Unfortunately his perception was faulty and misdirected his thinking.

Perception is what the mind does with what it sees.  How often we forget to check the basis of our assumptions and land up thinking something that is inaccurate, yet experience it as right and true.

It is interesting that having made the decision that something is so, we often are defiant when it is suggested that we might have misconceived the idea.

It is as if the mule inside of us decides that no matter what information is brought to our attention, we are right. The idea of suspending our decision feels as though we are about to self sabotage.  That our rightness could be wrong is shocking and something to be resisted.

“Jack left the interview for the position of creative designer and was feeling positive about his performance.  It was the job that he really wanted. This was the eighth interview. The others were an apologetic but  instant rejection.  This time Jack left the interview with a feeling of accomplishment and headed towards the reception area passing the others waiting to enter the interview process.  As he walks through the reception area he hears the receptionist on the phone saying that she would write a rejection letter immediately. She caught Jacks glance and gave a subtle sympathetic look before turning away and continuing with her work.

In that moment, Jack decided that he had had enough and it was time to head back to his home town. There was no point in waiting to receive a rejection letter.  It was a straight forward decision and that was that.  Jack told his room mate that he was leaving the next day.  Booked his bus ticket and left.

Once back in his home town, he went to his uncle who ran a greengrocers and started to work the next day. Jack gave up his goal of becoming a creative designer and accepted that his place was here in town. He had had enough and needed to accept his lot in life.

The internal dialogue continued to validate that he had made the right decision.  His friends where supportive of his re integration into his community and things settled down.

About a month later he received a batch of letters forwarded from his room mate and amongst them was a letter from the company where he had been interviewed for the position.  Jack looked at the letter with a heavy heart.

The letter of offer was sent the day after the interview.  It had requested a response by the end of the following week. That date had now passed.  Jack was in shock. How could this have happened? He had heard the receptionist talk about the rejection letter.  He recalled that sympathetic glance she gave him that confirmed the rejection. How could he have got it so wrong.

What Jack did is not an uncommon error. He looked at the information and came to an instant decision. The fact that he based a decision on a limited amount of information created the possibility of error. The logical process was in effect based on a false premise.

What Jack did not take into account was that the rejection letter could have been for any of the previous interviewees.  He also assumed that the sympathetic smile was meant for him when in fact the receptionist was expressing regret that was being shared with Jack    He just went with what he assumed. Distorting the information to make it fit with his past experiences.

The good news is that Jack’s uncle on hearing the news immediately got Jack to call and check to see if the position was still open.  It was and Jack left on the next bus to take up the new position.

The point here is to stop the immediacy of a decision being made. To ponder on the facts and expand perception of the situation.  To extract information with due diligence and explore possibilities.

Our mind’s need to be able to perceive many possibilities. It is only then that we can use our thinking to logically analyse, evaluate and reach a decision.

The premise for decision needs to be considered carefully. Good questions such as “on what basis is this decision being taken?”  Challenge limiting  beliefs and self devaluing assumptions.

Most errors in our thinking are the result of errors in perception.  In other words, mostly there is little wrong in the way we use logic to conclude our thinking. It is our starting point that that needs to be carefully examined.  It is important to develop  perceptual agility.

More…