The Magic of Choice: Navigating Our Unique Maps of Reality

Feb 12, 2024

Expand Your Reality: How Your Perception Shapes Your Choices

Have you ever wondered why two people can experience the same event so differently? The answer lies in the fundamental truth that no two human beings will ever have the exact same experience. This is because our experiences are shaped by our own unique “map of the world,” a complex internal construct built from our individual perceptions, beliefs, and interpretations.

In this month’s Thought Leadership session on “The Magic of Choice,” Prakash Rao, MCC, delved into the fascinating realm of human experience, exploring the various constraints that influence how we perceive and interact with the world. These constraints fall into three main categories:

  1. Neurological Constraints: This refers to the limitations inherent in our five senses and how we process information through them. The VAKOG model, for example, suggests that individuals have varying preferences for visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory input, leading to diverse interpretations of the same stimuli. For example, a visual learner may interpret a situation in a completely different manner than a kinesthetic learner.
  2. Social Constraints: As social beings, we are constantly influenced by the symbols and languages we use to construct our understanding of the world. These include cultural norms, shared beliefs, and even the way we communicate through words. These shared frameworks can sometimes limit our perspective, creating a collective “map” that may not resonate with every individual.
  3. Individual Constraints: Our personal experiences shape how we perceive and interpret the world. Through processes like generalization (grouping similar experiences), deletion (filtering out unwanted information), and distortion (reframing experiences to fit our existing beliefs), we create a personalized “map” that is unique to each of us. 

Understanding these constraints is crucial because they can sometimes act as blind spots, limiting our choices and hindering our growth. This is where the magic of choice comes in. As Prakash emphasizes, every moment presents an opportunity for choice. By recognizing the constraints that influence our perception and consciously choosing to expand our map, we unlock true freedom and flexibility.

Here’s how to harness the magic of choice in your life:

  1. Identify an area where you feel stuck or an area for growth: Is it a relationship, career decision, or personal struggle? Be specific and honest about what’s holding you back.
  2. Acknowledge the constraints at play: Reflect on how your neurological, social, and individual limitations might be influencing your perception of the situation.
  3. Leave your ego at the foot of the mountain: Remember, life is temporary, and clinging to rigid beliefs can hinder progress. Be open to new perspectives and possibilities.
  4. Expand your map: Explore new information, perspectives, and experiences that challenge your existing beliefs. This could involve reading, traveling, engaging in different activities, or having open conversations with people who have different viewpoints.
  5. Make conscious choices: Instead of being passively driven by your constraints, actively choose how you want to interpret and respond to situations. Remember, every choice, big or small, shapes your reality.

The power of choice extends beyond individual decisions. As Prakash will discuss in his next session, the very structure of language plays a role in shaping our choices. The word “decide,” derived from the Latin “de-caedere” (meaning ‘to cut off’), highlights the act of eliminating options and making a definitive choice. Understanding how language influences our decision-making can further empower us to make conscious choices that align with our desired outcomes.

The “map of the world” is not a fixed entity; it constantly evolves as we learn, grow, and expand our experiences. By acknowledging the constraints that influence our perception and consciously choosing to expand our map, we unlock the magic of choice and empower ourselves to create a life that truly reflects our values and aspirations.

This blog is just a starting point. Are you ready to delve deeper into the hidden forces that shape your choices and actions? Join Coacharya’s next Thought Leadership session, Unpack the Unconscious and learn more about the structure of language and its profound impact on shaping our choices. Remember, the magic of choice lies within you, waiting to be unleashed!

Silvester Jacob
Silvester Jacob

Silvester Jacob

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