We have all heard the saying that people’s perception is their reality. I would like to flip the script on that saying by offering that peoples reality, is based on their perceptions.
Recently I was visiting my parents. At the end of the visit, I was going to the airport with my father who apologized for the visit not being very fun. I thought for a second, and disagreed with him (not an uncommon occurrence). “What was he thinking”, I thought to myself. This was a great visit, but his perception is that there always had to be something going on in order for me to enjoy myself. In fact, it was just the opposite.
I responded to him about all the things that I got to do, and refocused his perception on all the positive things that we did. I am fortunate that I am mid-40’s, have both my parents still very much alive, have two brothers, and a sister who have all been individually successful.
After thinking about it for a few moments, my Dad agreed that is was a good visit. His reality is that there has to be activity continuously occurring in order to have an enjoyable time. My reality is that presence is more important than activity.
Here are a couple of tidbits that helped him understand that I had an enjoyable time.
- I was with them for Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving was a White Thanksgiving (earlier than a White Christmas)
- I stayed with my sister and brother in law during a major power outage
- I participated in a 5K
- I got to have lunch with one of my oldest friends
- I had beers for the first time with my youngest brother who is 15 years younger than I….so did my Dad.
- I got to see deer in their front yard within about 25 feet of me
- I appreciated where I came from, versus where I was, or where I was headed