Amy Rees Anderson

Our Perception Is Our Choice

This statement is something all of us should really stop and think long and hard about…Our perception is our choice…There are many things in our life that ARE NOT our choice, for example – how the weather will be, or whether a person will fall in love with us or not, or whether we will get hit by another car while we are driving, or whether someone else will do something to hurt our feelings, or whether someone we trusted will betray us, or whether a loved one will be taken from us in death, or whether our children will grow up and move out, or whether we ourselves will age…those are all things we don’t really have a choice in the matter….but what we always have a CHOICE on is how we choose to PERCEIVE the things that happen to us.

Here’s a little story I once heard that paints this concept so clearly:

HOW I FINALLY TAUGHT THE BIG GUY A LESSON

“I did not provoke the fight, so I feel no remorse for what I was forced to do.  We were arguing, and seeing that I was right and he was wrong, he decided to fight to cover his stupidity.  He swung at me first but being in the top of condition, I was able to block the punch neatly with my head.  Whereupon I jumped to the ground, knocking him down on top of me.  Then I placed my ear in his mouth and poked his finger several times with my eye.  His teeth hurt so from the strength of my ear that he became irate and tried to kick me.  But I cleverly blocked the onslaught with my ribs and face.  I scrambled to my feet and ran to my car in the hopes that I could get away and save this man from my deadly hands.  Before I could start the car, he pulled me from the still open door.  I then proceeded to swing at him, but only managed to hit myself in the head.  To this I said, “What is this, two against one?”  That was the final straw- I lost all control. There will be no mercy!!!  Taking him in my death grip, I pounded him in the knee with my stomach.  Then I hit him two or three times in the fist with my teeth.  He had had it. I could tell.  After that he didn’t even try to pick me up off the ground.  He was too chicken!”

I love that little story because it is the perfect illustration that perspective is everything. Our perspective is our point of view – it is how we choose to look at the world around us.   It can be shaped by the influences we have around us but it is determined by our ability to decide how we will choose to view things.

How we CHOOSE to PERCIEVE our experiences in life will determine how much power and happiness we can create and feel every day.  If we choose to perceive life as a victim or a martyr we will feel powerless and sad.  On the other hand, if we choose to perceive life as our being in charge of how we look at things, then we will feel powerful and free to create anything we want in our life.  We absolutely have 100% control of how we will perceive our life – it is totally our choice.

I’m sure each one of us has something in our lives that is bringing us down, so why not test this theory that we have the power to choose how we will perceive the situation?  First, step back and think about a different way you could view this situation that is causing you to feel down.  Second, try to see if there is any other angle you could look at the situation from that would shed a positive light on it, such as, considering a potentially good outcome that might result from it, or recognizing the way it might build your character up for having endured whatever the trial is, or realizing that there is someone who you may someday be able to help because you have gone through this tough time.  Really try to see if there is any other angle you could CHOOSE to PERCIEVE the situation that is causing you angst.  Then when you find that one glimmer of a positive view really focus on how it makes you feel to consider it…by doing that you will find that when you let your mind go there you suddenly feel HOPE or GRATITUDE or RELIEF…you feel GOOD again!   It truly works.  I promise.  I know it sounds too simple or too childish, but the fact is that it really does work…our perception is our choice!

Choose to perceive things in a positive way – create and control your own happiness in life – BECAUSE YOU CAN!!!

~Amy

 

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