I mentioned my friend Angela Tristam in a previous blog. She is going swimming with sharks. I kind of thought she was crazy. I asked her how the sharks don’t eat her while swimming and she laughed and said she was in a cage. Ohhhhh….I thought she was a loose swimmer! Now I don’t think she is crazy, well okay, I think she is less crazy. Brave, courageous, daring, and maybe a little crazy!
See what a little bit of missing information can do to our thoughts? That’s how we are as people though; we form our thoughts and opinions on the information we have in front of us. We form our opinions based on where we have come from and what we know. Every life experience adds to our life perception. Our parents, our friends, if we traveled, our culture, traumatic experiences, our community etc. etc. etc. As adults, we take all of our life experiences and continue to form our opinions based on our past and the new knowledge we gain.
I teach this is cultural perceptions courses, but it is relevant to everything. Look at how polarizing something like Pokemon Go is. Newspaper columnists have written about it as the demise of our culture. Others write that it is an innovative way to get kids outside. Cynics (aka me) say that it’s a large marketing strategy to get us into different shops and spend more money in our economy. All of us are right and all of us are wrong, it just depends on our perception.
I have experienced this with my weight loss and my life transitions. Someone who doesn’t know me may look at me and see a fat woman. People have known me for awhile see me as a less fat woman! Someone who may not know me may label me as lazy or unhealthy but someone following my journey may use the terms healthy and inspiring. It’s all in what we know and how we see the world.
Tomorrow I leave for my seven week Global Leaders Change program. I have received feedback from many people that they are excited for me and my family. They see our journey and fully support it. On the other hand I have received feedback from some that they feel it is irresponsible to take seven weeks away from one’s family or that the risk of no income for that time is too much. Are they right? Yes. Are they wrong? Yes. It all depends on their perception and information.
This is part of the internal transition. As someone who lives for approval, I mean I am a stand up comedian and we have an insatiable need for attention, I used to have trouble when a “nay-sayer” would come forward. When someone could tell me they thought I was on a wrong life path or make a negative comment, I would take it very badly. I’d let it affect me. Ironically sometimes they were right, I was on the wrong path. Sometimes they were wrong, I was on the right path, but either way, it would affect me. As I have lost weight and moved forward, knowing what I know about the world, I now know it’s okay for others to think differently than me. It’s okay for people to be scared for my family. It’s okay for people to support Donald Trump. Okay kidding, not that’s still not okay in my world view! 🙂
I challenge you all to think about what you know, where you come from and how your world view was formed and to challenge that world view by adding different “lenses”. Learn about other people’s journey, take time to listen, learn about different cultures and try to see things from a different perspective. I know I am on a great journey but am allowing other people to have their own feelings about it and appreciate where they are coming from. Let’s all try to be a little nicer this week. Man, this “kinder, gentler jenn” thing is annoying, but feels amazing!