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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - The Power of Perception

Matt Hagee - The Power of Perception

Matt Hagee - The Power of Perception
TOPICS: The Difference, Perception

Matt Hagee: Hello, and welcome to "The Difference" today. Kendal and I are so excited to have one of our favorite people on the set, Erik Van Alstine. He is the author of a series of books on the topic of Perceptual Intelligence, the first of which is "Automatic Influence". Erik, what other books are in this series?

Erik Van Alstine: Oh, my goodness: I don't think we have enough time to talk about all that, but there's a lot. I've actually got seven books done right now. But the publishing is waiting for some of the things to happen that really need to happen from a business perspective, because what we do is a lot of training. We're helping people. We're getting out into the market, and so there's a lot coming down the line. And I'm excited about it. But yes, this is the first in the "Perceptual Intelligence" series.

Matt Hagee: And "[url=|Erik Van Alstine - Automatic Influence]Automatic Influence[/url" is something that I've shared with people as something that has benefited my life. But it wasn't just a moment when I recognized how, you know, perception impacted the decisions I made professionally: it started to impact the relationship at home, you know, where the conversations changed, and the questions changed, and the statements changed. Because I would stop and ask myself: how am I seeing this versus what's being communicated, and what can we do to have a better outcome?

Erik Van Alstine: Yes.

Matt Hagee: And this is how I became familiar with the concept of Perceptual Intelligence. What in your words is "Perceptual Intelligence"?

Erik Van Alstine: Well, I don't know. Just kidding: I do know. But it's basically, I would call it almost like a Philosophy of leadership or a Philosophy of influence that helps us understand that perception, meaning the way we see ourselves, others, situations in life. And it's not just a physical side I'm talking about. But with the way we understand and the way we interpret, the way we imagine, the way we remember, anything that's kind of playing on the movie screen of the mind, these things automatically influence our emotions, motivations, and then behaviors. So if you're trying to get to the bottom of the issues, you have to get to the perceptions that drive these things. It's, you know a lot of times people will say things like, "Change your attitude". And, you know, while that's a good idea to do that, it's not the most effective way, because there's a perception underneath it that's creating that attitude. So instead of saying, "Change your behavior and attitude only," if you could get to the bottom of those, get to the root causes where the perceptions are, then it's amazing how things change. And by the way, in the wedding of the marriage kind of scenario, it's amazing how profoundly transforming it is for someone to say, "I could be wrong and I often am" to their spouse, and to honestly say that. It's not a joke, but it is a good joke. But you know what I'm saying.

Matt Hagee: Yeah, and...

Erik Van Alstine: She's saying that's the truth.

Matt Hagee: It is.

Erik Van Alstine: I don't want to get in between you two, but...

Matt Hagee: You've been there for a while. Now you've heard the definition of Perceptual Intelligence from the individual who authored the book. Let's see what some folks out on the street had to say about their definitions of what Perceptual Intelligence is to them.

- Ooh, that could be something you could obtain.
- Are you smart?
- It could be different kinds of intelligence. Someone doesn't have to have a high iq to be intelligent.
- Ooh, that's good. That was good.
- Uh, look at somebody and say, "Are you smart or are you dumb"? We're seeing how intelligent you are, which is probably completely wrong, but...
- I think it's where you get information in your brain.
- Perceptual Intelligence can mean maybe discernment that he gives you to where you just have that inclination like, Holy Spirit, I'm feeling something. And I think it's just you dropped it on me just now.
- She did a good job.
- Is that like ESPN where you can like read the future? Probably not. I have a feeling it's got something to do with how you process life.
- I think it is something where you learn in math.

Matt Hagee: You know the thing that's interesting about all of those answers is that there's a measure of each of them that's correct, and then a little bit of things that need to be, you know, adjusted. Now, I think it's probably easier to adjust the smaller audience than it is the larger one.

Erik Van Alstine: That's true.

Matt Hagee: But you know when people talk about Perceptual Intelligence, there's been a lot of conversation about IQ, EQ, AQ. And this fits into that equation...

Erik Van Alstine: Yes, it does.

Matt Hagee: ...And really impacts all of them. So how does it work?

