Sometime back I wrote a post titled the same as this one. But this time I want to look at this quote in a different light.
“Perception IS Reality” I have found myself saying this to my team members over the past few weeks and again today it lept into my mind as I watched a video on my friend, colleague, and frequent co-conspirator Jason Thompson’s blog about living up to the Cowboy Code. If you’ve not seen the video or read the code, go do that now. I’ll wait.
The section of the code that spurred Jason to post the video was #6 When you make a promise keep it. Seems pretty simple, but how often have you been let down by someone who did not keep their promise. How often have you let down others when you did not keep a promise. I have been on both sides of this and I know the shame and disappointment I have felt when letting others down so it still stuns me how easy this seems to be for others to do and still sleep at night. When I have let others down I do my best to make it up to them. You want to feel low? Make a promise to your 8 year old son, and then not be able to come through. It sucks.
But what sets people apart is wether or not this is a pattern or some random anomaly that could not be avoided. When you let down your loved ones or friends they already know if this is part of your character or not. When you do this to colleagues, customers, employers and the likes they like most humans will assume this is how you are all the time. Their perception of you becomes the reality of you are perceived. Let me say that again. Their perception of you IS now your reality.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abe Lincoln
When you are in a dense forrest surrounded by thousands of trees your shadow is less important as there are so many overlapping it is hard to see a single issue. When you are one of a few cacti in the middle of a desert your shadow is long, clear, and easy to pick out. And unlike Peter Pan, your shadow, your reputation, your new reality will always be right there. Casting doubt over everything you do.
Perception IS Reality.
“If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem” . -Abe Lincoln.
Perception IS Reality. It was true 200 years ago, it was true 2000 years ago, it will still be true tomorrow. Where will your shadow be tomorrow? What is the reality you are projecting to the world? Does it reveal your true self?
Perception IS reality.