This is an image going viral online. In it there are 12 dots, but we just can’t see them all at the same time. As our eyes hover here and there, different dots show, obscuring the others one we just saw a moment ago.

It’s a cool optical illusion, but what does this teach us on a much deeper level?

It teaches a simple and life-changing reality: we naturally absorb only a part of reality. Our mind has a filter and not all of reality will be shown to us. According to the mindset we develop – and the key word here is develop – we will see in reality those things which are aligned with our views.

Research shows that once we feel there is no solution, we literally won’t see the opportunities right in front us. This is sometimes called by psychologists “the Tetris effect” after research showed that people start seeing blocks and shapes in real life after prolonged Tetris play. Our brain rewires itself to be good at what we’re focusing on. In another example studied by researchers, people who have jobs which require them to focus on finding mistakes (tax auditors and lawyers, for example), then they’ll develop a fault-finding mentality which will pervade their life as whole, often causing unhappiness, increased levels of stress and strained personal relationships.

But the same effect can be used to make our life better. By training our minds to look for the positive, we gradually start seeing the positive things in life. As we see more positive things, naturally our spirits lift, and see even more positive things. We can train our mind to do this through meditation, keeping a gratitude journal and by learning to absorb good moments in our day-to-day life.

Check out my video on this!