Erik Van Alstine: So I mean we all know the emotional intelligence argument that you can be really smart, but if you're not aware of other people's emotions and your own emotions, I mean that you could really mess things up. So we're completely in alignment with that. But keep in mind we're talking about the fact that perception, meaning the way we see self, others, and situations in life and not just physical sight, but the way we understand, interpret, what we focus on, what we choose not to focus on, what we remember, what we imagine, all that stuff playing on the movie screen of the mind creates emotions. So we're really talking about Perceptual Intelligence as something that's underneath and is the root of emotional intelligence. So it's really important to be able to understand your own emotions and understand other people's emotions as they're happening. But the challenge is that a lot of emotional intelligence can't manage those emotions very well, because all they're telling you is what they are, not how to make them more constructive. And we really believe that if we can get to the root of the emotional and motivational challenges, we can fix those things automatically. So it's very powerful. It's perfectly complimentary. And they're always saying, you know, EQ trumps IQ: right? You can be very smart, but you can be, if you're not emotionally intelligent, you can't really get along with people and get things done in a workplace environment, you're not as healthy in your relationships. What we're saying is that PQ drives EQ. So Perceptual Intelligence or pi, whatever, however you want to describe it. Perceptual Intelligence is the root of it. And when we could start to deal with those root causes of these challenges, man, it's transforming, transforming.

Matt Hagee: Yeah. Well, and you said something about how you see yourself, how you see others, and how you see situations. And I think it's remarkable when you begin to recognize how quickly you see all three of those things and then make very long-lasting decisions instantaneously.

Erik Van Alstine: Oh, it's amazing. Well, the mind is so, is so powerful. It's intuitive: right? Most of our reasoning, we think, well two plus two equals four. We're doing these logical analysis. This is not the way we reason. It's a super-fast, intuitive, instant reasoning. And now, it all is reasonable under the surface. In fact, it's crazy is that Perceptual Intelligence teaches that all emotion is actually reasonable, meaning that it's being driven by a deeper reasoning that tells us using our reasoning, what something is, and how good or bad it is, then you feel good and feel bad in response to that. So it's reasoning. But it's this very deep, intuitive, fast reasoning. So in a blink, we're making assessments about things. And then we're jumping from one thing to another. Blink, blink, blink, blink, blink: right? So this mind is amazing. It is. It's the most complex thing in the universe: right? And so with it, a lot of things going on that we don't even understand. But it's amazing how that reasoning happens so quickly. Totally right: super fast.

Matt Hagee: Well, and speaking of things that happen quick, we're getting ready to go to a quick commercial break. But when we come back, Kendal and I are going to have more to say about Perceptual Intelligence and the impact it has in your everyday life. Don't go away. You're watching "The Difference".

Kendal Hagee: we're back with Erik talking about "Perceptual Intelligence". But before, I just want to rewind about the marriage question. You said about, what I was, I may be wrong?

Erik Van Alstine: Yes.

Kendal Hagee: but...

Erik Van Alstine: Yes. I may be wrong, I could be wrong, and I often am.

Kendal Hagee: that's good.

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah. That's super good for Matt. But it's also good for each other.

Matt Hagee: Is this a comment that you expect both to exchange?

Erik Van Alstine: Well, yeah. Okay. So here's the challenge. Most of us are under this assumption that we pretty much see everything. This is one of the first, what I call, "Counterintuitive ideas" about perception. We have this illusion that we're basically catching it all. It's almost like this weird assumption of omniscience. "I am a walking God on earth. I pretty much know everything. I don't need to listen much. Listening is for people who need to know things. Listening is for ignorant people. I know everything. You need to listen to me". That's the default kind of mindset: right?

Kendal Hagee: yes, it is. I can testify to that.

Erik Van Alstine: Every spouse could. So when people start to understand their perceptual limits, the fact that we're emotionally blind, it starts transforming. Because I want to listen now instead of assuming that I know everything and you're just doing nothing but wasting my time: I'm waiting for you to stop talking so I can start, which is typical.

Kendal Hagee: typical of a husband.

