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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale

Mountains vs. Prairie: The Power of Perception

I had a discussion the other day about the flat prairie land in the American midlands. Someone said to me they preferred mountains. I said I liked the flatlands. The conversation became mountains versus prairie.

What I thought about the next day was I liked mountains too. Mountains are about earth, prairies are about sky. Why did a conversation become one versus the other?  I realized the obvious: I liked both.

Like is most often a matter of perception, and a simple perception shift is all it ever takes to see the value in many things you might have disliked before.

Five Ways to Shift Perception and Change Personal Bias

1. Embrace Dual Perspectives: Just like appreciating both mountains and prairies, try to see the value in differing viewpoints. This helps in understanding that two contrasting things can be equally beautiful in their own ways.

2. Challenge Initial Thoughts: When you find yourself leaning strongly towards a preference or opinion, pause and question why. This self-inquiry can lead to a more open-minded approach.

3. Seek New Experiences: Actively engage in new experiences that are outside of your comfort zone. This can broaden your perspective and reduce biases against unfamiliar concepts or places.

4. Learn Continuously: Educate yourself about different cultures, environments, and philosophies. Understanding the bigger picture helps in appreciating the diversity of the world.

5. Practice Empathy: Put yourself in others' shoes to understand their perspectives. This helps in realizing that your initial bias may be based on a limited viewpoint.

Changing perception is often about widening your lens to see the bigger picture, just as one might admire both the vastness of the prairies and the majesty of the mountains.

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