Before we begin, I’m going to take you back to High School Chemistry for a moment. You may remember learning about Nuclear Decay and Half-Life. Essentially, a half-life is the amount of time needed for half of the atoms in a given sample of a given substance to decay. It’s the Science behind Carbon-Dating and many other common practices in most fields of Science nowadays. If you understand the math better, an equation for half-life would like something like f(x)=P.5^x; where ‘x’ is the number of half-life cycles that have passed. So, let’s suppose we start with 10 pieces of candy. After one half-life, we would have 5, after another, 2.5 and so on. The number keeps getting reduced by half. Here is a graph for the basic half-life equation I mentioned above:
As humans, we can’t help but notice how the line plateaus after about the 6th value of X. That line, where it appears as if it is going straight, but really is just an inherently small decimal, is called an asymptote. From our perspective, the changes are less drastic at that point. Let’s say we started off with 100 of a substance, after one cycle it would be 50, then 25, then 12.5, etc. Half of the initial value was suddenly taken away at each half-life. In theory, each change is just as violent as the first. Yet, on a graph, we can’t help but notice how flat the line seems. Let’s look at the same graph, but on a different scale.
Here, the top of that screen (Y) represents the value .10, and the value all the way to the left (X) begins at 5. The two graphs undoubtedly bear an uncanny resemblance. Yet, looking at the first image, the dramatic change we see in the second appears as an insignificant, less-dramatic line near the asymptote. However, this does prove our theory that each change is just as important, significant, and potent as the first.
It’s fascinating to see just how big of a difference changing our perception makes. However, without this different view (and eons of mathematics studies) we would never have known the wonders that lie beneath our initial little blue line. As such, our original perspective would have been the reality. (Dad, if you are reading this, sorry I stole your famous tag line!)
And this ties in with one of the biggest lessons I’ve ever learned in my life. As much as we wish things were different, facts, and realistically the truth, are just words and associated ideas that we throw around in speech. The only thing that really matters, is what someone perceived. Which is why it’s important to continuously evaluate and reevaluate the state of others. Almost every external stimulus factor plays into a person’s perspective. It’s more than just glass half full or half empty, its that perspective that dictates thought and thus action. If you learn to understand someone’s perspective, you can impact their actions in a similar manner. This is an extremely helpful tool for almost every part of the short life I’ve lived thus far, and one I wish I would have known sooner.
I wouldn’t be me without some words of inspiration for someone going through a tough time. If you can’t change your circumstances (which you usually can’t), change your perspective.