The world is often black and white. We forget to use colour to add significance. Life happens around us. We make a decision and tell ourselves if it is good or bad. I got a job and here is what I like or dislike about it and it sets the path for our future. I met someone today and here is what was good or bad in our conversation and then we create an impression of them and hold on to it. I went to a restaurant and felt it was this or that and you will tell others your thoughts. Our perceptions guide us on our experiences; however, they often result in absolutes. An absolute is the extreme view and we focus on what is good and the rest of the experience resonates with that or it is bad and we go through expressing and realizing what is not good about the situation.
These moments then become our memories of the interaction with a person, situation or thing. We pick a word and it sticks to that memory. Unfortunately, our mind is clouded by that one piece that we don’t open our mind to what is really going on around us. Our perception sets the tone and puts us in autopilot and we move forward without really considering the situation.
If we only took a moment and reflected deeper on the person, situation and thing, you might have a diverse or different perspective emerge. What I mean by this is if you are not happy in your job, we only consider what is negative and it really pulls us down. So much so that we find it difficult to get out of bed to go to work. Everything and everyone is a negative experience and we live in the situation and the perspective does not change or shift because our eyes are only experiencing one view. Now that is not a good situation to be in. Ask yourself if it is making you realize ‘why’ you don’t like it rather than just knowing you don’t like it? There is a difference in ‘why’ you don’t realize over just knowing you don’t like something. ‘Why’ is asking questions and adding significance so you have a diverse perspective.
As easy as it might be, make it difficult. Don’t deal in absolutes. Rather than looking at things black and white, bring some gray in there and step back to look at what is really going on. Making it gray means blending the absolutes.
Sometimes those around us might create that absolute for us. Make it so you are able to see things from different perspectives. If someone says something, try thinking about it from their side. Why did they say that? What did they mean? Don’t over think it so it flips from one side to the other, but rather, add some context into it. We sometimes don’t realize that there is learning involved and that provides us a more diverse look at what is going on. It also allows us to not make a rash decision and then embrace a position.
It is amazing how we can build a strong foundational relationship over time and one interaction can remove everything that has been built. We write someone off and we never really take the time to understand the situation. Once we deal in absolutes, we suddenly decide they are a bad person and we forget all that they did that was good. It is what we call ‘recency effect’…the last interaction determines how we feel about the situation. If we go in with an open mind, communication can help us go in with a clearer mind and perspective. It can allow us to not overly react or make a sudden judgement.
Absolutes are the bi-polar aspects to a situation, thing or person. Take a moment to see the situation from a different perspective and perhaps, just perhaps, you might have a greater experience or outcome. Not all things are all bad and not all things are good. There is an opportunity to build more depth and perspectives. Use a pallet and colour to make it a richer experience. Black and white may be the base but the colour allows you to see it differently.
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