Unraveling One of the Most Common Misbeliefs on Earth
Mark Twain: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
Twins girls are born seconds apart. They grow up under the same roof, with the same parents, the same instruction, the same environment, and the same social/economic situation. One day, when they are 5 years old, they are playing with toys in their bedroom. Their father comes into the room, sees a messy room, and yells, “What are you doing? I told you to clean your room last night! Why didn't you do what I asked you to do? Get this room clean NOW!”
One girl learned that if she disobeyed her parents, she would get more attention. It wasn't the best attention, but when you are competing with a twin sibling, any attention puts you ahead. The other girl learned that by obeying her father, he would like her and that could give her an advantage in receiving more favorable treatment and perhaps her father would like her more than her sister.
In spite of growing up “under the same roof”, with the same parents and the same environment, by the time the twin girls are teenagers, they are two distinctly different people, many times having drawn very different conclusions, learnings, and made different choices even though they experienced the same situation.
One day I was reading an article about quantum physics, and how science has proven that sub-atomic particles can instantly relocate, appear and disappear, BASED UPON THE THOUGHTS AND BELIEFS OF THE VIEWING PERSON. Suddenly I had a simple thought – if the viewer influences how, where and when sub-atomic particles appear, then each of us lives in a different world, where we see the sub-atomic particles that we have influenced.
This simple thought – we all live in a different world of our own creation – took me about half a year to really begin to appreciate the far reaching and dramatic implications. It is so simple in concept, but for me, it has been amazing! It solves so many problems!!!
I have spent so many discussions trying to convince others that I am right about some concept. Now I understand that I am NOT RIGHT because in their world, they live by the rules they created, and my “logic and reasoning” may be totally wrong in their world.
For example, imagine that you enjoy coaching gymnastics. You are talking with a friend on the phone and the conversation goes to gymnastics. You get in a heated discussion, trying to explain to your friend how to do a flip. You explain how to run, position your legs, bend your body, and how the physics work for your body to flip in the air. Your friend disagrees with you, violently arguing that your techniques will not work . You become irate and frustrated, being totally sure that you are right – that there is no other possible way to do a flip!! You end the heated discussion angry, frustrated, and judgmental of your friend, convinced she is a complete idiot. Ten minutes after the call, your spouse informs you that your friend lives on Mars in the first Mars Colony. The rules of her world, Mars, means that your rules for doing a flip are totally wrong for her world! All your frustration, anger, and judgments are instantly relieved as you recognize that your ideas for doing a flip are right for you, and her ideas for doing a flip on Mars are right for her!
Now it was initially easy for me to argue and justify, “BS! Truth is truth. My way is the right way. Surely everyone lives on earth and a flip on earth is the same for everyone.” NOT TRUE!! Do you really think that a flip for someone who is drunk is the same as a flip for someone who is 7 foot tall? Is a flip the same for you when you are wearing high heels as when you are wearing tennis shoes? Is a flip the same on concrete as on a trampoline?
After several months of “fighting for my limitations”, struggling to remain in my old thoughts, I finally became open to really seeking to understand this truth. The light finally turned on and I began to experience the fantastic relief and benefits of understanding that everyone does live in a different world. When I stopped assuming that everyone lives in my same world, with my same understandings, I no longer went into judgments, arguments, and heated discussions. I began to strive to understand their world. Instead of trying to change others, which I cannot control, I changed my view, which I can control. The results were incredibly empowering.
Applying this to a work environment begins to open real insights and advantages. Managing people becomes so much more effective when you step into their world, rather than try to force them to come into your world. Supervising a logic based programmer is far different than supervising a creative artist, if you become effective at understanding their world!
A conversation with a teenager becomes so much more effective and constructive when you strive to understand and influence them in their world, rather than assume they understand your world and demand that they conform to your world's rules.
We will talk more about this topic in future articles, but begin to contemplate, understand, and apply this truth and share your experience. The biggest benefit of understanding that there are 7 Billion people on the planet, living in 7 Billion different worlds, is that you relieve yourself of conflict, anxiety, frustration, and misunderstanding. In fact, misunderstanding are most often just DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING. When you really understand their world and their “rules”, you will often discover their brilliance, goodness, and understand their view – bringing you both closer together, rather than further apart. Conflict, argument, anger, and frustrating discussions that occur from a foundation of assuming everyone else lives in your world, is replaced with harmony, understanding, bonding, and enjoyable conversation through your focus toward assuming they live in a different world with different rules and you seek to understand their world.
One of the biggest challenges with family is that family members assume that because they grew up “under the same roof” they believe that all family members share (or should share) the same views and understandings. Family often takes each other for granted, inviting fights, arguments, and problems, all because of a foundation of a misbelief that we all live in the same world. Why can you get along with your friends easier than your family? Because you make assumptions about your family (assuming they live in your same world) where as you don't assume those same things about your friends. If you now have the understanding that EVERY FAMILY MEMBER LIVES IN A DIFFERENT WORLD than you, it can be a fantastic relief to you, empowering you to no longer get into the heated discussions and arguments.
Try bringing this understanding into your daily life and you will see how amazing this truth is! When you understand that everyone lives in a different world, with their own rules, you can be relieved of the frustration, anxiety, and need to “change them”. If you change your focus from trying to convince others that you are right, but rather strive to understand their world and their “rules”, you can “learn how to do a flip on Mars”, that you would never otherwise have learned.
Relieve your anxiety, judgments, and frustrations by understanding (and remembering in the heat of battle) that EVERYONE LIVES IN A DIFFERENT WORLD!
How can this help you? Please comment below...