15. Influences

Perceptions have an intriguing way of being altered by our circumstances; and our circumstances have a beguiling way of being altered by our perceptions. Have you ever felt as if your feelings were in harmony with the weather? (Edward, 1993). Metaphors such as “gloomy” are often used to describe the clouds as well as our own emotions. Bright is the day, and bright is my life. It is not uncommon to see wide smiles on your friends faces with the first rays of sunlight after a long week of rain. But why did you feel so sad during gloomy days? Your feelings were more easily hurt, you were more prone to giving up, you felt lonelier and unmotivated. Yet in the morning, as your eyes received the first glimpses of sunlight, you seem to have forgotten all your sorrows. You wept over everything, and now seemingly over nothing. You just experienced—the Priming Effect. (Bargh, 1996).

Everything you behold and encounter, has an effect on your personality, your thoughts, and your emotions. We are not independent and isolated beings, but rather merge within the fibers of a net, like the threads of a tapestry. We walk from day to day, unaware of the thousand things happening in our brains that do not reach consciousness; things perceived but not attended. We seldom consider that things can have an effect without our conscious volition, but they most certainly do. By beholding we become changed. By beholding we behave different.

Thus it is written. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)

~John Bryan

Further Reading – Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Reference: (Edwards, 1993) (Bargh, 1996)


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