More than 20 years ago, I was a full-time missionary, working daily to spread the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. At a particular point, you could probably say things were going well, but maybe too many of my conversations with my line leader over the phone sounded a little too similar. So he asked me that question.
How often does a year go by and you feel like you’re much the same person as you were one year ago? That’s the case for me more often than not.
But as 2022 was ending and I needed to assess my professional development, I felt like I had grown more than I normally did. I worked on specific areas of growth with the help of my manager. I felt like a more capable employee.
Perhaps no greater proof exists of the adage, “Your perception is your reality,” than the fact that the colors you see depend on the photoreceptors in your eyes (see “How your perception creates your reality” by Dr. David Hamilton). Most people’s photoreceptors behave the same, but some people’s don’t (hence the variety of colorblindness), and animals’ differ from humans’. But for each individual, the colors we see are the colors things are.
Your perception is your reality, and your reality drives your choices and actions. The problems arise when perception becomes so far removed from reality, becomes so distorted, that the resulting choices become damaging.
Have you ever been embarrassed to be around or with someone? I have, and in one case the feeling was profound.
About a dozen years ago, I attended a conference held by a professional society I belonged to. My wife and I saw an opportunity to experience a new place together, so she joined me on the trip and we spent the evenings together. (One of my coworkers who was attending also had his wife with him, so the two women got to hang out while the conference sessions were going on.) As is typical for such events, we went to dinner with other conference goers.