The Power of Perception

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are”

― Anaïs Nin

You know, it is rather amazing how quotes like these blow our minds; how the arrangement of already familiar words creates a whole different meaning that pierces through our consciousness.  It is like waking up all of a sudden from a deep sleep and feeling very differently.  Such words tap into an uncharted territory that exists in our mind.  Where exactly?  I don’t know.  But I know–YOU know, that it’s there.  That feeling of awareness opened our mental “flood gates” which have been storing deep reservoirs of unclean water, revealing something that was previously invisible but has been there all the time.  It is something new, and it is something that’s not.  What is it then?  What did we see?  Was it our world?  Or was it ourselves?

Do take note that I used the word “see” because we think in pictures.  The perception of the thought depends on how we see the picture.  The flow of space and time where this phenomenon is taking effect is measured on a different continuum, it cannot be measured by the second or meter or gram as we know them, but how we think of it simply defines it.  If you complicate it, it becomes complicated; if you simplify it, it becomes simple.

Take breathing as an example.  We all know that breathing is an automatic bodily function.  We don’t even have to think about it and yet we are doing it.  But what happens if you pay attention to it?  We become aware that we are breathing, and all of a sudden it loses automation!  And just like that, the unconscious act of “breathing” suddenly changed into a conscious interchange between “inhaling” and “exhaling.”  Why did something unconscious turn into something conscious?  And yet, we were talking about the same thing.  All it took was a change in perception, a paradigm shift.

Let’s compare these two people:  John is a salesman who is earning a sustainable income and is already satisfied with what he’s making, while Peter is an accountant who is also earning a sustainable income but is completely dissatisfied with it.  Both of them have sustainable income, but they see it differently.  Now, can you guess who is more likely to out-earn who in the future, assuming they currently earn about the same?  The answer would be the one who would do things differently to earn more money and achieve higher cash flow, which in this case, is Peter.  There is absolutely no certainty if he will indeed surpass the income of John, but if he sees this dissatisfaction as an opportunity to find more income sources, and makes the right decisions, he is more likely to out-earn him, and end up way happier and more satisfied in the process.  I mentioned that there is no certainty that Peter will make more money than John, and I did not mention what specific actions will have to be taken in order for him to do so, which adds up to the degree of uncertainty.  This is why only a few tend to act like Peter, while most tend to act like John.  Also, people are afraid to make the wrong decisions, as they will be perceived as failures.  Nobody likes to fail, but nobody likes to be perceived as a failure even more.  Dissatisfaction is actually a creative state that is critically important to our success, but if we don’t think of it this way, it doesn’t push us to act differently.

Without a particular objective in mind, we tend to dismiss anything new that we think of as just random thoughts passing by.  But when we are working towards a particular goal, every new idea suddenly becomes valuable, especially when they help achieve the goal faster.  We think of these instances as moments of inspiration, but they really are just the same forms of thought perceived differently, all because of having a goal in mind.  Now, who doesn’t want to feel inspired?  If you think about it, you can actually see why the people who have definite goals and purposes tend to be more inspired compared to those who do not have any, and those who are inspired tend to exert more effort and are more successful than those who are not.  Therefore, it’s time we rethink about our hopes and dreams, as well as our goals!

So how do you see the world around you right now?  How do you see the circumstances affecting your perception in life?  If they give off thoughts that inspire you, then you might as well be on the right track to your own personal fulfillment.

 

Author: J. Paul Tan II

I am a single part of an integrated whole.

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