You Have to Believe It To See It
Do you know that you are creating your life experiences? Of course, right…you’re living your life! But what if I told you that you are literally creating the foundation for your experiences with every thought you think, with each belief you hold? New age kookiness? Psychology experiment? Common sense? It could be any one of those three…depending on the beliefs you currently hold!
Why do two people look at the same thing and come away with two completely different ideas about what they saw? Or two people experience the same event and describe it in ways that are polar opposites? Maybe it’s the color of their “lens” that they have that experience through. Their past experiences. Their paradigm. Their preconceived thoughts about something or their core beliefs.
One time my husband and I went out to eat at a new restaurant. I tend to focus on what’s happening at my table and pay very little attention to most other things. I want to immerse myself in the experience at hand. My husband, on the other hand, is a “noticer.” He picks up on things many other people miss. Both are good qualities to have at various times and can also be to our detriment as well. On this particular night we sat down at our table, engaged in conversation and ate our food. The food was good and the ambiance acceptable. I had a nice dining experience. My husband, on the other hand, heard the people at the table behind him saying very unpleasant things about the other diners and was unfortunately unable to tune it out. It colored his entire experience including making his food not taste as good and he had a very poor experience. We sat at the same table, engaged in the same conversation and came away with two entirely different experiences.
Let’s try an experiment. Let’s use an event that most of us experience frequently and much of the time it causes frustration, irritation or flat out anger: driving! If you’re like most people, you think you’re an above average driver and most other people out on the road are idiots who got their driver’s licenses out of a Cracker Jack box. This already puts you in a very negative frame of mind before you ever pull out of your driveway. Let me challenge you: the next time you get in your car, look for people doing things right. Count how many times people use their turn signals, come to a complete stop at a stop light or appropriately yield to traffic. You will see how proper driving behavior is far, far more common than the instances of “idiots” or “maniacs.” Make a game of it. When you notice twenty or thirty or fifty driving “gold stars” treat yourself to lunch or take that much-deserved but rarely taken fifteen minute break at work and get some sunshine.
The funny thing is, the more you look for the good…the more good there is to see.
In order to live first class, you need to be able to see first class around you. The more you look the more you see. Is there low class? Yep. Is there no class? Absolutely. And if you are looking for it you will see lots of it. Choose instead to find the quality, the positive and the good and your life experiences will reward you with more and more of it.
So try the driving experiment and post your results below! Did you have a better experience than usual when counting the positives? Did you percieve fewer negatives than usual? Please share!