Your eyes are the windows to your soul – They take in all the beautiful colours and designs around you, generous actions of people and the marvels of the world. But what it is, is what it is (sounds annoying I know). Yet, we often give our own meaning to what is…
It was a casual dinner with my friends at work. We were chatting joyously and my friend’s phone rang.
“Not again…!” – James exclaimed.
He looked disgruntled at the phone’s screen and let it rang for a few seconds before silencing it.
As much as I appreciate friends who silenced their phone during get-togethers, I can’t help but notice his annoyed look.
“Who could that be?”
“Nah. It’s nothing. Just my irritating boss”
“At this hour huh?” – another friend said.
“Tell me about it…”
And within a few minutes, the phone rang again.
“Fxxx!” James stomped off with his phone.
After a good 10 minutes, he returned to the table, smiling.
Apparently, his boss has requested to send him for a week’s program at their Austria’s office to meet with European colleagues for a discussion the year’s sales rollout.
But why was he annoyed in the first place?
Because he has thought that his boss was chasing him for some reports that were due the following week, since he has previously done that repeatedly by calling him after work.
Perceptions, Opinions and Expectations
Musashi, a samurai swordsman taught us about the difference between our “observing eye” and “perceiving eye”.
The “observing eye” reflects what is – a sports car is a sports car, that’s a person running, that’s a bucket of fried chicken. The “perceiving eye” gives us what its supposed meaning – “the person driving the sports car must be very rich”, “that person running must be very fit or health conscious”, “that bucket of fried chicken looks so delicious!”
In terms of the relation and effect on emotions, which do you think has got a greater impact? Which would be the general cause of our misery?
We often form our own perceptions, opinions and expected things to turn out well. But if they don’t, the particular event or person becomes the enemy. They become the obstacles to our so-called happiness. We then give them so much power that we deemed ourselves powerless. [Read: 8 Greatest Lessons I Learned (at 32)]
Nothing Has Meaning Except For the Meaning You Give It
Many events and experiences will come into your lives. They are simply what they are. But perceptions will relate past experiences or futuristic daunting events. They are often not as helpful or friendly as they come. Even when we give them a very positive demeanour, it may not exactly be what it is. Instead, we are just making ourselves feel better. [Read: Take a Bite Size at Positive Psychology]
Sometimes, it may be better to not let our eyes see what’s in front of us, in order not to be limited by what is. This is especially true if we constantly limit ourselves.
In Facing the Giants, the famous Death Crawl scene showed exactly why.
The “perceiving eye” often is harder to overcome, because our mind will unconsciously start to link our previous experiences or what it may seem to be. But the good news is that, we can always train it to work consciously in our favour, by not letting our thoughts run wild, not when we do not want it to be.
In Spanish, there’s a famous saying “ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente”, which means the eyes do not see, the heart does not feel.
It isn’t events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgements about them – Marcus Aurelius
Now if you look around you, what do you see? When you think of events that made you angry or upset, what do you see?
Can you “see” what your mind or heart is telling you?”