Tuesday, May 19

Do You See What I See?

Take a look at this picture and think about what you see here.

I’m not going to ask you whether or not you like the painting. See, I don’t really care about that. :-) The point is that everyone will see something different. What we see when we look at something is highly determined by our own internal state and perceptions. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Perceptions.

“We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are”
-Anais Nin

Everyone likes to talk about their “point of view” and they all want you to get theirs. That seems to me, like asking a dog to look at the world the way a cat does. I haven’t had your experiences and I certainly wouldn’t react to them the same way you have. My perception of reality will ALWAYS be different than yours. That’s just the way we are made. We are all unique and original in and of ourselves.

And I’ll even grant you that you see the world differently than I do. That’s one of the most beautiful things about people. We can both sit down and watch a sunset together and come away with completely different and relevant experiences. What might be moving to me, you may consider mundane. And really…that’s OK.

Lord knows that you all DON’T want a bunch of clones of me walking around. :-)

“Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is...The only problem in your life is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds.”
-Dan Millman

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
-Dalai Lama

What does this mean for us as people? And more specifically, what does it mean to us who are trying to become more than we currently are?

It means that we have the natural ability to CHOOSE how we see our world and lives. We have the ability to choose how we respond to anything that happens in our lives. I like the way that Stephen Covey puts it when he says that we are “response-able” creatures. He means that in every situation and with every stimulus, we have the ability to choose our response. Sometimes it’s a response that happens so quick that only our subconscious is aware of it, but it’s still a chosen response. The trick is making that time between stimulus and response as large as possible to give you enough time to choose the best response.

It means that when something bad happens in our lives, we can CHOOSE to respond differently. To think differently. To feel differently. To live differently.

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

“What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are”
-C. S. Lewis

Look at this picture now and think about what you see.

This is a standard perception test picture. It is designed to show you a basic biasness in our own personal perceptions. See…there are two women in this picture. Can you see them? One is a very young woman and the other is a very old woman. Which did you see first?

It’s always a good idea to challenge your own perceptions from time to time. All too often we simply accept the way we see things as though it was perfect truth. Lives change, the world changes, people change, and the worst thing we can do is to hold onto our old perceptions of life. Everything in life grows, everything changes. We need to make certain that the way we see the world changes too. Oh, don’t worry; you won’t have your 3 year old perceptions your whole life. Although, I do know people that just might still have them. :-) But rather than letting your perceptions and life filters change in response to something external, YOU change them. That’s why we need to challenge our own perceptions, so that WE can be the ones to change them. So that we are the ones changing our own lives and not letting someone else have that control and power.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to how you view the world. No one else can judge your view point, except you. If you find something that isn’t working for you anymore, then by all means, change it, fix it, or throw it out.

And remember…if you ever get stuck on how you want to view the world…start with a smile and a laugh and go from there. :-)

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses”

P.S. – The first picture is my own painting. Hope you liked it. :-)