Experiences in my life have helped me to understand how important it is to see myself and life in a positive way. I believe that we can affect change in ourselves and our life with the right perspective and attitude.
Here are some thoughts I have found that follow this idea - excerpts from the book "Beyond Illusions" by Brad Barton.
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." - Mark Twain
Many of the painful experiences and negative feelings we patiently and nobly endure, turn out to be products of our own making. Our preceptions and interpretations powerfully influence our responses and actions. All too often, they create the very thing - the very reality - we fear out of (drum roll please) absolutely nothing.
We have the power to create our own reality - beautiful or ugly, abundant or sparse - out of nothing more than perception.
If you possess the ability to create your own reality, then yes, you can create fortune out of misfortune, opportunity out of failure, possibility out of emptiness, and self-fulfillment out of frustration. How? By looking at situations differently. By developing the tendency to look past the conspicuous facts and seeing instead the inconspicuous possibilities.
You can...change your life by changing how you perceive events and how you see yourself. This is what I call The Art of Guided Perception.
"People are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to imprve themselves; therefore they remain bound." - James Allen
The most important change we can make is our preception of who we are, the value we bring to the world and our preception of our own attractiveness.
"Things may happen around you and things may happen to you but the only things that really count are things that happen in you." - L.C. Robinson
Don Quixote: Positive Perception of Others
Don Quixote (a tall, lean, eccentric, retired landowner) perceived himself as a noble knight riding forth on a mighty steed (a broken-down cart horse) to fight evil enchanters and giants (windmills) in defense of truth and justice. His grasp of principle was tenacious. His grip on reality semed, however, tentative. Quixote saw the world not as it was, but as he perceived it. For this he was considered insane.
His weakness was his delusion of grandeur.
His greatness was his delusion of others' grandeur.
Don Quixote saw greatness in everyone, no matter who they were.
Because of his unyielding insistence, they ultimately gave in to his perception of their greatness - his delusion of their gandeur...and his perceptions became reality.
When others mocked him and called him mad, he replied, "The greatest madness is to see life as it is, not as it should be."
Quixote's amazing if seemingly insane ability to see others not as they saw themselves, but as he saw them, created a new reality; a reality more promising, more productive and more practical than the old one. His insistent perception of others' greatness and inherent goodness changed circumstances by transforming people who create circumstances.
True leadership is to inspire greatness in those around you by perceiving them as magnificent and wonderful, despite how they may appear or behave in the moment.
When we enhance living breathing human beings by enhancing our perception of them, and consequently their perception of themselves, we enhance the circumstances they affect.
For more excerpts from Brad Barton's book, see:
The Power of Positive Perception: Part 2
The Power of Positive Perception: Part 3