Tabernash " Marianne Klancke: What Does Love Have to Do With It?
February 19, 2008
In review of our recent love holiday, it is obvious to me that the same celebration can seem either positive or “pukie” depending on one’s perception. Such is life. Our individual perceptions dictate everything.
Many essential factors of our unique personalities influence how we shape our perceptions and, consequentially, how we experience our lives. Love, stress, toothaches, money, hunger, and even cabin fever all formulate how we perceive and interact with the rest of the world. Our sense of self, sense of others, and sense of community are the evidence of our individual perceptual ingredients at any given time.
Perception involves a three step process that includes first the selection of data, next, the organization of that input, and, finally, our interpretation of the gathered and categorized information. This is no simple task, yet our five senses constantly gather data and our brains continually attach meaning to all that we encounter.
In selecting data, certain brain mechanisms allow us to accept some messages and reject all others. We may habitually dwell on our same-old input or consciously choose new information. Marketing is forever trying to penetrate at this step with loud, repetitious, and stimulating messages just to get its foot in our perception door.
After a sensation gets past our sorting gatekeepers, that bit of information must be organized in our brains. This mind-boggling task can be compared to organizing your garage, which is also mind-boggling. Your choice ” you can decide to store everything according to purpose, size, value, use, condition, pleasure, or by whatever system that makes sense of your stuff.
You may not know anything about a particular gadget, but you will find a shelf for it all the same. We all necessarily generalize in our sorting tasks for the obvious sake of convenience and speed. Without conscious adjustment, storing habits could rule for a lifetime.
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Organizational shortcuts serve us when it is we are thorough and accurate in our categorizing assumptions. However, when we decide to simply put all the red tools on one shelf and the sharp ones on another, we are not distinguishing their individual characteristics nor are we benefiting from their greatest possible potential for our future recall and use.
In our final step of perception-making, after selecting and organizing, we must interpret our incoming data. Yes, this process reeks of judgment. We all do it. We create interpretations based on degrees of our own involvement, past experiences, behavioral beliefs, knowledge, moods, and more.
Lurking over this entire perception-making machine are the many and varied factors of external and internal influences. Physiological, cultural, social, and emotional counterparts manipulate at every step.
How do you see or taste? What is your age? Are you feeling well or are you tired from partying the night before? Did you skip breakfast? Are you a night owl? Is it snowing again? Your brain knows and creates perceptions accordingly. You, in turn, then behave and communicate in unison with your thoughts.
Our cultures direct us to see that which we know. Unfamiliar people, places, and things may just fall off our perception radars. Individual social environments dictate the roles from which we focus and, therefore, narrow our perceptual fields of attention and growth.
Did I mention love? Our vast range of emotional characteristics can make or break a perception. Try this. Take one subject and apply a mood ” then a different mood, and then another. Whoa! Try the same technique with your self-concept. Emotions exert powerful influence over how we perceive the people and events in our lives.
Basically, that which we take in is what we eventually put out. Perception dictates our interactions and communication with one another. Knowing the factors of perception development and its relationship to our behavior allows us insight to our many encounters with self, family, friends, and community.
Fortunately, we have the capabilities to consciously broaden and monitor our mental input. We can de-categorize our perceptions employing a commitment to individualism, recognize and minimize distortions of interaction, and make sense of our world with an understanding of self and empathy for others.
Remember, our perceptions dictate everything.
” Marianne Klancke is a certified professional coach and group development facilitator. What are your coaching questions or communication concerns? She welcomes any comments firstname.lastname@example.org.
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