For about three weeks, I have been reading 3 different books. Mostly because each of
them appealed to my senses in their own way. And despite the disparity in their
subject line, I have found a common ground which is summed up to these two words.
Perception and perspective
For the first time I considered each of these as separate words with distinct meaning
instead of words that could be used interchangeably. I like to start by defining each of
the words to avoid any form of contextual confusion.
Perception in this context and verified by Merriam-Webster dictionary is the way you
think about or understand someone or something.
Perspective on the other hand is a mental view or prospect in short a point of view.
Let’s just say your perspective is what angle you view a subject while perception is
what you see through that angle. As Christians, our perspective should be God
through his word and his spirit while our perception is what is written in his word
about us and our varying situation.
Let’s examine the following quotes;
“Reality is an illusion albeit a persistent one”
“All our knowledge has its origin in perception”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Every bit of information we receive or have received is subject to interpretation based
on perspective. This is why despite the ability to talk to one another we still
misunderstand each other. Why what can be good to one is bad for another.
Whenever there is a shift in perspective, there is a change in perception. In
mathematical terms, our perception is a function of our perspective.
A man’s perspective is shaped by his life experience, moral principles and spiritual
beliefs or lack of thereof. It is what allows you to determine what are wrong and what
is right. It is why terrorist consider themselves martyrs, vigilantes consider
themselves righteous and psychopaths think themselves brilliant. It is also the reason
for conflict in relationships.
However our individual perception on a matter is what makes us unique and gives us
the ability to proffer varying solutions to a singular problem.
“Everything you see, hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You
create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is
specific to you”
“Our perceptions are lens that we view life with. Every thought, opinion and
experience is processed through our perception”
Our interpretation of life is unique to us and would determine how we make it
through life. So when you feel trapped instead of cowering and giving up shift your
perspective, reframe your perception.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change “
“…for as he thinks within himself, so he is. Eat and drink he says to you but his
heart is not with you”
-Proverbs 23:7 (HCSB)
In Myles Munroe’s book (overcoming crises); he talked about changing your
perception. Viewing your crises as an opportunity to get creative and do something
“I really think that any deep crises is an opportunity to make your life
extraordinary in some way”
Let’s talk about some real life examples;
Albert Einstein famous special relativity equation involved a change of perspective.
While everyone considered mass and energy as distinct entities. He devised a means
by which they can be related. He brought about a revolution in the world of physics
Charles Bruce Darrow (1889-1967); while researching on popular inventions during
the great depression, I came across Charles the monopoly guy. He’s the creator of the
monopoly set we all play or have played at some point in our lives. This American
salesman lost his job after the stock market crash of 1929. Interestingly enough, he
was not the original creator of the game but designed his own version after seeing it
played at an acquaintance house. He however became the first millionaire game-
designer in history.
Paul and Joseph Galvin invented the car radio in 1930 after the great depression
caused them to lose more than one-third of their revenue and two- thirds of their
workforce. The company is now called Motorola.
World war also brought with all is grief the creation of drones, tea bags, sanitary
napkins, plastic surgery for wounded soldiers etc. Crises breeds creativity depending
on how you choose to see. Instead of cowering under the war, some people started to
think about how to make life easier for themselves, their families and fellow human
Shift your perspective, reframe your perception and adjust your attitude. Every
change of perspective should be accompanied by a change of attitude.
John Locke’s casual theory of perception states that the world interacts with our
perceiving organs and causes ideas in our mind. I choose to interpret this as our
experience and interaction with things and other people are one of the factors that
eventually shape our perception. However your principles and outlook to life will also
contribute greatly to your perception. It will determine whether you consider an
obstacle as a challenge you must overcome or as a reason to give up.
Which is why I daily learn to let God shape my perception, let his word be the lens
through which I look at the world and interpret my experience. Let his love be my
standard and his plans my calling.
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any
moral excellence and if there is any praise, dwell on these things”
-Phil 4:8 (HCSB)
” Set your mind on what is above, not on what is on the earth”
-Col 3:2 (HCSB)
“… My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness…”
-2 nd Cor 12: 9 (HCSB)
These words are a source of comfort to me in hard times and my perception of life.
What is your perception based off???
1. Your perception is your reality by Tony D. Clark at lifehack.org
2. Top eight verses about perception by Jack Wellman
3. Renew your mind: it’s all about perception by Donna R. King (July 2015)
4. The naive perspective by Robert Greene
6. Overcoming Crises by Myles Munroe
7. 48 laws of power by Robert Greene
8. How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
Picture link: https://www.google.com.ng/search?q=change+your+perspective&client=ms-android-samsung&prmd=ivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwistvf845jaAhWsAcAKHdGHDU4Q_AUICigB&biw=320&bih=454#imgrc=pdsQNY5sBBI-kM: