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Where We Stand Depends On Where We Sit

August 1, 2011

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” ~ Buddha

A picture of an old woman right? But can you see the young lady too?

The “Young Girl-Old Woman” is a famous perceptual illusion in which the brain switches between seeing a young girl and an old woman. The main takeaway is two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both are right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. Imagine how different your world is from everyone else’s. Think about the powerful conditioning effects of family, school, church, work environment, friends, associates, pop culture and social media.

Thoughts, feelings, and visualized imagery are the organizing principles of your experience. Everything you find in your world of expression has been created by you in the inner world of your mind, whether subconsciously or consciously. Learn the truth about the interaction of your conscious and subconscious minds.

Change external conditions by changing the cause. Most people try to change conditions and circumstances by working on those conditions and circumstances. They’re dead wrong. They fail to see conditions and circumstances flow from a cause.

To remove discord, confusion, lack, and limitations – remove the cause. That cause is the way you use your conscious mind, the thoughts and images you encourage in it. Change the cause and positive effect will follow.

The same is true in corporate cultures. The principles of right action and divine order ultimately govern fate. Healthy cultures are designed to instinctively remove discord and reinforce positive effects. The best cultures respect the people served, and every employee is held accountable to customers and each other. Believe in better. No excuses.

Walk into any Nordstrom and you will encounter some of the most loyal employees, which contributes to an unusually loyal customer base. When company chairman Bruce Nordstrom was asked who trains his people, his response was “their parents.” You can’t change character. Again, it’s about conditioning effects.

What was going through Steve Jobs’s mind that inspired him to create some of the most innovative products of our time? What conditioning effects influenced him to “see” things differently?

MP3 players were available long before the iPod. The problem was that Creative’s early device focused on technology. Steve’s “brain switched” and he was able to “see” an MP3 player that focused on people. He took that same MP3 technology and made it usable.

Creative and Apple both saw the same MP3 market opportunity. The two disagreed on how to focus that opportunity. And yet both were right to a greater or lesser degree. Once again, it’s not logical; it’s psychological.

Apple’s Q2 earnings are astonishing. These historic earnings were driven by focusing on the experience, not the technology. Jobs and his team “see” beyond products into the desires of customers. It’s not about the iPhone or the iPad; it’s about hassle-free, worry-free apps delivered through platforms that revolutionize how a person lives, works and experience his or her individual world. That’s extremely powerful.

The bottom line is this – lifelong perceptions shape our attitudes and behaviors. Step out of your perceptions and explore the vision of others on their terms. We all see things differently looking through the unique lens of experience. You are the sum total of your own thoughts. Change your perceptions and change your life.


Follow me on Twitter @johnanthonypain

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