The Deception of Perception

26 06 2013
(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

During the time I have been in the corporate world I have learned that perception is the most dangerous element of anyone’s career.   The dangerous part is perception is often based on irrational and irrelevant pieces of information.    Rarely is perception based on the truth and solid facts.

It has been my experience that people use deception to manipulate perception to their own advantage.

The truth is perception is often NOT reality and it is unethical to judge a person based on perception alone.  The disturbing fact is that perception is the easiest characteristic that people rely on most, yet it is also the most manipulated and distorted.  It suggests most people are living a delusional fantasy.   Often as a result of fear and a lack of confidence.   When people “manage perception” that suggests the perception is being manipulated.   Remember anything that is not the truth is a lie.   Lies are by definition imaginary and irrational.   The sad part is fantasy is often more comfortable than reality to face.

We need to learn how to base our decisions of clear facts and the truth.   Not the irrational results produced by fear and emotions which often paint false images of events and distorts the truth.

The best way to avoid the deception of perception is to ask the question “Who does this serve?”

Chances are if the answer is self-serving we are deceiving ourselves and our perception is skewed.

If we carefully look at the facts and remove all emotion initially from our perspective and then step back and look at the big picture perspective with the same rational mind we can often see the truth and eliminate the deception of perception.

We always have to be ultra careful because we can bet that we almost always never have all the facts to base our perceptions on.   The best we can do is to list the facts and use them to educate those around us on the big picture and how the each factual piece of the puzzle fits into the bigger reality of what truly is. People are almost always too close to the trees to see the beauty and grandeur of the forest around them.   We have to take the time and make the effort to back away from the trees so we can clearly understand where each tree fits.  Once we have assembled the facts we can allow emotion to add depth and beauty to the big picture.   If the emotion does not serve to improve the sum of the trees – then we should stop and re-evaluate why our perspective is triggering a negative emotion and realize that it is likely a result of a past trauma or experience that has distorted our understanding.

It is hard at first to learn how to step outside of our own perception and to look at situations without judgement and without emotion, but once you learn how to – the world becomes much simpler abet a lot more coercive when we remove our rose colored glasses.

This is where inspiration comes into practice.   People use deception and manipulate perception generally out of fear.   When we lead authentically and inspire those we come in contact with – people wake up to the fact that there is nothing to fear and the intimidation of others will fade.   Sometimes this will take us to the edge of martyrdom, but sometimes standing up for the truth and speaking with authenticity to those who enjoy the fantasy they have created can be painful and even a little dangerous, but it is important to realize the result always is the best for the common good.   It will bring you peace and those around you peace because the burden of fear that people carry with them will start to fade when they are in your presence.    These same people will be willing to take the same risks and take the same stand for truth.  They will follow the example you set.   This is where the term inspirational leader comes from.

Today I challenge you to stop and focus, really focus and step away from the trees until you can see the forest.  Look at the facts, see the truth and embrace it, even if its not popular.

Only the truth can bring you peace.

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