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Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION


“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” Aldous Huxley

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion and this can lead to new ideas. Edward de Bono
People spend time worrying about things they think they have to have and lose perception of what they do have. You can have all the money and material things you want. If you aren’t here to enjoy them, what good do they do? Eric Davis

Is Perception, Reality? Some would argue that it is… others would say it is only part of the full story NOT the story. When we talk about our point of view about a situation, we often tell it through our own lens; our truth, our perception and our reality. We defend our position with all our might and try very hard to make the other person wrong. While our point of view might have some gravitas, it is just that… our perspective about a larger truth. Even if we believe that our perception is the universal reality, it is not. Why not? Because we experience events somewhat differently, even so slightly. This is why we see a wide range of eye witness reports after an incident. Six people could watch a thief flee a robbery scene and will remember different details and give different interpretations of what happened. That is why such scenes are not always reliable and law enforcement seek additional methods for fact-finding.

How does Self-inquiry impact Perception? Self-inquiry is an important habit to develop because it forces us to look at ourselves and own our stuff. With self-inquiry, we begin to ask ourselves the tough questions about our perceived hurts and denials; if we are motivated to do the inner work in a sincere way, we begin to take into account our limitations in thinking, and we can reshape our goals and desires and become motivated to do /achieve a higher purpose. As we work through our understanding of how we view the world, we begin to accept that other opinions have weight and that we are NOT always right. Actually, we might even learn that there are 3 sides to every story; ours, yours and the “truth.”  Gradually, we  come to accept that  our beliefs, our biases and our training contribute to our final response to a situation, and, if we are parents, that it is important, from an early age, to expose our children to good habits, ethical standards and a sense of purpose. Since all we do is shaped by our experiences and perception, we can achieve more by learning to harness our best side and impulses. Below is a popular story I enjoyed reading as a kid. Even though the men are blind, they represent the myopia we all have when we are stuck in a rut with our opinions. All we see is our side of the conversation; to grow, we need to stay open-minded, fluid and flexible.

A STORY: The Parable of the Blind men and an Elephant
A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, “elephant is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.
When the blind men had each felt a part of the elephant, the elephant’s guard went to each of them and said to each: ‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?
MORAL: Our perception rings true to us but, it is subjective and not the totality of truth. Story version via Wikipedia


“It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.” Ursula K. Le Guin

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Perception is created and twisted so quickly. Louis C. K.
When we shift our perception, our experience changes. Lindsay Wagner
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake

If perception is/is not reality, how does it impact what we believe? Since our perspective about life events are informed by our experiences and exposure, it is inevitable that our perception/beliefs are impacted by same. That is why we must be vigilant about our use of imagery and language to negate others.  For instance, the recent controversy over Dove’s use of a black woman in an ad showing her become white as she washed herself with their new Deep Moisture body wash was considered very offensive by many because it gave the unintended perception that if you wanted to look fresh, clean and beautiful, you needed to wash your dark skin color off. Sadly, the ad didn’t help with the photos Dove chose that showed the black model as the BEFORE and the white model as the AFTER the body wash effect photo. Such portrayals create a perception vs reality clash because they bring to the fore our sensitivities, painful history and unresolved issues around racial discrimination, marginalization and  group devaluation. Such portrayals encourage negative stereotypes to proliferate and remind us that stereotypical perceptions are problematic and fraught with negativity.  The impact of such a negative perception is powerful because it sends the wrong message to both the black community and children within that community.

On the other hand,  perception can have a positive impact when used to elevate us and our choices. When I was a kid, we moved quite a bit and traveled for my Dad’s job. As his career trajectory expanded, we moved to meet the demands of his success which came with perks and benefits. I loved some of it but not all, however, it was part of my reality and contributed greatly to my love of travel and need for change. As I grew older, I decided that while travel is a great way to expand our minds and connect with other cultures, I still wanted to have a home that didn’t change hands often for my own kids. I believed that having such stability would help build their sense of family and sharpen their confidence levels. We have lived in the same home for 25 years and my children grew up loving their home and finding the security that stability in that particular area can bring.  Even though my childhood housing experience took us from one grand home to the next (some with 9-10 bedrooms), there was always an unsettling feeling that we might have to move again so don’t get too comfy in this space. We did have a country home that we went to every Christmas holidays and I must say that the time I spent at our country home felt the most settled and secure. Kids need that continuity and sameness while growing up so, it is important for parents to try and perceive what their kids need from the kids not the parents eyes.

