I thoroughly enjoy reading the Sunday paper each week. Recently, there was an article where the journalist had the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of the greatest minds in our current time, Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist. One question posed to him was about his analogy of what a goldfish and human beings have in common. The question was: “What can a goldfish teach us about the nature of reality?” I was so intrigued by this thought provoking question and its relevance to us. I was very curious as to how this great thinker would respond to such an inquiry. He replied that a goldfish lives in a round bowl of water and from their point of view it is in reality, a distorted one. An imprecise picture of the world is all the goldfish is capable of seeing. Therefore, the fish has a totally different perception of reality than a human being would have. Hawking then further challenges us with offering another perplexing question: “But how do we know we have the right picture?” Following that concept further, we might be seeing our world, our reality in some giant fish bowl. In essence, the goldfish’s vantage point and perspective is as valid as our own. Hawking feels that there is no “unique” picture of reality. Each of us has our own. As you conduct yourself in your life, how distorted or real is your perception of reality? Or for that matter, how willing and open are you to see another’s point of view? What can you learn from seeing things clearly? What could you gain from a 360 degree perspective?
Such an interesting paradox - that is so simple yet so complex in its impact that it truly resonated with me. It still does, how about you? Perhaps the next time you see a lonely goldfish in a fish bowl you’ll pause and think - Amazing!
As always, I invite your comments.
Are you aware that the one thing you really do have control is how you view your world? You are a being who possess absolutely full potential and the ability of free will to choose your perspective. What kind of universe do you want to live in?
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile world.” – Albert Einstein
What you think about expands – fear, negativity and anxiety can only happen if you allow it. If left unchecked, the mind can be a dangerous place to breed more worry and toxicity that can spread like an emotional cancer. Like listening to a radio station, you can “tune out” the fear by choosing to click on another channel. If you don’t like the music you chose, select another one that provides you comfort and soothes you.
It can cloud your perception of reality and paralyze your ability to function optimally. This distorted phenomenon illustrates our capacity to create catastrophes out of insignificant nothings and let fear dominate your ego and run rampant. As the well respected psychologist Dr. Wayne Dyer so simply and eloquently stated: “Hostile people live in a hostile world. Loving people live in a loving world. Same world.”
During these challenging times, it’s crucial to challenge yourself. What is your perception? What are you choosing to focus on? Are you giving more importance and value to the things that are going well for you?
“You can choose to eat from the buffet or the garbage can of thoughts.” – Louis Hay
When you allow anxiety to be in control of you, you are putting your valuable mental energy into what hasn’t happened yet. It is in the future. When you are in a state of fear frenzy you are not grounded in the present moment. By being centered in the now – what you fear cannot happen. It’s your decision to either open the window of faith and hope and enjoy the pleasant warm breeze or close the door on fright and shut out the cold draft.
Regardless of your life’s circumstances, you can select to be in control of the here and now. You can begin to live in a world that is loving and kind and supportive of what is truly best for you. Make a conscious decision each day to live in this existence the way that benefits you. Let your life prove your beliefs. Einstein told us we have a choice and that choice does determine the kind of life you will experience.