Week 1 of 18 is done and on to Week 2! Week 2 is the exact replica of Week 1 so no need to re-iterate the routine. I will share that I’ve already gained a couple pounds of muscle weight and lowered my total body fat percentage by at least .5 depending on the type of measuring tool I use. Now I know I had promised a breakdown of what type of diet is helping me survive this training regiment, but this topic is going to intervene. Besides, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. (As should everyone else in their respective lives. If you want to do something…just do it! You don’t need anybody’s permission or approval…see my earlier blog about that exercise. )
I think it was a culmination of events over the past weekend and something I heard on the radio on my way back from the swim workout of the training that prompted the desire to share this revelation. The Thanksgiving/ Christmas/ Hanukkah/ etc. time of the year is one of my favorite times of the year. I can tune into my local easy listening radio station and hear holiday music almost 24/7. In between the songs late at night, they sometimes take calls from listeners to share stories of holiday cheer. In these stories, one can hear stories of hope, accomplishment, optimism, and overall happiness and appreciation for all the things life has given to the callers over the year(s). [I know somebody out there is already thinking of examples of stories that people share which may not necessarily support my last sentence completely...PERFECT! ]
Tonight, there was a caller who had called in a couple years prior to the same radio DJ with a completely different story than that which she told this evening. Apparently, 2 years ago, she had called in around the holidays as well. She was down and out to the point where she had to put her 2 children up for adoption in hopes that they could be better cared for. She had called in looking for hope and inspiration through the music played by the station so as to help her make it through the holidays on a spiritual level. (Heartbreaking, yes?)
The call this evening was a completely different tone. The mother had bounced financially back and was able to get into a place of her own. She is now able to see her 2 children, unofficially, and is working to hopefully have them back in her life soon. Both the radio DJ and the caller were so full of hope and happiness that it practically oozed out of my radio speakers. It truly seemed like this mother was on her way back from having fallen down a few years ago.
What does this have to do with you managing your power of perception?
Here it goes. I’ve come across many types of people in my life both in social and business environments. I will say, without a doubt, that there are people out there that will listen to the same story and take a perceptive stance that what the mother did was an abomination and that if she were a real mother, she would never have given her two children up and blah blah blah blah. I can only take that choice of perception for so long…..
Not that I’m saying it’s wrong or right to perceive things a certain way. But ultimately, the choice of perception makes the biggest impact on oneself as opposed to anyone else. How anyone perceives the mother’s decision most likely isn’t going to dissuade her from her mission to get her 2 children back in her life. Only difference in perceiving something one way vs. another is the effect it has on YOUR state of mind, mood, and disposition. If one takes a positive view on the same thing that someone else takes a negative view on, how would that make one feel? The situation is the same either way, only difference is what you get out of it.
In other words:
No matter which side of a coin you look at, it is still the same coin.
So do you only pick it up if it’s showing heads because it is bad luck to do otherwise? Or do you pick it up regardless? The only difference in either belief or perception is that you will be richer for choosing one over the other.
Everything we encounter in life is very much the same way. It’s a choice of perception and that power lies completely within you. The power permeates to every aspect of life: Personal, Social Life, Career, Family, you name it…it’ll have an impact.
How is it that the peaceful leaders of our world can achieve such level of serenity and happiness everyday of their lives? Is it because they exist on a different plane or dimension where life does not present challenges? Doubt it. Does another human being’s life present less challenging obstacles than that of another? Or is it the choices of how we perceive things and the decisions we make based on how we perceive things a bigger influence on the direction our lives?
I often remind myself of the two guys who walked down a street of empty and vacated shops…
Guy 1: Oh my god…this recession is horrible! Look at all these stores that went out of business! I don’t know what I’m going to do!
Guy 2: Oh my god…look at all these empty spaces! What a great opportunity for me to buy up some of this property, spruce it up a bit, and open up some new businesses for pennies on the dollar!
Same shop, same street, same economy…hmm.
I was recently blasted and chastised for being overly optimistic and positive because I made a comment regarding a person’s current state of anger. I was told that since I did not know that said person’s life or what they had to go through, that I couldn’t suggest optimism and positivity over anger. That may be, and moving forward I will take greater care in keeping my thoughts to myself, but then let’s ponder on this:
EVERYONE will encounter obstacles in life. The difficulty and intensity of obstacles are subjective. Obstacles in life are therefore much like customized challenges for each individual. Do you think some of the great peaceful leaders of our world like the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, or Mother Theresa don’t have challenges of their own?
With that in mind, it should make less sense then to compare the troubles and difficulties that you encounter in your life with those of somebody else. To coin an old cliché, it’s like comparing Apples to Oranges. What one should do, instead, is to compare their abilities to manage their powers of perception (if one needs to compare anything at all).
Ok, so how does one cultivate the ability to successfully manage the amazing power of perception?
Try this on for size as an exercise to help manage your Power of YOUR Perception:
- When confronted with an obstacle or challenge, recognize your initial emotional reaction to the challenge. Take a step back if necessary.
- APPRECIATE the powerful emotion generated by the obstacle and marvel at how powerful knee-jerk reactions can be. This is what it is to be human…self-awareness. Laugh at yourself if you can. Often times, after taking a step back, you may laugh about how you responded to the situation.
- Let it flow, if necessary, then let it go. Understand that most emotions have little impact in helping one overcome life’s challenges. Just remember to follow-through. Don’t just let it flow continuously because then you end relinquishing your control.
- Become a problem solver. If there doesn’t appear to be any solution, find personal growth or education from the challenge. If there isn’t a solution, emotional distress won’t make any difference to an unsolvable problem anyway…it’ll just stress you out. If there IS a solution, then emotional distress will just cloud your ability to find the solution.
- Start by practicing the aforementioned steps with the little things (i.e. stubbing your toe, getting cut off by another car, not getting the food you ordered at the restaurant, etc.) and as you get better at it and move on to larger challenges, you may notice a marked improvement in everything else in your life.
The end result? Since, ultimately, all anybody really wants in life on the purist level is Happiness, why choose to perceive things in a way that doesn’t bring you closer to that goal?