Motivated Perception

How often have you seen ‘signs’ in real life? Have you ever wondered about how the song you thought about day before yesterday is playing on the Television a day later? Did you also try categorizing it as a sign or was it added to the box of ‘unexpected coincidences’?
Many times, it happens that we actually see, hear or feel what we wish to see, hear or feel. This phenomenon is called, ‘Motivated Perception’.
By definition, idea that we see what we want to see is called Motivated perception.
It’s similar to another concept — Motivated reasoning, where we come to conclusions, we’re predisposed to believe in.
Our belief system and perceptions about things are rooted in our Sub-consciousness. Our Sub-conscious mind is more in charge of our actions/ decisions than what we are actually aware of.
The communication between the subconscious and the conscious mind is bidirectional, that is the communication happens both ways. Every time when you have an idea, or an emotion, a memory or an image from the past, this is the subconscious mind communicating to your conscious mind.
Communicating thoughts from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind is difficult because it should be done with emotions. Only the thoughts that are conveyed with genuine emotions make it to the back of your mind. And only the thoughts that are backed up by a strong emotion stay there. Unfortunately, majority of these thoughts that are backed up at the back of your mind are negative thoughts. This mindset is also the result of how our brains are more developed and evolved through time in such a way that they notice and remember the negative things/thoughts/ people more.
A study also states that out of all the thoughts that we have in a day, 80% of them are negative thoughts. It is important for us to monitor these negative thoughts or emotions and put a pause on them then and there so that they don’t become a part of your subconscious mind later on.
In Indian Culture it’s said that we should always speak good of others and our own selves, as once in a day randomly the Goddess Saraswathi will fulfill what you said or wished for. There is story in other cultures too about the guardian angel that always follows you. When you say to yourself “my life is awful”, it writes down awful life. When you say “my job is boring”, it writes down boring job. And when you say “my body is ugly”, it writes down ugly body. And then it goes on and grants you all those wishes, because they are filled with strong emotions (sadness, disappointment, regret, self-loathing). That angel is your subconscious mind.
“Knowing that other people could truly be seeing things differently from us is a way of being able to better understand them and empathize with how they feel,” Yuan Chang Leong, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley- neuroscience experiment in Nature Human Behavior.
We’re not always aware of our motivations and our expectations. This unawareness at times might lead to conflicts between our conscious and sub-conscious brain. The signs that you are believing in today might be just a mirage projected by your sub-consciousness which is guiding you towards a certain desire which you have unacknowledged motivation for. This is where our strong or weak ‘intuition’ comes in.
We all do see what we want to see and believe in what we want to believe. This doesn’t mean that we can never trust what we are believing in; this only means that every individual has already created a little world of their own just like you did. Disrupting that balance of the little world will never be accepted by the individual unless and until the individual really wants to or is trying to take your point of view into consideration.
Lastly, if you really wish to be the master of your sub-conscious mind, what better way to do that than Meditation.

The Soap Bubble Concept

Soap bubbles are extremely thin film of soapy water enclosing air that forms a hollow sphere with an iridescent surface. Soap bubbles usually last for only a few seconds before bursting, either on their own or on contact with another object.
Our fleeting thoughts are exactly like these soap bubbles.
In a single day we come across multiple thoughts, and our adapted Human brain generates impulses and response to each one of them. What is truly fascinating here is that, out of those multiple thoughts that you encounter, most of them are the same ones from the day before!
That means, whatever you are thinking about right now, was on your mind a day before too and the same thought a day before that!
Unlike soap bubbles, our stubborn thoughts are not as transient as we assume them to be. Our thoughts don’t usually go away on their own, they are either replaced by another reoccurring thought or they gradually evolve into becoming a larger expanded thought bubble with added complexities.
To avoid such kind of a soap bubbly situation, the most preferred and scientifically proven method is ‘Meditation’.
Meditating acts as an external force on each soap bubble, where in the bubble stops getting responses from our adapted brain. Instead, during meditation, the brain decides to quietly just watch this soap bubble until it fades away.
Meditation is a slow and gradual process of strengthening your brain muscles. It takes time and patience.
The beautiful impact of meditation is seen when you encounter the same bubble again the next day, and your ‘learner brain’ now refuses to feed this particular bubble anymore energy. Eventually, this particular bubble now left powerless fades away on its own.
The brain can be strengthened, sculpted and optimized if we chose to make it so.
The choice is ours, either surrendering to the massive chaos of expanding thought bubbles everywhere or strengthening our brain and teaching it how to control these bubbles or make them go away.