"People tend to see what they are looking for, not what they are looking at."

I just read this passage in a book on making documentaries. A truly profound understanding from someone who understands the power of film and the challenge of editing and making a great film.

How does this apply to us? It’s been said that we can better understand the human challenge when we think of the eyes as a projection lens on a movie projector, rather than an input device. We did our input when we were children, learning language, absorbing the world like a sponge. Now, as an adult, reading this, we actually are projecting our own stuff onto the world.

We can keep this in mind to enjoy more happiness in our lives. Realize that throughout the day we are a walking, talking, projector. Own that and go back to looking at the world anew. Stop looking “for” all the behaviors we “know” about our loved ones, or work, our home, that person in the mirror each morning.

Remember when life was new, before our ego got stuck on thinking it “knows” things. Spend this day looking “at” everything and everyone as if they are new (because they are!). Try this an entire day. Most people can’t make it 5 minutes without the mind commenting on how it thinks things “really are”.

Look at things as they are, without all the knowing. Be curious. If you are going to use this understanding, start looking “for” how interesting people are. Look for the little wonderful things about your partner. Practice looking for the wonderful things about your life!


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