And while this approach works sometimes, other times our old stories and experiences are completely irrelevant to the present moment, so they end up hurting us and those we love far more than they help. Thus, whenever you feel tension and drama building up inside you, ask yourself…
- What is the story I’m telling myself right now?
- Is there any proof that this story is true?
- Is there any proof to the contrary?
- What else would I see without this story occupying my mind?
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier