Recently, I asked some male friends on Facebook to partake in an experiment. I showed various pictures of women and asked them to comment. The main question I asked them was is if they thought the women in the picture shown below were unattractive.
Here is the picture I posted.
So what do you think? Are they attractive?
Before we go any further, I am going to state this is not an article on how “all women are beautiful” or some other silliness. I used these women to prove a point. A point illustrating our perceptions can sometimes be flawed or incorrect.
We don’t always have all of the information and things can change quickly. Sometimes you see something and you have enough information to see it for what it is. This happens all the time in our day to day lives. Other times, you have to dig deeper to find meaning in what you have perceived about a person, event or circumstance. Further still, you can be fooled entirely by said events or circumstances.
Why does this happen? I would like to think it is because most people are not vigilant about what they perceive in their realities. We all do it. We have to overcome years of programming and indoctrination to rid ourselves of these occurrences.
How do you do it?
I think you can add perception to the other side of the negativity coin. Your negative thoughts can lead to negative perceptions and spiral right into negative emotions. They are all linked.
Change your perception and you change your world.
Perception. What is it exactly? How do we perceive things in our world?
Have you ever gone to some event with a friend maybe a sports game and you both see a completely different game. Wait…what? How does this happen? You were both at the same event. You went to the same game correct? Perhaps you didn’t.
Each one of our perceptions are unique and individual. They are formed by our upbringing, our belief system, our education, our experiences and to a larger extent, our programming. Yes. Programming. We are all highly programmed in our society. Don’t believe it? What did you see when you looked at the first picture of those women? Ugly? Average? Wallflowers? I bet we all saw something different.
Everything we encounter and analyze is our perception and this creates our reality. So can our reality be misguided and looked upon incorrectly?
Let me give you an example. My brother is a highly programmed individual. He is a very traditionally Catholic, and his world is black and white. Not too long ago we were at a family function and he was showing me his Spotify music app on his phone. He showed me he had downloaded a Rolling Stones album and how it now resided on his phone. I told him he was actually renting it and that the mp3 files were not really on his phone but on a Spotify server. He argued it was “right there” on his device! He perceived it to be there, but the mp3 files did not reside on his phone. Even in the face of this overwhelming proof I had shown him that he did not have the mp3 files on his phone, he still clung to the belief that he “owned” the Rolling Stones album.
So why did he believe it to be so? Was it just his perception? He had such a powerful belief in it. Where did it come from?
“That thought and the attachment we decide to place upon it forms a belief (the precursor to a larger set of thoughts that support the original thought becomes a belief system). We then take action, mental or physical, that coincides with that belief/belief system. We then force our thoughts, and other people’s too, to fit within our belief system. We reject our own thoughts and possibilities that don’t coincide with our belief system (because of our attachment to our beliefs). If other people’s thoughts don’t fit within our belief system we label them wrong and reject them. Other people do the same thing with us. All of our perceptions are seen through the eyes of our belief systems. The sum of our belief systems is our reality.”
He believed it because it is what he saw. He oftentimes uses this argument about seeing things with his “lying eyes”. It is not the best way to debate an issue and strengthen your argument. It does not help he is very stubborn and unyielding in his thought patterns. As I stated earlier, it is either black or white. There is no gray in his world.
If you realize your perceptions are a function of your consciousness and you see everything in context of what you currently think and believe then you will be able to challenge those thoughts and beliefs.
Let’s take another look at those women.
What about now? Would you say these women are unattractive now? What are your thoughts and perceptions of each of them now?
“But Ben, someone just put some makeup on these women and colored their hair”. True enough, but does it not show you what you perceive as one way can actually be another way entirely? Especially when circumstances change.
It is always best to keep an open mind and look at all of the possibilities. If you practice this technique a different world will open up to you. It does take practice though and it is a skill like anything else.
I would contend you gather as much information as possible about any given person, circumstance or event. Look at it from all sides and analyze it. See if your perceptions are correct. Better still. See if they are your OWN.
Be the Best YOU at any age!