Erik Van Alstine: Now I'm actually listening to you go, "Because I could be wrong and I often am". It's an attitude humility that comes from naturally seeing our perceptual limits. And when spouses both have this, it's really good. When only one has it, it can tend to get slightly abusive.

Kendal Hagee: so how do you get it? You just...

Erik Van Alstine: "How do you get it"? Okay.

Matt Hagee: This is chapter 5.

Erik Van Alstine: Yes, it is.

Kendal Hagee: tell me what I need to do, the steps to get there.

Erik Van Alstine: Exactly. It's to get him to get this. That's typical: you know? That's a typical response.

Kendal Hagee: well, I'm just trying to take ownership, too, in myself. I need to work on myself. So if I get it, you get it, then it's going to...

Erik Van Alstine: I'm telling you...

Matt Hagee: Is it contagious?

Erik Van Alstine: It is.

Matt Hagee: I'm going to catch it?

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah. Yeah.

Kendal Hagee: well, no. I think it'll help.

Erik Van Alstine: Someone's going to go there with references to contagions, but it is. It is slightly contagious. But the truth is, it's something that has to be deeply imbedded and it's because it's counterintuitive. We believe the opposite by default, so we have to build what I call, "New perceptual habits," meaning habits of seeing self differently. This is not something that you can just snap your fingers and do. So we have a nine-hour course, 19 lessons, certification tests. We teach this in companies, not in like one session, because it's not like any four hours and you get this. We're there for years with them. We've had some companies say, we're going to go to a billion dollars strong as a culture, because you're going help us build leaders that are willing to say, "I don't know all the answers. I need to bring the right people in, make great decisions together". Everybody's aligned and on board. We can really move things. I mean when everybody in an organization is paddling the best direction together, they're unstoppable. But typically they're not doing that, because one person's saying, basically, "I know it all". And all the other know-it-alls in the room believe the same thing. And so what you've got is a bunch of arrogant conflict instead of humble collaboration. So that's the same thing in a marriage.

Matt Hagee: Well, it's marriage, but this is something that I've shared with you, and you know, be glad to say here to our audience that's watching today: as much as this is working in corporations and helping them improve their culture and their outcomes, there's such a broad brush to the information that it works for husbands and wives.

Erik Van Alstine: Yes.

Matt Hagee: It works for parents of teenagers.

Erik Van Alstine: Oh, absolutely.

Matt Hagee: You know we've got a 15-year-old daughter.

Erik Van Alstine: Okay. I'll pray for you.

Matt Hagee: We love her dearly.

Kendal Hagee: we do.

Matt Hagee: But she is very different than she was when she was my five-year-old daughter.

Erik Van Alstine: Yes.

Matt Hagee: And it's very easy for me to look at her at 15, and go, "What changed? When you were five, I would say something, and you automatically believed me. You accepted all these details. And all of a sudden, this great deal of intelligence and cynicism has saturated the teenage being of yourself".

Erik Van Alstine: Yes. I had five teenagers at one time.

Matt Hagee: And you've got six kids.

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah, six. So that makes me the dumbest man on earth five times over for a stage. But it's amazing what happened as they grew up. My youngest is 21 now. And you know what: I don't know if you guys ever heard that old Mark Twain story that says, "When I was 15, my old man was so dumb: I could barely stand to have that guy around. But when I turned 20, it's amazing how much that guy had learned in five years". So there's this mindset, I think the teenage mindset is the frontal lobe of their brain isn't fully developed. So I try to tell my kids that, "Hey, get some guy that actually has a full-frontal lobe, the ability to help guide you, because it's really important". The brain isn't fully developed until you're about 25, and that's the ability to see the future, to see the consequences of decisions, to see beyond, remember we talked about how people see short: right? They see short term: they don't see long term. And the truth is the world is set up so there's a lot of things that seem good now that aren't good later. And we created a lot of controversy in our conversation last night about this, which we won't repeat.

Matt Hagee: Well, you know I mean smoking.

Erik Van Alstine: Perfect. Perfect example.

Matt Hagee: You know when, in the 40's, smoking was so mainstream: it was socially acceptable. There were smoking rooms. There were smoking jackets.

Erik Van Alstine: Ah, it was fabulous. Doctors smoked.

