Optical Illusions



This blog was inspired by a menu at a pancake house. Muses are everywhere.

The kids’ menu portrayed classical optical illusions – which line is longer, which center circle is bigger?

And if you have been alive for more than a few years you know the answer.

The lines are the same length. The center circles are the same size.

But if we defy what we “know” and go with what we perceive – in the case of the lines – the second looks longer. In the case of the circles – the first looks bigger.

Our perception of the stimuli are impacted by what is around them. The bigger surrounding circles make the inner circle look smaller etc.

Perhaps optical illusions apply to perceptions of people – a bit of a stretch – but bear with me.

Perhaps if we are surrounded by people who make us look somehow bigger – then we look bigger or longer (or stronger, or wiser, or just plain better). And the corollary to that is that sometimes you are surrounded by people that make you look smaller (pettier, sadder, less authentic).

Think about the circles and lines that surround you – some will make you look/feel bigger and more authentic, others will make you feel somehow smaller. These circles and lines can be people, jobs, cities, organizations – anything that surrounds you.

Choose the ones that make you feel and look bigger and better. Take stock of the folks, places and opportunities around you – and do some soul searching. Take a piece of paper and be honest – who makes you want to reach for the stars, and who makes you want to stop deraming? Who makes you feel bigger? Who makes you feel smaller?

Then – whenever possible – stick with the ones that make you shine brighter. Fact is, you remain constant –you are always the same size. You are always you – but the world is a contextual place.

I would love to think that we could be the same size no matter where we are or whom we are with – and to some extent that is true. The more authentic our lives, the more constant we remain. But some people facilitate the projection of our best selves.

The Buddha argues that it is all an illusion – might as well play it to your advantage.

So a big shout out to my nearest and dearest who make me shine brightest (you know who you are) – thanks for making me look good.


This entry was posted on Sunday, December 19th, 2010 at 9:49 pm and is filed under Health and Wellness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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