Thursday, February 25, 2016

Three Questions to Evaluate a Person’s Perception

To put simply, we are what we think of.

Perception is the way you understand someone or something. It is as we see, observe and experience as defined by our mental "band-pass filters." Our mind notices and recognizes some things, but may not do the same for some other things. Our perception is what makes up our worldview, and how do we articulate and convey from what we “see” or understand. Perception is one's interpretation of the reality. So it is very subjective and varies from person to person. How to evaluate a person’s perception, though?

What’s your “default thought process and thinking style"? Are you an analytical or synthetic thinker? An intuitive or a logical thinker? Are you a critical, independent thinker or a conventional thinker (following conventional wisdom) Etc. To put simply, we are what we think of. Perception is based on one’s thought processes which are influenced by one’s thinking style, cognitive understanding, and knowledge level. As a matter of fact, the way we think has much of an effect on how we deal with problems and turn out in our life (though many other things do as well). Some examples might be, who we surround ourselves with, how hard we try to do certain things, whether or not we're repetitive, the communication styles, the career preferences, or the hobbies and entertainment choice, etc.

Are you often make a fair judgment based on your perception, or the opposite is true? Our perception is, in turn, an interpretation based on our conditioning or beliefs etc, leading us to judge others, all of which may be positive or negative, depending on one's perception. In effect, our perception is always flawed, it is not absolutely true, but it is what we believe to be true. Most of the people like to label thing, perhaps via subconscious cognition. Labeling is not necessarily the problem, it’s misjudging that is problematic. Labels can be bad or misleading, but they aren't inherently so. It's the judging part that is problematic. It's when a label carries negative connotations, and drives bipolar or extreme thinking that might cause the problems and make a misjudgment. The challenge is to try and not judge something or someone as good or bad, or wrong or right, or black or white. And everybody is different because everyone has a different mindset, character, life goals, priority setting, personality, living styles and time management skills. etc.

Are you a digital literate with a continuous learning habit to consciously update your perceptions for things you are not sure or people you do not have an in-depth understanding? Because out of dated perception is like time glue that keeps you still while the rest of the world moves on which creates another problem- resentment and more negative thinking. Perception only affects how you interact with the world. One’s perception matters because it affects on how you are going to respond to “what happened.” What "really" happened is irrelevant. It is only your perception of what happened that is relevant, and therefore how you are going to respond to "what happened." Nowadays, information and knowledge are only clicks away, the digital illiterate is not the one who cannot read or write, but the one who can’t learn, delearn and relearn.

Everyone has the bias, even the eldest still has very limited life experience, and the wisest only understands the tip of the iceberg of the world. Perception is the way our eyes see the world. It can be shaped by our biased thinking and also by the environment around us. The reality is the result of what a group of people agrees to call real. Perception differs, according to what an individual or a group is able to understand this common reality. Having learning attitude allows you gaining cognizant of the different perceptions of the world, and having gratitude allows you being more positive and gives you the energy to overcome obstacles to first understand, and then being understood.


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