It’s no secret that we never really see what’s going on in front of us.
Of course our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin register what’s happening. But by the time our minds make sense of the data received, our filters have done their work. Our view of what’s happened is already an interpretation of the event based on a million variables that have contributed, either deliberately or unconsciously, to our way of seeing the world. Our filters.
Now, what’s fascinating (and really useful to remember) about this is that we have a much greater degree of control over our filters than we might think, and whilst we can’t necessarily change the event, we can radically alter our experience of it by modifying the filters we choose to apply.
So the next time it starts to rain in the middle of your walk, instead of cursing, scrunching up your face and running for shelter, bring to mind that corny old song “Singing in the Rain”. I guarantee it will change your experience!
It’s the same with people.
We rarely really see them for who they are, or listen to them attentively without our filters. Often that’s OK, but if these include unconscious biases or prejudices, stale old judgements, or even the untested opinions of others, we may be missing out on a real meeting with the person.
So the next time you notice yourself silently criticising the person in front of you, or even idolising them, see that as a filter. Drop the commentary and just listen with your full attention. I guarantee that will change the experience for both of you.
For the better!