Before leaving I handed the doctor an I Love Failure card.
“I write a blog, please check it out…” I said.
She looked at the card and out of her subconscious the word “heart-failure” came out immediately.
The doctor related to the logo with what she is used to; her profession is to take care of hearts and she saw a failing heart. Her perception was of a heart attack.
I corrected her and said; “I Love Failure, I write about failure, success, attitude, resilience and so on.”
“I get it!” she replied.
Everyday I hand out about 50 cards. Anyone I interact with gets a card from me. Nobody is safe from my cards. I passed out so many cards, that plenty of times I heard: “do not worry, I have one already.”
Through my travels, I have been able to see how people from different cultures, races, or social economic background react to the card.
Here in the United States, the majority of people understand the logo and the concept immediately; some react positive while others disregard it or make a smart comment about it, but almost all understand the concept of failure. This country is built by immigrants who are used to taking risks; they might not love failure, but it has been a part of their culture.
People from areas like India and Southeast Asia, where the middle class is expanding and economies have an accelerated economic growth, have a supportive and encouraging reaction to the “I Love Failure” concept; there everyone has an entrepreneurial spirit and are willing to take risks and fail on their way to success.
In areas where the socialism political and economic model perseveres like in Europe and some parts of South America, the reaction has been completely opposite to the one on Southeast Asia. This system advocates welfare; people are used to collect benefits without putting too much effort, they expect everything handed to them. They are at easy in their comfort zone and do not have the drive to leave it. There, the concept of failure doesn’t do anything for them; there the entrepreneurial spirit has disappeared.
In some parts of the Middle East and Africa, they do not have a system where they collect benefits, neither they have a place where they find opportunities to flourish; in this region they have lost hope and are living in a failed system without any expectations for success. For them “I Love Failure” is an oxymoron
So, here is my thought:
Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
Everyone’s perception is influenced by the cultural, social, or emotional environment; it’s influenced by what you see, smell, hear or touch. Our perception of the world is influenced by our past experiences, our beliefs and our expectations.
Our perception is our reality, which is different from everyone else’s and it is an altered truth; our mind can only contemplate that to what it has been exposed to.
How can we change our reality?
People’s perception of reality is different, yet, by expanding our core beliefs, we can expand the way we perceive the world around; to widen our beliefs we need to step outside our comfort zone.
Our comfort zone is any type of behavior that keeps us at a steadily low anxiety level. Everyday activities that we are used and won’t make us feel anxious or uneasy, are part of our comfort zone.
At the beginning, leaving our comfort zone would bring anxiety due to the uncomfortable levels of uncertainty we will need to cope with, but when completed, we will feel accomplished and will increase our levels of confidence.
By getting out of our comfort zone more regularly, we will increase the number of things we are comfortable with; and by expanding our comfort zone, it will widen our perception about life.
The cardiologist has been studying the heart for years; she fully understands the organ and its function. So, when she got my card, she only saw an exploding heart, a heart attack! Her perception, her reality is completely different than anyone else.
'There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception' - Aldous Huxley