"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
This is from a new book by Dr. Wayne Dyer. So is he talkin' magic here, or what? Yeah, sort of and not really. What do I mean by this? Let me start with some anecdotes.
While I was studying at Georgetown University in Washington DC for my Masters degree, I was simultaneously teaching ESL (English as a second language) both at a university institute and for evening refugee programs. I used to take in some of my students and help them acquire missing life skills that would facilitate their success in America. One of my students was Neary, daughter of a Cambodian General who had been evacuated out during the war....(oops, conflict- it was never officially declared a war...) and who happened at the time to be a cook at a downtown DC Woolworths cafeteria. (That's another story...) We decided to teach Neary to drive, and she was pretty bad. Seemingly no sense of depth perception (bump), no concept of spatial awareness (get back in your lane!) and forget the minutia of parking (bump and bump again). One day, watching her squinting as she tried to maneuver the car, it hit me that perhaps she was having trouble actually seeing. So I scheduled an eye test, and sure enough, she couldn't see! She was given glasses and INSTANTLY was able to safely and intelligently handle the intricacies of driving. The problem wasn't that she was inept, she just couldn't see. Once she could see, she behaved differently. Almost like magic... and thank goodness for that!
As a teacher I am aware of studies that show a connection between students' sight and ability to read. In other words, poor vision caused difficulties in reading, which appeared to onlookers like that student was just stupid. They were experiencing the behaviors- inability to sound out words and read coherently- and interpreting that as academic failure. So they were treated as dunderheads by teachers and fellow students year after year, which hardly does wonders for self-esteem. Someone somewhere made a connection between poor reading ability and the possibility the student had poor vision and when that was the case, glasses took care of the reading problem. Almost like magic! (Bolstering the damaged self-esteem took years to remedy.) Once you find the solution it seems so obvious in hindsight and you wonder how you missed all along. And, of course, when vision wasn't the underlying problem other measures needed to be taken to improve reading ability.
What I'm getting at so far is that, depending on how we see things, or don't see things, we behave accordingly. The behavior follows our vision- physical vision in these cases.
What's also cool is that the same principle applies with mental vision, or perception, and our subsequent behavior.