How you perceive your situation is how you experience your life.
In other words, your mindset – whether you respond with gratitude, anger, joy, calm, frustration or otherwise – determines your daily experience of the world.
This is something I’ve been learning more about (and I guess with 40 years under my belt there’s got to be some learnings there somewhere!) and noticing more and more.
It’s not exactly a new or difficult concept – knowing that your perception of the world actually forms your reality – but the more I internalise it, the more it means.
There is truth, and then there is interpretation of truth
For example, I’m sitting at my desk as I write this. It’s early in the morning and the sunrise is starting to light the sky. There’s a cool breeze coming in through the window, and I’m the first to rise in my house. My husband and toddler could be up at any moment.
These are all true.
On one hand my perception could be that I’m so fortunate to have these rare moments to myself, that the sunrise is beautiful and each moment is precious. I could be optimistic about my day ahead.
Alternatively I could be annoyed by the cool breeze tickling my bare toes, the brightness of the sun glaring from behind my monitor, and frantic in the fact that I know my silence is going to be cut short at any moment.
(In fact, it just was – I stopped writing at this point because my toddler wandered in, and I had to return later to finish my thoughts)
In both cases, the truth remains. In each case, the perception is different and my experience of life is potentially considerably different.
What is success, anyway?
I’ve thought about it a lot. Over the past few years we’ve been on a mission to design an intentional life around what *we* want, as opposed to what the world generally states is ‘successful’. I like to look at situations that appear dreamy (eg a mansion overlooking the water, an entrepreneur running their own life, a lifelong traveller) and wonder whether the person at the centre of it is truly happy.
Without judgement, it raises my curiosity: Even though they seem to have the ideal situation, what is their perception of their surroundings?
If they’re not happy – if their experience of life isn’t joyful – then the circumstances of their life don’t matter. Right?
And that can be applied to each one of us.
Regardless of what’s true – of what our situation is – our perception of it is truly what makes our experience of life a positive one, or otherwise.
And even though our circumstances can seem to limit our life, there’s freedom in the knowledge that we can choose our experience of it.
Choose our thoughts.
Choose our perception.
There’s power in that. Don’t you think?