Guided by a variety of theories about how we are wired, our brain is sophisticated throughout much of its life, and we develop certain traits and tendencies as biologically hardwired. These writers all agree on the existence of an internal mental framework or mental world in all of us. Yet, they also share a skeptical attitude to the accuracy of assessing and describing that mental framework. They find personality “the best way to understand the mind.”

This seems to me a perfect statement for the position of a psychologist since quite a bit of the literature in the past 75 years or so has been devoted to the study of the ways in which we interact with and are affected by the mental world that we live in. To pay homage to the observable reality of how our minds interact with our five senses, much of the common literature has focused on the interpersonal dimensions of personality. This would include thoughts, feelings and sensations, attitudes and beliefs, values and perceptions. These all seem to be observable personality characteristics or employ them in much the same way. Because there is so much literature, and a great deal of it makes sense, it is often hard to separate and analyze the research findings due to the broad range of these same descriptions.

We need to be able to describe in terms of observable human cognitive and emotional interaction. Unfortunately, much of the personality literature has been cross-linked to an assumption about brain function that has no real evidence and is not supported by science. Furthering this myth to describe an inborn set of traits, more of the research has pointed to an assumption inborn genetic framework. The proverbial: “The truth shall set you free.”

But another perspective to consider would be to observe how our perceived reality is both influenced by and controlled by our beliefs. None of us really know because we can only know our own perceptions of reality, but we can make some inferences based on what we believe to be true for us. An important aspect of personality is our successes and failures that are manifested in the choices we make. The concepts of trait and behavior could be used to examine the relationships between characteristic attributes and outcomes. The broader your beliefs, the more likely you will be to create outcomes that you believe you wish.

For instance, as I write this, my outlook about my emotional world changes. I relate to a friend who has suffered with depression and published a book challenging modern understandings and theories of the mind and behavior. Every time I read new information from that book or associates see the shared items, I notice myself relate to them. What did I say about the universe or the mind?

Stress is unhealthy and we cannot always control those forces that bring us down. However, we are not always free from our mind allowing us to project upon people. We confuse our perceptions by focusing on a perceived ideal picture of our surroundings, our actions and the results we wish to achieve.