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Perception

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How Does Perception Impact You? 

We all know human perception and mental models impact much of a person’s reasoning and decision making. This then ultimately contributes heavily to the results an individual achieves in life.

In other words, perception can highly impact the propensity toward you reaching a certain level of success or achievement toward your goals. To me perception is largely a person’s mindset or overarching attitude, whether that be positive or negative.

Which Perception Do You Choose? 

Someone’s perception, attitude or mindset (however you want to label it) can often be the only difference between whether someone reaches their intentions they’ve set for themselves or whether they don’t.

I know we’ve all met the difference between someone with a positive, optimistic, can-do attitude and someone with a more negative, pessimistic whoa-is-me attitude. So think of these two types of people you know in your life and do a little comparison analysis. Who do you think is going to get farther towards reaching their goals out of the two?

Do you think it’s going to be the person who views obstacles as mere challenges to overcome on their journey to success, whatever that looks like to them? Because remember we are all going to have different versions of what success looks like to us if we are properly setting our goals and intentions and NOT comparing ourselves to others. If you need help with that, read or listen to the first three blogs or podcasts: Rake The Rut, Panning For Golden Thoughts and Goal Digging.

My Money Is On The Dark Horse With The Positive Attitude

But who do you really think is going to get farther toward their own individual version of success and toward reaching their goals? The can-do attitude/perception; or the can’t do attitude/perception. Which do you genuinely think?

I’ll put my money down on the first person to win the race, the one with the positive perception of life. That’s who I’m betting on regardless of other circumstances. How about you? Which horse are you putting your bets on? I’m throwing down on the positive attitude/perception even if it is the so called underdog or dark horse. We all know the words to that song right?

Below are the lyrics to Katy Perry’s song Dark Horse:

      So you wanna play with magic

     Boy, you should know whatcha falling for

     Baby do you dare to do this

     ‘Cause I’m coming atcha like a dark horse. 

So who do you want to be in this marathon called life? I’m going to choose to come at you like the magical, dark horse with the right attitude on. And don’t forget to wear that attitude proudly. Wear it like a boss, a gangsta, a crown, a bow. Whatever your personal preference ladies and gents. Just wear it proud. 

Don’t Ever Let Your Crown Drop When In Beast Mode

And don’t let just any other person who hasn’t earned the right and privilege to ever see your gleaming crown, bold boss-bow or Lucky Luciano gangsta hat drop. Hopefully you have your peeps you can let your guard down to who you can experience off days or moments with! But always strive to keep your attitude on point when you are in boss-make-it-happen beast mode.

Because the exciting and amazing part of it is, you get to choose. You always get that. So let’s dive in to help you choose wisely.

Scientific Mental Model

So there is much theory on perception which has evolved over time and has been expanded on by many scientific researchers and psychologists through the years. Some of the big players are people like Kenneth Craik, Philip Johnson-Laird and Ruth M.J. Byrne.

What I’m going to be discussing today is mainly centered on the research surrounding mental models which theoretically make up our individual perception in life.

What Are The Main Characteristics Of The Mental Model?

So the mental models are theorized by the experts out there to possess the following characteristics:

1. Based On Uncertain or Concealed Data

A person’s mental model is typically based on uncertain or concealed data. In other words, the data which the mental model is founded upon is immeasurable in scientific terms and is often complex in nature.

2. It is Changeable

A person’s mental model is changeable from positive to negative. So we’ve already discussed this in terms of it being an individual’s choice to adopt a positive mindset or succumb to the doom-and-gloom negative downer energy. Now obviously nobody is going to be 100% positive 100% of the time. So please don’t get that twisted.

It is ok to have negative moments or even negative days (you know when you may legit feel like going Medieval on your surroundings if you know what I mean, lol). That is a normal part of being a living, breathing human being. No one is perfect and no one can really sustain absolute positivity every waking second of the day. So don’t ever expect perfection from yourself.

Just be aware of how you are feeling and perceiving things around you. For example if you catch yourself being overly hating or judging toward yourself or others out of frustration or you notice you’re starting to feel down and gloomy, consciously make the decision to flip your mindset.

