What You See is What You Get – or is it?

What You See is What You Get – or is it? 150 150 Ben Coker

What You See is What You Get – or is it?

One of my MBA tutors used to say that if the answer isn’t clearly yes or no then the best response is always “it depends”

It depends on how you and I ‘see’ things.

But it’s not just about sight.

When you and I see something a whole lot of other things kick in, Like memories – and feelings.

When we see something we reference something similar – or different, something we’ve seen before, and this summons up a feeling about what we’re looking at.

When you and I see something we might feel scared, or happy, or disgusted, or relaxed – it depends.

It’s rarely neutral – even if it’s something never seen before when we might get a feeling of curiosity or confusion.

Putting all this together the result of seeing something is the creation of a perception about the object, person or situation being observed.

It’s our personal perception.

Yours and mine will be different, even if only slightly, from the perceptions of everyone else.

When you or I see something – physical or virtual like a photo or a movie we both have our own individual perception.

In a sense we each ‘get’ what we see – we ‘get’ it – we understand it.

But our individual understandings aren’t necessarily the same.

So what we see is what we ‘get’ – or individually understand from what we see.

You and I will quickly understand that we need to get out of the way if we see a car approaching us at speed.

Now I think that I’m a fairly straightforward person – I say what I think and I use words that I mean.

But what do you ‘get’ when you see or hear me?

I’m sure its highly likely to be different from my perception of me.

Some say – – –  it takes about 7 seconds for you and I to generate a perception of someone when we meet them for the first time – other estimates go up to around 30 seconds.

Trouble is, if we get it wrong (from either side) in those first few seconds it can take a lot of effort to change that perception even if we want to.

It can be done but it’s not easy or quick.

And, it’s not just about people.

You and I all have a set of perceptions or beliefs that we’ve built up over the years about everything that goes on in the world. From politics and religion to what shape and colour our vegetables should be and how fast our broadband should go.

You and I all have perceptions about ourselves. About who we are, and what we want to be, do and have.

We see where we are now usually quite clearly, so that’s what we ‘get’ or understand right now.

But often we aren’t at all clear about where we’re going – where we want to be in the future – and what it will be like when we get there.

We can’t see it.

You and I often hear people say “I just don’t see it happening” or “I can’t see how”

But we’ve already learnt that what we see now is what we get now and is what and where we are now.

So what if we could turn this on its head?

What if you and I could ‘see’ us in the future?

Create a picture of who, what and where we each want to be

What we each want to do and have?

Well, we can.

I’ve personally done this with some measure of success at least four times, maybe more. But I’ve discovered that there are a few rules we need to follow to see and to get what we want in the future.

We need to create a ‘vision’ of what our future will be.

A ‘big picture’.

But then think of that as a jigsaw – a small child’s jigsaw that has a few big pieces to put together.

To make the big picture come about, start with one piece and work on one at a time to put it all in place.

Trying to do it all in one go just won’t work.

The reason why is it’s very difficult to get a clear and detailed view of the whole thing in one go. Your perception of the big picture will be vague and you may miss important details.

Try this looking at any picture – you just can’t see all the detail in one go.

You can’t make this work without a clear perception of what it really is that you want – in detail – as I know to my cost.

So break down your overall vision into small chunks that you can work on one at a time.

Create a detailed perception (or visualisation) of each thing you want to ‘get’. Each thing you want to be, do or have.

And then if you focus on it.

What you ‘see’ will be what you get.

And with care, all the pieces will come together.

I’m off to figure out my jigsaw.