“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” -Talmud
I posted this quote last year. However, lately, I’ve been thinking about the truthfulness of it.
Our attitude shapes our outlook on life. If I’m feeling happy, I’ll view the world with rose tented lenses. So even on the dreariest day, a happy person will see something colorful. Same goes for the opposite. An unhappy person will definitely see the glass of water half-empty rather than half-full. And on the most beautiful day, a sad person will notice something gray.
The quote also applies to our outlook on situations. Whether it be joblessness, relationship issues or school exams, we see all of these issues non-objectively. We see them subjectively.
With this in mind, how we approach issues is important. Sometimes we worry so much about how we’re going to change a situation when really, we need to change ourselves.
We need to change our outlook.
Talmud’s quote challenges us to reevaluate ourselves. That can be a slap on the face, a mind-blowing ordeal that is a million fold harder than changing our situation.
How do we change ourselves so that we see things in a better light?
We need to continually be mindful of our feeling every time we think and see negatively. We need to ask ourselves, why are we feeling this way? Why are we noticing this person’s flaws? Why are we figuring everything that may go wrong with a situation? What is the trigger?
Once we do that, we then need to command ourselves to think positively. Command ourselves to look for the good in a person. Train ourselves to see everything that could go right in a situation. Remind ourselves to be grateful.
It takes effort and practice. It may even take a lifetime to master this way of thinking. But in the end, it will definitely be worth it.
As for me, next time I look at a situation, I will pay close attention to how “I am”. Because I don’t see things as they are, I see things as “I am”.