I look at the world through my own eyes.
Now, that is an interesting statement for two reasons. First, the use of the word I to describe myself opens up my inner workings to the world. Only I can use the word I to describe myself. No one else can use it to describe me. So right away I am asserting that what I am talking about is myself only. The second reason why that statement is so interesting is the acknowledgement that the way I see this world is not how someone else would see it. This second reason is probably the most revealing. While, the use of I is the declaration my existence, the phrase 'through my own eyes' is the declaration of my self-awareness.
How one views the world differs from person to person. Take for example a table. I see the table as being a surface to store things on. Sometimes it is used for putting books on it, writing, as a computer stand and in its everyday use as a place to put your food on during a meal. Now, a person from say an indigenous tribe of 12th century Americas would not see a table as something to put things on, but rather as something to put things under. Perhaps it could be used as a storage shed of sorts or a place to hang your fish away from the birds or even to put the fish on it to dry in the sun. The way we see this table is unique to our upbringing, culture and life experiences.
This perspective is often called a life's filter. A filter through which we look at life and judge our own and other people's actions. Everyone has their own filters, but it's the ability to see through other people's filters that can make you truly unique and highly successful.
I am reading the autobiography of Alex Ferguson, the much celebrated legendary manager of Manchester United Football Club. In it Sir Alex, as he is known, reveals many subtleties that helped him remain at the top for over 25 years at United. He is a keen observer of human behaviour. This trait allowed him to see the future potential in his players and the flaws in his superstars.
One example about how people can see the world around differently comes to mind from his book. Ferguson describes David Beckham, a superb player and now an international celebrity, as the only one person he'd known whose confidence never wavered. Usually most people, and especially sports stars, go through stages of high and low confidence in their abilities. There can be many reasons for this fluctuation but in all cases it has an effect on performance. In the soccer world performance is how you are judged on the pitch. Low confidence usually results in low or below par performance.
David Beckham was different in those days. Sir Alex notes that no matter how the game went, how much media attention David got, he was always confident. During the many matches when Ferguson would lash out at David for sub par effort on the field, David would just shrug off the criticism and go on with his day. It was his nature to never see his output as below standard. In his mind he was always playing at the highest level.
This is an example of how your own filter changes your world view. Although this type of supreme confidence is beneficial in many situations, your inability to take criticism, combined with an ever growing supporters' chorus singing you praises no matter the reason, can become toxic and lead to your eventual downfall.
Ferguson understood that about Beckham and saw it as being incompatible with how the players at the club should behave. He dealt with the Beckham's issue by letting him be sold to Real Madrid FC. This action emphasized the fact that in the football club everyone had to be able to see through one person's life filter, the manager's. If you could not see your boss's perspective, you were no good in that club. A successful football club needs players who can see and understand the manager's perspective.
The greatest intellectuals can see through the life filters of other people. Sir Alex saw through David's filter and realized that he needed a change in his surroundings in order to bring the best out of him. In a way, David needed to make his own mistakes and learn from them. His past accomplishments show, perhaps, that he has.
In many ways we might see eye to eye with other people and have our proverbial eye filters line up. But in many circumstances, especially when the things we are looking at only exist in our mind, our filters can not be lined up as easily. Your task is to learn how to see through other people's filters, how to see through other people's eyes. Once this idea is accepted and judged to be true, you will be able to understand and influence many more people around you.
Knowing or rather understanding how another person sees the world around them is a great advantage to have in your everyday life. So learn to see the world through other people's eyes as well as your own.