Thoughts create emotions which then create your actions and ultimately your results. So let your emotions be your guide. And if you start feeling super negative emotions or you find yourself in negative vibe emotions for too long, check yourself. Check yourself before you wreck yourself right? In these situations, trace your emotions back to the triggering thought or thoughts and change those thoughts. Yeah! You have that power. Pretty amazing isn’t it?

3. We Use An Information Filter

Ok this is a tricky one. Each of our mental models has a built-in information filter. What this means is that you are automatically filtering information you are receiving through preconceived notions based on things like your prior experience, existing knowledge, culture, upbringing, current beliefs, religious influence, etc.

Because of this characteristic of the mental model, something can happen called selective perception. According to wonderful Wikipedia, the definition of this is: the tendency not to notice and more quickly forget stimuli that cause emotional discomfort and contradict our prior beliefs.

So the example this website provides is the example of a teacher who may have a favorite student because they are biased by in-group favoritism. So because of this inherent bias, the teacher then ignores the student’s poor performance. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the same teacher might not notice the positive progress of their least favorite student because of the opposite internal bias.

So this is where people have to be careful with their mental model or mindset. We all inherently come equipped with our own biases that we are filtering communication and information through on a daily basis. So we all need to be careful of accidental discrimination towards others or unfair judgment of a person or circumstance because of our own natural biases. We have to be even more careful because we are probably not even aware of these biases because they are so pre-programmed in our brains.

4. Limited Scope

Another aspect of the mental model is that it can have a limited scope based on the individual perspective of the person. It is a great big world, which makes it quite challenging to take into account all of the dynamics of all the events and people occurring. So we just need to be aware that it’s a great big galaxy that exists out there, and our personal perspective is often limited in scope in comparison.

5. The Perceiver Is Unique

The last trait of the mental model is that this model consists of the use of unique information many times only available to the perceiver. This information is also readily available and usable to each individual. I would say this is where things like your own intuition or inner guidance can come into play. At least that’s how I would interpret this last part of the mental model.

You are ultimately the only one who understands and knows the inner workings of your own self. This is also why it is so important in my opinion to only listen to yourself when it comes down to a final decision or path to take. It’s ok and wonderful to get outside advice or council, but outsiders ultimately do not know your inner workings or uniqueness. You do, so trust yourself.

Knowledge Is Power

So now that we understand the standard qualities of the mental model, you can now use this information to your advantage to go out and get what you want in this life and not let yourself or your own mindset become your own worst enemy. Remember knowledge is power. So understanding what actually makes up our mindset in this beautiful, brilliant thing we call the human brain can absolutely help us make the best decisions to reach our goals.

If you understand that your thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions are based on your own unique perception which has some qualities that can be limiting and downright distorting sometimes, this will hopefully help you to approach a situation or challenge with more of an open mind.

Welcome To Humanity

As much as we all secretly love to always be right, the mere way the mindset or mental model is structured kind of makes that impossible if you really think about it. The way the mental model or individual mindset is structured pretty much guarantees us that we are going to get it wrong sometimes. And that’s perfectly ok! Welcome to humanity, lol. 

So it’s important to be aware of this to help you listen, really listen. Not just listen to respond with your own mental model, but to listen to truly understand. This also makes it even more important to listen from within,  often in stillness with a clear mind. Do this instead of automatically just listening to the churning thoughts and associated emotions running wild in your brain. 

The Choice Is Yours

Remember you always have the option to believe a thought or not to believe a thought. Just because a thought comes into your head doesn’t mean you have to believe it or act on it in anyway.

It’s ok to dismiss a thought and/or substitute it with a new thought that serves you better. You are not your thoughts! When you are changing your mindset, you will most likely be dismissing and replacing thoughts left and right. At least you really need to do this if you are changing up your mindset to better serve you and catapult you toward a desired destination which you strive to reach.

Scientists believe we have up to 50,000 thoughts per day, so don’t get hung up on any thoughts that don’t serve you. You are ultimately not your thoughts. Your brain works for you, not the other way around. So get out there and train the brain to get you where you want to go in life and make it happen.

A Message From Tom

Military Veteran and famous American Novelist Tom Robbins has this message for us in the form of a famous quote:

“One has not only an ability to perceive the world, but an ability to alter one’s perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.”

Yup. I 100% agree.

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