A challenge! A positive one – and a challenging one. Yes – I am asking you to undertake a Challenging Challenge. Outstanding vocabulary aside, let me explain.
Expectation and Perception are integral parts of our lives. They can affect our mood, how we interact with others and every small aspect of our day, as well as aspects for others around us. This is incredibly powerful when you think about it. Even more so when you think that you are able to consciously choose how to perceive certain interactions and how you expect things to play out. Simply put, being an optimist or a pessimist can be a choice. So if it’s a choice – why wouldn’t everyone choose to be optimistic? Why not be a force for positivity and broadcast that to everyone?
How do Perception and Expectation Work?
Perception and Expectation are inescapably linked and are incredibly individualised for people based on their experiences and emotional state. Expectation come from how things are playing out around you (observation) and your previous experience with similar scenarios. Perception therefore is affected by these expectations and puts the observation into “Context”. This process happens with multitudes of sensory inputs all vying for notice at any one time, thousands of times a day. Your brain is quite capable of handling all of these subconsciously and providing a response based on similar experience. If those previous experiences have been positive, then naturally the brain adapts a positive expectation of the scenario and will “perceive” the events unfolding with a positive filter. I.e – you are PREDISPOSITIONED to giving a positive response. The flipside occurs with a negative experience. Fortunately for humanity we are also able to consciously take control of our decisions to provide positive/constructive responses if we so choose. So I ask again – why don’t we? In short – humans can be lazy 🙂
With the intensity of the modern life, we tend to try to optimise our mental energies in as streamlined a fashion as possible. It can be likened to having a pre-set amount of mental decision making ability. At the start of the day – your mental bucket is full and complex decisions can be made relatively easily. As we fatigue during the day, this bucket empties and it becomes harder to make difficult decisions. So we tend to try and optimise our time by letting the subconscious handle what it can. This is where Habits come into play. A habit is “a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously” – Merriam Webster Dictionary. Steering back on course, if we are in the habit of being positive, our subconscious will continue this trend. If we are a bit of a regular sad-sack, yep – we’re going to continue to be so. The POINT is – that we need to be very aware of what our state of subconscious play is. How many of us know that person who always complains and therefore we try to avoid them because they affect our mood as well? Or how we gravitate towards those people who inspire us or make us feel good? Lets harness that power!
Leading the Charge:
So my challenge Possiblers – is this. Be aware of your actions – it’s going to be tiring….speaking from experience, it can be exhausting, especially when you just don’t feel like you have energy for yourself, let alone anyone else. Small steps. A couple of times today – stop and think about what’c coming up and how you’re going to go into it. Try and be aware of how that situation is playing out as it’s happening and be a positive force for it. It can be as simple as saying hello to someone, and instead of saying “hello….good thanks” and walking off, stopping for 30 extra seconds and asking that person what they’ve done this morning so far. Maybe swing an off-hand compliment and COMPLETELY turning that person’s day, their perception of the day and expectations for the rest of the day, around. Isn’t that worth doing?
Challenge Set – Lead the way. Positivity leads to possibility.