Our Perception Determines Our Experience

by: Greg S. Reid

Not long ago, I traveled back east to Ohio and Chicago. While I was there, I was amazed that the friends I made along my journey seemed to have completely different observations of the state in which they lived.

For example, when I asked what the winters were like in their town, I got completely opposite answers from people, depending on where they originally lived. When I asked the question of a former Californian, she talked as if she’d landed in Siberia, recounting the snowfall and treacherous conditions meant for only the wildest of beasts. When I asked the same question of a native resident, he painted a beautiful picture of the changing seasons, each more spectacular than the last, and recounted wonderful memories of having the fortune to grow up in such a picturesque land.

What’s the difference here?

Their perception dictated their experience.

It’s like the old stories about a bank robbery. The event could take place in broad daylight, with 30 eyewitnesses, yet each gives a completely different account of what he or she saw happen. It’s like when someone in your office or home says something to you, and you receive a different message than the person intended.

Why does this happen?

I believe it’s because

Our perception determines our experience.

It works like this. I bet at one time or another we’ve all gone into a grocery store and noticed that everyone seemed happy, helpful, and cheery that day. Even the people in the checkout line were full of good spirits. Yet, when we’ve gone another day, we’ve had a completely different experience. We found people to be grumpy and in a bad mood—every one of them.

I believe we view our outside world the same way we see ourselves in our inside world. That’s why many people continually attract drama into their lives while others do not, or why some people get into fights all the time while others refuse to let the same situation get the best of them.

If this is true, it explains a lot. It could be why, when we feel out of place and chaotic on the inside, we tend to attract more chaos and drama to our outside self. If we feel anger and resentment on the inside, we will, in turn, attract it to our outer world as well.

With that said, let me ask you the following question:

How’s your outside world looking lately? Are the people around you happy and productive? Are they full of life and passion, or do you find yourself in your own little tornado that seems to constantly bring nothing but negative energy your way? In other words, does it seem like everyone around you has problems and can never catch a so-called break?

Remember, in life you have choices. You have the choice to work on your inner self, to create a brighter outer self. Have you ever seen someone who’s lost some weight and noticed that they seem to have a new glow? Or looked into someone’s eyes just after their first child was born? There’s a spark there, right?

Well, here’s the good news. You have the ability to re-spark yourself.

Here’s this month’s challenge: Take notice.

That’s it. I’m not asking you to do anything but become aware of how you’re viewing things around you.

By doing so, you’ll find that when you’re at your happiest, everyone else around you will be as well. On the flip side, if you want to know why the world seems to be crashing in on you, look inside and see what’s out of place, and then take action to repair it.

It’s that simple.

Because when it’s all said and done,

Our perception determines our experience.

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