power of perception

Lessons on the Power of Perception

Transform Your Reality by The Power of Perception from Wayne Dyer

Lessons on the Power of Perception from Wayne Dyer

I first encountered Wayne Dyer back in the 1970s when he was touring to promote his hit book “Your Erroneous Zones.” Wayne spoke at my university and I eagerly attended, expecting great things. I left thinking he came across as arrogant and dismissive. “What a jerk,” I thought.

you choose your life vision
The outer world mirrors our inner world. To truly change what we see, we must first change how we see. The power lies within us.

Giving Wayne Dyer Another Chance

It would be years before I gave Wayne Dyer another chance. When I did, I realized my initial perception of him had been overly harsh.

He had indicated he was a bit of a jerk back then.  He did go on to explain what he had been going through personally, what he had experienced as a child, and how he had a hard time forgiving his father.

The question in my mind was did I change or did he change?  Hearing him speak candidly about overcoming childhood struggles gave me new insight into the man behind the message.

Wayne’s Life Struggles

I learned that Wayne grew up poor with an abusive alcoholic father and a struggling single mom who put Wayne and his two brothers in foster care.  Despite this painful start, he persevered to earn multiple degrees, serve in the military, and embark on an esteemed writing and speaking career focused on spiritual growth and human potential.

An Emotional Parting

Though Wayne was diagnosed with terminal leukemia, he actually passed away from a heart attack at age 75. The coroner’s report of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s death indicated that he did not have a trace of leukemia in his body.

Lessons from Heal Your Life

Louise Hay’s seminal book “Heal Your Life,” by (Hay House Publications) suggests that physical ailments often arise from unresolved emotional issues or imbalanced ways of thinking. Disease is the outer manifestation of inner turmoil. She specifically links heart troubles like attacks and heart disease to longstanding grief, betrayal in relationships, and lack of joy.

Louise would say that heart attacks stem from heartbreak – literally grief and emotional wounds that have festered so long they begin to affect us physically. We tighten our chests unconsciously to avoid feeling the residual ache of loss or betrayal. Over time, the stress damages our cardiovascular system.

In the case of Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay’s book may theorize he likely died more from the emotional toll of compounded loss and grief rather than the disease itself. Perhaps, his heart attack stemmed from the recent losses of his brother and two sons and his divorce from his wife of twenty years.

Among my favorite Wayne Dyer quotes is this powerful perspective:

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

This quote is at the heart of Wayne Dyer’s teachings. He often used the example of viewing a glass as half empty versus half full to illustrate the incredible power of perspective.

When we say a glass is half empty, we’re seeing lack, insufficiency, and disappointment. The exact same glass becomes one of opportunity, abundance, and room for more when viewed as half full. Our perception literally shapes our reality.

I find this quote freeing because it returns power to transform any circumstance to us. You cannot force people or situations around you to change. But you have dominion over your beliefs, perceptions, and vision.

You Choose Your Life Vision

You get to choose what you see and how you see it. When you control your inner vision, the outer world you see reshapes itself to match the new viewpoint. For good or bad, your reality materializes from your inner perspective.

I first noticed this phenomenon on a smaller scale when I changed my perspective of Wayne himself. By shifting my lens to see his hidden struggles and the lessons he overcame, he transformed from a jerk to a role model in my eyes.

After that, I saw Wayne Dyer speak on many occasions.  I loved listening to his everyday examples and seeing how they applied to my life.  One of my favorite stories was about people who visited Maui.

People Are All The Same Everywhere

People would ask Wayne eagerly about living in a paradise like Maui. They imagined neighbors who smiled, strangers who said hello on the street, and friends who invited you over for Mai Tais at sunset. In their minds, Maui was intrinsically infused with the aloha spirit, relaxation, and the beauty of the islands.

human nature is constant
If we expect and envision paradise, we will notice beauty and blessings wherever we go.

What Are People Like Where You Come From?

Wayne would then turn the question back on them – what were the people like in their hometowns? When they gave rosy descriptions, he would simply say the people in Maui were the same. When their depictions were negative, the parallel held true too.

Human Nature is Constant

His point was that the people themselves were no different than anywhere else. Human nature stays constant. Individuals in Maui experience the same range of personalities and quirks. Some locals are friendly, some abrasive or aloof.

Your Perception Is Your Reality

What makes the difference in experience comes down to perception – the attitudes, filters, and assumptions we carry with us that shape how we interpret things. The same event can be seen as positive or negative depending on our inner viewpoint.

This tale speaks volumes about the power of perception. Wayne was making a profound point – our environment itself does not determine our experience nearly as much as our inner lens does.

Choose To Notice Beauty

Wayne was reminding us that external realities reflect our inner worlds back to us. If we expect and envision paradise, we will notice beauty and blessings wherever we go. If we anticipate flaws or irritations, we will be proven right time and again. We see what we expect and project our inner states outward.

True Change Starts Within You

The moral is that true change starts from within. If we want happier relationships, more beautiful surroundings, or exhilarating adventures, we must first cultivate those energies and visions inside ourselves. The outer mirrors the inner. As we change our viewpoint, what we see adapts in kind. Just like magic, but actually the workings of perception.

The Power of Perception

His point was that outer environments don’t solely determine inner happiness and fulfillment. What most shapes our life experience is perception – our attitudes, filters, and the lenses through which we view situations and people.

Wayne taught me firsthand the incredible power of perspective. By reconsidering the man and his journey with more empathy, my view transformed from flippantly dismissing a superficial jerk to sincerely admiring an inspiring teacher who had overcome much adversity.

Judging Too Quickly

I also learned an important lesson about judging prematurely. Our underlying struggles are often invisible to outside eyes. Had I understood Wayne’s difficult background initially, I would have had more compassion for any defensive edges rather than writing him off completely.

We all have our hidden hurts and coping mechanisms unseen behind the masks we wear publicly. Withholding judgment until I truly understand someone’s inner world is a lifelong practice in progress for me.

Transform Your Reality from Within

Additionally, this experience with Wayne Dyer helped me grasp firsthand the power we each have to transform our outer world by doing inner work to shift our beliefs, attitudes, vision, and emotional landscape.

In improving and empowering myself mentally and emotionally over the years, old irritants have softened, relationships have improved, and situations that once bothered me greatly affect me less and less. My outer reality reshapes itself to match my inner perspectives.

Applying Wayne’s Teachings on Perception

Of all Wayne Dyer’s spiritual wisdom, this quote on human perception remains especially poignant. I cannot force people or circumstances outside me to change. But reframing my viewpoint opens new possibilities in any situation, just as it did the day my opinion of Wayne forever changed.

I think of Viktor Frankl finding meaning amidst the atrocities of concentration camps simply by shifting his perspective to see glimmers of love and sacrifice still shining in the darkest places. I think of political and religious differences as too polarizing to solve when both sides hold stubborn assumptions of the other’s malicious ill intent.

But when we change our inner lens to replace judgment with compassion, solutions seem more possible. The “things we look at” transform.

The outer world mirrors our inner world. To truly change what we see, we must first change how we see. The power lies within us.

My Wish For You

I hope you will choose to see beauty wherever you go.  Look for the silver lining, bring out the best in people.

The result will be a happier you, a better environment, and a new understanding of those around you and how your lens influences it.

Are you ready to see the glass as half full?