Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Perception, Misconception & Introspection


noun 1 the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. 2 the process of perceiving. 3 a way of understanding or interpreting something. 4 intuitive understanding and insight.

ORIGIN Latin, from percipere 'seize, understand'

This is what Oxford dictionary has to say on "perception" – and what I have to say is that perception of perception is also a perception. It is not only related to what you think of someone else, or what your understanding about other person is, but it is moreso related to what you would WANT to think of that someone.

For instance, X might consider me to be an out-and-out gregarious individual, but on the other hand, another person Y might think of me to be as conformist as it can be. It's all about perception. It is again all about perception when someone would think you to like continental more than punjabi food, if you know more pubs in the vicinity, as compared to dhabas! Aaahhh!

It's a real pain sometimes, but anyways – there are ways of playing around with your perception as well; for instance, if you are perceived to act in a manner as responding to a situation, you can jump up a surprise if you think is apt, or you can play the normal game and still emerge a winner, knowing beforehand what you should do.


noun a false or mistaken idea or belief.

An excellent example of misconception is what I recently saw – People have a knack of getting into trouble – albeit uninvited (I know I am modest, but showing off sometimes, it's ok..). So the guy used to be the sound pad for many, sometime back. Things that followed led to a situation where being a sound pad started being misconstrued as being the mouth piece! Eventually, as is the norm, thoughts around the guy having interest in a girl started rolling the circuits, and before one knew, it was termed as a couple (woah!). This leads to disturbance between otherwise friendly guy and girl, and things do not really stay pleasant anymore! Such is the nature of the culture, that those friends who persuaded this relationship from a normal friendship to a virtual companionship, started playing hide & seek. Things, as expected, would not be the same anymore, and hence, misconception leads to a catastrophe in an otherwise jovial friendship!

Another real life example of misconception is here. It is a misconception about innovators: their ideas are completely original. In fact, innovators get ideas the same way that everyone else does: Some they dream up, and others they borrow. They take a little concept from here and combine it with one they've found somewhere else. That is not to suggest that you rip off someone else's idea and represent them to the world as your own. Instead, the innovator's talent is that he or she knows which ideas to borrow from other fields.


noun the examination of one's own thoughts or feelings.

— DERIVATIVES introspective adjective introspectively adverb.

— ORIGIN from Latin introspicere 'look into', or from introspectare 'keep looking into'.

Once you've developed a perception, and followed it up with misconception as well, then you know that the time is ripe for some introspection. Not that it will lead to some precious results, but it always helps to have a status check once in a while, on the directions going forward. And there are multiple ways that lead to introspection, which you would say are crazy!

Hug a tree! Backpack across the country without regular support systems! Get up one day and make breakfast for your beloved! Or for your parents! Or for your roommate! Sleep under the stars! Make a conversation with a beggar!

Obviously these are not the conventional ways of introspecting, but what has been seen is that such steps can yield better results when it comes to knowing more about self, than any other. Doubt it? Try & you'll see. Straight from the gut…

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