Ways of perceiving

Ways of perceiving

There are at least two ways of perceiving thoughts, situations and actions – the positive and the negative.

The way one thinks or perceives the same situation could be in two diametrically opposite ways depending on whether one is an optimist or a pessimist. Ironically, what one achieves in life in terms of being successful or not depends on a large extent on how one perceives things rationally and positively.

For example, take a glass and fill it with water. Ask people what they see. The optimist will probably say that he sees a glass filled with water half way, whereas the pessimist may say he sees a half-empty glass.

Indeed, so important and vital is one’s modus operandi of perceiving that the genius of writers, William Shakespeare, made the famous quotation, “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

In a co-educational school, a teacher gave the class a sentence and told them to punctuate it. The sentence was ‘A woman without her man is nothing.’

It was not without reason that almost all the boys of the class punctuated the sentence as ‘A woman, without her man, is nothing.’ The girls, on the other hand, punctuated the sentence as, ‘A woman: Without her, man is nothing!’ One can see that the same sentence has been punctuated with one’s sub-conscious ways of perceiving the value and dichotomy between men’s and women’s roles in society.

An example will show how prudent it is to perceive correctly and what a difference it can make. There was a shoe company, Reebok, specialising in sports shoes or ‘keds’ as they are called. The manager told one of the salesmen that he was on an assignment to go to a village in Africa to sell a consignment of Reebok shoes.

The salesmen subsequently went to the village and returned soon after saying that he could not sell any of the shoes because “the African children there do not wear shoes”. Furious at the loss for the company, the manager delegated the work to a second salesman. The second salesman went and came back saying, “I was able to sell the entire stock because they told me, ‘Our children don’t wear shoes’.

I subsequently told them the benefits of shoe wearing as they protect one’s feet and are useful particularly when walking in forests, jungles, etc. They bought the entire stock!”

So, one can see that the same scenario was explained and interpreted in two distinctly different ways by two persons with diametrically opposite perceptions.

What a difference one’s perception can make to a company by either making it or marring it!

Indeed, perceiving positively is a definite advantage and boon to one and can make the difference between a successful life and a failure.

So, one should avoid procrastinating, brooding and complaining and instead view one’s situation in life with a positive and sanguine attitude by turning one’s negative situation around and making it positive.

“Two men looked out of the prison bars/ One saw the mud and the other the stars.”

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