What is perception? Determine your perception



What is perception? Determine your perception:

Just came across a very beautiful quote by Jonathan Safran Foer— 


“Songs are as sad as the listener.”


Let us undertand what is perception and the factors that determine your perception.


What is Perception?

By definition perception means organisation, identification, understanding and interpretation of the sensory information. In layman’s terms it is beyond what the eyes can see and the ears can hear. It is the conscious understanding of something. Perceptions vary from person to person and are based on one’s experiences in life, assumptions and expectations. Your perception of life adds beauty to it. For your personal growth, your perceptive of the situation matters.


Perceive things beautifully 

When the sun gets hidden behind the clouds, it’s not the sun that moves. It is fixed where it is, it’s the swarm of clouds which moves. In the similar manner the world does not change, it is only our perspective of the same which changes the scene.

Two people face the same situation, but the way both of them perceive the situation is what makes one happy and the other one sad. Things can be seen from your point of view. Half a glass of water can be seen as half full or half empty. It is your perspective which creates the different views of the same situation. You can think of the phenomena of day and night either as a small day between the two long nights or one small night between the two long days. So again it is how you perceive your struggles.

You are the author, the creator, the poet, and the philosopher of your own life’s journey and the only person whose opinions matter the most for your life is you.


What is perception?
What is perception? Determine your perception

Few examples to understand perception

Let us begin with a very simple example of a corporate setting. I think most of you will be able to connect with me through this example. There are two employees of a company Mr. X and Mr. Y, both working at the same designation. Mr X is overloaded with multiple responsibilities and he has to duly comply with all his responsibilities daily. There is Mr. Y at the same position but he is merely been handed over with just one responsibility.

Now at this point there is a question that who is better than whom. The perception of both towards this situation will play a role over here. Mr X might feel overburdened and give away his responsibilities, he might be pressurized and can not cope up with his present situation, ultimately feel depressed. He also might be comparing himself with Mr. Y who is enjoying a pressure-free life at work or feel like being tortured by his boss. Do you see a ray of hope for Mr X in this situation? Yes, from a positive point of view. Here Mr. X can consider himself lucky to have been considered responsible than the other employees at his position and that his seniors have trusted him for being the right candidate for all the allocated tasks. As more the responsibilities, better the person at it. Just changing his perception Mr. X would be a happy fellow at his job, elated by his achievements and will do better at work and in life.

What can be the perception of Mr. Y in this case? Is he in the better position? It depends on his point of view again. He can think of it negatively as he is not been given an opportunity to be exposed to the other responsibilities, or he was not considered equivalent to Mr X. This would cause the feelings of remorse and an inferiority complex. On a positive note he can excel in one task which is been allocated to him so that he can be considered the master of that particular task. He becomes the first person of choice for that particular task or else be showered upon with tougher job responsibilities and in that way can find happiness in his life. So have you seen how just by changing his perspective of the available situations Mr. B can be contented in life.

So situations are never good or bad. It is our perception of things which is posing the situations in different ways.

As Wayne W. Dyer rightly said “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

Don’t you think that internally we have to make certain changes? We have to investigate our internal souls. Our thoughts and beliefs define our perception.


Factors that determine your perception

Someone else’s perception 



What is perception? Determine your perception



Your perception should not be based on somebody else’s perception.

Example 1 : Mr A and Mr B do not like each other. And there is a Mr. C who knows Mr. B well but does not know much about Mr. A. As Mr. C and Mr B are really good friends, and Mr. B does not like Mr. A, Mr B will tell all the negative aspects of Mr. A to Mr. C. Now it is when Perception comes into play. Although Mr. C has no qualms or personal grievances with Mr. A, he will automatically perceive a wrong image of Mr. A and feel an unconditioned repulsion. Now this is when by the body language of Mr. C, Mr A will in turn also feel a reflexive repulsion towards Mr. C. And this chain will keep growing which if not broken, nobody will be in the position of saying good about anybody else. And instinctively will feel repulsive towards each other. This is the best example of a job environment.

