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What Do You See?

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This is a famous optical illusion. Before we go any further, what do you see?









You might see a duck. You might see a rabbit. (If you only saw one, look for the other.)

Your brain decides what to see, and then once it fixes on it, that’s all you can see. But when someone points out the other, now you have another perspective. And you can choose which one you think it is.

Most of our perceptions about anything—people, situations, problems, anxieties—are like this. You can see a problem; or you can see an opportunity. You can see a crippling defeat, or you can see a fresh start. You can see the end, or you can see the beginning.

That’s what Epictetus meant when he said “every situation has two handles.” You decide which one to grab. The difference with the optical illusion is that both options are valid—it’s equally meaningless either way. Not so with life. Which one you decide to see—the good or the bad, the one that gives you room to move or the one that has no hope, the one that makes you forgive or the one that holds on to anger—is everything.

So which one will you see? Which handle will you choose now that you know there are two?

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