Ten years ago, I was contracted by a client to provide a ‘lunch ‘n learn’ experience for? their staff.? Through our discussions, they liked my idea of calling it ‘What You See is What You Get’.? I still use that line regularly in sessions I deliver today.

I started the session with a story from my Interpersonal Communications Course text book at the University of Winnipeg.? The story was called ‘What Kind of People?’ from the book ‘The People, Yes” by C. Sandberg, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1964.? (No…I was not teaching the course in 1964…the text just included this old story as a meaningful reference for the section on perception.? The year of my course was 1998.)

Here’s how the story goes:

Drove up a newcomer in a covered wagon: “What kind of folk live around here?”

“Well, stranger, what kind of folk was there in the country you come from?”

“Well, they was mostly a lowdown, lying, gossiping, backbiting lot of people.”

“Well, I guess, stranger, that’s about the kind of folk you’ll find around here.”

And the dusty grey stranger had just about blended into the dusty grey cotton-woods in a clump on the horizon when another newcomer drove up.

“What kind of folk live around here?”

“Well, stranger, what kind of folk was there in the country you come from?”

“Well, they was mostly a decent, hardworking, law abiding, friendly lot of people.”

“Well, I guess, stranger, that’s about the kind of people you’ll find around here.”

And the second wagon moved off and blended with the dusty grey…


I think this session title, like this story, reference a universal truth about we humans.? We do not see the world as it is, we see the world as?WE ARE.? (I think that comes from a quote from that famous person?’Anonymous’, but I have conflicting information on that source!!)

Albert Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” You will always remain where you are unless you change your picture. By changing the picture in your mind, you begin to change what you notice, and what becomes your reality.

This is exactly what Terry Small communicated in his youtube video earlier this year.? In the video, he talks about the young teacher who mistakenly took locker numbers to be IQ scores, and treated her students accordingly.? She thought she had a room full of geniuses (high locker numbers) and … guess what … her expectations were met!? It was not until the end of the year, that she discovered that those high numbers were not IQ scores.? At that point, who cares?? She had a class of high performers on her hands…and that was nothing but good!!? And, it have EVERYTHING to do with the picture she had of the students’ capability prior to the start of the year.

So … what are the pictures that reside in your brain?? What are the pictures you have of yourself?? (i.e. What do you ‘believe’ about yourself?)? What are the pictures of others?? (i.e. What do you ‘believe’ about others?)? Are these pictures/beliefs working FOR you or against you??

It’ s important to remember that you are not passive here.? You can decide to put the exact pictures you want in your brain.? Once or twice won’t do it; remember that it takes 21 days to change a habit – that goes for thinking habits as well.? Put the pictures you want in your brain over and over again. Then, watch things begin to change.

While you are contemplating this,?check out this beautiful 22 minute video – it is well worth your time investment!? Find a chunk of time, sit back, relax and enjoy!!

And then … tell me … what do you see?

?Deri Latimer, B. Mgt., CSP, is an expert in possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional, the speaking profession?s measure of excellence in professional platform skill. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri helps individuals and organizations optimize their performance by managing their energy; applying the latest research and practice in positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, emotional intelligence, and employee engagement.? www.derilatimer.com


The Butterfly Circus – HD from The Butterfly Circus on Vimeo.


  1. That was 20 minutes well spent! It goes to show how the power of the human spirit can shine through when you have a positive peer group around you. I loved the way the man in the hat could see the beauty in everyone – we need more people in the world like him!

    1. I could not agree with you more, Joyleen! Thank you so much for your comment!
      I totally see the beauty in you…inside and out!!
      Cheers, Deri

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