Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life.

~ George Burns ~

Life Mirrors

July 22nd, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 25 secs

Life reveals what we generally expect.

Life reveals what we generally expect.

Much of life mirrors our spirit, and we like to keep it that way. Whether we see people with open curiosity or veiled cynicism, we verify to ourselves that ours is the real way.

Even if we see the world as a dystopian mess, knowing we are onto the “truth” at least gives us some sense of control. While at the other end of the spectrum, if we won’t hear a bad word about anything, we feel safe keeping it that way. Whatever we see, our mental construct gives us the key to making sense of everything that has happened to and will ever do so in the future.

You can observe this fascinating variation of life perceptions wherever there’s a large group of people expressing their opinions (and Twitter is a good example).

Scroll down a page of views on a similar theme and you can see the disparity of outlooks expressed. Pick any topic and you will typically see broad variability.

Now of course we feel that our interpretation of life is the right way. That’s natural. But the reasons have less to do with our exclusive accuracy and more to do with familiarity and subtlety. Quite apart from becoming blind to our own bias, the perceptual net we see through is so sheer and fine that, to us, it seems all but invisible.  We can see others but not our own, unless we go looking for it.

Spotting the eccentricities in the life views of others is easy. You merely need to let them talk about the current affairs of the day and soon their prejudices and skewed views become obvious.

But what about you and I? How do we identify what is true and what has been distorted through the perception net? If life seems to mirror more or less what we expect, how can we tell if anything is amiss?

This is where awareness becomes a powerful means to challenge what we feel and see of life. When other people hold a different view to you, ask yourself why you hold your particular opinion. Question your position and consider the possibility of predisposition. There will always be some there (just that familiarity stops us from noticing).

Friends too can be helpful. Like a good counselor, they can reveal aspects of you that you never see. And that can be both helpful as well as confronting (as discovering our prejudices is never easy).

Apart from curiosity value there are some important elements to becoming more aware of your own opinions and life bias. Apart from humbling, you begin to realize that we can all benefit from the eyes, ears, and touch of others to make sense of what is going on around us. To think that only we have the real picture is a risky illusion indeed.

While, knowing that life largely mirrors what we expect opens a treasure chest of possibilities. Ask yourself, what do you expect life to be like, truly? If you thought about it differently, does would life change too? What thoughts do you harbor that are hindering your happiness? And, how can you be more open to broader possibilities?

Asking open questions might be frightening for some (depending on their life constructs). But the method is immensely releasing when we make it a habit. Because you only need to do this a little to find new and exciting rewards.

It’s time to consider how we look at life and fling open some doors.

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