A lot of people live life with belief sets that severely inhibit their: minds, happiness, and potential. The results of most choices in our lives will be determined by the beliefs that we hold within our minds; one of the most predominant beliefs of people in society is that, in varying degrees, the world is out to get us, or that the game is somehow rigged for us to fail: this belief is a common and debilitating mindset that hinders many people from ever achieving success.
The belief that the world is out to get us, or that there is some sort of larger power at play that prevents us from achieving what we want ranges from conspiracies that the illuminati are secretly in control of the world, to the only way to get rich is to cheat the system. Some people actually believe that the rich only become rich by stepping on others heads along the way to get there, while this may sometimes be the case, it is most certainly not the rule. You can read books by many of the wealthiest and most successful people in the world and they will almost all tell you the stories of hardship and adversity they lived through to obtain success. Most successful and wealthy people want to see others succeed and rise to wealth with them. People who have made millions usually realize that they could give someone 10,000 dollars, but unless that person has the proper beliefs and work ethic, its going to be squandered away in a short time.
The main problem with thinking that things are beyond your control is that it makes things beyond your control. As an example: Let us say you believe it is impossible for you find shoes that fit you, because the companies that make shoes have a rule against people of your shoe size. In this case, you won’t go look for shoes, because you don’t believe they are out there for you, you won’t ask anyone for shoes because you don’t believe they have your size, and you won’t try contacting a shoe company because you believe they don’t want to make your size. Your belief might be so strong that even if someone gave you shoes that were your size, you would still imagine that they don’t fit properly. The moral here is, that just because we believe something doesn’t make it right: just because we see evidence that something is true doesn’t mean it is. There is a thing called a self fulfilling prophecy, and unfortunately the more strongly we believe something, the more evidence we will find in support of the belief.
Consider the case of religion: there are currently 5 major world religions, all of which have conflicting beliefs. Throughout time there have also been numerous other religions and paganisms that people have practiced and there have been many gods that people have worshipped. Many of these older religions are no longer even practiced. Take for instance nordic mythology: the vikings believed that the universe was created by a giant cow that licked a block of ice, as the ice melted the universe was created. I am not here to write about the validity of religion or discuss if your religious views are correct or not, but consider that throughout history there were millions of people who strongly believed that their religion was correct, and today their religion is no longer even practiced. These people most likely saw evidence their gods existed, they and their entire families believed in these gods and rituals, yet today these gods exist only in history books. To those people, their gods were real, perhaps more real than anything else in their lives, yet those gods existed only in their minds.
Our beliefs strongly influence our interpretation of every new piece of information we obtain. There is very little data or stimuli that can reach our subconscious mind without first being interpreted by the beliefs that we hold within ourselves. We must learn to think for ourselves, we must learn to not just see life through our beliefs, but to first examine our beliefs and adopt those which empower us and help us to grow.
For the poor man who believes that fortune only comes through inheritance or luck, he has damned himself to a life of poverty. For the young child in the ghetto that believes the only way for a kid to grow up successful in the hood is to deal drugs or get into the NBA, he has already condemned himself to limited potential. For the middle aged woman who believes that she is destined to be overweight because metabolisms slow after age 30, she has already locked the weight onto herself: there may be factors outside of your control, but adversity doesn’t equate to automatic defeat.
If you believe something to be true, you will not act to change it. If you believe something is out of your control, you will not be able to influence it. If you see only pain and suffering in the world, you will find it everywhere you look.
The moment you accept a belief and believe it, it becomes true to you; your mind will search endlessly for data that will confirm and back up your new belief. It is only through consciously viewing, examining, and considering our beliefs that we are able to change them and begin to form new beliefs that better poise us for success.
Fortunately, there is still hope. There are some among us who still dream vividly, reach for the stars, and refuse to sip the nectars of ignorance. We can still choose to open our eyes, define empowering beliefs, and think for ourselves. Everyday people defy the expectations of others and it spans out into all walks of life. Simply be proving others wrong, defying expectations, beating the odds, or reaching your potential you can send powerful shockwaves that awaken others and even ignite a revolution.
For the old black woman who refuses to give up her seat on the bus, or the young black child from the ghetto who grows up to become a Doctor, you have shocked the world into action. For the two brothers who refused to believe it was impossible to fly and built the first airplane, or for the stubborn engineer who said that it was possible to create a v shaped engine despite the calls of failure from others, you have advanced the world. For the pope who has called the world to love again and for the cardinals to give up their extravagance, or the homeless man who shares his pizza with others despite his own hunger, you have shown us the power of love. Many times, the greatest acts of history are those that impact the beliefs of others and allow them to shed their chains. We owe it, not only to ourselves, but to the entire world: to begin to think independently, to do what is right and not what is popular, to determine for ourselves what is true and possible. You can create a new world outside, but you must first create a new world inside of you. As the world is within, it shall also be around you.