“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change,” said Wayne Dyer, who died of heart attack September 1st. Perception is something I discussed with my business partner, Drew Gerber, today. He is based in Budapest, Hungary where refugees are gathering. He calls it an opportunity. CNN calls it chaos. How do you see it? Before you answer, consider this other news story: this man gets pulled over for speeding and the state trooper’s compassion drives him to tears. The man writes on Facebook, “I sincerely believe, in MOST instances, it is OUR ATTITUDE, OUR BEHAVIOR, OUR RESPONSE that dictates the officer’s response.” How do you respond? How do you solicit response?
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” This is my favorite quote from writer Anaïs Nin. One way to impact your community, get public alignment for your commitments or simply develop yourself is to ask yourself how you view the world and how that influences your thoughts, actions and words. Yesterday, my spiritual advisor wrote an email asking our spiritual community to ponder these questions. I think they’re great questions for your journals. I also think, if you’re a public person, they’re great questions to ask yourself about leadership:
- Where are you silencing yourself?
- Where do you step back from taking a risk?
- Where do you step back from expressing what’s in your heart?
People in the public eye are forced to ask these questions some times in front of a camera, like this clerk, Kim Davis, from Kentucky who refuses to give marriage licenses out after gay marriages have been made legal. She’s now in custody facing federal charges for contempt.
There’s a fine line between speaking up for yourself, expressing what’s in your heart, taking risk and impacting the same for another human being. How do you perceive what’s right and wrong?
When you refuse to express what’s true for you, will you blow your top one day in a fit of anger? Pressure builds over time, just like this natural “blowhole” in Hawaii created from water and volcanic rock recently featured on Headline News.
My business partner and I dance in the arena of public perception. Public relations is largely about perception. Some people call this art “spinning” and I like to simply call it storytelling. Perception becomes the stories we tell ourselves and those we share with others.
Reflect on the stories you share. Do they reflect your truth? Do they reflect the love, tolerance and understanding you wish to usher into the world? Or, do the stories you share (in some cases also called gossip) ignite rage, anger and division? It’s up to you to say since you are the one perceiving your world. And the one opening your mouth to speak or engaging your ears to listen. Choose your words wisely. Hear through a filter of love and possibility. Share what you choose with friends and if you’re committed to public leadership, include your media friends and other leaders with public influence. Include the news we absorb each day and choose the truth you see. Me? I choose to listen to good news – even when it’s hard news. How about you?