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    Lily@Melbourne, Australia

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How to become a better eyewitness to life

Remember that perceptions are reconstructions of reality.
Learn to regularly question your own perceptions. Are they accurate? could another interpretation fit the facts? What assumptions are you making? Could they be false? How might your assumptions be distorting your perception?
Break perception habits and interrupt habituation.
Each day,, try to do some activities in new ways. Try to look at friends and family members as if they are persons you just met for the first time.
Shift adaptation levels and broaden frames of reference by seeking out of the ordinary experience.
The possibilities here range from trying foods you don’t  normally eat, to reading opinions very different from your own.
Be aware of perceptions sets
Anytime you pigeonhole people, objects, or events, there is a danger that your perceptions will be distorted by expectations or pre-existing categories. Try to see people as individuals and events as unique, one-time occurrences.

Be aware of the ways in which motives and emotions influence perception.
It is difficult to avoid being swayed by your own interests, needs, desires, and emotions. But be aware of this trap and actively try to see the world through the eyes of others. Taking the other person’s perspective is especially valuable in disputes or arguments. Ask yourself, “How does this look to her or him?”
Make a habit of engaging in reality testing
Actively look for additional evidence to check the accuracy of your perceptions. Ask question, seek clarifications, and find alternative channels of information. Remember that perception is not automatically accurate. You could be wrong.
Pay attention.
Make a conscious effort to pay attention to other people and your surroundings. Don’t drift through life in a haze. Listen to others with full concentration. Watch their facial expressions. Make eye contact. Try to get in the habit of approaching perception as if you are going to have to testify later about what you saw and heard.

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