What’s Really Going On?

“ I’ll tell you what I want,” she shouted back. “I want a partner. A friend. A husband who cares about his family as much as he cares about himself.”

The above excerpt is from The Hero’s Choice, but I want you to look at this passage out of context. What is your perception of the woman speaking? What is your perception of the person she’s speaking to?

Here are some possibilities:

• Isn’t that just like a man? They’re all self-centered and unfeeling – why is she even surprised?

• Nag, nag, nag. Criminy, the guy’s trying to make a living and all she can do is harp.

• The tragedy . . . one more marriage dissolves. After a fight like that, they don’t stand a shot of surviving.

• Wow! I don’t know what’s going on between them, but she sure sounds stressed out – poor thing.

Now, here’s the key question:

What do we really know?

Based only on this passage, we know this: An angry woman is shouting about what she wants. We can probably safely assume that she’s yelling at her husband, but even that is an assumption; she could be yelling to her sister or a bus driver for all we know.

In the story, she – her name is Kathy – is yelling at her husband Hal, who has just been fired from the company he created from the ground up. Hal’s read on what she said goes like this:
It was one thing to lose his position, status, income, and the support of partners he thought were his friends. But to have Kathy turn on him was more than he could stand . . . Something – someone – had to change and, as far as he was concerned, that someone was Kathy.

So his perception is, what? That Kathy has turned on him.

Why is this important? Because how you perceive reality has as much – and sometimes more – impact on what happens next as reality itself. Please don’t minimize the importance of this statement as you seek your personal development. In fact, let me say it again:

How you perceive reality has as much – and sometimes more – impact on what happens next as reality itself.

Studies have shown that teaching people to reinterpret events in a positive, realistic way can be as effective in treating clinical depression as medications. Can you see how becoming the master of your perceptions will be a powerful instrument for personal development in your life?

Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation, leadership, and teams. His tools and methods have helped hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of people transform the ways they work and live. To learn more, visit www.theheroschoice.com.


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