Monday, November 16, 2009


By Daena Smoller

In elementary school, one progressive teacher staged an event in front of the class with two students and had the students leave the classroom afterward. The teacher then asked the students to provide information regarding the other two students involved in the event such as what they were wearing, what they did and what they said. It was an eye opener to have it proven that we all perceive things a bit differently from each other.

I never forgot that lesson and for some unknown reason, it’s made a significant difference to me regarding what I witness and how I react.

For example, early on during one beautiful summer evening, I took my 9-year old stepdaughter for a bike ride around the neighborhood. She didn’t own a bike at home and was at this point, still a little shaky. Without warning and for some reason that I couldn’t see, she lost total control of her bike and flew off to the side, skidding on her stomach across a neighbor’s lawn.

I jumped off my bike and raced over to her. She looked up at me with the same stunned look of a toddler who waits to hear the mother’s voice before he or she decides to start crying. I didn’t want my stepdaughter to cry nor did I want this accident to put an end to her bike riding. So I began clapping as if she gave an amazing stage performance and as her eyes got HUGE in reaction, I told her that this was a most exciting moment…her first big wipe-out on a bike! I then asked to see if she had any ‘war wounds’ that would impress her classmates the next day. It took about 10 seconds for her to register my unorthodox reaction to her fall and instead of crying (as I’m sure her scrapes and bumps hurt), she stood up and said, “wow…a real wipe-out!”

I helped her look for any serious scrapes, of which thankfully, there were none and then we both got back on our bikes to go home where she would enthusiastically tell her father about her ‘first wipe-out’ on a bike… which served as practice for her big ‘wipe-out’ announcement the next day at school.

I wanted to share this story with you in hopes of it being a reminder that today, tomorrow or in the days to follow, your perception of an incident can play a major role in your subsequent actions. And if your reaction to this story is ‘I do the same thing’, how great is that? But if it makes you think about what you can change regarding your perception and reactions, then I offer you this: there are a great deal of experts who can help you make a positive impact in and on your life (therefore helping you make a positive impact in the life of another) and you can find the lion’s share of these experts broadcasting 24/7 at

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