Philosophy in Aiding Perception
A lot of the time, fear, nervousness, and anxiety are a matter of perspective.
Let’s use a common source of anxiety – job interviews – to consider how perspective plays a role, and how perceptual tricks can improve the situation.
For an interview, likely the biggest sources of anxiety are that people think it’s critical for their future, and they are aware of being actively evaluated. But, in reality, nobody’s future depends on a single job interview. And since being evaluated can be nerve-racking, it’s better to treat it like a game or personal challenge. By re-framing the interview with a different perspective, such as making it a challenge to impress some folks from which we stand only to benefit, the dynamics of the entire process shift in our favor.
Similar methods can be thought up, and applied in all kinds of creative ways.
But attempting to conquer anxiety is ineffective without understanding its cause. For that we must look inside. Armed with self-understanding, a well-planned philosophy could be beneficial in most areas of life.
Mindfulness is a philosophical framework for the use and development of attention. Motivation to practice stems from an understanding of how attention shapes the brain.
Our deepest values are scripted by our philosophies on life. They may be unconscious, poorly understood, or even need changed. But, by combining ideas and introspection, it’s possible to modify the basic paradigms of mind from which attitude, behavior, and meaning flow.
For example: One could think of life as a really complicated playground. It may be governed by complex laws of causality, but the purpose is enjoyment. They may soon find themselves having more fun, and being more cheerful toward others. Perception >> Reality.
Personal interactions depend on how we view ourselves and others. By tweaking that framework, we’re able to alter fundamental elements of those interactions. Things like the neuroscientific/Buddhist perspective of the ever-changing self can drastically improve self-interaction. Or if somebody honestly had no desire for the approval of others, social anxiety would be very limited.
Many things ordinary people get upset over wouldn’t even begin to bother someone of more dire circumstance. Our “first world problems” help demonstrate the link between perception and reality. We’re capable of getting upset at things easily laughable to those outside our culture. Keeping this in mind may help diminish minor frustrations.
CEO’s, managers, coaches, and productivity experts almost always operate on a philosophical framework. It’s necessary for their success. There’s no reason people shouldn’t do the same.
Whether we know it or not, ideas unconsciously frame every bit of our experience. In the age of information, philosophy is more useful and relevant than ever. Ideas are everywhere. Combined with imagination and visualization they can alter our reality. But attention is a limited resource; its application, a creative endeavor.
This sort of subjective truth is to be experienced before understood.
As a wise man once said, “The best way to change what you’re looking at, is to change what you see.”