Matt Hagee: Yeah.

Erik Van Alstine: They're working on you like, hey, you need some of this.

Matt Hagee: People talked about the benefits of the calming agents of the nicotine and all these different deals.

Erik Van Alstine: True.

Matt Hagee: And in the short term, that's true.

Erik Van Alstine: Fabulous.

Matt Hagee: Thirty years later, you have an entire generation that's plagued with emphysema and all these carcinogenic issues that were created because of years of smoking that they had no idea was going to be a long-term outcome of this short-term decision.

Erik Van Alstine: Exactly.

Matt Hagee: And it has to do with a willingness to see beyond what is now in order to have the good of tomorrow.

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah, it's good now: bad later. Good, short: and bad, long. There's a lot of stuff in that. In fact, the Bible describes sin as fleeting pleasures: right, fleeting pleasures. So it's the idea that it's good right now, but way bad later. And if anyone could actually see the long term, they would never want to do these things, because they know that, hey, it's a little bit of pleasure now and a lot of pain later. Who would trade a dollar of pleasure for a million dollars of pain? Nobody's that dumb. But they don't see the million dollars of pain that follow. And that's a teenager. That's a 15 year old.

Kendal Hagee: so as a parent, what do you do? How do you rear like a 15 year old to, okay: your brain starts...

Matt Hagee: With patience.

Kendal Hagee: yeah. With patience, with grace.

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah. I think they have to almost be prepped. They have to believe somehow. Maybe if you catch them by the time they're like 10, or 11, 12, and say, "Listen: we're going into a phase here and I want to prepare you". You're not in that now. But the point is if someone could truly see their own limits, and this is part humility. I think part of the problem with teenagers is the same arrogance that we all deal with. That's what got Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden. Arrogance is the number one prime sin. It's a sense of what was the temptation. You will be as Gods. We think we're virtually omniscient. I mean we're kind of taking on God-like qualities, at least in our view of the world, meaning that I am the universe. Everything is about me: right? That's the kind of this typical narcissism is that this little tiny, you know, world, that is me is everything.

Matt Hagee: It turns around me.

Erik Van Alstine: Everything. Yeah. So it's enough about you. Let's, you know, enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me? I mean it always seem to come back to me: you know? And the truth is we're always seeing out of our own eyes, so it's easy. I would call us, "Structurally self-centered," meaning that every experience of our life is always from inside our eyes. It's me watching my television. It's my view. I'm always, no matter what I'm experiencing. So your experiences are out there in some strange world that I actually have to listen to, to understand. And no one really does that. I mean that's hard work and why do it: right? So a lot, that's the default mindset is I know my own needs, and my own pains, and my own pleasures very well. Yours, they don't really matter as much to me and they're hard for me to understand, because it's all, you know, everything's about my world. So I think there's just this natural, structural arrogance in human nature that comes from only seeing here and now, not seeing the long, only seeing the short: and that if people can see that that is a problem, then I think they start to root in humility and teachability. In fact, we've been doing some work with fast food. Fast food industry is onboarding 16 year olds, sometimes onboarding people that could even be homeless, giving them a new start at life. So what they're trying to do is get these folks to be teachable. So they take them through little sections of our course in order to get them to be willing to admit that I could be wrong, and I often am, teach me. And then they start teaching them how to cook chicken or make burgers or whatever.

Matt Hagee: Yeah. Well, one of the most influential and powerful statements that any human being makes, whether they realize it or not, is "The way I see it..". Fill in the blank. And when we come back, we're going to talk about the impact of those words on your life and how you cannot erase what you see, but you do have to replace what you see with something that's a greater reality. You're watching "The Difference". We'll be right back with Erik Van Alstine after this.

Matt Hagee: Welcome back to "The Difference". Erik, earlier in our show, we asked some of our viewers what they thought about Perceptual Intelligence. We've got a few more segments from folks out on the street. And we want to find out what you have to say about their thoughts.

- Erik, how can Perceptual Intelligence help me in marriage?
- What the heck is pi? Let's start there. And secondly, how could Perceptual Intelligence help me in the workplace and with my coworkers and everything that I do and around me?
- I've been married now 35 years, so it's different each time, you know, throughout the years. So how can Perceptual Intelligence help me with my marriage now?

