One of the master skills for individual success in life, is understanding how the mind of other people works – why people say what they do. It’s all about the lenses they use, to view the world around them. We each see the world through a unique set of lenses - our eyes. Our lenses are created from our lifetime of experiences. That experience is created from what we know and how we feel about what we know. So, when we examine others, it’s important to consider the lenses through which that person sees the world around them.

It doesn't matter what lenses you use to see your own world. You will never be able to adequately understand others unless you can see their world through their lenses, and of course that is impossible. Or is it?

As an example, as a writer, I am often misunderstood by some individuals. Most of my writing is of a technical nature and it is there that my readers find reason to object. My thinking is that there can only be one very best way to accomplish a task. Yes, there may be many other solutions but none will give the same high-quality results, in the least amount of time, with the least amount of work and with the least amount of capital expenditure. And, it would prove very difficult to publish a great number of books for the myriad sets of lenses that people wear. To that end, I write for those who want to create change in the way in which they are currently performing a task.

Of course, there are those who differ because they have a different lifetime of experiences.They are wearing a different set of lenses than I, and cannot see the reality of which I write.

A person who is reading my books and articles may have never had the money to purchase the correct equipment and thus will never realize the quality, time-savings, or the lessened amount of physical labor to accomplish a task. For them, what they have been doing seems to work and well... if it works - don't mess with it - seems to be their maxim.

Another person has never had success in accomplishing a given task, because they lacked the knowledge of how to accomplish it. They will swear that what they have read or saw is little more than Black Magic, because they have never been able to do it in the same way. This is the person who believes that the voice every great opera singer is being dubbed after having been altered in the recording studio. With such closed-mind thoughts, it is doubtful that they will ever find success.

As a consultant, my charges are perhaps double those of others in the same industries that I consult in, and while there are some who will not understand how much more they receive for the investment, I find that there are enough clients to satisfy my own financial needs. The difference is found in the lenses that potential clients use to view my fees compared to others.

If a person has never hired a consultant and has no understanding of both the short- and long-term knowledge they will receive and how much time and money may be saved, they would balk at paying any fee.

For the person who understands that they have problems that they are unable to solve and are losing $500,000 a year, then the fees of hiring a consultant that can solve the problem quickly and efficiently are a completely different matter, altogether. These are usually my best clients, who will turn to me, time and time again, when problems arise. While, perhaps I won't be able solve all of their problems, I can usually point them in the right direction.

We all see the world through different lenses and even when what is right in front of us is the same thing, we tend to disagree because of the lenses we wear. What one sees as inexpensive another sees as costing far too much. One will see a steak as medium and another as medium well. We disagree. And often we do not agree to disagree and the relationship is harmed in some way.

To solve the dilemma, something has to change. Either, we:

  1. Agree to disagree and both are left in a state of stagnancy
  2. We agree, knowing that the other is wrong and are left with a feeling of resentment or disappointment
  3. Understand that the other person is seeing their reality from a different viewpoint from ours

To find happiness and success in all of our relationships, both personal and business, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could each understand that the reality of others simply depends on their lifetime experiences? The other person may not express themselves in the way in which you might. They may be a bit more forceful, when you are meek and mild. Such is life. All that is needed is to understand that they have not had the same life experiences that you have. They are different in their way of approaching the conversation.

That is all there is. Don't take it personal.

Knowing the reality of others is key to understanding.

Change your lenses, see the world anew and get on with your new found success in understanding others.