Your Perception of Things Matter

perceptionThe world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story – Byron Katie

There is this folktale about ‘The Two Travelers and The Farmer.’ There was a man who was travelling, and he came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, and happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. So, he asked the farmer, “What sort kind of people live in the next village? What are they like?” And the farmer answered the traveler; “What were the people like in the last village you visited? What were the people like where you’ve come from?” The farmer replied, “They were kind, friendly, generous, great people.” “Very well,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the people in the next village to behave the same.” And so the traveler left. Sometime later another travel, coming from the same direction, he also stopped to talk to the farmer. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked the farmer. Again the farmer asked, “What were the people like in the last village you visited?” The second traveler responded, “They were rude, unfriendly, dishonest people.”  “Really?” said the farmer. “Well, you’ll find the same sort of people in the next town.” And the second traveler left. One day, the travelers met on the road, as they were sharing their experiences and began comparing notes, they realized the farmer they had met was kind of diplomatic on his answers. He only gave them the answers according to their own perceptions of how they viewed the world, the people, and their circumstances.

Even though it’s just a folktale, but there is a big lesson we can all learn from the farmer; our perception about life and others is very important. Meaning that, we can change our environments, locations, relationship to another relationship, and so on, but if we don’t change our perceptions about life, others, our attitudes, values, or prejudices, even if we move to another location or relationship or change jobs, but still carrying our old mindsets, then we will continue to view things the same, people the same, life the same. The farmer wanted to tell the travelers, changing one’s location only does little changes if you still continue to carry your old views of life, about people, if you still have same kind of old attitude, or mentality.

On Facebook the other day someone posted this quote; “If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.” True changes start from within. When we face problems, many of us usually focus more on the external factors. According to the law of attraction, the sources of our problems are directly connected to our internal worlds, our opinions, perceptions, thoughts, imaginations, beliefs, etc. So, if our inner worlds will change, our outer worlds will also change. What is on the inside of us will ultimately reflect on the outside of us.

I was reading this article the other day, it was a while ago, so I don’t remember the title of the article and on which website it was from. But I was impressed with one of the commenter; this person well-explained the ideology of being self-motivated or economic-motivated. The commenter suggested that the best way to find the best person to hire in some job positions that require highly motivated people, perhaps the best question to ask the candidates is “Why do you want to work here?” And if the answer is economic-motivated related, or it’s a paycheck, even training won’t give them motivation. But if the candidates have inner desires to achieve, or self-motivated, it won’t even matter what method you use, because they will find their own way to the top. So, what has this got to do with perception? Well, you have got to be self-motivated to change your perception. You have got to have inner desire to change your life, or your perceptions of life, or how your view yourself and your life, in order to effectively transform your life on the outside.

If you keep viewing life, yourself, or others constantly through negative lens and limitations, you will keep attracting more of the negative things, and limitations in your life, and others. On the other hand, if you view life, yourself, or others through positive lens, and possibilities, then that is what you will keep finding and manifesting; most positive things about your life, yourself, and others.

The way we can change our negative perceptions is by starting working on our awareness on how we behave, our beliefs, opinions on things and people. The more we become more aware of our thoughts patterns, our fears, self-talk, as well as what triggers us to react negatively or positively in some situations, the better for us because we will be able to know whether our perceptions are supporting us in creating the lives we want to experience, or are they keeping us from experiencing it.

In psychology there is a concept called “Critical Positivity Ratio” or “The 3-to-1 Positivity ratio.” Some also call it “The ‘3 to 1’ Positivity to Negativity ratio.” Basically the concept of ‘Positivity Ratio’ says that, each time you think of something negative, or whenever you think of something of limiting or wrong belief about yourself or something in your life, or other people, each time you do that you must acknowledge and accept three positive aspects about the very thing that you just criticized, or made wrong conclusions. For instance; each time you criticize yourself for being more reserved, you need to acknowledge and accept three positive aspects of being more reserved. You can say, ‘being more reserved is not bad it all; it keeps me more grounded and focused, gives me more privacy, it means more self-control for me.’ This is because psychologically, ‘Positivity Ratio’ is supposed to help reduce the negative bias or the negativity effect that maybe controlling us, and some aspects of our lives. But it also helps us to shift our focus from that of negativity to a positive one.

There is quote by Wayne Dyer, it says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So, in order to change our lives, we need to change our perceptions because our perceptions create the realities of our lives.

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