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Perception As Choice

Updated: Feb 22


A man with an anger face.

"How much easier it is to manipulate perceived reality when viewed only through the filter of our personal screens" -- John Duran


Some may be surprised to realize that much of what we consider to be "reality" is simply a perception that we accept into our lives. This perception can be shaped by a variety of factors, including socialization, negative bias, and our own personal experiences. That is, even though there is a world beyond the mind.


For example, if you happen to hate your job, it may not be purely because of the job itself. It could also be because of the way you perceive the job (many people treat jobs like merceneries and not like salarymen). If you have been taught that monetary gain is an exalted pursuit, and you work in a minimum wage job, it is only natural that you would be discontent with it, and perhaps even feel jealousy as a reasult. This is because the job goes against the directive you might've learned through socialization, that correlates success with financial materialism.


In other words, much of our perception of reality is exactly that: a perception, and not necessarily reality itself. Our perception is not necessarily a part of external reality itself, and for a perception to be true, it has to meet a certain criteria regardless of our emotional relation towards it. This means that our perceptions can be changed, and that we can choose to see the world in a different way. Whether or not we want to acknowledge the truth, or deny it with or without awareness, is our own prerogative.


For example, if you were to change your perspective on your job, you might start to see it in a more positive light. You might realize that jobs are not just about monetary gain, but also about helping others or making a difference in the world. This change in perception could lead to a more positive experience overall. You therefore may also find out that perception not only has a value in relation to the truth, but also in relation to practicality, necessary for your mental survival in this world. As such, while we may be inclined to face reality, we may also be inclined to think practically, in order to maintain our sanity.


We might find out that we deny reality using our perception because the truth is too hard for us to bear, so we avoid it. It is also one of the reasons philosophy is not for everyone, because not everyone is mentally prepared for certain truths about reality. When you have a philosopher friend, you might find them hard to bear for that reason alone.


The point is that we have the power to choose how we perceive the world, and no perception is necessarily forced on us. We may utilize this insight for our own individual and collective benefit, as perception, built under ideology, is a very powerful tool. We can choose to focus on the negative aspects of our lives, and we can choose to focus on the positive. Should we be resilient enough, we won't necessarily need to depend ourselves so much on either. That's because, along other things, resilience helps us cope with our problems and adapt to adversity better.


Our perception of reality is shaped by our experiences and inyteractions with others.ences, so it is important to be mindful of our thoughts and beliefs. After all, they are tools that can be indirectly used to shape our emotions and mental state. Thus, controlling our thoughts can lead to a better regulation of our emotions.

Our perception of reality is shaped by our experiences and interactions with others. This perception is not necessarily "real" in the same way that a physical object is real, but it is real to us and to anyone who shares our perspective. Our perceptions can have a profound impact on our decisions and our overall well-being.


For example, someone who grew up in a family that struggled with unemployment might be more content to have a job, even if it's minimum-wage. This is because their perception of what it means to have a job might different from someone who grew up in a family where everyone had a good job. By the same token, what one may percieve as completely granted may be valued dearly by another.


Similarly, someone who believes that monetary gain is not important may be content with a lower-paying job. This is because their perception of what is important in life is different from someone who believes that money is the most important thing. Altruists may be more inclined to give to others in general, because they may have the perspective that tells them that they already have enough for themselves.


It is important to be aware of our own perceptions and to understand how they are affecting our lives. If we are unhappy with our current situation, we can challenge our perceptions and try to see things in a new light. This can be a difficult process, but it is possible to change our perceptions and improve our lives. By the way, one of the points of philosophy is to challenge our percieved reality. When Socrates said that he knows nothing, it can be apply to ourselves as well, by challenging our beliefs of something as "knowledge".


One way to challenge our perceptions is to think about the experiences that have shaped them. What have we been taught about what is important in life? What have our experiences taught us about what is possible? Once we understand the roots of our perceptions, we can start to question them, because it is then that we understand that they are questionable.


Much of percieved reality can be questioned. I actually managed to reduced my sensitivity by treating any content like a butcher, when I realized that we do not have to treat intensive content dramatically. Our choice of reaction to anything, remains ours. The more we can control it, the better.


Another way to challenge our perceptions is to expose ourselves to new experiences, even if they risk us to a degree. This could mean talking to people who have different perspectives, traveling to new places, or trying new things. By expanding our horizons, we can start to see the world in ways we would otherwise not have thought of as possible. The point is to challenge our beliefs, and convince ourselves they can be changed, using these experiences as proof.


Changing our perceptions is not always easy for we are, most often than not, attached to them. However, it's possible because hardship does not entail impossibility by itself. By being aware of our own biases and by challenging our assumptions, we can start to see the world in a new light. This can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life, and also make us better aware of the truth.


In the show "Spongebob Squarepants," the main character, Spongebob, works as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant. Despite the fact that his job is low-paying and his boss is often mean to him, Spongebob remains optimistic and happy. This is because Spongebob has a different perception of what is important in life, which is having friends and having fun. He believes that it is more important to be happy and to enjoy your work than it is to make a lot of money. His unrealistic, optimistic perception towards work is what makes his experience as a low-paid worker, far, far more bearable.


Spongebob's co-worker, Squidward, has a different perception of what is important in life. Squidward is more concerned with money and status than he is with having funs or having friends. This is why Squidward is often unhappy and dissatisfied with his job, as he is also paid poorly like his co-worker.

The contrast between Spongebob and Squidward shows how our perceptions can have a profound impact on our lives and on our mentality. Spongebob is happy and fulfilled because he has a different perception of what is important in life. Squidward is unhappy and dissatisfied because he does not share's Spongebob's values, despite living and working in the same environment as him.


Squidward wants to change his reality, but is powerless to do so, while Spongebob likes it just the way it is. Thus, due to his lack of power to lead the life he wants, Squidward's perception is impractical, even if it's in line with reality, while Spongebob is almost delusional, but far more practical mentally.


The next time you are feeling unhappy or dissatisfied with your life, take a step back and think about your perceptions. What are your assumptions about what is important in life? How have your experiences shaped your perceptions? And still remember this: Reality is cannot be changed by perception alone. You can't make yourself a cup of coffee by visualizing it being made without any action on your end. Never underestimate the value of power, for power leads to action.


Allocate your perception to what you're capable of, or what you want to be capable of, and can be capable of.


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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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