I have done a number of posts on perception in the past. This is because I am fascinated with how we perceive the world. I believe that we don’t see the world as it is but as we are. We see the world in a subjective way rather than an objective way. The way we see the world determines how we respond or react to it. I saw a ‘Google talks’ video by Jeff Johnson (User Interface designer) and he talked about the three things that influence the way we see the world around us.
These three things are the past, the present and the future.
(1) The past is your experience.
(2) The present is your current context.
(3) The future is your goals – aspirations and desires.
I was born in Nigeria and lived in a city called Ibadan till my early twenties before relocating to the UK where I have lived for about 10 years. My Nigerian upbringing continues to influence my outlook of the world despite not having lived there in the last 10 years. It is part of who I am – my identity and history.
My years in England have also shaped the way I view the world as well because England is my present context. My current life story is shaped by the events happening to me in England at the moment.
My future goals and aspirations dictate the things that I focus on thus my perception of the world will be influenced by the goals that I have prioritised. This will determine the opportunities I see and seize and the ones that I miss and overlook. You see what you expect to see because of your goals and focus. You are less likely to be attracted to things that don’t interest you. A good metaphor of this is the way moths are attracted to light bulbs at night time. This is all that they see and rush towards.
Our perception of the world is unique. Yes, there are commonalities and similarities in the way we see the world but we are all still unique individuals with different histories, stories and goals.