The Personal Reality Spectrum

I spent some time last week fleshing out my thoughts about one of my foundations in life that drives my “Question Everything” attitude. I have been living it for some time now but just never got around to thinking it thoroughly through till now.

I originally posted this on my special projects blog over at CrackingCreativity but thought it would be a good thing to also present it here:

The Four Parts of our Personal Reality Spectrum

What is Personal Reality? – I know that that this term has been used for a myriad of topics over the years but my definition is very down to earth. Personal reality is how we shape our view of the world. Over at my main blog at RJsCorner, I often lament about how some people seem to a very different view of the world than I do. Particularly the MAGA folks who are getting so much attention now. I believe that where you are in the spectrum determine most of our personal reality differences. Some stop at the first part and it becomes their entire spectrum, some eventually progress through all four parts and thus cause parts 2 – 4 to shrink and 1 to grow. Our view of the world depends on how much of the spectrum you explore. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of each part.

Part One – What I know.

This is what you have convinced yourself the world is all about. It is things you are sure you know, most often you don’t even consider the possibility that they may be wrong or at least incomplete. People who fail to explore the rest of the spectrum are convinced that anyone who thinks differently than them is simply WRONG.

Part Two – What you think you know but maybe most likely don’t?

This is where you are willing to consider that things you think you know could just be wrong. To most people, this is called being open-minded and willing to learn. Most of us won’t likely stay in this second sphere very long. We need some resolution to our uncertainty so we move to part 3.

Part Three – What I know I don’t know.

Unlike the person who is stuck in part one, a person in this phase realizes that she doesn’t know everything and recognizes that there are others who know much more about a particular topic than they do. They know what they don’t know and they do something about it.

Most of us who consider ourselves free-thinkers live our lives in Part Three. We are constantly trying to learn what we know we don’t know from those who DO know.

Part Four – What I don’t know that I don’t know.

Of course, the fourth phase is not a place for permanent residency. Instead, it is discovering things that we have never considered up to that point. At that point, some of us drag that particular item into the third part for investigation. Some others never even consider that Part 4 exists.

Here is a graphic I made up to illustrate this spectrum:

Depending on how much time you spend in each section, the magnitude of each pie part changes.

  • If you are stuck in Part 1 then you think it makes up your whole pie.
  • If you acknowledge Part 2 you are consciously aware that you need to adjust your view so that part shrinks and part 1 grows.
  • When you discover Part 3, it enables you to move on to new thoughts and ideas. It opens your mind to other possibilities
  • Part 4 will almost always make up the majority of everyone’s pie, but the smaller it is the more complete your views.

I would be very interested in knowing what you think of all this?

2 thoughts on “The Personal Reality Spectrum

  1. This sounds about right. #4 is probably the biggest. In a way we are all in the dark about so many things way beyond politics and religion. So much so, we can never know the majority of stuff and it’ll drive you crazy sometimes trying.


  2. I really like this and I think friends are people who kindly educate me on their way of thinking without hitting me over the head with it. I think this because I know that I don’t know so much. And the part that I know I know I often think isn’t optimal in the sense it doesn’t help me create an optimal life experience which is what I think our thoughts and knowledge should do for us. So feel free to enlighten me further but only with the information that will really help me optimize my experience of this day. And yes, MAGA is not in that piece of the pie. I like making American great but I’m not sure certain folks really know how to do that.


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