This past week I’ve been in Sandy, UT, experiencing this state in winter for the first time ever.
Each time I’ve visited Utah in the past, it was always near or around summertime, with 80-90 degree days being the norm. Anytime I wanted, I could go outside barefoot on the grass and do yoga, or do some sprints spur-of-the-moment.
This time, the ground is covered with snow. The past few days have been sunny, but cold. Now, as I look out the kitchen window, it’s lightly snowing.
To know a place as “always being hot and sunny” — then to experience it as freezing and cloudy — is a bit weird. It’s kind of like “This doesn’t match my reality of what Utah is.”
This got me thinking about the notion of filters — i.e., those seemingly solid viewpoints we hold about the world that color our every experience of it, while filtering out everything that doesn’t match our viewpoint.
A filter is a lot like a kaleidoscope, where you peek through a tube and see colors and shapes out the other end. While you’re busy seeing those colors and shapes, what you’re NOT seeing is everything that’s being filtered out.
What filter do you use to interpret/see life with?
Some filters I’ve observed during this Utah trip are:
- The filter of “How much does that cost?” — where 80% or more of a person’s conversation and thinking revolves around looking at the price tag of things, and believing everything is too expensive.
- The filter of “What happened?” — where 80% or more of a person’s conversation and thinking revolves around discussing problems, what’s terrible, and what’s not fair.
- The filter of “How do I get him to love me?” — where a person believes love is something that exists entirely outside of herself. (I learned that one of my cousins ran up her credit card and paid $4000 to a “fortune-teller” so that she could learn how to make a boy fall in love with her. It didn’t work.)
Most of the time, people aren’t even aware of the filters that are coloring their perception of life. Most filters are unconsciously passed down to a person, usually by family or those who raised them. We learn to adopt others’ filters as our own. We learn to see the world a certain way, while being completely blind to other perspectives.
Most filters limit our experience of life. For example, the person who has a filter of “How much does that cost?” is often limiting themselves with the belief that no matter what something costs, they probably can’t afford to pay for it. The person who has a filter of “How can I get this person to love me?” is wasting their time searching outside of themselves for answers, instead of going inside to find the true source of love.
The good news is, we can consciously create positive filters that help us “see” and “find” more of what’s good in life.
One example of a cool filter I heard recently was this: “The more real I and my business have become, the more impressed I am with all the things others are doing — it’s a beautiful filter!”
When we have a positive or beautiful filter, we start looking for the good in things. And whatever we’re looking for, we tend to find. So it makes sense to create some positive filters that allow us to navigate life by always finding awesome things.
In the next article I’ll talk about how to shape your marketing content so that it creates positive filters for the people consuming it. In that regard, your marketing can be a life-changing gift for the people who discover it.