Making Hypotheses About Others

The way the brain works is this: We make a hypothesis about someone, and then our brain searches for information to verify our hypothesis.

For example, if we decide that someone is untrustworthy, our brain will find information to support that belief. In other words, we actively make our beliefs true.

If instead, we choose to believe that this same person is a flawed but good human being who is simply doing their best, we may find proof to back it up.

Be mindful of the hypotheses you’re making.

Advertisements

A Whole New World

What if we began to look at the world around us with the eyes of a child? Bright, curious, and wide open with wonder.

child eyes

Would the world we see be different? Would we?

I recently decided to carry out an experiment of my own by observing normal every day objects, with the sense of raw wonder at which children are best.

You can read my observations below. However, I can tell you that what I learned, at the very least, is that approaching the world with awe leads to greater appreciation for your surroundings. And we know from science that greater appreciation directly and positively correlates with a happier life, and improves over-all well being.

The point is, with gratitude comes deep joy. When we begin to look for the beauty and creativity in normal every day objects that we would otherwise over look, it becomes evident that opportunities for joy and inspiration exist all around us. And what we look for, we find.

Tree:

red tree

It’s fall here and tomorrow it will be winter. The leaves have turned a deep red. As if they’re bleeding over the loss of one season while simultaneously preparing for the next. There is always opportunity in loss. And this tree knows. Despite the changes, it stands tall and firm. Steady and unshaken. It trusts, in itself and the world, that there is more to come. That its story is not yet finished.

Rock:

rock

Perhaps it has always been right here. Its position unobstructed by changing surroundings. Unnaturally white and large for its atmosphere, it basks in the sunlight and waits. It glimmers in hopes of catching the eyes of those passing by, as if it’s trying to give us a gift. Oh the stories this rock has to tell, if only it could speak. Perhaps it was brought here by man. No doubt perplexed by the reason for its relocation, but nevertheless accepting of its new role. People step on it, creatures use it for shelter, and some days it isn’t used at all. But it’s still there. It’s confident enough to just be.

Flower:

flower

Or how about this flower. It doesn’t care that I don’t know its proper name. It doesn’t even mind that it stands virtually alone. One of the few plants in the area blooming as others die off. It happily continues to grow, so it won’t be like the rest. As long as it’s growing, it’s alive. And this flower most certainly enjoys being alive. As I watch, the wind grows stronger and the flower begins to sway. The two appear to be working together. The wind makes music so the flower can dance. It doesn’t seem to mind that it has no audience. It dances anyway. A carefree flower, no doubt.

I hope that these observations have inspired you to approach the world with a new pair of eyes. Or rather, to see the world with your own eyes, as they once were when you were a child. Doing so truly does open us up to a whole new world.

Never Trust Your Eyes

If the human mind

from its inception

is deceitful in all

of its recollections,

then the human eyes,

which form perception,

must constitute the

greatest deception.

Don’t Trust Your Eyes

If the “human mind is the most deceitful of all things” (Jeremiah 17:9), then perception is the great deception.

Perception

We all see with different eyes. That is a beautiful concept.

 eyes