Art vs. Reality

I’ve seen some people pick up an adult magazine and complain about how “fake” the models look and how they’ve been retouched in Photoshop, blah, blah, blah.

On the flip side, I’ve seen others pick up the same magazine and admire at how gorgeous the models are and how they’d like to (for a better term) “meet” them.

The debate I often hear is: “Which is better? Art or Reality?”

Both views are valid.

As self-aware creatures with aspirations to be more than just “animals”, we tend to bend “the actual world” (reality) to fit our modified view of the world” (art…psychosis…or whatever you want to call it).

Once we experience something “better”, we tend to seek it out and/or modify our world to conform to that “better” experience. We moved from hunters and gathers to farmers. We went from walking to horses to cars. And we went from swords to guns to UAVs.

Our need for advancement draws us into the conundrum of accepting what “is” and changing the situation to what we think “should be”.

This conundrum has a very thin membrane of separation.

“Realist” (for a better term in this article) want to seek the truth. They don’t want someone telling them what should be. I believe they want to see the blemishes and faults of the world and they (probably) believe it gives the world character. They are the engineers and the builders of our society that need to see what “is” because anything else would be a lie or hidden flaw in the design. Perfection is accuracy. A noble and appreciated system of approaching life. They stay away from things that “fool” them and introspection is their rule. They are the builders of our world.

I’d like to separate “Realist” from “Haters”. Realist have a purpose for being “Real”, they are usually seekers of the truth for the sake of improving society. For example, a structural engineer should always favor the integrity of a building’s structure over the aesthetics…especially if people are going to operate in it. But Haters seek “a truth” so they can peddle their drama, they are hate mongers who ostracize anything different, and some artist’s vision/opinion just happens to be the victim of the day. These are the Drama Queens looking for attention and the only way they can find it is through the persecution of others and by leading and building hate with their rabble. Enough said.

Let me say that “Art for the sake of Art” has no place in this discussion. Kind of like “Drama for the sake of Drama” has no place in any kind of real relationship.

Artists (or should we say “Visionaries”) who base their works on reality and actual human related endeavors are the designers of our world and modeler of our species. From cave painters to Jesus Christ to Leonardo Di Vinci to Mohandas Gandhi to Jane Austin to Jules Verne to Kelly Johnson at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works to Gene Roddenberry to John F. Kennedy and NASA, they have inspired and shaped our visions of what could and should be, and allow us to appreciate what is. We follow them into the future and aspire to shape our world into their visions. These are the people we can’t understand in the moment but are drawn to their greatness through their works and vision much later in the day. Perfection is possibilities for these select few. They create and propagate their paradigms so we may participate in their virtual endeavors. Extrapolation is their rule. They are the leaders of our society and the designers of our world.

So where does “art” come into play? I believe “art” comes from Man’s visualization of what could and/or should be. Like an architect building a scale model of what he is about to build, his “art” gives him a visualization of what could be. Like reading romance novels give visualizations of how relations could/should be and like the art of pornography…well, let’s just say it gives us a goal to strive for. And of course, when Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1508 to help it’s patrons visualize Heaven, put them in a state of awe and inspire their faith; I’m sure someone said “that’s not real, God and Heaven look so FAKE!”…Right?

Art applied to reality gives us hope (among many things) by helping us visualize what could be, educating us to new possibilities, and romancing us to maintaining our beliefs and meaning for existence.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Artist know this, Engineers follow in their footsteps and only the very special can combine the strengths of both.

So to the “Haters” I say, “deal with it!” Without the extrapolated visualization of improvement and possibility developed through art, true improvement cannot happen and everything would seem impossible…like your own life probably seems to you.

To the “Artist” I say “keep our dreams alive, but don’t distort the true beauty of the things we cannot change”; some documentaries are meant to stay documentaries and people need to understand when they’re made into dramatizations, and if they choose to engage the latter, appreciate the conversion for what it is.

And to the “Realist” I say, “keep building our dreams”.

Driven by Needs

In Simon Sinek’s presentation, he talks about the strength of brands and why some brands have such a strong connection with customers while others, not so much. His main point, is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

This is a very insightful perspective on marketing and sales, but the assertion doesn’t necessarily apply to people. As people lead exceedingly busy lives, trying to consume maximum amounts of news and social media content in the minimal amount of time, or rushing around checking items off the ever-growing to-do list, there is little time left to invest in figuring out who a person really is. What does this person stand for? What values does he or she represent? What philosophies do they adopt in their life?

