It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau. 

And to loosely quote one of my favorite thinkers, Naval Ravikant, “Life is a series of lights and colors and experiences and then you die, and it’s up to you how you interpret those sensations.” 

I really like both of these quotes and I feel like they are regarding similar principles.  There are two major points that I take from these quotes: 

  1. We are each responsible for how we see the world.
  2. We owe it to ourselves to look for the good in things.

The world is neutral. So the difference between seeing the world as dark and horrible or seeing it as beautiful, magical, and inspiring, is simply a matter of the lens we use to view it. Every single day we are put into situations where we make snap judgments without even thinking. Somebody cuts you off in traffic. Now, did they cut you off as a personal attack? Or is it possible that they weren’t paying attention and didn’t see you. All it takes is a slight shift in our thinking and we can come away with a completely different experience. Your lens can have powerful effects on how you approach life, and I implore you to examine yours.

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