Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surgeon General's Warning: Negative Perception is Hazardous to Your Health

Have you ever seen a one year old toddler dragging a chair bigger than they are across the floor? Pound for pound they are stronger than the average adult. If we were to keep this relative strength into our adulthood it would be very impressive to say the least. Now what does this have to do with perception you might ask? In my book, The Leaf Catcher, the father brings up this analogy to his son and explains that as that child grows up and hears everyone around them talk about their limitations they grow to believe them as well. Our perception as a toddler is that everything is new and everything is possible, we just need to keep trying until we get what we want. But over time our perception becomes adulterated with negativity and accepted beliefs of limitations that we hear and see around us, and this can keep us from reaching our full potential.

Let's take another look at an example of perception and then we will return to tie it in with the above example. We have all experienced the very real sensation that time can seem to move unnaturally slow when we are bored or in pain, and unbelievably fast when we are having a good time and don't wan't something to end. The fact is that time never changes it properties, a minute is the same length of time no matter what you are doing, but sometimes it can feel like 10 minutes or 10 seconds depending on how we perceive it.

So we see that perception is so strong it can change both our physical capabilities and our mental experience of time. Perception then is the most powerful performance enhancing drug available to us that is both free and without unwanted side effects. A positive perception will have you high on life. However, a negative perception has been associated with the following: depression, insomnia, nausea, blindness to potential, stroke of seemingly bad luck, heart and life failure.

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