Example 2 : Mr. A and Mr. B do not like each other. Mr. C knows Mr. B but does not talk to Mr. A because his friend Mr. B does not like Mr. A. One day when in need Mr. A helped Mr. C which changes the heart and attitude of Mr. C towards Mr. A. C’s perception of A not being a good person now completely changed. So do not believe on someone else’s opinions. Never judge somebody’s else perspective or based on his/her opinion about the same. The chemistry of relationships differ from person to person.

Prejudices in Life 



What is perception? Determine your perception



Sometimes in life we do not take risks or try something new in life due to the perception that it is not our cup of tea. This is what is refraining us from exploring our potential due to the limitations which have been set by our own negative perceptions. Few of the examples of negative perceptions are: This is not good, that is not made for me, that field is not good, he is not a good human being, he must be good because he works in this field, she is lazy, this is not to be done this way, he looks too egoistic, all bad in life happens with me only, I am an example of bad luck, only I am been targeted every time and many more such examples.

Example 3: If Mr. X is good at this trait that suggests he is good at other traits as well. Mr Y has one bad skill so we consider him to be good for nothing. Now we cannot judge a fish by its inability to crawl on the wall. We are all humans and must be lacking in one or the other skill. We set our prejudices about something or someone and it is very hard to change our perception about those things and people. So do not presume things. Once you have some prejudices attached with something or someone or some situation, automatically the wrong image of that person/ thing/ situation will be posed before you. Even if there is something good hidden in the situation, you will not be able to find it out. All that you would see is the darkness all around. So experience, understand and decide.

Wrong Assumptions and Misjudgment



What is perception? Determine your perception



That is to believe something to be true. Now without understanding the reality of the situation, having a wrong assumption about it is what leads towards wrong perceptions.

Example 4: Everyday Mrs. Z is late for work which suggests she is not a diligent employee, she is not serious about her work. Now before assuming such harsh facts about somebody and rushing to misjudgment without knowing what is the reality behind her coming late to office is what will develop a negative perception about her. You might not know what all she is going through before coming to office,what are the challenges in her personal life and so on. Do not have assumptions prior to having experiences with people or things. Understand about the hidden perspectives of the situations and leave the judging part on somebody else.







What has happened in the past with you may create a wrong perception about that particular aspect of your life and it might become a stigma of not taking up the challenge again. For ex., Ms. X will not sit for a particular exam again because she did not clear it in the first 2 attempts which means she is not made for that particular exam. Now it is to be understood how much efforts did she put in the preparation during her first two attempts. All that she has to do now is to put double the amount of efforts than the previous times. Failure doesn’t come to you by attempting a task, it comes by not putting your 100 % efforts in attempting it. Failure once in doing something should not be perceived as a failure forever. Similarly success once should not be perceived as success always in that particular task. So before undertaking any task in your hands a deep understanding of all the facts is important, your painstaking efforts are important. The situation might seem to be unsurmountable depending on our previous experiences but it is with diligent efforts that we can have our way through life.







You already have a strong belief about something which will happen or bound to happen. Mr. Y is the employee of a company. He is facing a difficult day at home but since he is bound to work from home as well he has to complete a project which was allocated to him for the day. Now being into this situation he expects that his boss should understand that there are other tasks at home as well and thus he will not be able to complete the task within the time limits so all he expects is to increase the time limits. But his boss does not understand it and this creates a disharmony between the two. In case your expectations are not met you end up becoming frustrated and having a repulsive feeling towards all those who have failed to meet your expectations. You need to understand the fact that nobody is bound to fulfill your expectations. The only person that you should expect something from is you yourself. Expectations from others can only lead to unsuccessful attempts of being happy.

I don’t think that anyone of us is blessed with only the goody-goodies of life. There are the good days and the bad days, still we find so many happy souls. What is the reason behind that smile? Are they the the special ones, never ever targeted by life? Um mm No. It’s how they have perceived their circumstances. It is their choice of interpretation of circumstances.

You are creating your own life by interpreting each and every second of your life. So be aware of the wrong interpretations.

It doesn’t matter if you have a negative perspective about something today. That is a natural human tendency of conceiving things. The theory which runs on reflex actions. What creates the difference is how quickly you change your perception from being negative to seeing the positive in something. The choice is always yours.

I leave you to contemplate this beautiful quote by Roy Bennett—


“The outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Other people’s perception of you is a reflection of them; your response to them is an awareness of you.”


Garima Dixit


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