Matt Hagee: So some of it we discussed, you know, talking about marriage. And what is it that you would say to each of these individuals if they were sitting down on the other side of the couch from you?

Erik Van Alstine: Okay. So first of all, there's three questions. I'm trying to remember all of them.

Matt Hagee: Marriage, work, and then the different stages of marriage.

Erik Van Alstine: Okay. Okay. So I would say in marriage, we've already had some conversations about that. So it's very powerful to admit our own lack of awareness and be willing to listen to other people. What a concept: right? Listening is very powerful, and actual listening, as opposed to biding your time.

Kendal Hagee: being distracted with your phone.

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah. Yeah. I'm listening to you. Sure: I'm listening to you. And not really.

Matt Hagee: I think it's interesting. You know you had two marriage statements in that segment. One was from a man: the other, from a woman.

Erik Van Alstine: Yes.

Matt Hagee: The man talks about marriage. It's just this big general thing.

Kendal Hagee: what does pi have to do with a marriage?

Matt Hagee: A woman says, "Stages of marriage". And so I think if they could get some insight into a female's perspective of the relationship that it goes through seasons. It's got all these, you know, ups and downs. And a man looks at it like, I got married. I'm still married. It's just marriage.

Erik Van Alstine: Yes. Yeah, I think obviously, we think differently. And so there's nothing, nothing wrong with that. I think that that is the beauty of marriage if we're willing to appreciate each other. Now, we teach what we call, "Four prime perceptions". And I can't get deep into this, because they're so profound. They're almost like icebergs: right? There's a little white on the top, and oh, my gosh, the weight on the bottom of this is unbelievable. But I will tell you that the first one is the root of empowerment, power over our emotions, to be functional instead of dysfunctional, to be constructive, highly constructive instead of less constructive or even destructive. So that's going to contribute to a marriage. That empowerment is some of the most validating stuff I've ever seen, because it says, basically, we're dealing with the roots of self-control. We don't have to say, "Get a grip on yourself" so much, as we have to change the things that cause us to lose our grip in the first place. Now what I mean by, "Losing our grip" would be anger, hostility, resentment, all the things that you'd see in a relationship, as we are, hopefully, sharpening each other. Another one is the root of love. And I can tell you, as a typical business leader, which is high drive, low empathy: okay, and this self-confidence: that you typically aren't good at love. You can do the right things. You can go through the motions. But actually having authentic emotion, really being there for your spouse, that is not common for my personality type. I had a massive love revolution. If my wife was here talking to you today, she would tell you it changed me. And if it could change me, it could change anybody. That's my message to some of these leaders. So that's a huge contributor to marriage. So it's the roots of power, the roots of humility, the roots of love, and also the roots of peacemaking. The reason conflict gets created typically has to do with the way we see ourselves doing things good, the way we intend good while doing things that aren't. It's hard to imagine ourselves ever doing anything wrong, because we know it all and we always intend good. But from that mindset... By the way, if you go to talk to anybody in prison, they're going to tell you the same thing. They had good intent. They are not there because they should be there. It was an injustice. Okay. Everyone on earth does good, has good intent while doing things that aren't good, but they're blind to that. So that means that can't resolve conflict, because they can never, never truly admit they're wrong. So anyway, all those things, power, humility, love, peace, massively transforming for marriages. The mind is very limited, conscious thought really. You only have room for one thought at a time, so it's hard, for example, to focus on the S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G of a word and not miss a single letter.

Matt Hagee: Not see the letters.

Erik Van Alstine: Yeah. So there's all this. There's this very, very small capacity. It's almost like a, imagine your brain as a bingo ball tumbler: you know all these bingo balls of thoughts coming out, but only one ball per moment can come down that thought slot: right? So that means if there's a good ball in the slot, nothing else can get in it.

Matt Hagee: Yeah, you're fine.

Erik Van Alstine: So you're focus replaces anything else. So if you're focused on the goodness of God or you're focused on the good things in life, you have, in that moment, blocked out other things. So you've made this choice to lock on and block out that can be either constructive or productive.
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