I am a firm believer in mind over matter and that our thoughts control our actions. So much so that we do not even realize when asked a simple question like, “How would you describe this glass of water?” Most people will say half empty or half full without any thought. Why? Because our perception is our reality. The way that I perceive an object or situation may be different from the way you perceive the same object or situation. It does not make one of us wrong or right, it just means we have a different perception.
Often times, we mistake someone’s perception for reality or truth. When we allow someone else’s perception to become our truth, we can never be ourselves. We start believing what they say about us and it slowly becomes our reality. Then the “living up to someone else’s perception” begins.
Therefore, it is important to learn the meaning of discernment – knowing the difference between your perception and someone else’s perception. Think of it as a debate. I am sure we all have seen a debate whether in school or on television or amongst friends. Each side has points to support their point of view in an effort to persuade the other to “accept” their thoughts. In order to be an effective debater, one must be educated on the topic as well as passionate. As soon as a great debater sees the opponent quiver or lose confidence, he is relentless in driving his point home until he wins. If you are not educated on the topics or confident in your thoughts, you will be easily swayed.
Unfortunately, many people are easily swayed and “duped” into believing someone else’s perception is their reality. If I had a dollar for every time, someone told me that “perception is reality”, I would be rich. People use perception as a tool in order to control you – to classify you. Take our glass scenario for example. If you say the glass is half full then people say you are an optimist. If you say, it is half-empty, people say you are a pessimist. Now you can choose to accept these terms or not. However, whatever you choose let it be because that is how you see yourself – not how others see you.
Besides, in the end does it really matter? In the end, the glass is half-empty and it is also half-full. Once you realize this simple concept, you have mastered objectivity. You have freed your mind! You can see both sides clearly and can discern from perceptions that are not your own.