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Perception is Reality


By Bryan Golden

How do you experience your world?  Is the glass half full or half empty?  Do you observe the worst in a situation or the best?  Do you justify identifying only negatives by claiming you are being realistic?

Two people can experience the exact same event and yet have radically different perceptions.  Why do some people always escape unscathed regardless of what befalls them while others seem to be problem magnets?

Perception defines reality.  Perception is controlled by attitude.  You control your attitude.  Therefore, you control your reality.  Since you have the ability to control your reality, wouldn’t you want to make your reality as ideal as possible? 

Yet many people allow their attitude to taint their reality.  For every problem do you see a solution or do you find problems in every situation?  Perception is your interpretation of the information gathered by your five senses.

Your perception has a cascading effect.  Often, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  What you anticipate frequently happens.  This phenomenon may not be explainable scientifically, but it exists and occurs consistently.

People advertise negative perception through their comments.  “I’m an accident waiting to happen.”  “I can never make anything work.”  “No one ever understands me.”  “I always get into arguments.”  “People get the wrong impression of me.”

It’s just as easy to identify those with a positive perception.  “Don’t worry, we’ll get through this.”  “There’s always a solution.”  “It’s a blessing in disguise.”  “There’s no reason to get upset, this is just a learning experience.” 

Why do different people have radically diverse perceptions?  Perceptual development is influenced by many factors.  Examples set by parents have a substantial impact.  Also the influences of friends, school and role models make a major impression.  A person’s own experiences also shape their perception.

A negative perception impedes your progress while a positive one benefits you.  Regardless of the circumstances you may encounter, a positive perception enables you to uncover the most beneficial ways to respond.

Your perception also influences the type of situations and people you attract.  Like attracts like.  A positive perception attracts beneficial situations and people.  Though a positive perception you will discover solutions to life’s challenges.

Consider this example.  You have an important presentation.  Not wanting to be late you leave 45 minutes early.  On your way you lose a half-hour in a traffic jam.  As traffic starts to move you get a flat tire.

The negative perception approach:

You become stressed and frantic.  Rushing to change the tire you rip your shirt and get grease on your clothes.  You wind up being 10 minutes late.  You charge into the meeting half crazed and disheveled.  Your presentation is awful because you can’t focus on it.

The positive perception approach:

You know that everything will be OK.  You’ve overcome more challenging problems than a flat tire.  You stay relaxed and change the tire without getting dirty.  Although you arrive at the meeting 10 minutes late, you stride in with renewed confidence.  Your presentation is fantastic and no one cared that you were delayed.

To develop a positive perception, look at every situation as containing a gift or hidden treasure.  The only way to uncover the treasure is to believe it’s there and you are capable of finding it.  Don’t stop looking until it’s discovered.  The treasure exists and you will find it.  Once a situation exists you may as well turn it to your advantage.  To do otherwise doesn’t benefit anyone and is a complete waste.

Bryan is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.”  Contact Bryan at or visit Ó 2019 Bryan Golden