A while back, my husband put a new hinge on our daughter’s bedroom door so her cat can go in and out without our daughter having to open and close it for the cat. We have the same hinge on the door to our family room and Joey, the cat, has no problems going in and out by himself. However, it took the silly cat a long time to figure out that he could now open our daughter’s door the same way. He expected that he could not open the door, so in turn he could not until he learned otherwise.
I think we humans behave in the same way. We harbor expectations that can be powerful in influencing the way events are shaped. I think we often experience what we expect to experience. I say, focus on the positive and the chances of a positive outcome are so much better. I’m no Pollyanna and understand life isn’t always that simple but I also have known enough people with different mind sets to witness how much a person’s overall point of view can affect their experience of life.
We have a limited capacity for absorbing copious amounts of information, so we have evolved into creatures of deletion. We filter either consciously or unconsciously to keep our sanity about us. How is it that several people can share an experience, one person can walk away feeling great about it and another person can be sorely disappointed? To me it comes down to filters and expectations.
Many factors can influence how we take in and process information, everything from biochemistry to a spilled cup of coffee. You might wake up in a bad mood and the day just goes downhill from there or you get the job you were hoping for and the world is a wonderful place.
The events that just took place in Connecticut really rocked both my husband and me. It really affected our moods and outlooks. For both of us it was compounded by the gun advocates and some of their crazy rhetoric and the religious sect saying that it happened because god isn’t allowed in schools. I wish I had filtered out all that noise that further hurt my heart.
I think some of our expectations and filters, as in this case of Sandy Hook, simply come down to inherent personality traits and/or modeling. I personally prefer to focus on the positive and keep my expectations up, even in the face of tragedy but it was really hard after the events in Connecticut.
I know you won’t always get a great outcome just because you think you might and vice versa but I do think if you interface with the world from a negative space, you will find all the negativity you need or want to make yourself right and justify your actions.
I wish there was something profound I could say to the people who have recently been touched by the barbaric violence of late. I can only hope that it motivates change in our current gun laws, mental health practices and causes the shift we all so need.
On a more positive note, I have found, in regards to making friends, that the best filter in the world is me being me. Of course, it’s not about how I filter information but more about how others filter me. I am straight forward and that works for some people and for others, not so much. Some like my style which is great and some find me too blunt and quickly move along. As we have told our daughter repeatedly over the years, the best way to find the people you really connect with is by showing your true self.
How do you see your expectations and filters impacting your life? I would love to read your comments.
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