How you are missing 99.9% of your Life
Author Leo Buscaglia in his book ‘Living, Loving & Learning’ observes that most people are using ONLY their eyes to see what is essential yet the eye is the most inaccurate, most inconsistent and most prejudicial organ we have in the body.
What we see forms a great part of our reality. As an evolutionary instinct, we tend to put too much trust on our eyes such that what we see influences our beliefs, actions, inaction's and all other realms of human behavior.
We take outward appearance to be an advertisement of inner unseen qualities unknowingly that we only see a small portion of the world. Or we can look and not see- Intentional Blindness.
Why is this so? If we cannot trust our eyes then what are we to trust as we find our way to this World?
How do we differentiate the essentials from the non-essentials?
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his beautiful book ‘The Little Prince’ offers this advice;
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye
The EYE-A Great Deceiver
What do you see a duck or a rabbit?
What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye-A Story
Antony De Mello tells below story as an illustration of how deceiving the eye can be:
In a gutter of a market place lay a dead dog, to the disgust of the passersby.
‘How loathsome!’ said one and turned his head.
‘Pah! How he stinks’, said another and held his nose as he passed.
‘Look at his protruding ribs!’, said a third.
‘He has not enough skin on his carcass to make even a shoe string!’, said a fourth.
‘No wonder he came to a bad end’, said a fifth.
Then a gentle rebuking voice broke in the chorus of calumny saying “Pearls are not equal to the Whiteness of his teeth”
And the people drew away whispering, ‘Surely, that must be the Lord! For who else would see a good thing in a dead dog?”
Blinding Factors-What Prevents us From Seeing
- Our Learning — Everything the society has taught us this far from Language, Culture, Religion, Ethics etc. Living in a global village we have to realize our inadequacies and drop limiting knowledge. This is why the American writer and futurist Alvin Toffler says;
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
- Our Ego — How important we think we are in relation to everyone else. Our self-importance. Wayne Dyer defines Ego as Edging God Out. He further adds;
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
- Our Apathy — Being indifferent about others; not caring. For us to see more than just what meets our eyes we have to mourn and celebrate with others. In his book ‘Love’ Leo Buscaglia says.
The opposite of love is not hate, its apathy
So, What is Essential?
The first step in finding what is essential is knowing What is NOT essential.
These are the 3 major non-essentials;
- Perfection-The need for something or someone to meet all our needs. People search for Perfect Days, Perfect Jobs, Perfect Relationships, Perfect_________ and in their search they miss 99.9% of life which is imperfect.
- Physical Appearances-This thrives from the misconception that outward appearance is an advertisement of inner unseen qualities. Like perfection, we are blind to anything that does not meet our attractiveness criteria
- Security Needs-People are in constant search of security; Financial security, Social Security, Emotional security etc. This need has led to accumulations of Wealth, People with Influence, Money and anything else that will/can give security. We do all this missing out on all things/people that we deem cannot add to security.
There are 2 major Essentials;
Grace- The undeserved unmerited favor. Look for opportunities to be grateful and the world is yours. Accept grace when it is handed over to you but do not keep it give it away. Look for opportunities to grace one’s occasion, give grace periods, be gracious
Kindness- Like grace, be kind to everyone i.e be Kind for Kindness sake; nothing more. There are infinite ways to be kind use look for them with your eyes, heart, mind and everything you have. This is the easier way to leap 100% of life.
Whose & Which Perspective Matters?
When all is said and done, we have to realize that our perspective matters as it shapes our lives.
The society is full differing perspective; whichever you choose will determine if you will reap the fullness of life or miss 99.9% of it.
Be a Student NOT a Follower-Get your Perspective
Sometimes you will have to take different positions to get a better perspective.
The key to successful decision making…is knowing when to trust your intuition (Perspective) and when to be wary of it.
What we see or presume to see day after day constitutes who we are and colors our entire life.
Be careful you are not blind to the essentials and thus miss 99.9% of your life.
So, What Next?
Watch this Video WAYS OF SEEING by John Berger
Watch Wayne Dyer Power of Intention Video
Watch and Read from Leo Buscaglia
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on August 6, 2016.