How perception becomes your reality

Written by Martin Lucas

92% of all you think about is not conscious.

The human brain is the world's most powerful computer and we don’t know what it is processing, we just know the end result, which manifests itself as a conscious instruction.

Here is an example:

The Sky

Let us imagine there are three people walking along a street. During this walk, two things appear in the sky on an otherwise cloudy day: a bird and then a plane.

Person 1 looks to the sky when the bird flies by.

Person 2 looks to the sky when the airplane flies by.

Person 3 never looks up no matter what happens to fly by.

Despite all three people experiencing the same reality, all three of them react differently. Why is that?

Bias-Based Habits

Perception is led by your habits; it begins with what you already know, such as how to tie your shoes, how to dress yourself or how to make a cup of tea. All habits, like the millions we have in each of our brains, work as we learn the behaviours and then store in our unconscious mind the habit of how to do it. This is why 92% of your brain power is not conscious; if it was conscious you would overload, fallover and or just be running in circles.

One of the breakthroughs of modern neuroscience is that we can take this understanding one step further, as you also have bias-based habits. These bias-based habits are an algorithm of your preferences created from your past experiences and they work in a similar way to traditional habits.

Let’s say you are four years old and your grandmother tells you airplanes are the greatest invention of all time.

Then when you are six years old, your family goes to an aviation museum and you marvel at these amazing metal beasts.

Then, at school, when you are seven you do a show and tell project about the Wright Brothers.

And voila, that is your perception: you loves planes! Your brain is now pre-programmed to seek out opportunities to see airplanes and thus your bias-based habit is born. Now you could substitute ‘airplanes’ for ‘birds’ above and you have person A and person B’s habits locked down. Person C may love rain, hot air balloons or simply not give a monkey’s about the sky; they are just different.

Perception vs Reality

If you cast your mind back, I started by talking about how unconscious thoughts manifest themselves as instructions:

Thought - Look at the sky. Your behaviours follow suit and you look to the sky at a plane.

It all occurs in a microsecond and despite Person 1, Person 2 and Person 3 having the same experience they do not behave in the same way. This is why the way you see the world is very different from everyone else. Your perception is heavily weighted by your past experience which has become your pre-programmed way of doing things.

It’s worth pausing on this for a moment, to remember your bias-based habits are very different to your partner’s, to your friends and to everyone else in the world. Next time you want someone to see the world the same way as you do, take the time to understand what their perspective is first. You will pick up the wonderful bonus of understanding why miscommunication occurs so readily between us humans.

Is it bird or is it a plane?

Drop me a line if you want any further insight on this subject.