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The Reality of Reality

By Cliff Stockamp

If you are not achieving what you want in your life: financially, physically, socially, with your family, and in your business or career, it is because you are most likely violating this powerful principle...

On Saturday, December 11th 2004, I sat beside my 10 year old daughter on the couch and watched a show about a woman who had been conned into marrying a man, and of a little 8 year old girl who tried to tell others of the plot, but to whom no one would listen. One character was an older woman who lamented her son's death and lived a melancholy life full of regret and remorse. He had married royalty, and upon his death "the government took all his money" which was supposed to be used to take care of her. She had to leave the posh home she was in as she could not afford to pay for it. As it turns out, her son never had much money, and never married into royalty. The theme woven throughout the movie was one of the value of courage and honesty, and the price of deceit. The movie, like life, showed clearly how "perception is NOT reality" despite what we've all been told over and over again, i.e. "perception is reality." This idea is so important to your well-being and development, that almost all failures in human life, business, families and any organizational structure can be attributed to this fundamental flaw in human reasoning.

The older woman in the movie never did her due diligence and researched the "reality" of her son's life. She simply took his consoling letters to her as the truth. The other woman in the movie who was being conned into marrying a man who had borrowed large sums of money to "appear" wealthy so that he could confiscate her wealth did not thoroughly research her life partner as to the reality of his true nature. In the end, the wisdom of a very persistent child prevailed and people were shown for their true colors and reality was seen versus "perception".

If you are not achieving the results you want in one, two, or every area of your life, then it is because you are most likely making the same mistake the characters in the movie have made. Your "perception" of what is reality, is not matching the reality of reality. Otherwise, you would have already made the changes you needed to move you forward in your life. Here are some common errors in judgment:

"I know this company is going to take care of me." "I'm too old to get retrained." "I know he/she loves me, they just don't want to show it." "I'll start exercising on my next birthday." "I'll get 1 more credit card and use it to pay off the others." "I'll start saving more when I get caught up on the bills." "He/She treated me so rudely I'll never talk to them again." "I've never gotten the same treatment as my older/younger brother/sister." "I can't make the team because the coach has already got his players picked." "It's only a little pain; I'll get it checked out some other time."
I could go on and on. Every one of these very common mistakes in judgment is a result of a human being having a perception of reality and living out of that perception, rather than adjusting to the reality of reality and making changes to adapt, and grow.

You may have heard about the mythical study from Yale University in which a graduating class was surveyed about goals. 87% had no goals, 10% had goals and 3% had goals and they were written down. 20 years later the group were followed up and the 3% who had written down their goals had more wealth than the other 97% combined.

The mistake that is easy to make - and it is one that I have certainly done - is to think that just the act of writing down the goal on a piece of paper is enough to achieve the goal. I was looking back through some old papers last week and found some old goal sheets. By now, according to my goal sheets, I should have an income of #150,000 per year, be driving a jaguar XK8, living in a 6 bedroom country house in the Cotswolds with river frontage, having 6 foreign holidays a year.

Now unfortunately that lifestyle is not the reality at the moment. The primary reason that it is not a reality is that I have not put the action in place to achieve those goals. I have been playing a dangerous game of VIRTUAL REALITY with myself. When I wrote those goals I sincerely believed I was going to achieve them and the action of writing them down was the major step in accomplishing them. In my mind's 'virtual reality' I had already achieved those goals when I wrote them down, this is often what is promoted in the world of personal development.

The reason I say it is dangerous is because I was deluding myself. What is going to make those goals a reality is to identify the skills I need to acquire and putting action in to make the goals a reality. Without the action it is not going to happen. The time to take action is in the moment that you have identified the goal; the longer that you leave it the more the energy associated with that goal will dissipate.

What can you do right now?

1. What areas of your life are not developing or matching your goals, based on actual Results in reality?

Physically? Financially? Socially? Career? Family?
2. What Misperception do you have in that area from Question #1 that is keeping you stuck?
Example 1: "I think that my parents will leave me a lot of money so I can spend as much as I want now?"
Example 2: "My boss likes me, so my position is secure."
Example 3: "My mom lived to be 87, so I know I'm going to live a long time so I don't have to really worry too much about my health."
Example 4: "I know I'll be successful in this company and make 10k a month if I just keep getting trained and going to meetings."

3. What is the REALITY of your situation versus your PERCEIVED REALITY that has kept you from really growing and moving forward?

Example 1: "My parents may not leave me a thing, and I must be able to sustain myself to be successful."
Example 2: "My security does not come from my boss, but only from myself and my ability to earn in the market place."
Example 3: "I am not promised another moment, let alone 87 years. All I have is now to live and value my health. I am me, and not my mother."
Example 4: "In order to be successful, I must make sales calls and presentations, and training only shows me how, it will NOT make me wealthy."

4. Adjusting to reality. What Adjustments do I need to make NOW, in order to change my Results tomorrow?

© 2004 Total Success Institute
Cliff Stockamp is the founder of the Total Success Institute, a life coaching and training company, with over 1000 new clients in 10 countries in less than 2 years.
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