Ask Mr. Manners

Change your perceptions


If you watch a lot of movies – or as of recent, presidential debates – it’s easy to start seeing things in only black and white. Good guys or bad guys. Dead right or dead wrong. Republican or Democrat. You start viewing life through blinders, thinking you know every plot, story beat or what’s in the nation’s best interest.

Of course nearly everything has its shades of gray – and if you take the time to open your eyes and look for it, it can change your way of thinking.

Now, do not think I am telling you to go out and change your opinions on the elections, but what I am telling you is to take the opportunity to find ways in which you can grow from something that you may feel is negatively impacting you.

Each year around this time I begin to review: where I am, where do I want to be, and what I have gone through during the year. I have divided my life into five areas, and each needs evaluation to ensure that I am staying on target. What I find so interesting about this process is seeing how I have evolved or had my perceptions changed through the year. Through new experiences, acquaintances and circumstances, my perception of what is success or what direction I need to go can change drastically.

One such example of a change in my perception is how I define success in my career. I used to believe that success in my career equated to a lot of money and working many long hours. Now, I tend to lean toward success as being able to leave work to be with family and friends. It all ties back to perception. It is interesting how time tends to change how we think and how we feel success is measured.

This goes beyond our careers, and permeates all aspects of our lives. Do we allow ourselves to become engrossed in the current issues of today, or do we allow ourselves to look further into the future to help us in determining how this will all play out in the long run?

This year take the time to understand how you have grown and changed so that you can better react to the conditions of the world.

As we prepare to enter the new year, the best way to change yourself is to find things which inspire you to change your perceptions. For example, are you someone who is inspired by political events or are you led to action by social injustice. Regardless of your driving force, all of this leads to redefining yourself, expanding your perception and defining your new measures of success.

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