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Mar
17
Perception

Your brain has two main purposes: first, to keep you alive; second, to help you make meaning out of what you experience.

Making Meaning

How you perceive things is driven by your brain. Your brain has gathered and used billions of data points to help you understand things. The brain, essentially, in the business of interpreting. The information flows into your brain through your five senses: sight (reading this now), sound, smell, touch, and taste.

Once the information comes in, your brain rapidly makes sense of it all for you to understand and use to help you function in life. Your brain has to help you interpret what is being seen or heard.

We tend to interpret things as we are, not always as they really are. This comes from past experiences.

Practice Awareness

When I was a kid, I was forced to eat Lima Beans as a part of my dinner. I dreaded the bland taste of Lima Beans. I would wait until it was the last thing on my plate. If Mom wasn't looking, I'd scoop them into my napkin and throw them away.

When I moved away from home and became an independent adult, my brain still believed that Lima Beans were awful and should be avoided at all cost. I'm 50 years old now and I STILL hate Lima Beans. There is no clear reason for my brain to believe that Lima Beans should be avoided at all cost. But the past experience helped my brain believe that Lima Beans are horrible and should be shunned from any part of my present or future diet. I

The same may be true of you. Take a moment to understand what you interpret to be awful and horrible. These interpretations may not be true, but you have helped your brain to perceive them to be good or bad.

Before you jump to a conclusion about something you perceive to be true, practice patience. Ask yourself where this interpretation came from. Then take a while to determine whether the perception is actually true, actually helpful, and worthy of reconsidering.

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