It’s interesting how different people can go to the same event and have completely different experiences. Two different people going to watch a movie together may have completely different reactions to the same film. It may sound obvious, though thinking about how we perceive events may end up changing how we perceive different things for the better.

Say if you went to the cinema and you didn’t like the film you went to see, then you may walk away thinking it was a bad use of time and you’d rather have spent your time doing something else. If you looked at it differently, you could try and see the good points about your experience. You may have enjoyed some parts of the film, you may have enjoyed the popcorn you ate, or you may even have enjoyed the journey there.

If you were in a relationship that ended with you both going different ways, then it may be easy to think that you wasted your time and regret it. If you looked at the relationship through a different lens, you may remember the great times you had together and remember the positive feelings you experienced. Looking at it positively makes you feel better about your past, and you can see that relationship as one of the things that made you stronger in life. It can be a past experience that can be either cherished or despised. It’s all down to how you perceive it.

It’s important to be critical of our perceptions because they shape our mental model of the reality we live in. When you read a news article, how do you know whether it is true or not? You may end up believing a piece of fake news. When talking with other people, someone may say something that you perceive as a personal attack, or it may have just been a well-intentioned statement that they didn’t word very well.

So here is where I’m leading this train of thought. You can choose to look at reality and the world we live in through different lenses. You can perceive the world as a hostile place where everyone else is greedy and only out for themselves, or you can see the world as a place of kindness and opportunity. With the current virus situation, you can see it as a curse or as an opportunity. We can choose to perceive things differently, in a better light, or we can choose to see most experiences and circumstances as negative. We just need to remember to challenge what we perceive and try and look for the positive things in those negative experiences and circumstances.