I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and I asked the question, “Do you consider yourself an optimist, a pessimist, an optimistic pessimist, or a pessimistic optimist?”
His answer? “I consider myself none of those, I’m a supreme realist, I see things as they really are.”
Curious, I thought.
“Reality” as we know it is a subjective experience, which ultimately means “reality” doesn’t’ truly exist in the objective sense. It’s a construct; a creation of our hopes, our dreams, our memories, our beliefs, our experiences, our environment, our senses, our moods, our biases, our prejudices, our values, our assumptions, our self-identity.
And if that’s not enough, “reality” is created, defined, and refined through our mental processes of generalization, distortion, and deletion. How the heck can any “reality” be the same “reality” for anyone and everyone at the same time?
The meaning of anything and everything we experience is the meaning we give it, that’s our reality, not the “reality” for the rest of the universe.
I’m fond of the saying “It is what it is.” No, it’s not a resignation of personal power or an admission of helplessness. It’s not because “it” can’t be changed. “It” is as it is because of the belief I choose to have about “it”, by design or default. “It” as it is, might be completely different for someone else.
If I change my mind about “it”, would “it” then be both “it as it was” and “it as it now is”. Would that “it” still be the same “it”? “It” makes my head spin.
The questions we should be asking and answering about “reality” isn’t if it’s real or true, but is it useful as we’ve constructed it and does it serve us and the rest of the universe.
Ask yourself, “What is my reality?” “How does it serve me and the people most important to me?” “What would happen if I were to change my mind about what is “real” and what is possible?” “How would my life be different if I were to change my beliefs about my potential, my options, my relationships, and my life?”
How and when will you change your “reality”?
Sincerely yours as a consciously constructed optimistically dreaming realist,