The Way We See Things
We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.
The way we see things is the way WE see things; it may not be the way things are.
One of my favorite books, Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz, makes this point about perception.
She says the major reason we can get things wrong is that our perception of reality is always our interpretation of reality; this implies wiggle room.
I realize that this wiggle room is what I have been writing about for years. What we observe (our perception) is always subjective (a mental interpretation). Believing is seeing. Whenever there is belief and interpretation, there is room for error. The key point is that the way we see things determines the way we do things (our behavior).
Here is what we now know about the way we see things:
· What we see is not all there is.
· We see only what we pay attention to.
· What we see is our interpretation of what is.
· The way we see things is the way we do things.
To downsize this wiggle room and reduce the chance of error, first requires you to acknowledge it. Then you need to expand the way you see things (your perception). To do so, ask yourself: What am I not seeing? What am I not paying attention to? Is my interpretation biased? How is my memory, or lack of it, interfering? What does my behavior (the way I do things) tell me about my perception (the way I see things)?
We tend to see more through our thoughts and opinions
than through our eyes. John Kabat-Zinn