The Perception Transformation (2015)
Chapter 3: Getting Inside A Thought
In this chapter, we will attempt to explore the process of forming a perception and how it relates directly to the way you think, i.e. to your stream of thought. By understanding the thought process, you can start to improve the way you think, change your perception and thus, change your outlook on life.
We have already established how your reality is, in fact, your perception of the world and others around you. This is a very important conclusion, since a positive or negative perception can affect your outlook on life. People with positive perceptions tend to see the world as a place full of opportunities, hope and happiness, albeit with its fair share of struggles and worries. These people generally tend to see things through a kaleidoscope-like lens. They see the beauty in the world around them and they are quite optimistic about their life and experiencing new things. A positive perception encourages a healthy and happy lifestyle.
On the other hand, people with negative perceptions are very critical about the world and the people in their lives. They see the world as a cruel and unforgiving place, where the struggle to survive is marred by the unkindness of the people around them and the distressing events in their lives leave scars which are carried around for a lifetime.
We have already seen, in the second scenario presented in the first chapter, how different the perception of Walter was from that of James. Again, the root cause of this difference in perception lies in the events and experiences which one goes through in early life. It may also be rooted in one’s genetics, upbringing and social/financial state. Generally, however, a negative perception rises out of a combination of several of the above mentioned factors, having an unhealthy effect on the mind of a person.
A negative perception can have severe effects on a person’s state of mind, particularly if the person’s outlook presents to him a world which is bleak and malevolent. A resigned and pessimistic attitude towards the world can be very distressing for an individual. If your perception is not helping you achieve happiness and success in life, then you need to change it. The first and most important step, in changing your outlook is the realization that you need to do so.
Without realizing the need to change their perception, a person cannot begin to make changes for his betterment. However, since the cause of a negative perception is deeply rooted in a person’s experiences, genetics, finances and all these have a cumulative effect, it can be very hard to realize that you need to change. Individuals who have developed set skills of perception find it very difficult to change their views on objects, people and events, particularly if they are in their middle age. A mind-set used to observing scenarios from a particular point of view will not be able to vary that point of view after years and years of experiences.
However, the strength to change lies in your heart and your will power. If you firmly believe that you need to change, then believing that you can alter your perception is really half the battle already won. Once you start believing, you can start to understand your own thoughts. You need to understand your thought process, the way your mind works and the way you reach conclusions, in order to change your perception.
Once you learn to observe your own thoughts, you will start to see patterns emerging. You should pay particular attention to how you reach important decisions, which affect your life. This is quite difficult for most people, but again, it all depends on your personal strength. A good way to understand and observe your thoughts is to imagine a scenario that has a certain moral, personal and social importance to you. Imagine conversations you would have with people regarding the subject, and record your immediate thoughts and responses.
Once you start to understand your stream of thought, you will start to see how you reach decisions. Try and understand the factors which you consider when making decisions. You will almost definitely consider your chances of success by making the decision and how it will help you achieve that success. You will also consider how your personal confidence will be affected by the decision, as well as your social standing and image.
You can then begin to understand the root causes behind your decision. Could they arise out of childhood experiences? Are they the effects of your education, or your parents or teachers? You will then learn to understand why you perceive things the way that you do.
An awareness of your perception is one of the most important steps in improving your outlook on life. As we have seen in the introduction section, the process of perception is very complex. It may take a lot of time and effort before you begin to understand how your mind works, and notice patterns in your stream of thought. Some people consult therapists and psychologists, in order to explore the depths of their mind and learn more about themselves.
Finally, another very important part of improving your perception, and to make better decisions, is to observe successful people, who are happy with their lives and make good decisions. Pay attention to their attitudes, their demeanour and their mannerism. You can learn a lot from them, particularly from the way that they make decisions. Read the biographies of some of the most successful people in the world. Billionaires, philanthropists, scientists, inventors and revolutionaries all have led very interesting lives, and you can learn a lot from their experiences.
Through a proper understanding of your thought process, your decision making abilities, and the causes deep seated causes behind your actions, you can learn to change your perception. Only through an understanding of your perception, can you change your outlook on life.