Is It Important To Have An Accurate View Of Reality?
Bill Cottringer

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.” ~Abraham Lincoln.

I suppose some people would pose slightly different versions of this title question: Is there such a thing as an “accurate view of reality?” And if so, “Is it possible for anyone to have such a view?” I have studied reality quite extensively and intimately over the last six decades and can tell you two things I am as sure about as I can be, which confirm beyond doubt that when it is raining it is raining and when it is not raining it is not raining.

1. There certainly is an objective, truthful reality. This is in spite of a stacked deck against seeing and knowing it because of:

• Biased perceptions that we form from distorted experiences.
• Unclear, incorrect or incomplete information we start with and the wrong judgments, which such poor quality information leads to.
• Faulty beliefs that we prematurely embrace despite compelling disproof.
• Brains that are geared more towards efficiency than getting at the truth.
• Dualistic thinking that convinces us something has to be either real or unreal.
• Unfair, unrealistic and lopsided expectations.
• Overbearing egos that assume just because we think or imagine something to be so, that it is.

2. Long term success and happiness can only be had by acting and reacting within this objective, truthful reality; all the failures come from living within an inaccurate view of reality.

How do I know this to be so? Call emotions and feelings anything you like and split as many hairs as you want to between frustration, anger and rage or peace, contentment and joy…but in the end there are only positive and negative feelings we have about what we are doing and what we are getting in the tit for tat game of life. Positive, pleasant and enjoyable feelings affirm that we are headed in the right direction with our actions and results (like we have an accurate view of objective, truthful reality); whereas negative, unpleasant and enjoyable feelings are just trying to warn us to slow down and rethink our approach to something (like questioning the truth and accuracy of our subjective view of reality).

The central problem with all this is that you have to experience seeing and knowing this truthful, objective reality, before you can recognize it and compare what you have against it for validation. That is why so many people act and react within a distorted view of reality and why there are so many failures. True success and genuine happiness are not the norm, because these consequences have to be part of the truthful, objective reality that they come from. But first, you have to get there!

There is a process to experience truthful, objective reality, but it requires great patience, humility and courage. The door to this view of accurate reality opens, when you begin to do all these things simultaneously:

• Loosen your grip on the view of reality you currently have. Of course the tighter the grip, the harder this is.
• Open up your mind to start questioning sacred beliefs you have about what you may be wrongly convinced are true—especially the expectations you have for getting outcomes you want from doing what you are doing to get them.
• Let go and relax the tendency to divide things into ‘opposites’—reality IS either accurate or inaccurate but paradoxically you can’t see that until you stop thinking it, choosing one side over the other and start putting both sides of the same coin back together again as a whole one.
• Slow down and become more sensitive to the connections between what you are thinking, feeling, believing, perceiving and doing, and what consequences you are getting; experiment by making the necessary adjustments to get the right results to be happier and more successful.
• Find someone who you respect for having a more accurate view of reality and ask him or her how they got it.
• Pay more attention to doing those things.

“When you argue with reality, you lose—but only 100% of the time.” ~Byron Katie.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, Passwords to The Prosperity Zone, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, and Reality Repair Rx coming shortly. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or