The mind is everything. What you think you become.
– The Buddha
By understanding and applying a few principles, we can change our perceptions of our external situation live more comfortably, gain influence and power, and eradicate all feelings of displeasure.
I call full application of these such principles: Living Lucid.
1) Your outside perception of reality is a direct reflection of your inner self
Think about a time when you were caught deeply in a certain emotion. When you got super angry at your parents or friends, or when you get really sad because you’ve just ended a relationship or had to attend the funeral of a close one.
During this sensitive time period, no matter what it is you are doing, almost everything around you becomes associated with the particular emotion you are feeling.
If we are super elated, nothing seems to be able to bring us down; if we are depressed, nothing seems to be able to bring us up.
By these examples, we can see how our entire external situation is perceived according to our state of mind.
Most days we do not experience such strong emotions, so we often do not notice the subconscious connections we make between different environmental stimuli, however once we begin to realize this is the key of how reality shows itself to us, we have taken the first step to alter our perception to be much more vivid and enjoyable
2) Others alter our outside perception by suggesting a particular emotion to our subconscious
Hypnotists do it all the time. Artists do it all the time. Entertainment is reliant upon this principle:
Being able to suggest emotions to the subconscious
Simply, this means an outside source is able to trigger your subconscious to feel a different way by providing relatable stimuli to your objective mind (also known as our active perception, or our conscious mind).
Through this method, other individuals are able to control our thought processes, and if they are really good at it, they can get us to agree and do any action they require of us.
Disagree with me? Think about the best salesmen in the world, they all do it everyday. By making us feel important, respected, we are made to feel superior. Then because they have our ears, they are able to make us feel desire for a particular product or service, regardless of what the true value of the good is.
However the kicker is we are suggested emotions all the time, and consciously or not, we are feeling what others want us to feel. Our friends make us laugh, our significant others make us angry, and our family makes us feel loved.
Understanding this principle better helps us shield ourselves from negative emotions, and go towards feelings of positivity, which will help us grow and live much more happily and pleasurably.
3) We can change our own perception by suggesting emotions to our subconscious
This is where the road gets a little tough. This step entails we learn to change our own perception by forcing our subconscious to feel certain emotions. Bear with me though, full application of this technique will be life changing.
Let me begin this section by referencing a story my friend, who is a state renowned track athlete, told me in relation to the thoughts going through his mind before, during, and after a race.
For the story’s sake, my friend’s name will be Johnson, and he runs the 400 meter dash.
You see the 400 is a race considered brutal; its neither a real sprint nor is it a distance event. It lies right between our two main forms of using energy, and as such, the pain incurred during the last stretch is excruciating, with cramps, lactic acid buildup, and severe fatigue providing a destructive barrier on the way to the finish line.
I couldn’t understand how Johnson stayed away from worrying about the pain both before and during the race, and how he stayed focused on doing the best he could at the race.
He told me that it all begins with his mindset: he explained how, starting days before the race, he constantly thought about victory. During practice, during dinner, during sleep, all he would do is picture himself passing the other runners and crossing the finish line first. He would think about the acclaim he would receive after the race, the honor he would bring to his school, the college offers he would receive.
He would continue this process of active thought about winning all the way up to the day of the race, and even during the race. By this process, Johnson, told his subconscious that pain was a feeling not even worth thinking, and that the pleasure of victory would erase all the pain.
The funny thing is, it worked.
Johnson broke every sprint record at our school from the 100 to the 400, got accepted into an Ivy League university on a full-ride scholarship, and is currently leading the university team as the anchor on the 4×400 meter race.
Each and everyone of us, including you, can use this same principle in every situation in your life.
If you are a student, the next time you are about to take a test, envision yourself scoring a 100. Begin days before, think about how easy the test will be, the fat A+ you will receive, the praise you will receive from your friends and parents, and the pride of knowing that you did it.
If you are applying for a job (one that you will love to do), think about the pride of telling others you work at that company, the large paychecks that you will be receiving, the elation at knowing that you stood out as the most useful and unique among all the other applicants.
This principle is limitless in the power it carries. By applying this principle to its fullest potential, we can make make all our ambitions, dreams, and visions come true, and truly alter our perception to suit our desires.
This post is an introduction to a series on fully learning these principles, which I will further elaborate on and discuss ways to apply them.
Until the next post, look into your own life to see how these principles hold true and apply to you personally. By recognizing these universal forces around us, we have made the first step in becoming masters of our own vision