The Power of Perception

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I was venting to a friend of mine the other day about my two young boys.  “I’m exhausted”, I told her. “Every day I come home from work and chase children for hours on end.  It’s an exercise in herding kittens!  Both boys wait at the door to compete for my time and affection.  When the kids finally get to bed, my wife and I collapse and wonder what just happened.”

As I shared these stories I thought my friend would shower me with sympathy and support, but that didn’t happen. 

“Wow.”, she said as her eyes started to well up.  “I miss those moments when my children would fill me with love and admiration.”

Her statement caught me off guard, and I began to wonder (as Rory Sutherland notes in the video below) how many problems in life can actually be solved by a mere change in perception and perspective?  As a licensed therapist, you would figure I knew all about the power of perception!

Sometimes, a simple shift in one’s daily approach to “reality” can lead to new possibilities and a renewed sense of purpose.  It gives you the ability to recognize opportunities when others are only able to see problems.

Advertising executive Rory Sutherland gives a fascinating talk about the power of seeing the world differently that I believe is worth referencing here.  It’s a little long by web standards (16 minutes or so), but I truly enjoyed his colorful examples and unique perspective.

One of my lessons learned from this video – don’t be trapped by dogma, which is essentially living within the voice of other people’s perception.

Think different, think anew.



  1. Heidi Seifert  December 7, 2010

    It’s what I call the what if syndrome “what if you looked at it like …..”

  2. Jeffrey Nigro  December 8, 2010

    This is what my practice is all about…but its that big “duh” moment when we see ourselves NOT doing it in our personal lives that hits home. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Antoinette Neff  December 10, 2010

    I just listened to your call on from Laura Dessaur’s “Beyond Managed Care” conference. Thank you for your insights and invaluable information…. some of which this blog touches on – shifting perspective. I’m going to shift perspective in my practice by sharing more and becoming a resource to others. I’m also beginning to discover my niche, thanks to your suggestions. I want to also thank you for your idea about the “Brain Bank” and resources like The information you provided today will impact many service providers throughout the country. Thank you for your generosity.

  4. David  December 11, 2010

    Thanks for listening in Antionette. Keep me posted s to your progress!

    And thanks to Jeffrey and Heidi for your comments.

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