Perceptions, Reality, and Life
Tim Connor, CSP
If you would only see life as I do.
Why won't the people in our lives see life as we do. Because everyone sees life differently. Everyone looks through their own set of personal narrow filters.
As we survey our relationships with employees, customers friends and relatives it becomes apparent that there are degrees of conflict everywhere. Conflict in beliefs. Conflict in actions and conflict due to unrealized expectations.
It has been said that perceptions become reality in the minds of people.
Much of the metaphysical writings of the past 2000 years as well as an increasing body of recent medical and scientific research has shed new light on belief patterns and their consequences on behavior. I am not a mystic nor am I a scientist. But I have observed a great deal of human behavior over the past 30 years and I believe that if we are to live with balance, peace and harmony we must look squarely at how we perceive and interpret life and how we act upon what we see.
Each of us brings unique knowledge and experience to every relationship and situation. We are all right in our own mind. Truth for us is what works for us as we move down the highway of life. Truth is no respecter of opinions, fads, arrogance or ignorance. We do not manipulate truth to fit our own sense of values or beliefs. Truth is. Reality is. Whether we choose to see it or not does not deny its existence.
If an employee believes that they are underpaid. If a customer believes they have been treated poorly. If your spouse believes you don't spend adequate time with them. If your child feels you are being too strict. If a student believes your demands are unrealistic. If a stockholder believes you have acted unwisely. All of these are perceptions in their minds. True or false. Right or wrong. It doesn't matter. If they believe it is true for them.
Many times I have had a member of an audience come up to me and comment that they really agreed with me when I said, da da da da da, when I never said anything close. I have also had people come up after a seminar and tell me how they disagree with my idea about da da da da da. Again I never said what they think I said. They heard what they wanted to hear because it was consistent with what was a dominant belief pattern in their consciousness.
In my early speaking career I hadn't learned yet that everyone doesn't agree with me. My ego, my arrogance or my ignorance attempted to change their mind. I needed to learn that people will believe what they want to believe that is comfortable for them at their current stage of personal development.
We are all on a personal development path. Some of us are further down the path than others. This doesn't make me right or them wrong. They own their own perceptions and beliefs.
Let me give you a simple example. People believed for centuries that the world was flat. Their belief didn't alter reality. The world was round during those hundreds of years despite their attitudes to the contrary. Columbus believed the world was round but he had no proof. After he proved that the world was in fact round many people still refused to change their perception or belief.
We can not see gravity but we are well aware of its existence. You can't see it touch it or smell it but if you defy it, because you refuse to accept it, you do so at your peril.
Walk outside and it would appear as if the earth is stationary. We all know however that it is spinning rapidly and racing through space. Reality can fool you into thinking that what appears to be true is not.
What does all of this have to do with a balanced life?
I would like you to look at some of people or circumstances that contribute to your stress or frustration in life. What is it about them that triggers your anxiety, fear or whatever emotion you feel when you are with them or experience them? Where do your expectations come from? Why do people disappoint you? Why does life reward or punish you?
You will tend to feel most out of balance when there is conflict in some area of your life. The body gives us lots of warning signs when something is out of harmony, whether it is a physical issue or an emotional one.
The key is to listen to your body to determine when there is something in your life that you are ignoring that needs attention. Your perceptions, if they are accurate or in line with truth, will contribute to a sense of peace and inner knowing. If they are not in line with the wisdom of your higher self you will sense an uncertainty that will create an inner conflict that you can choose to ignore or heed.