Most of us think that we see things exactly as they are, but this is far from the truth, since everything is merely perception, and your perception of things can change.

There are numerous factors that influence your perception. For example your upbringing, age, faith, past experiences, bias, relationships, current life circumstances, goals, values, beliefs, and more. The list could go on and on. With so many factors influencing our perception, it’s easy to see how our grasp of reality and the perceived reality of those around us is all but an illusion. With this in mind, here are 47 quotations on perception, to help you remember that what you see isn’t all there is. 

1. It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive. – C.W. Leadbeater

2. “If you have an over-preoccupation with perception and trying to please people’s expectations, then you can go mad.” – Benedict Cumberbatch

3. “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

4. “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” William Blake

5. “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” – C.S. Lewis

6. “Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.” – Irving Berlin

7. “When we become fixed in our perceptions, we lose our ability to fly.” ― Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

8. “Reality is based on perception.” Geoff Thompson

9. Always let intuitive perception precede analysis. – Darby Bannard

10. What we see depends mainly on what we look for. – John Lubbock

11. Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective. – Ryan Holiday

12. Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

13. “What is behind your eyes holds more power than what is in front of them.” Gary Zukav

14. The heart has eyes which the brain knows nothing of. – Charles H. Perkhurst

15. “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” – Stephen R. Covey

16. Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it. – Stephen Covey

17. It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves. – Carl Jung

18. People only see what they are prepared to see. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

19. Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy, it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. – Miyamoto Musashi

20. ”Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro

21. We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right. – Marianne Williamson

22. Perception is demonstrably an active rather than a passive process; it constructs rather than records ‘reality’. -Michael Michalko

23. “Perception precedes reality.” Andy Warhol

24. “The optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist sees the hole.” – McLandburgh Wilson

25. Heightened perception is the goal: becoming more aware of how you see, not just what you see. – Michael Kimmelman

26. “It’s all in the mind.” – George Harrison

27. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

28. “Miracles are a shift in perception.” Kenneth Wapnick

29. “We must not allow other people’s perceptions to define us.” Virginia Satir

30. Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view. – Obi-Wan Kenobi

31. “The truth is helpless when up against perception.” – Zack W. Van

32. “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe

33. “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer

34. “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” – Leonardo da Vinci

35. “The lives we live are a bit of a straight-hair vs. curly-hair thing. We often want what we don’t have. In reality, it’s not about better or worse; it’s just perception.” – Simon Sinek

36. “Your perception of me is a reflection of you.” Anonymous

37. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

38. “If I make a fool of myself, who cares? I’m not frightened by anyone’s perception of me.” – Angelina Jolie

39. “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” – John C. Maxwell

40. “Life is all about perception. Positive versus negative. Whichever you choose will affect and more than likely reflect your outcomes.” – Sonya Teclai

41. “Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality.” – Alexis Carrel

42. “Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” – Jon Bon Jovi

43. “There is no fixed physical reality, no single perception of the world, just numerous ways of interpreting world views as dictated by one’s nervous system and the specific environment of our planetary existence.” – Deepak Chopra

44. “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Robertson Davies

45. “Most of us have grown up seeing the world as a place of limitation rather than as a place of inexhaustible treasures.” – Bob Burg

46. “It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.” – Anais Nin

47. “One’s perception of themselves has a much bigger role than has been acknowledged to determine who succeeds and who does not.” – Sal Khan