My mind has been on a wonderful quote that my friend, Dete Meserve posted recently. In simple terms, it promotes the importance of perception, how it is imperative for finding joy in life. Perception is a funny thing and simple changes in how we perceive things can have a serious impact on not only just our attitudes but even all the things that can go right or wrong in our lives as is explored in my book “Webs of Perception”.
The quote was as follows:
Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it.
Others could be given a single weed and only see the wildflower in it.
Perception is a key component to gratitude. And gratitude is a key component to joy.
We’ve all met someone who always seems to find a way to perceive a good situation as a bad one. Imagine a bored child on a road trip through the most beautiful countryside. He’s huffing and puffing, asking “Are we there yet?” Meanwhile, the most beautiful scene is unfolding just outside his window. Birds are performing incredible aerial maneuvers, a waterfall is emptying into a beautiful pool and flowing into a lazy stream. Regal mountains stand tall along the background, moving slower than the trees nearby.
Perception is critical. It’s what separates a tired old road trip from a scenic experience to be remembered forever. And as the quote says, it’s a key component of gratitude. That child, if he had perceived the trip differently, would be grateful for the experience. Grateful for the birds, the brook, the snowcapped mountains. Grateful for the memories.
And that gratitude would surely make for a joyous experience. A happier child, singing songs, pointing at the beautiful sights. Loving every mile spent in that car, just cruising through a marvelous world.
It may seem counter intuitive, but we truly do have a choice in how we perceive things. To look past the thorns and see the most beautiful blossom they protect, to look out our car window and see wildflowers, not weeds, growing happily along our route. To look past our fear of spiders and see the beautiful, intricate webs they spin. That is the power of perception
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