No one can see the world as you do, and within that canvas we all share, you are the producer of your own reality, a world only you can carry. Add another pair of eyes, and you find yourself with two frames, with two realms of interpretations, with two worlds ready to collide. That’s perspective.
And there’s a gap between perception and reality.
The state of things you believe to be true is, in fact, nothing more but a small portion of the bigger truth. A truth no human ever had access to, nor could hope to hold in the palms of his hands.
And yet, too often, we are preoccupied with what other people are thinking. Too often, we are preoccupied with how others see us. Too often, we forget that things are not what they are, but in fact, what we think they are.
Within that gap between perception and reality lies the power to reframe things.
Wayne Dyer said:
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
In other words, how you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside. — Kim Petersen
1. Let’s Talk About Inputs
The world in which we live is a lively place. Take a look at how busy you are, multiply it by 7 billion, and you won’t even get close to the answer. With so many things to do, discover, and experience, it’s easy to get lost. With so many versions of the same story, it’s easy not knowing what to believe anymore.
Our sense of sight has long been corrupted by what the people around us see as beautiful. Our sense of taste, criticized by what people deem as non-healthy. Our sense of touch, condemned by people with a golden cage of principles. And our sense of self, alienated by our desire to be like the celebrities on our screens.
In a world with so many inputs, the best thing you can do is to never lose your output.
It’s okay to learn from others, and it’s definitely okay to learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. But there are two truths hidden here:
You won’t necessarily meet success where someone else did, and where someone failed, you can succeed. Don’t be quick to jump in the fray, and please, don’t sell yourself short.
Every input life throws at you needs to be filtered by what’s inside you. They all need to be digested and transformed by your experiences and aspirations. And then, redirected out in the world through actions of your own.
No one can relate to you as well as you do. So you have to do the job by yourself and reach that world only you can create.
You lived a beautiful life, you went through a compound of experiences, and you survived. For that reason alone, your voice matter. For that reason alone, you have the right to perceive the world in a way that benefits you.
2. Let’s Talk About Approval
The reason why we want to please people so much is that we want to be accepted. We want to be loved, invited to gatherings, included, and we especially do not want to be left out. We are social beings, and we long for that connection of the psyche, for the warmth it gives us in the winter, and for its freshness in the summer.
But before being accepted by others, please accept yourself. You may think the people in front of you are the only ones that will ever accept you. You may think you have to do whatever you can to stay in their good graces, but that is simply not true.
You have the right to be yourself, and by being you, you will attract people in love with that self. The world is of different spices, and you have yet to taste them all. Don’t be afraid to show yourself, don’t be afraid to be alone because of what is right. Sometimes, the best place to see the light is in the dark.
Please, be the You only you can be.
I recently read a tweet:
What doesn’t kill you makes you weird at intimacy.
What we forget is that weird can only exist within contradictions. Dancing naked at work is only weird if you’re not in a strip club, eating ice cream in the winter is only weird if you do not want to eat it, and saying “I love you” is only weird if you don’t think it to be true.
When you see the world as others do, and not as you do, you contradict yourself. And thus, you act weird.
Clive Staples Lewis said:
“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
The only way to be you, to be the best version of you, to get what you want and what you deserve is to be you, the person only you know. Everyone else is already taken.
3. Let’s Reframe It, Perception
I walked a subjectively fair amount of years in this life, and I met my share of people. Of them all, never once, I heard someone seeking the opposite of happiness.
That feeling of joy and contentment has long been a quest of humankind. Some went to look for it in material goods and riches, others in love and pleasures. And when the high passed, the bummed started.
Because someone is rich, you think he must be happy. Because someone is accompanied, you think he should be exalted. And that may be true, but are the circumstances of our life all it takes to be happy?
I watched a Ted Talk recently. The speaker talked about an experiment with two dogs in two cages made of electric floors. Every now and then, an electric shock was sent to both. But one of the dogs had a button that could stop the discharge.
At the end of the experiment, the dog with the button was relatively happy, and the other one was completely depressed.
“The circumstances of our lives may actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives.” — Roy Sutherland
By getting out of the box you were put into, and by perceiving the world from your point of view, you can take back the control over your life. And with it, more chance at happiness.
Here’s a quote from Terry Pratchett:
“A European says: I can’t understand this, what’s wrong with me? An American says: I can’t understand this, what’s wrong with him?”
Reframe it, perception.
As Roy Sutherland perfectly summed it. Choose your frame of reference and the perceived value, and therefore, the actual value is completely transformed.
Life has many teachers, empty pockets, broken hearts, and health issues are a few of them. And though they are the same for everyone, they do not teach us the same lessons, for you are your own person, with your own experiences and your own aspirations.
Be aware of the inputs the world throws at you, learn from them, filter them and transform them. Don’t be afraid of the word “weird.” It can only be applied to you if you contradict yourself. Reframe your perception and take back the control you deserve.
Your life is your own to live, and you matter more than you think.
How you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside.