Perception Vs Perspective

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What’s the difference?

I was curious just how different perception and perspective are so I went to trusty Google to take a look. 

Perception– The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

Perspective– One’s point of view or particular attitude towards something.

I found these definitions interesting. Can you use one without the other?

I would struggle to separate the two and yet, I know it can be done.

When I was young, a friend of mine tried to get me to like avocados. She raved that they were delicious if I would just give them a chance. I tasted a piece and found it a bit slimy. It reminded me of white glue. Before you go there, yes, I have tasted white glue as a curious kid. It was understood by me, from that day on I didn’t like avocados. I assumed all avocados tasted the same.

Fast forward a few years to a different scenario on vacation where guacamole was made right at the table. I watched as they added the green fruit and thought “ I am not going to like this”. To my surprise I did like the taste and began to perceive them in a new light. My perspective towards avocados was changed forever!

I have been working through the chakras of the Kundalini system within a course sponsored by the Yasodhara Ashram called Liberation. It’s based on a book called “Kundalini-Yoga For The West” written by Swami Sivananda Radha.

The senses have an important role in each chakra. The course challenges you to unpacked and put them through rigorous tests. To use perception to reach new awareness. Change perspective.

Which am I more likely to believe? The insight I am gaining based on my connection to senses or an attitude (perspective) entrench deeply in my past belief system?

Where am I going with this?

My perception is hinting that there is something wrong. The world doesn’t quite look right for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on it. Call it the sixth sense-intuition.

I find myself less distracted these days with the luxury of not working. That can be a good thing or a bad thing based on your perception and my perspective. 

How can I change my world if I can’t see it clearly? I know I always have choices. Can I trust perceptions to guide me?

There is a quote that goes something like this…

Either you are the master of your life and decide where you are going or you are controlled by your emotions and life masters you. 

You are what you think. You think then become what you are.

A simple exercise to change your perspective is to lay on your back with your feet placed up a wall. How do you see the world now? Do you perceive a difference? If you are able, do a handstand. When your world is upside down does your perspective alter?

Stay in this position and ask yourself “Do I want to build something different?” If the answer is “Yes” then use perception and perspective to build awareness and discernment.

Orbiting Retirement

Change of Mind-graphic(created by vknecht)

I am a little bit older than Sharon. She just turned 55 and I will be turning 58 this year. One of the reasons our partnership works well, in my humble opinion, is that our lives are similar and yet very different. You get two perspectives for the price of one.

I was surprised to see though that our younger selves had very close dreams of how we would retire. A hut on the beach was ideal in my naive teenage brain. Doing something creative and being able to supplement retirement income would be a bonus. 

I always thought I would do something with art or music. I never considered banking or corporate life as a permanent thing. It lasted almost 40 years and became my priority. It also funded my ability to explore spirituality, art and music at leisure which kept my soul fed. 

Now, I find myself having a desire to explore the potential and benefit of reconfiguring retirement. A liberation to shed a traditional path most of us feel compelled to follow.

What if there was another path to a sense of freedom you never knew existed?

Simplifying life, opens your mind to new possibilities. I ask myself what parts of my life hold me prisoner? Can I let them go in order to find a new orbit?

Fear is an interesting four letter word. It can seem to have a bigger hold when looking at the unknown future. Knowledge of gained experiences helps me to dispel fear. The more things I try the less control fear keeps me chained down. 

Can you create a new world within your mind of what retirement should look like for you?

I have been working through the Kundalini system. The 7 Cakra’s to liberation. In the space of the 6th Cakra there is a new definition of mind that functions within two realities. The manifested and the unmanifested. 

As I get older I have the gift of experiences to help guide my decisions. The knowledge of how actions I make impact my intuition to alter my choices and the truth that remains once the journey is completed. The more aware I become of my ability to control my intended orbit, the easier it gets to become insightful and intentional with my directions. To plot a path and trajectory that will land me in the spot I desire is first imagined in my mind. 

What if I was able to maintain a “skylike mind”? A mind that welcomed new experiences that bubbled up from unmanifested parts of me. Those parts had been stored for later and are now showing themselves to be key tools for my current journey.

I am building a new world in which to accommodate a new version of me. The material is drawn from a well of known experiences instead of a well of intellectual conditioning. There is power and energy I can intuitively draw on that knows how to balance the flow. 

If all of my experiences are a creation of my mind then what do I have to fear?

My desire to be liberated puts me on a path towards a freedom I never knew existed.

Perfection is the Enemy of Done

I don’t know who originally coined this phrase, but I heard it for the first time today from one of my coworkers. It stuck with me for the remainder of the day.

How many times do we get stalled, sidetracked, or defeated because of a need for perfection? I know I do. On one hand, I’m a “Type A” personality who likes to get things done. On the other hand, I’m a perfectionist. If something is going to be done with my name attached, it needs to be the best of which I’m capable. It’s quite a dichotomy.

At work, my analysis and storyboards need to be thorough enough to give the client a picture of what the training will be, detailed enough for the development team to put it together, and have a flow that is easy for a learner to follow. I’m working on something now that I’ve written and reorganized several times. Every time I look at it, I find something I want to change. If I want to make it perfect for others, it needs to be perfect for me. At some point, I’ll get tired of reworking it and simply want to get it done.

When I was a dog groomer, I had a hard time thinking a dog was ‘done’. There was always a stray hair, wonky curl, or some part needing “just a little more” attention.

When I clean house, I may set out to simply vacuum and wash the floors, and find myself washing baseboards, door frames, and windows.

Many years ago, when stuck in yet another rut because I couldn’t get something as perfect as I wanted it, someone said to me, “Sharon, you have to realize your 80% is someone else’s 100%.” Yeah, but…

It’s one thing to hear and another to put it into practice. I am driven to always produce, what I perceive to be, my best work. Imagine how it felt when one workplace started to use agile methodology. I had to learn the concept of “good enough” and get things out the door quickly so it could be tried and reiterated upon. It was uncomfortable…at first.

It didn’t take long before I started to see things didn’t have to be perfect. In fact, perfection impeded progress. Clients preferred regular updates and offering feedback during development, rather than waiting to see a finished product at the end. It made them feel part of the process and it helped us, ultimately, produce a near-perfect product.

I groomed a dog just last night and didn’t think I was finished after two hours of work. The owner, however, loved how much better her dog looked and walked away happy. If I’d wanted it to be perfect, I may still be grooming it – he was 190 pounds of dog!

When I competed in my first CrossFit Open, I knew I was not (in any way, shape or form) close to perfection for many of the movements. There were some I couldn’t do at all. Yet, perfection wasn’t the goal. Getting it done was. Being able to say I did it, for the first time at 50 years old, was enough for me. If I’d waited for perfection…well, I simply wouldn’t live long enough!

Think about your own life. When is “done” enough? What things need to be “perfect”? Is it realistic to want to achieve perfection? If so, at what cost?

When is perfection the enemy of done?

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