Print the Legend

Dec 7, 2010 by

Print the Legend

Have you ever thought something was true: Believed it in your gut: Acted on what appeared to be obvious? Just to find out a short time later that you were completely wrong?

Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth

What you thought was real just ended up being your perception.  And in most cases, perception IS reality. People are biologically wired to believe … period.  We’re wired to want to accept what supports our current belief system. If we perceive that something is true and it agrees with the way we currently see the world, we will swallow that perception hook, line and sinker.  There is an interesting book entitled “Why We Believe What We Believe” that talks about this from a biological perspective.

There is a line in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” where the reporter says “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” that sums up our internal need for perception congruence (accepting your perceptions when they align with your beliefs, whether they are true or not).  If you believe something so strongly (the legend) make it a fact in your mind (print it).

I know I’ve been in conversations, had arguments, and made statements with little or no evidence but feeling completely confident in my point of view, only later to realize that My Perception had become My Reality, even though there was nothing true about it.  Have you seen people use the “perception is reality” illusion to achieve their own goals (ie. let someone else perceive something is real to move an agenda forward)?

So here is my question: “When was the last time you knew, really knew, deep down in your gut that “??? did something”, or “??? is definitely this way”, or “??? is the right answer”, but you couldn’t cite your sources?  When your opinion was more an emotional need than supported by reality.  In the heat of battle can you stop yourself, just once, this week, month, year and ask yourself to “cite your own sources”?  Can you take a moment and make sure that Perception is not Reality, but Reality is Reality?  It’s tough because we’d usually rather feel right than be right.  And that’s a pretty lie.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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