Monday, May 18, 2009

My way only

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right. Marianne Williamson
Every morning I like to do Patricia Ryan's "Decodaquote" in the newspaper. The Decodaquote is a quote where each letter in the phrase(s) is consistently represented by another letter. i.e. R O C D -- when properly replaced could mean WHEN. Every time an R appears in the Decodaquote of that day, it is replaced with 'W'.

Usually, it only takes me a few minutes to figure it out, but Saturday's was different.

To decipher the code, I look for sequences that appear within the phrase. For example, if X L D X appears twice it's pretty safe to bet X is T, L is H and the word is THAT, especially if X L appears in a 3-letter combo such as X L P -- THE.

On Saturday however, there were no recurring themes other than one word that had repeat letters in almost a palindrome -- H K M K H C. To decipher it, I tried all sorts of combinations but kept getting stymied because the H was also the first letter of another word and the last of another. Finally, I came up with 3 possibilities. REFERS. LEVELS. ROTORS -- if it was Refers, then the next two letter word had to be 'TO'. If it was Levels the adjacent two letter word was probably 'by'. Using the code, I replaced the letters I knew in the other words of the phrase, but nothing was making sense. That's because the K was not an E -- it was an I. The word was none of the one's I thought -- it was DIVIDE.

See, I began by thinking the word had an S on the end of it. And that thought limited all my other thinking. That thought predicated how I solved the puzzle based on what I thought it 'should' be versus what it possibly could be if I expanded my thinking to include other possibilities.

Sort of like life. When I 'think' something should be some particular way, I limit my thinking to how it would work if it was that way and only that way. In my attempts to make it work according to my way of thinking, I eliminate other possibilities that might actually work or fit better.

As an example of how our belief something should happen one way, let's test how many triangles you can draw on a blank piece of paper.

Pull out a blank piece of paper and pencil -- do this now. On that piece of paper draw as many triangles as you can in thirty seconds.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Finished? How many did you draw?

Now, turn the page horizontal. Draw two parallel lines about an inch apart from the left to the right of the page. Put your pencil at the upper left hand corner between the two parallel lines and, at an angle, move to the bottom line, then up again. Continue across the page in a zig zag format until the two parallel lines are filled with triangles.

You probably got double the number of triangles on the page.

See, we 'think' that when instructed to 'draw' triangles on the page that the only way to draw a triangle is with three separate lines, and then the next triangle, and then the next.

In the second method, we weren't limited to 'how' we drew the triangles, only that we needed to draw as many as possible.

Just a different way of thinking that takes us 'outside the box' into a new way of doing it.

Often our perspective of what can be done is limited to our belief there is only one way to do it. Like me with the Decodaquote. The word 'had to be' one of the three possibilities I limited my thinking to because I thought it was a five letter word with an 's' on the end. I did try possibilities -- like the last letter could be a 'y' or a 'd', but 'y' didn't fit with the word that began with the same letter and the 'd' didn't have enough room to work because it would have had to have been an 'e' before it -- and that didn't make sense given the letter combination. I never thought of a six letter word as the solution.

Hindsight gives us the gift of perception that is missing in the moment when we contain our thinking to the narrow corridor of what we perceive to be true, versus what can be true if we get out of our perceptions of our reality.

The Decodaquote was a good lesson for me. Stuck in my way of thinking, I couldn't see the truth.

The question is: Where does your thinking limit you to perceiving reality as you want it to be not as it can possibly be true if you weren't looking at it only your way?

No comments: