[Note: This is day 12 of the Be Your Own Guru blog series. Today's video offers you an opportunity to think about how perception works in real time, and how living your life according to your own perceptions can be both a blessing and a curse.]
We all walk through life with preconceived notions about our world.
We call them beliefs.
Often, these beliefs color every interaction we have - without us even realizing it.
If you carry a belief that strangers are dangerous, you'll behave differently than if you were raised to be cordial to strangers.
Neither belief is inherently good or bad. Neither belief guarantees a positive or negative outcome.
Our perceptions shape more of our life and our work than we often recognize or care to admit.
In the video below, you'll see a piece of paper. What color is it?
That question seems simple enough, right? I mean, you can look at it and easily see that it's pink, right?
Clearly, anyone with a fully functional ocular device can tell it's pink. Right?
Well, it all depends on what side of the paper you're standing on.
In the video, I challenge you to consider other perceptions in your work and life. Being your own guru means being willing to admit that other such perceptions exist in the world.
Being your own guru also means not being a slave to those perceptions.
You could easily second-guess yourself into oblivion if all you ever did was look for the perceptions of others, or see the world through their lens. In the same way, you could also become myopic in your pursuits if all you ever believed were the perceptions and stories you were given at birth.
Life is meant to be experiential. Our experiences are meant to shape our beliefs.
When you touch a stove for the first time, you may not know it's dangerous. But the experience of burning your hand on that stove will forever shape your perception of how dangerous a stove may or may not be.
In any moment, we get to choose how to perceive the experiences we have. It's why two people can get on a karaoke stage, sing the exact same song, get the exact same audience reaction, and one will feel proud of their accomplishment and the other will feel miserable about their "lousy" performance.
People will not always see eye to eye with you. That is what gives the world such color. It's how you choose to respond to those differences that color your world.
You don't always have to agree with the perceptions of others... and you don't always have to disagree either.
Your life, your great work, is truly what you make of it. Being your own guru means being willing to stand up for what you believe - even in the face of people you love. It also means being willing to let go of perceptions that don't serve your purpose in the world. You have the power within you to make that choice - every minute of your day.
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