4 Questions to Reshape Your Life

Jun 25, 2020

What filter is currently driving your perception? What have you consciously, or unconsciously surrounded yourself by? It’s the latter that typically drives us, and our lack of awareness prevents any possibility of change.

I’d like to share a personal story. Unfortunately, over the last few days we have noticed some bugs in our home. As you can imagine, the prevailing thoughts in both my wife's mind and my own – consciously in hers, and I discovered this morning, subconsciously in mine – are bugs!

I came back from an outdoor fitness session and was doing some core exercises with our daughter in our bedroom. As I lay beside the dresser completing my v-sits, I noticed the top edge of a gift card which read “Pest Control”…actually, that’s what my perceptual filter caused me to read. In reality, the gift card read “Restaurants”. Interesting isn’t it? I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a gift card for pest control. I had seen that gift card several times in the past. “Pest Control” is two words, and the gift card only had one longer work (“Restaurants”) printed on it.

So how did this happen? Despite all of my conscious effort to be present, to consciously choose optimistic thoughts, to focus on the process of eliminating these bugs without anxiety, frustration etc., it turns out that these bugs have invaded my perceptual filter.

This has been a true ‘aha’ moment for me. A metaphorical slap in the face, serving as a powerful reminder that the things we give our attention to end up shaping our lives. The example above is obviously a minor one, but I must ask myself, what else am I unaware of that's driving me...?

For those of us who are 'no-nonsense', rational and analytical people, I invite you to consider the following: Our perceptual filter impacts our conscious and subconscious thoughts and emotions, which drive our actions, which create our reality, which then reinforces our perceptual filter, and the process repeats itself. An uplifting perceptual filter creates positive momentum, while a less uplifting filter creates a downward spiral.

I encourage you now with love and respect, in this very moment, to reflect. Ask yourself the following questions, and please physically record your responses with pen and paper:

  1. What am I consistently thinking about?
  2. Who and what have I consciously or unconsciously surrounded myself by?
  3. Are my typical thoughts uplifting and positive? Or negative?
  4. What can I do to begin to make my perceptual filter more positive? Hints: Read positive, uplifting books. Listen to beautiful music. Watch inspiring documentaries or lectures. Dig deep in to your personal mastery / development. Immerse yourself in optimistic, positive, ‘can-do’ attitude, creative, inspirational material. Get out in nature.

Power Hint: Practice this daily – first thing in the morning, and possibly last thing in the evening.

Power Hint: Journal your positive thoughts, feelings and emotions. It helps them stick.

Imagine how your life would transform if every situation you encountered was met with the most positive attitude, regardless of the facts. Imagine if every situation in your life was processed by a filter promoting optimism, love, ‘effort pays off’, ‘I can do anything’, and other such positive sentiments.

How do you think your actions would change if this were the case? How do you think your life would evolve if this were the case? Are you ready to train your perceptual filter?