"Get real" is an expression that we hear quite frequently. What that expression means is, get a reality check and to stop behaving as though you're living in a fantasy world. That's quite funny because we all live in a fantasy world that we created in our own mind and mistakenly believe is real.
Each and every one of us gets to decide what things and events mean for us. We decide what's good, what's bad, what relevant and what is not. We decide what we like and what we don't like. In other words, we take what we see and hear and create our own personal world out of that.
It is a well known fact that when ten person are asked to describe an incident that they all witnessed together, each will come up with a different version of what has just happened.
This phenomenon is due to a mechanism in our brain that determines how we interpret reality. When a stimulus (a sight, sound or message) reaches the brain it is immediately sent to our bank of references, where all previous experiences are stored, and an association is made between the present and past experiences and, out of that association, a decision is made as to what this new stimulus means for us.
A common experience would illustrate the way that this mechanism works. Let us take the example of someone who comes in the vicinity of a dog. The previous experience with dogs will determine the reaction felt.
If the person has had pleasant experiences with dogs, the reaction will be pleasant. On the other hand, if the person had been once bitten by a dog, the reaction will bring a sentiment of fear. Same experience, different conclusion. Same world, different reality. The same dog, at the same instant will mean joy for one person and fear for another.
The world that we experience is one of our own fabrication. The process is automatic and beyond the level of our awareness but it is real just the same. We determine and create the world that we live in by taking the outside influences and coloring it with our past experiences. The outside influences are merely the pawns that we will use to create our reality.
There is a profound lesson to be learned out of that. If we get to create our reality we can also influence the outcome of that creation. That can be done by deciding what we will focus on and consciously deciding what the focus of that attention means for us.
Ten soldiers will go to war, be surrounded by the same elements and live a completely different experience. Where one soldier will be on the field of honor and seeking glory, another one will feel that he has been unjustly sent to a needless and almost certain death. Same situation but an entirely different world.
We get to choose; we get to decide what type of world that we live in. Why not make it a great one?