Last week I posted and article about how we filter things we hear. I‘ve included the link here for you to read: The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard! And we actually filter everything that comes to us as adults. We see, hear, touch, taste and smell through filters that are deep seeded in our brains. There is nothing wrong with us, but it is important to recognize that we have these filters.
We see smoke and we think fire. We see ice and we think cold. It is automatic. In some cases it can be a great filter. For example when we see a fire, we think hot and could cause damage. This is a good filter designed to keep us safe and free of harm.
On the other hand, I will use a very bad stereotype. Many people see a blond woman and immediately think she may be the typical “Dumb Blond”. This is not such a good filter. I have met many extremely intelligent blonds and many not so smart brunettes. This filter serves no good purpose. Both come from our past and are there because someone told us something or we experienced an event that made us believe it to be true.
Our input filters are in place to keep us safe but they also work to develop and support our biases. Consider all fire has the potential to burn and cause damage. We know this to be true and we have evidence to support such a belief. Consider all blonds are dumb. We know this not to be true but the bias and stereotype remains and the filter for both stays in place.
Now think of what life would be like if we didn’t have all of those filters. Intelligence alone will keep us safe. We will continue to avoid harmful things because we know this via intellectual reasoning, But if we could remove the rest…
Life Through the Eyes of a Child
Children have no filters. These are developed over time and education. They don’t realize that the stove is hot until they experience it. I mean they actually have to touch a hot stove and from there, they KNOW what hot means.
Imagine how they view the world… With no filters to stereotype things, events or people, everything is new and in question. A child approaches any thing, person or situation with curiosity and no internal filtering system. If a problem is presented, the child will find a way around or over. There is nothing too big for them to tackle. If food is on the counter a child will stack chairs, tables, toys, move furniture or use a broom handle, but they will attempt to get the food they see and want. No problem, I’ll get to it.
Sure it may not work perfectly the first attempt, but the child will press on undaunted until they succeed. With no filters they are fearless and full of the newness the world has to offer. What a great way to venture through life!
The Wonder of Life
As a child we have this great sense of adventure. We go from one thing to the next with as much excitement as we can muster. Play time is for learning a new skill and children relish in the activities presented to them. Imagination runs wild with thoughts of what can be done with an over-sized corrugated box. Forget the toys, let’s make a fort out of the box and play a game with it.
It is incredible to watch children play with the smallest and most meaningless items while having a great time. Without filters everything looks interesting.
We have this same potential as adults. Adults are given situations which we find to be curious, but the frequency in which they occur seem to be far less often. And the reason for this is our filters. We have chosen to block out the excitement of experience and move through life as efficiently as possible without wonder and curiosity.
Our adult filters provide us an expectation of what is about to happen or take place. We use this to tool to fill that childhood void with adult style meaning that shields us from the full wonder of what actually takes place in the world. Our filters wrap us in a cocoon insulating us from the present of the present. By that I mean we are given the gift of life each day, but by not being present to the world around us, we lose the value of the gift over and over again.
The Best Five Minutes of Your Life!
It is possible that the best five minutes of your life begin now. By forcing yourself to remove your internal filters, you too can get back to that childish view of life. Every experience can be new, exciting and fresh. Consider that you have no idea of what is about to happen and simply enjoy being wherever and with whom ever you may be. Strip away the filters and get back to seeing what happens next.
The old saying goes: No matter how big and tough you are, when a two year old hands you a toy cell phone, you say “hello!” And why not, the child wants to play the game of life. As adults we are too busy fighting from one issue to the next. The reality is, we are playing the game too. The difference is that we are annoyed by so much of what “happens” to us. Nothing really happens to us, it just happens. What we make it into, now that’s a different story.
I have been told, “I have some bad news for you”. The truth is, all you have is news, it is neither good nor bad. I challenge you to begin the next five minutes filter free. Listen to what is said, see what is really there if you expect nothing what you get may be quite a nice surprise!
Think of how conversation with your significant other could be without expectation. What would dialogue with your children be like if you were present and without pretense. Every thing we do in life can have that new and exciting feel if we can step back and remove filters and expectations. Every five minutes has the potential to be the best five minutes of your life!
If you still don’t believe me, try planning a romantic evening with your partner. Remove your filters and expectation and ask them for the same. Make each event for the evening filter free. Look at the conversations and actions as if they are the first time you are viewing them. Get present to what’s there as you experience the evening as the first time you were on a date. Be curious and explore each other without the cumbersome filters we all have in our lives. Commit to making every five minutes on the date the best five minutes of your life. Se where this takes you and let me know what you experience. I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty hot to me!
Speaking of “hot”, Jay Simcic has his latest book out now and I highly recommend it for all of our readers. Here’s the link to find it on Amazon.com: Mancode Secrets Revealed. It covers many of the insights we fail to address in our daily relationships,. The reviews of this book have been positive and very strong. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Love with no shame and ask with no fear