PERSPECTIVES: BELIEVE

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“…I BELIEVE IN ANGELS…” (“I Have A Dream” by ABBA)

 

The word “believe” has its roots in the pre-12th century Old English word “lēof”, which seems to me very much like a transformation of the word “love”.

To believe is to have confidence in the truth of something. From a positive perspective it means to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, the desired effect, or the ability of that something. And that “something” can be defined and experienced by you in different areas and to varying levels of intensity.

 

Physical

Golfers and their coaches advise that you should envisage and see in your mind’s eye the ball rolling into the hole as you prepare to putt. Go in ball! Go in!!

It is also often said – and there is proof – that positive beliefs and expectations are associated with better health or even being cured from life-threatening disease. Multiple studies on the relationship between the mind and the body show a consistent strong connection that supports the notion that body and mind operate interdependently – and thus our beliefs.

  • As the saying goes “be careful what you wish for!”

 

Social

What we believe in forms the foundation of our actions – or maybe a truer statement is that it should form the basis of our actions and behavior – which affect and impact ourselves as well as others, and for which we should acknowledge responsibility.

Two items immediately jump to mind, i.e. religion and racism. There are more than 800 religions in the world – most of them which acknowledge similar tenets, i.e. love your neighbor, treat others with respect and in the way that you would like them treat you.

As for racist behavior, the least said, the better.

 

Mental

A belief is a mental phenomenon. And there is a relationship between our beliefs, emotions, behavior and physical outcomes.

The stressed and distressed often become more so if they believe they are powerless to do anything about the cause of their misery. However, we are very seldom “totally helpless” and without any options and alternatives – although the outcomes may not always be comfortable or pleasant.

Believe in a positive outcome. Evaluate unpleasant situations calmly and logically – with as rational a mind as possible – and “go for the more positive outcome”. My Mom was afflicted with cancer at age 39. She told the doctor that she refused to die as she had four boys who needed her and underwent radium treatment for several months. She survived, recovered and lived till age 85. The lady in the same room as Mom, with the same diagnosis and treatment, did not make it past 6 months.

Can believing affect your physical health? For me, the answer is most often a resounding “Yes!”

  • Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

 

Emotional

There are times when our reasoning, our rationale and even our judgment depend on our emotion – and strengthen our belief in things unseen, such as trust, credibility, and justice.

We fall in love and – believing that a person would make a good partner for life – get married or form a long-term relationship, based on very little rationality and a bucket-full of emotion.

  • Emotion is perchance the generator that makes the world go round.

 

Intellectual

It may be true that “all good things come to those who are prepared to wait”, however, it is illogical to “sit on a rock, clad in sack and ashes, and wait for bread to rain”. Our intellect directs that if we need something, we should “go and get it”.

The message is clear: Believe in yourself, work to empower yourself and then work harder to achieve your dreams. Ask any successful artist – be it movie star, singer, painter – they worked hard, believed in themselves, often in the face of numerous rejections and “through a lucky break” may enjoy success.

Though exceptional talent may help, hard work will at least “level the playing field” for most of us.

  • Believe and Achieve.

 

Spiritual

In the minds of many, science has taken the place of God. But what it does not do for many of us is to give meaning to how we feel and our place in the vast expanse called the universe. It does not explain transcendental moments – the feeling we experience when we hear a moving piece of music or witness a heroic act, or a mother’s joy at the birth of a long-awaited baby.

Those feelings are inexpressible in words – a personal experience of a higher dimension to what Life is all about. Spiritual, not necessarily religious. Non-conceptual and not definable by science. A belief that there is something more than the daily grind.

  • For me, personally, the beauty of science is that it underscores spirituality and the existence of a Creator. Life and the universe may be complex but is at the same time elegant in its simplicity. There have been absolute great “tipping points” in my life that I could not have planned, had I tried my best and supported with the greatest of “luck”.

In the words of The Moody Blues “This garden universe vibrates complete”.

 

KEY PRINCIPLES

  • Be careful what you wish for.
  • Our beliefs form the foundation of our actions and behavior – which we are responsible for.
  • There is a relationship between our beliefs, emotions, behavior and physical outcomes.
  • Emotion is a powerful force.
  • Sitting on a rock, clad in sack and ashes, and wait for bread to rain is no solution.
  • Transcendental moments exist – inexpressible in words and inexplicable by science.

ACTION STEPS

  • Envisage the end result.
  • Recognize that your behavior affect and impact not only yourself but also other people.
  • Act! – You are not powerless.
  • Harvest and harness your emotions.
  • Believe and work on empowering yourself to achieve your dreams.
  • Recognize the “tipping points” in life, then appreciate and build on them. They happen for a reason.

 

(“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, to be published by Partridge Publications in early 2015.)

 

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