• Tanya Katre

Perception

- Tanya Katre


perception

/pəˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/

noun the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.

A single word, a wispy thing, a thing no taller or larger than the top of a ferris wheel. Maybe that's all it is, the top of a ferris wheel. You pick which part of the city you'd like to admire, you pick what you feel when you see it, you pick what part of the city you'd like to carry home with you. Perception.

Perception is what defines who you are, or that's what most people believe in anyway.

But unlike what is the popular opinion, I'd like to think that it's more complex than if the glass is half empty or half full: it’s like the private language shared by you and the world, the language that transcends mere words or eye contact. It’s the way you interact, communicate and understand the things around you. The way you choose to interpret the world around you.

Maybe the world is like an empty house, the ones you decide you're too lazy to paint and decorate. But suddenly you decide you could do away with the white, so you grab a brush and make the house your home.

Because that's exactly what reality is, home, your home. And perception? The way you choose to paint it.

Choice, however, is a funny thing. What you choose to see and what you choose to believe is heavily influenced by your past experiences, psychological biases, attitudes, your expectation of yourself and others' expectations of you. In fact, your perspective of the people or things around you may reveal more about you than about them.

All in all, perception is how our minds translate the aforementioned ‘language of the world’-- with constant integration of information from different parts of the world. After all, what we see is the realm of the mind, not the eye.

But as you might recall, the brain can easily trick you into believing.




‘If seeing is believing, believing is also seeing’. The brain, interestingly, has an irrational tendency to search for, favour, interpret and recall information that aligns with its pre-existing beliefs. In fact, ‘cognitive bias’ or what can basically be called irrationality, is one the tricks your brain pulls on you. It is one of the brain's strong tendency to make choices and perceive things in a way that unduly favours itself.

This self-serving cognitive bias is what influences a majority of our day to day beliefs. For example, how a student getting a good grade on a test might appreciate themselves for studying hard, but a student getting a bad grade might blame the test or the teacher for an ‘unfair’ grade.

Taking credit for positive events and blaming external factors for negative ones are one of the most basic examples of self-serving cognitive biases .

Different people have majorly different ideas (perspectives) of the world around them. The people we surround ourselves with play a huge huge role in influencing the way we see things. Associating with people who have a positive outlook on life, is proven to bring about a positive influence in your life itself. Perspectives influence perspectives and besides, it is always refreshing to hear different perspectives on ordinary situations or objects.

The whole concept of life is all about perception. Positive versus negative, good versus bad. Whatever you pick will most likely reflect your personality or affect your outcomes.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ― Wayne W. Dyer


Illustrated by Avani Gupta