“A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying: ‘SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NO ONE WEARS SHOES.’ The other writes back triumphantly, ‘GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP THEY HAVE NO SHOES’” (excerpted from The Art of Possibility by Zander & Zander).

The Zanders go so far as to suggest that Truth is not objective – everything in life is simply a story we tell. Incidentally, the Zanders are not alone in this line of thinking. As far back as the 18th century, philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that human beings will never have access to access an unfiltered, objective reality. And, as I’ve written about before, the very foundation of the Abraham-Hicks material rests on the idea that your reality is nothing more than “a response to the thoughts you think and the story you tell about your life.”

Stop and think about that for a moment… a) all of our experiences are subjective, invented even, and b) our version of reality rests solely on our (uniquely personal) interpretations of those experiences. This concept has enormous implications for the way we approach relationships and manage conflict!

As we navigate our world, information is taken in through our senses, processed by our brain, and then interpreted. This interpretation serves as our “story,” which eventually morphs into an entire belief system. Naturally, things like previous experiences, culture, and learning influence the stories we create. The Zanders assert, however, that there is an even more fundamental aspect to this process:

“No matter how objective we try to be, it is still through the structure of the brain that we perceive the world. So, if there are absolutes, we have no direct access to their existence. The mind constructs. The meanings our minds construct may be widely shared and sustaining for us, but they may have little to do with the world itself. Furthermore, how would we know?”

Wow! Imagine a world without absolutes. No longer can we claim, with certainty, that WE are right and THEY are wrong (although, as I proposed in an earlier blog, there is no they…only US). When we operate from the assumption that those with whom we disagree also have a valid point-of-view, a perspective that is as “right” as our own, it gives us the freedom to take off our boxing gloves (or our halo). At the very least, we can agree to disagree. At best, we can genuinely appreciate and respect the perspectives of others, knowing that it’s all made up anyway!

Not only does this theory change the way we interact with others, it also allows us to create (or recreate) our own reality – all we have to do is tell a different story! Dr. Wayne Dyer famously quipped, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” And, as I wrote about here, the teachings of Abraham-Hicks suggest that our future is being shaped by today’s thoughts.

The best part is that we can start right now by retelling our own reality-story, one that isn’t defined or limited by the interpretation of society/parents/religious leaders. We can think, and therefore create, our heart’s desire, no matter what (subjective) information we “think” we perceive through our five senses. In other words, we can choose to view the glass as half-full.

And, we can get excited about selling a lot of shoes in Africa!

Written by : drallisonbrown

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  1. Modern Gypsy November 9, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

    I do believe in the power of the stories we tell ourselves. My only beef is when spiritual leaders tell us we also attract things like illness, theft, accidents, etc. That’s something that doesn’t sit well with me at all.

    • drallisonbrown November 9, 2017 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      I agree! That is a huge burden to place on someone, to make them think that they are responsible for everything bad that happens to them. It’s really unethical. I believe that the law of attraction gets completely misinterpreted.…

  2. Angela Noel November 9, 2017 at 8:28 am - Reply

    I love that aspect of the book: It’s All Invented! Daniel Kahneman also speaks to this in a slightly different way, he says “What we see is all there is.” We can only build the stories with the available information. So the best way to fully understand and experience the world is to seek new and varied experiences and always with an open mind.
    It’s something I think about often. Thank you for the post!

    • drallisonbrown November 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      I like Kahneman’s description, because the truth is, we don’t know what we don’t know. There is no frame of reference for what exists outside of your own reality. Thanks for sharing, Angela!

  3. Diana November 9, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    One of my favourite sayings is, “There are three sides to every story. Yours, mine and the truth.” :)

  4. Ritu Bhathal November 11, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

    There are infinite possibilities, we just have to each ourselves to be open to viewing them!

    • drallisonbrown November 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      Ritu, you are right, but being open to them is sometimes the hard part.

  5. Ellen Best November 11, 2017 at 8:26 am - Reply

    There are four sides to every story, yours, mine, truth and lies.
    We see from different perspectives and I judge with enormous alacrity, as my glass is half full.

  6. Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks November 12, 2017 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Such a fabulous reminder that we all need sometimes – thanks!!!

  7. Lucy November 12, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Favourite post of the afternoon :-) Loved this

  8. Gabe November 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Very true. We can change so much of ourselves by changing perspective.

    • drallisonbrown November 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks Claire, for the share! Much appreciated!

      • Claire November 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm - Reply

        You are welcome! Fab post to share…I love the African shoes story and am always telling my kids to look at a glass half full scenario. With my chronic health problems, it is the only way to be!

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