9th March 2020
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
The other day I was waiting at the airport for the departure of my flight, when an announcement notified us, that the departure of our flight has been delayed for approximately 90 minutes. I found it very interesting to observe the different reactions of the other travellers. Some got really agitated and ran to the information desk to vent their anger. Others just opened their laptop and started working. A few got up to get some coffee. Some used the time to call someone, and a young guy next to me moved 3 seats further up to lie down and have a nap. I just did many of the above. First, I got a bit frustrated but then I took a deep breath and told myself that everything happens for a reason, and it did the trick ;-). I called my hubby to let him know, I will be late, got myself a yummy cup of coffee and opened my laptop to work a bit.
Have you ever wondered why two or more people react to exactly the same experience in a completely different way, and with a variety of emotions?
Why can two or more people have completely different opinions about the same movie they have seen together at the same time?
How is it possible that a traumatic event destroys the life of one involved person and another one comes out stronger than before?
Images by Clker-Free-Vector-Images and 024-657-834 from Pixabay
We perceive the world and events through our five senses. We see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world we live in. Every single second our brain is bombarded with million bits of information. Luckily, most of this happens subconsciously.
Just imagine you are sitting in a busy restaurant and you would have to take in, filter and process all the sensory information consciously. The sensation of your cloths on the skin, or of the chair you are sitting on. The smell of food and drinks, and of the people around you. All the surrounding sounds, the music in the background, the different conversations of the other guests, and of course the conversation with your company. The sound of the bartender moving bottles and glasses, someone polishing the cutlery, the coffee grinder, etc. You needed to check all the time were the information comes from. Is it safe or dangerous? Is it important or not important? Do you delete the information or safe it? It would literally drive you nuts.
We represent the information internally in form of internal language and imagery – we give it meaning and add emotions to it – we interpret it. Based on this, we create our own inner map of our external world and experiences.
While processing the information in our brain, and creating this map in our mind, we filter the external information based on our values and beliefs, our attitudes and former experiences. As mentioned above, all of this happens subconsciously. We are running programs to support our brain.
“Your perception may not be my reality.”
Images by Gundula Vogel and Stefan Keller from Pixabay
Because we all use these filters, the map we create in our brain, our personal mental image of the world, can never be a perfect reflection of the territory, the objective world, the reality. Every single one of us perceives the outside world, an event, or only a single object in our very own way. Hence, the words and symbols we use to describe the world internally are not the actual event, a certain object or the objective world.
However, the map we produce in our mind IS our reality; and because we all filter differently, each and every map of every single person on this planet is different and unique. Everyone knows what reality is, and no one knows what reality is.
We see the world the way we were brought up and how we have learned to see it – and the way we want to see it. Everyone does it. We all generate our own reality, which is constantly updated by new information. Naturally, this information again is filtered and processed and added to your already existing internal map. This is also called the mental model. In other words, “The map is not the territory.” The perception of the objective world and our experiences is a simulation, an illusion.
“I am not crazy. My reality is just different than yours.”
Images by René Schindler, Christian Dorn and Marcel Langthim from Pixabay
Knowing that every human being uses filters, is guided by their own personal map – their reality – and lives in their own world, can help us …
… to realise how easily misunderstandings can appear. And knowing this just illustrates how important it is to put in an effort into each and every conversation. Trying our best to
deliver, understand, uncover and accept the true meaning of our communication.
… to understand, respect and maybe even accept certain reactions and behaviour of others.
… to be aware that every single one of us – including ourselves – sometimes creates representations of the objective world which might not be understood by others.
… never to assume anything in conversations and not to that there is no right and wrong.
… to accept other people’s point of view, their opinion, for what it is – different.
In my opinion the most important fact is, that we ourselves created those filters and programs to make sense of the outside world. Having ones created them, we can always change them and reprogram our brain. This is even applicable for really old and long used filters, patterns and programs. We only need to be aware of the fact that we use them, then we can question them. Are they old patterns, we might have taken on from someone else during our childhood, because at that time we did not know any better? Or, have we developed them in the past because they were useful to us, but now, not anymore?
To find out whether one of the above is applicable to your current situation, you can question your actual perception of the world and events. Can you be 100% sure the way you perceive something is the truth and nothing but the truth?
Even salt looks like sugar … ;-)
Recalling this information again and again can reduce stress in our life and increase our stress-resilience.
When we make an effort to keep an open mind and be tolerant. When we don’t assume anything but stay curious and ask questions. When we are truly interested in other people’s opinions and point of view. Then, we might even get a impression of the reality of others and start seeing our world in all its colourful and beautiful diversity.
Until next time be well.
inner works for you
sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training
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Everything provided in this newsletter is for informational, motivational and/or educational purposes only. Whether you change/do something in your life is your decision and yours only. You carry responsibility for your life.
The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, psychological and/or legal advice, diagnosis, treatment or consulting. Please consult your physician, therapist, lawyer regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your concerns, symptoms and/or medical condition.
© sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training