“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
Is reality absolute? Does everyone share the same reality? Or does each person have their own unique reality. When two or more people experience the exact same event, will they all react the same way or does each person have their own specific assessment as to what happened?
Let’s look at some simple examples. You walk into a room that’s 65 degrees. Is the room warm or cold? If you had been outside in sub zero temperature, the room would feel very warm. If you had just come inside after being in a 98 degree heat wave, you would think the room temperature was cool.
How much money does it take to be well paid? When someone who is used to making $7 an hour gets a promotion and starts making $18 an hour, it may feel as if they have just won the lottery. However, to a person who was laid off from a job making $50 an hour and then has to take a job making $18 an hour, their financial world has collapsed.
So your expectations affect your reality. When your expectations are met or exceeded you experience positive reality. However when your expectations are missed, your reality is negative.
Your expectations are based on your experiences. Bad experiences tend to lower expectations whereas good experiences lead to higher expectations. You become conditioned to expect what you are used to. However, if your experiences have been negative, you can and should have expectations that exceed your experiences.
Low expectations limit your reality and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you don’t expect much, or are convinced that something is not possible, your brain will not exceed your expectations.
Comparisons with others also determines your reality. This is the essence of, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” When you believe a better situation exists somewhere else, you think less of your own circumstances regardless of how good they may be. This is why those who are never satisfied don’t appreciate what they have.
Your adjust reality when you are trying to avoid criticism. In this case, instead of your reality being aligned with your beliefs, you make accommodations in order to escape disapproval. This results in your reality being aligned with someone else’s.
Going along with the crowd or following fads are situations where your reality is adjusted to correspond to the prevailing group think. Frustration ultimately ensues when you change your reality to conform to outside influences.
Optimists have a positive, can do reality. Pessimists have a negative, it’s not possible reality. Both will argue vociferously as to the validity of their position.
Regardless of the reason, you ultimately create your own reality. Others may not understand your reality or agree with it. You have no obligation to explain it to them or convince them of your reasoning.
Your perception is your reality. Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? This is a simple comparison that is the core of your reality. Given that you control your perception, you also have control of your reality.
Since you create your reality, you can change it to be aligned with your aspirations. If you are not happy with your reality, you must first understand why before you can make effective adjustments. Next, visualize your world the way you would like it to be. This will start to change your perception and thus your reality. You can make your reality whatever you want it to be.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden