If you weren’t convinced by the brain distortions in the earlier post The truth may be out there, but it sure ain’t in here, then I challenge you to check out The Same Color Illusion by Edward H. Adelson, Wikipedia and remain convinced that your picture of reality (?!) is accurate.
A and B are exactly the same colour. Yep, it’s true. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof. (Or scroll to the bottom of this post for another proof.) Essentially, we guage many visual features, like size and colour, by comparing them to other aspects of the immediate environment.
Still not sure what it has to do with happiness?
We think we ‘know’ what’s going on – what people think of us, what we’re capable of, how smart we are or aren’t – and we let ourselves be defined by these beliefs. Illusions like this one bring home the fact that the movie playing 24-7 in our heads is an approximation – and sometimes a downright fabrication – based on whatever is out there.
If our perception and beliefs aren’t always accurate, then why should we make ourselves their prisoner? Why not experiment with the idea that we are smart, capable and happy, despite what we’ve been telling ourselves all these years.
And if we usually tend to focus on worries and fears, we can choose to see this as no more accurate a picture of reality than an optimistic one, and adjust our mentals controls accordingly.
I’m not saying it’s easy to go from grey- to rose-coloured glasses overnight. But realizing you have tinted glasses on is a great start.