What is your reality? Is life something that just happens to you or do your actions help determine what occurs? How much of our life must we accept as is? How much of it do we actually control? I personally believe that whenever we are not satisfied with our lives we have the power to change them. Dreams and aspirations can only transpire when we truly allow them to become a part of our reality. However, to change our lives, we must learn how to let go of the things that hold us back from our success. In this post, I’d like share three things that must be understood in order to bring about a more fulfilling reality for ourselves.
1. How you respond to reality is influenced by your perceptions.
We interact with the larger reality via our five senses. When we make judgments based on them, perceptions are formed. We view life through the filter of our perceptions. However, our perceptions are limited and there are many instances where they can misinform us. If a perception is based on misinformation, it will not be in alignment with the rest the world. This can result in problems.
Have you ever misinterpreted something someone else said and got offended? Maybe instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt you confronted them with anger, which resulted in a breakdown of communication. Perhaps the conflict quickly led to a deterioration of your relationship with that other person; all because of a misunderstanding that you acted upon.
This leads us to another key point...
2. The direction of your experience is governed by the choices you make.
To live in this world means choices must be made. In every circumstance, we are presented with a set of options. Each of these options has a consequence that goes along with it. Every event in our lives allows us the opportunity to choose how we are going to respond to it. The pattern of our decisions forms a chain of consequences that lead us down the road of our existence.
Let’s say I want to start exercising more. But, when I get off work in the evening…I’d really rather just go home, collapse on the sofa and watch my favorite show (personally, I fixed this problem years ago by trashing my TV). In the long run, I have to decide what is most important to me and what is the best choice for lifelong health: watching that episode or building a better body. This is something to look for in the decision making process. What will the outcome of each scenario look like ten years down the road? Some decisions broaden the amount of options made available to us (a healthier body is more attractive and leads to clearer thinking), while other decisions limit them (becoming a couch potato makes you fat and weak). Some choices bring us closer to happiness and the fulfillment of our aspirations. Others take us further away.
Often times, it is difficult to remember what is most important to us. Life has a lot to offer and for many people it can become like a juggling act of priorities and responsibilities. At times you may feel spread thin and start to lose focus on what really matters most to you. Which brings us to the third point I’d like to address...
3. The measure of your internal congruency regulates the amount of personal power available to you.
Personal power is your ability to make things happen. Congruency is the quality or state of agreement within an individual. When people experience internal conflict, there is a lack of congruency between two or more aspects of their personality. When a part of you really wants to get that job promotion, but another part shies away from the responsibility that comes with it, that is a lack of congruency within your being. Many people who are unfulfilled or unhappy lack this inner congruency. They are perpetually torn between the gratification of simple desires and what they really want out of life in the long run. Also, hidden fears and insecurities can sabotage our sense of self-worth. We unconsciously start to feel undeserving of the very things that would make us happy. The more congruent we become, the more fulfilling life becomes because the relationship we have with ourselves grows increasingly harmonious.
In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with an analogy. Living your personal reality can be like driving a car. Your perceptions make up the control panel, mirrors and windows. They inform you of your environment, the proximity of other vehicles and how the engine is functioning. If your windows are dirty or your control panel misreads, you may be headed for trouble. Your choices are like the steering, accelerator and breaks. They are what ultimately determine where you are going and how fast. Will you take the shortest route to you destination or the detour? Lastly, your internal congruence is the engine. It gives you the horsepower needed to achieve what it is you set out to do. Are all your pistons firing in rhythm with one another? As each of us drive to our respective destinations in life, perhaps these ideas of perception, choice and congruency can help you enjoy the ride.