Has being motivated to make certain choices helped perception to meet reality? It has in so many ways and answers the question: Why do we believe what we believe? We do because our beliefs are informed by our personal history/experiences, they have worked for us and our choices, and they help us strengthen our resolve to keep it up. As we get older, we might veer from the path of our normative exposure but, most of us tend to stay true to our beliefs and resolve to act on them.  As a side note, today is Columbus Day and as many of you know, the jury is still out on whether Columbus discovered the Americas or if that was a reconstructed history that created a narrative that some now say isn’t entirely true.  When we want to discredit a group of people, we can reinvent stories that diminish their contributions while elevating the stories of the power brokers. We see this phenomenon at play everyday. So, who discovered the Americas? Does your perception stand the harsh light of reality?

Whether we like it or not, we are confronted daily to make educated choices about things that matter to us. It is our resolve to do A over B that shapes our character. It is the same resolve that gave the monk, in the story below, the insight about the ephemeral nature of material things and the greater value that comes from experiences we can enjoy again and again. Because of his steady practice of Zen, the Monk had released his desire for material things. The thief, on the other hand, had retained his perception that stuff = happiness. It’s all about our perception.

A ZEN STORY: The Moon Cannot Be Stolen
A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, ” I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for SEPT/OCT 2017 are:


09/04 –   03 National Boyfriend Day, Labor Day, 05 International Day of Charity,
09/10 –   Grandparents Day, 11 Patriot Day/Sept 11, 15 National POW/MIA Recognition Day,
09/17 –   Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, 20 Navaratri, 21 Rosh Hashana, 22 September equinox
07/24 –   Gold Star Mother’s Day
09/30 –  Yom Kippur


10/01 – World Communion Sunday, Int’l. Coffee Day, Nigeria Indep. Day, World Vegetarian Day, 02 Child Health Day,
04 Feast of St Francis of Assisi, World Animal Day,  05 First Day of Sukkot, 06 World Smile Day
10/08 – 09 Leif Erikson Day, Columbus Day,  Indigenous People’s Day/Native Americans’ Day, 10 World Mental Health,
11 Int’l. Day of the Girl, Come Out Day, Sukkot ends, 12 World Sight Day, 13 Friday the 13th
10/15 – 16 Bosses Day, World Food Day, 19 Diwali, Spirit Day
10/22 – World Mission Sunday, 23 Mole Day, 24 United Nations Day, 28 St Simon/St Jude, Nat’l Chocolate day
10/29 – Nat’l. Cat Day, 31 Halloween


Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab



More Below!

“Every person has a different view of another person’s image. That’s all perception. The character of a man, the integrity, that’s who you are.” Steve Alford

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

The problem is that perception is reality. John Rowland
There is no truth. There is only perception. Gustave Flaubert
The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. John C. Maxwell

Is Life fair or is it about Perception? Two standard cliches come to mind: we have the belief that the grass is always greener on the other side because we can’t see the weeds and bugs, and, until we walk in another man’s shoes, we would never fully live or understand his life experiences. Both statements hold enormous truth but that is not the whole story either. Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side and we have to fight for our equality or make peace with the difference. There are times when we don’t need to live another person’s experience to connect with their pain and suffering; our common decency, empathy and humanity connect us in ways that our lived experiences could never do. We just get it.

Where does Perception meet Reality? In an abundant world where Mother Nature has given us the ways and means  to feed and nourish each other, the inequities that continue globally are due to human greed and selfishness and that is not right. Warring factions and discriminatory practices send the message that some people are valued less than others. Not matter what our belief system is on the issue of poverty,  there is no justification to deprive people of the basics of daily living. No child should go hungry or be deprived of medical care in any country and specifically in a rich country.  If we all reach a place in our lives where our perception of our fellow man is one of equanimity, we have truly lived an abundant life.  What are your thoughts on the subject?


The Blind Man And The Elephant – Poem by John Godfrey Saxe via
It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind),
that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
‘God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!’

The second feeling of the tusk, cried: ‘Ho! what have we here,
so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear,
this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!’

The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
the squirming trunk within his hands, ‘I see,’ quoth he,
the elephant is very like a snake!’

The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
‘What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain,’ quoth he;
‘Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree.’

The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; ‘E’en the blindest man
can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!’

The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
‘I see,’ quothe he, ‘the elephant is very like a rope!’

And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!

So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!
John Godfrey Saxe



Have a Happy, Healthy 2017!


Zen Stories
Positive Motivation Tip: Our perception shapes everything we do, think bold, positive thoughts.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page:MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM


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Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet







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