Last night in class I led my students through a deconstruction of how we experience life. Life is not just what happens to you. Your experience of life is a byproduct of the process of selection, organization, and interpretation.
In any given moment you are inundated with sensory data. Based on various variables unique to each of us, we select a portion of that sensory data to focus on. After we select our data, we run it through the paradigms and models we have in our head. We have been conditioned into these mental paradigms and models. We have them for virtually everything in life. Particular relationships and life circumstances, as well as religious, cultural, and societal influences have shaped the mental models and paradigms that determine how we see and experience life.
So, after we take the sensory data in any given particular situation, we run it through and organize it according to our mental model, and it spits out an answer in terms of what the situation, circumstance or experience means. That’s our “interpretation.”
Once we have our interpretation, we think, feel, act and respond accordingly. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that a valuable place to consider are the mental models and paradigms we carry through life. Transform the model or paradigm, and you change your experience of life.
Anyway, this was last night’s class.