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First timers, START HERE!

The first step towards wisdom begins with an open perception and the widening of one's own horizon.

Reality is what you perceive it to be. And I would like to start with reference to the well known story of the blind men’s perception of the elephant. The full story (as well as the many different cultural versions) can be found HERE.

But in brief: Several blind men were told to touch an elephant and express what their perception of their elephant is.

The first blind man hugged the elephant’s legs and said that an elephant is like a pillar. The second blind man who held the elephant’s tail said that an elephant is like a rope. The third blind man touched the elephant’s tusks and said that an elephant is like a solid pipe. The last blind man touched the elephant’s ears and said that an elephant is like a hand fan. The people around the 4 blind men found it incredibly amusing and laughed hysterically.

Each blind man perceived differently because they were interpreting different aspects of the same entity – the elephant.

(1) The moral of the story is that although your perspectives (in small parts) can be right, your perception may be completely inaccurate because it is only limited to what you are able to interpret.

This is not suggesting that the blind men had shortcomings in their interpretation ability, but rather they had not interpreted everything that they could have due to their disability.

"Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really experience the universe directly. We just experience our consciousness of the universe, our perception of it. Our only universe is perception." -- Alan Moore

This has also applied to many situations throughout the history of mankind such as the perception that "the world is flat" -- a conclusion drawn in complete error even when done through seemingly sensible reasoning: "If the world is round, how come the people living on the sides don’t fall out? Well, because the world is flat."

It is no doubt, due to the absent knowledge of earth’s existent law of gravity that has led to this conclusion.

The key here is to understand that perceiving is a continuous phenomenon, therefore never draw a final conclusion. You can conclude, but understand that it will not be final.

With newly discovered information or evidence that was not present before, there can be a whole new different perspective of things and thus an entirely different conclusion.

Don’t carve a fixed belief into your subconscious mind and brand it as a permanent mindset. Never say "Life’s like that" or "That’s who I am" or "This will never work" when you are referring to an undesirable or a negative circumstance.

Seek to change it, and start with a change of perception. "Whether you think that you can or can't, you are right." -- Henry Ford

(2) Napoleon Hill said that "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." But how do we change what is inconceivable and unbelievable into what is conceivable and believable? These are the important questions.

The ability to conceive and believe relies upon the expansion of one’s perception. As your perception expands, you begin to see the possibility of things. And this is one of the many ways that humans can turn their visions into reality.

How does one expand their perception/perspectives?

Learning – 95% (some say more) of what we currently perceive is influenced by the lifelong conditioning we have been receiving since the day we were born. It is by learning that a perspective can be formed and by constantly reinforcing what we have learnt that a perspective is branded into a mindset.

So to expand your perception, seek out beliefs that tend to go directly against what you’ve learnt and specifically look out for these opposing perspectives to understand what factors – perceptive determinants – had led to their belief.

The trick here is to do it with the purpose of real curiosity to find out under what kind of circumstances or situation is one perception more accurate than the other.

As there will be factors that will determine which viewpoints are accurate, always try to seek a closure that concludes: "Both are right, under this and that given circumstances." This sets a neutral tone in your perception thus allowing new perspectives to be formed.

Most of the time, we would be inclined to choose either one of the opposing sides – and this limits (or even shrinks) your perception. Never have your perspective fixed as this leads to the stagnation of your perception.

(3) A stagnant perception narrows your perspective and limits your achievement potentials.

Imagine how the Wright brothers invented the first controlled flying machine. They succeeded where attempts made by others have failed. And those are the people who made up their mind thinking "Man would never fly" -- a perception that narrowed their perspective, fixing itself into permanence and eventually becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy (for themselves).

The Wright brothers on the other hand continued to expand their perception (through unrelenting tests, experiments, research, trials, assessments) until they were able to fully grasp the dynamics of flight navigations and aero controls to produce the first controlled airplane.

Whilst making this encouraging point, I'm not implying that one should continue to expand their perception to invent something. Instead, the expansion of your perception is practiced so that your mind moves toward a higher level of consciousness and deeper level of understanding.

Closing notes:

Your perception is widely shared through your everyday communication with others and can be influenced by the social conditioning that you are exposed to.

What's important is the development of your own consciousness to determine which perspective is more relevant towards what you are trying to achieve when undertaking life's biggest and smallest tasks. Keeping an open perception leads to an open mindset that broadens your horizon as you progress in life. That's the message here :)

There'll be a point where you'll find that there is no need to take sides in any contrasting perspectives. This is when your awareness level is high enough to see the truth behind that which you perceive and realize there is no need to find trivial differences among them.

"A liberal is a man too broad minded to take his own side in a quarrel" -- Robert Frost.


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