The stumbling Ideal Self

I used to wonder why people, including my students, had a problem with the concept of 'perceptions dictating reality'. To me it was as evident as blood was to a swirling fin. I even tried presenting the case of Gablinger and Miller Lite. Both were light beers. The former failed while the latter went on to becoming an iconic low calorie beer. The reason why one failed when the exact other went platinum can be ascribed to perceptual positioning. Gablinger called itself a 'low calorie beer'. Miller Lite was introduced as 'less filling' under the slogan 'Everything you want in a beer...and less'. To beer drinkers the latter presented a picture drastically different from the former, despite the products being the same. Drinkers took lock, stock and barrel to a 'less-filling' beer. They disliked a beer termed 'low calorie'.

The beer trick was about dictating right perceptions. The one who got it right got consumers. the other failed.

Yet like I said, despite all that I said, people desperately wanted to believe otherwise. They wanted to be told their choices were based on rational evaluations, that their perceptions had nothing to do with it. They were unwilling to admit to perceptions dictating their reality.

I thought hard, thought long, and then it dawned. People weren't ready to accept to the part perceptions played because that would mean a dent to their 'ideal selves'. The illusion people live includes a construct of an ideal self. That ideal self sees them being rational beings. Admitting to perceptions dictating reality meant the ideal self would crumble. Not many were willing to that. And so the opposition.

As for me and my quest, the struggle to convince continues.


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