Since posting the invisible gorilla video last week I chanced upon an upgraded version of the experiment – how co-incidental is that? If you have not done the other experiment, that's ok, just do this now and I will give you the link to the original experiment at the end of this post.
This video shows how oblivious we are to things around us when we are focused on a task. Even if we think we know what to look out for in this video, there is a chance that you will miss out some very obvious things happening right in front of your eyes. Try this experiment and then ponder on what lessons we can draw from this …
Our brains play tricks on us all the time and will continue to trick us to see things they way we want to see them. This is a good illustration and reminder that we need to re-examine the way we think before we over-estimate our ability to perceive things.
What we "see" may not be the entire picture and it certainly does not represent the entire "truth". That leaves lots of room for openness and compassion. And our first impressions are sometimes inaccurate. Do you see a circle or a spiral?
There are many facets to the same things happening in time and space and we may only hold one such view.
Hang on to this thought for a moment and let it soak in. Where can you apply this in your daily life?
As the New York Times review says "The Invisible Gorilla* may just teach us to be more humble, understanding and forgiving."
We see what we are intend on seeing. As Cheri Huber says "What you focus on expands". If you focus on difficulties and challenges on a daily basis that will be all you can see. You will miss out the opportunities right in front of your eyes. Conversely, if you focus on the task at hand, a King Kong gorilla appearing will not distract you – you will not even notice it. And that is how you will compete your project and move on to the next.
There are many rich lessons in this video. Here, I would just like to invite you to re-examine your thoughts. Are there incidents where you are certain that you are right (and others wrong)? Could there be another way of seeing or interpreting incidences that had taken place? Could you have missed some facts?
Now is a good time to take out a piece of paper and jot down 3 things that you are open to re-examine. What 3 things (or relationship issues) can you think of that where you can apply what you learn here today?
Tension and pressures in relationships build up when we insist that our views are accurate and complete. You can release that tension in your relationships or in your perception by just re-looking and re-examining your own "assumption". Look again, you may see something new. And we are glad there is still time to make rectifications.
It is time to be open, compassion and flexible. We want to learn to see from different angles and to see with not just with our eyes but with our hearts.
An earlier version of the invisible gorilla video can be viewed here.
*The Invisible Gorilla is written by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simon. More about the invisible gorilla here.