What is the Definition of Reality?
This may be a topic that makes some people stop to think, it may even make some people angry. Then there are those that will read this post and never give it a second thought yet they are the ones that need this post the most.
So what is it? What is the definition of reality? Is it what were we are or what we are doing at this moment that defines what our reality is? Maybe it’s the amount of money that we earn or the clothes that we wear or maybe the circles of friends that have that makes our reality.
Yes, those are tangible items that may speak of who we are, but is it really our reality? What if I was to propose that there is not one answer for the definition of reality. Yet instead there are as many different definitions of reality as there are people on this planet.
Seem strange? Maybe it’s a line of bull? Well let’s test this theory that you and I can have two different definitions of reality.
There are many ways and examples that I can use to show this, but being a sports fan, there is no easier way than to use an example from the world of sports. Don’t worry if you don’t like sports, I’m not going to start spewing facts and figures or athlete’s names, I’m going to keep this very basic and to the point.
To show that there are as many different realities as there are people, here is how sports can highlight theory so well.
Picture an 80,000 seat football stadium full of exited and jubilant fans. The fans are made up of equal amounts of cheering for their respective teams. The team that is on offence is down by 2 points and they are heading into the last 20 seconds of the 4th quarter. The team on offence, and again losing by 2 points faces a critical 4th down with 2 yards to go. This could very well be their last chance they have to get the 10 yards they need to be within field goal range to win the game.
The whole stadium is a buzz with excitement! Not one of the 80,000 seats is being used as everyone is on their feet!
The ball is snapped, the players run their routes, the receivers are covered, the quarterback scrambles to buy more time and . . . he throws the ball for a receiver down field and . . . is incomplete! The fans cheering for the team on defence erupt in joy!
All their team has to do now is kill the clock and they win! Except . . . except there is a flag on the play! Just before the quarterback threw the ball one of the linebackers was diving towards the quarterback and by the time he hit the quarterback, the ball had already been released. The referee only saw the hit on the quarterback and thus threw the flag.
The referee announces that they penalty was a personal foul, 15 yards, and automatic first down. The offensive team gets the yards they need and go on to kick the winning field goal to win the game. Half the fans are ecstatic while the other half are upset that their team lost, and to lose it because of a call they felt was unjustified.
And that right there is where we see how this sporting example shows there can a different definition of reality! How? Let’s look more closely at the play that caused the flag to be thrown to understand this.
For the team that won the game, their fans were elated that the penalty was called because it gave them another chance to win. It gave them the yards they needed to be within field goal range, and hitting the quarterback after he threw the ball is of course a penalty! It is always called and it serves the other team right. If you can’t control your emotions you should be called on the penalty. Even if it costs your team the game!
Now let’s look at the penalty from the other side of the ball, or should I say the losing team’s perspective.
There is no arguing that hitting the quarterback after he has thrown the ball is a penalty if intentional, but the player that hit the quarterback was already in the air diving towards the quarterback to make the tackle before he threw the ball. How is he supposed to stop himself in mid-air to avoid tackling the quarterback? Is he supposed to defy physics? It’s impossible!
In their minds, the penalty was unjustified and therefore cost their team the football game.
Simple story I know, but you can see what happened here. One event happened and half of a stadium saw it happen one way while the other saw it happen another way. Who is right? Which definition of reality is the correct one? Both!
The answer is both because both sets of fans believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that their reality, their version of what happened is the right one. Their belief in it is so strong that if challenged on the events of the game, the fans would argue and argue and argue until exhaustion about what happened, and nothing would be resolved.
That is the point of this post in that we all have our own definition of reality. The choices that we make, the actions we take, the people that we surround ourselves with, all shape our reality. The way we see things happening in our lives is obviously much more complicated than a penalty in a football game, yet what we need to understand is that, the way we see it isn’t the only way that it can be seen.
Events that happen can have multiple meanings to people. They can say different things to you versus the person that is standing right beside you when you witness the exact same event. What needs to happen is that you need to be tolerant of others reality.
Understanding that their reality is shaped by their beliefs allows for proper discussion and enlightenment. This is something that we should all do in life with all those around us, but is paramount for those in business. For people who are entrepreneurs, who are in sales, who are in network marketing, you need to open your mind to the idea that your definition of reality is not going to be the same as the person you are talking too.
What you need to do is make sure that you allow your prospective customer, your prospect to share their definition of reality. In doing so you will be more capable of working with them to satisfy the needs and wants they have in their lives, not yours. Yet along the way you will have better results in your business, thus satisfying your needs and wants as well.
So regardless of the fact that we may all have different definitions of reality, and we all have different wants and needs, when we are tolerant and understanding of others, we can all achieve our own personal goals and dreams simultaneously!
We can’t however always win on the football field.
As always we want to hear from you. Please leave your comments below. Share with other readers your experiences in how numbers have been used to paint the wrong picture, or how you put them in the proper perspective. We want to educate people so that they are making the proper choices for themselves!
To your happiness and success,