Trying to get an accurate representation of someone in a limited amount of time is like trying to be certain someone is your soulmate from a 2 minute conversation at a speed dating event. There are just too many variables with not enough time to explore them all.

Yes, given time, the opportunity exists to get to know someone deeply. However, there is one major reason why people will open themselves up for an interaction with someone else. That reason is, there is some sort of personal benefit received from interacting with someone. Every single person in the world needs things and when you meet someone that can fulfill a need, you will make time for that person. In the same way, when someone meets you and you can give them something they need, they’ll make time for you. This system of needs is the underlying reason why companies such as google, amazon, and eBay have grown to the magnitudes they’re at today.

Not only do people need things, they need things RIGHT NOW! Time is the commodity. In an increasingly competitive world, Almost everyone is trying to get here, get there, get where they needed to be 15 minutes ago. Combining limited time and so many tasks to accomplish makes people eventually become very selective with how they spend their time and who they spend it with.

There is definitely a dynamic in play when it comes to human interaction and fulfilling needs. Though it may not be so easy to articulate the reasons why, as individuals we will naturally gravitate toward things that attract us, based on our needs and desires. We know what we like and what satisfies us and we’ll actively seek that out.

What about when we are trying to attract something to us. We must market ourselves! Whether through signals such as physical appearance, validation from others, or possessing a certain skill, we establish a place for ourselves by being able to fulfill a need. People may be attracted to us initially by what we signal. However, they will eventually maintain and build a relationship with us because of why we do the things we do, which is an extension of who we are as a person.

When the person you are being, is in alignment with the things you are doing, then you will have all of your needs fulfilled in the most appropriate way.

Perception is Reality

Perception is reality. This assertion is most often at the foundational levels of all our interaction we have each day. At work, school, friendships or relationships, your perceptions can be the cause of disagreements and infatuations.

Take for instance an abusive relationship. Looking in from the outside, it may seem that a husband is controlling, disrespectful, unfair and downright mean. However, the wife may see him as assertive, confident, bold, and fearless. And even though he treats her in a way that may generally be perceived as “abusive”, her perception of him may be exactly what she wants, or even needs, in a relationship.

In regards to perception, we hear people’s opinions about situations and others. This can be seen all around us from little pre-schoolers fighting over a toy, to the highest levels of politics and media. He said she said arguments arise trying to justify actions and prove who is right or wrong.

As we hear these accounts of situations, most will usually take an account of what happened, as facts of what truly happened. Like the game of telephone, the more people the story gets communicated through, the more it changes.

In evaluating situations or solving conflicts, it’s absolutely crucial to realize that everyone that communicates, is communicating through a filter dictated by their prior life experiences. They use this filter to make sure judgements and come to their conclusions and ultimately, this filter reinforces their program of how they interact in the world.

In the same way it’s a good practice to take a step back and gather thoughts before responding or reacting, it’s a good practice to take a moment and realize that during conversations, you’re speaking to a person through his/her perceptions and filter, instead of speaking to the clean slate that is objectively able to evaluate situations.

Clarity and win-win situations are always the goal in successful communication and conflict resolutions.

2014 Life Seminar – Trailer

My life didn’t please me, so I created my life. – Coco Chanel

In the course each day, almost everyone makes time to enjoy simple pleasures and take a break from of responsibilities and obligations. Rarely does the pursuit of fleeting pleasures develop into a quest for lasting joy and fulfillment. In Rule 1’s 2014 Life Seminar, we delve deep into the origins of what drives people, what influences their interactions, and examine why certain patterns of behavior resurface over and over again. By providing a powerful context to navigate the world, the 2014 Life Seminar will equip participants with not only the tools but more importantly the awareness and clarity to create the most fulfilling life for themselves.

Introduction to 2014 Life Seminar

In sharing Rule 1, we deeply believe in each person’s possibility to create a fulfilling life. We accomplish this by providing a powerful context to navigate the world, an awareness of what drives people, and knowledge of how to influence outcomes. We bring clarity to behavior patterns you’ve lived and experienced all along. Click the link if you’re ready to experience a quantum leap in powerful living.

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