What we see, feel, hear, smell, and taste is a distortion:
- Within a limited scope of the light spectrum, our eyes interpret images upside down, and then have to flip them so we see the world right-side up.
- Our skin feels cool as breeze passes over us, but this is only a comparison to our inside temperature.
- We hear sounds at a frequency available to us; meanwhile, we are unable to hear a large range of other sounds taking place on a second-to-second basis, like a dog whistle.
- After about 15 seconds of a particular smell, we habituate and lose our ability to perceive it. This is what makes it tolerable to stand near a garbage dump after the first few seconds, or to walk into a stinky bathroom. Once we get past the thickness in the air, the taste, and the smell, it seems to go away. Again, not reality.
- We taste food based upon a combination of nerve receptors on our tongue and esophagus — known as taste buds — and we can enhance or reduce what we taste based upon smell. We are filtering taste through our environment to reduce the amount of stimulus. For example, if we tasted every particle of air, we would spend our time very distracted and unable to enjoy food.
And what we think, ricochets.
We tend to believe our thoughts are inside of us and no one will know what we’re thinking if we choose not to verbalize them or make any gestures. In actuality, every thought we have is just as real — and distorted — as our senses.
Our thoughts are preconceived notions we have about the world, based upon our past experiences and beliefs. Once we decide something negative about someone or something, it tends to bounce off them, find it’s way back to us, and continually show up.
On the other hand, once we decide something positive about someone or something, the world will demonstrate this is true. So, in actuality, we are shaping ‘our version’ of someone else’s reality.
The words we say — or think — bounce off another person, result in a filtered reaction towards us, and bias our experience based around any beliefs we have about them or ourselves at the time. If we were to record everything that took place, often times we’d be surprised by what’s on the video when we’re done:
- Someone in a super positive frame of mind might not even notice the other person is being so sensitive.
- Someone in a super negative frame of mind might not even hear any compliments or positive feedback given to him/her.
- Someone in a neutral — but slightly distracted — frame of mind might only hear words, but miss tonality and gestures that show love, acceptance, and admiration.
Yet, regardless of what we feel during an interaction, our bodies are recording the experience at a level beyond the ‘sensory’ level. We take note of every positive and negative mood someone else is in, feel with them, and then make choices to match our beliefs and realities. More often than not, we have no idea how much another person, plant, tree, or animal has affected us, or that our perspective shifts after an interaction.
So, instead of letting your environment ricochet off you and losing your ability to control how you feel, consider strategy; deliberately choose emotions, moods, words, and actions you want to ricochet off your environment, and affect it in reverse. Slightly alter others’ moods so you live a higher quality of day, have a more positive spin on your life, and enjoy a world full of laughter, fun, and love.
Life is a game; except we all win. Play like a winner; lead, know when to follow, and create a strategy that allows you to become proactive instead of reactive with all that you are, do, and think.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on April 28, 2017.