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I came to the conclusion long ago that perception equals reality. And while I find some truth in this belief, it is a true and false statement. Every one of us has heard, said or had said to us, “You know the world does not revolve around you, right?” True? Any person so questioned could reply, “Maybe not, but my perception of reality does.” True? Yes. Why is it true? Because perception is an individual’s understanding of the world as it unfolds around them. The way people view you and the way you present yourself is the impression you will leave behind. As you go about the business of carrying out your life people will make judgments about your appearance, personality and capabilities. If you don’t like the way your life is playing out you can always take charge of your own perception of reality. You are in control of your story. Not everyone in life is a top performer but they all have the ability to give off that impression. Things are not always what they seem and marketers and artists rely on this to make you see things the way they want you to see them. You can meet someone and they can tell you everything you want to hear without any hint of truth. Anyone can give off any perception they want. The world we see is a reflection of who we are and what we believe. The self-fulfilling prophecy lays at the foundation of this concept; a statement that alters actions and therefore becomes true. Someone who thinks their night is going to play out terribly will subconsciously change their actions so that this prediction is fulfilled by their actions. Often the way we perceive reality is colored by how we want it rather than simply the way it is.
Perception drives people’s behaviors every day. Take a look at these movies examples “Romy & Michelle’s, upon receiving word of a 10-year high school reunion, Romy and Michelle realize their lives are not as impressive as they wish they were. So when the time comes to attend the reunion they show up in an expensive car dressed in business suits, equipped with cell phones, and bring along a huge fictitious success story. Romy tries to convince everyone that she invented the post-it note while Michele tries to convince everyone she invented a type of glue. “Wag the Dog”, Conrad Brean’s is more subjective. First, he inhabits the text. More importantly, however, is his complex view that reality is both what you are able to convince people of and the medium by which you do so: “Of course there’s a war, it’s on television.” He may have been somewhat disingenuous when he said that, but the world Brean inhabits is one of approval ratings, spin-doctoring, damage control, subtle statecraft and electioneering. Reality for him is, in many ways, the necessary fictions that allow him to do his job. Stanley Mots, on the other hand, sees the war as a cinematic undertaking, and its reality is an outcome of his artistic integrity and skills as a moviemaker. As he says of the war he produces for Brean. In “The Girl Next Door” the teenagers all pay pornstars to pose as their prom dates in hopes of giving off a cooler vibe. “When truth is blurred by lies and misinformation, perception becomes reality and all is lost.”
The entertainment industry is full of false realities. DJ promo videos are all shot at angles that make them look as if they sold out every venue they performed at. The actuality of the situation could be the room was half empty but the perception is that it was jam-packed. A ton of artists in the business pay for Facebook likes and Twitter followers on websites such as Fiverr.com. My friend who is an aspiring DJ has admitted he has done this on multiple occasions and has no shame. He knows the way the game works and is doing all he can to gain publicity and clout.
The bigger the artists the more followers they will have. This gives the perception of immense popularity, which these artists thrive on. This applies to athletes like LeBron James who has over 8 million followers. Okay King James, do you.
What people perceive is usually what they believe, and this is based on what they hear, see and think. Most of the time we cannot control what happens but we can always control our reactions. A person can rent a Lamborghini and a tuxedo and show up to a club and buy a $500 bottle just to have people think they are millionaires. This person is creating his own perception by creating a false illusion. It does not matter that this person isn’t a millionaire because you perceive him as one. This man is creating the reality that he is doing big things but in all honesty he may not be doing jack sh*t. You can go to a new town and give off a completely different perception of yourself while still remaining the same person on the inside. People do this all the time when trying to forge a new beginning. People lie about things every day in order to evoke a better persona. It’s important to be conscious of your perception, because if you’re not, someone else will create it for you. It’s your life you need to decide how you’re going to live it.
What is the individual? It is I. What is I? I is ego. We can only perceive reality through an egotistical lens. The larger the ego on the individual, the less a true picture of reality they can see. No person can comprehend reality- it is everything that is and is not. Our minds tend to serve only one master, SELF- the lens focus narrows and concerns beyond the effect to self are excluded from view. Is there a way to widen the view? Can we escape the ego, the mind and the self? Very few ever truly break free, but all are capable of loosening the bond that binds. You can by changing the way you look at things and the things you look at change; meaning Start simple. Give up! Yes I know, “What the hell?” Before you stop reading allow me a sentence or two to explain- Give up your attachments. I know not so simple. Attachments are the wants and desires of the ego. I am not telling you to give up your shit- but don’t let your possessions possess you. You lose five dollars, who cares, you will find ten. Stuff is just stuff. Beyond food, shelter and clothing everything else is just want and desire of the ego. Simple, right? Yes and no, true and false- it is as easy or difficult as you make it. Just remember, start by giving up.
Next, be aware of your thoughts. On a fundamental level, perception does equal reality. If this is indeed true then your thoughts shape your reality. The basis here is the law of attraction or like attracts like. If you are convinced something bad is going to happen, guess what? Something bad will happen. Thoughts create energy. Negative thoughts, negative energy, negative reality. Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive reality. Again it is ego that creates negative thoughts- selfish desires, feelings of being slighted, revenge…on and on. You can control your thoughts and as you learn to control them you will begin to alter your reality. Stay centered, realize you are not a separate individual, you are connected with the all of everything. Be aware when your thoughts are ego driven and stop and let it go.
Lastly, this is a concept I have been embracing lately. Say this and believe it, “Things are going my way.” In the past I had two slogans I lived by, “I’ll get through, I always do.” and “It is what it is.” While those two beliefs have kept me from getting overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, neither allow for a positive outlook or improvement on the current circumstance/situation. With, “Things are going my way,” the belief is that every circumstance/situation is leading me in a positive direction. I am being guided in a direction that leads to positive outcomes. This works hand in hand with being aware of your thoughts- belief and faith in this thought brings about an overall positive outcome. You have to have faith in something, you might just as well have faith/belief in yourself.
I try to imagine a world where people have the egos of animals, but it is a difficult image to conjure. How different the world would be. I believe our connection to each other and to nature would be the most powerful force on this planet. There would be no nations or races, no religions, no us and them…no division. There would only be us immersed in the all of everything- such limitless love and boundless beauty. Like I said, given the world we live in this is a hard to imagine reality. Maybe the next evolution of our species will be the loss of ego? Who knows? What I do know is that I struggle with ego. I have gotten better at realizing when my thoughts and actions are ego driven and I stop myself and let it go, while trying to move my thoughts and actions in a more positive direction. Perception and reality are intersected by ego, remove ego and you begin to see the truth.
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