Very closely related to directing our thoughts are our beliefs or belief systems. Just as airplanes have guidance systems to direct them, so do we have systems guiding and shaping what we think, do, and believe. Without these influences, we will miss our intended destination, just like an airplane out of touch with the control tower would never be able to land.
What if you had two control towers telling the pilots what to do? The results would be devastating. What many of us don’t realize is that we are tuned in to multiple guidance systems simultaneously. For example, we value the input of our parents, spouse, and close friends, and pay heed to rules of the community, society, and often religion. Since so many influences may conflict with one another, we have to prioritize who or what dictates our belief system. If we cannot synchronize these influences, we will wander through life, always missing the target because of our inability to synchronize our beliefs. Great persuaders hit their targets more often because of a well-synchronized belief system.
It may be a very helpful exercise to pinpoint the main beliefs that are shaping your life and to determine whether or not any of them are in conflict with each other.
Consider the following possible conflicts of interest:
The pursuit of wealth “Money is the root of all evil”
Job security Entrepreneurial freedom
Making it to the top “Family comes first”
Love of eating Healthy body
Adventurous Ducks in a row
You only live once Restraint, moderation
More free time Pursue financial independence
Reduce debt Start investing
Successful business Successful parent
After you have identified which beliefs shape your life, you need to determine which beliefs represent personal truths for you and which ones you have simply acquired by social and cultural osmosis. Upon closer study, we often find that much of what we believe has not come through our own thoughtful searching. Rather, it comes through imitating what society teaches is appropriate, and what we have been exposed to at home, school, or work. In order to truly change, grow, and prosper, we need to be consciously aware of the rules we’ve made for ourselves, where they have come from, and what they’re based on. Do they all serve you? Or are they sabotaging you? It is time to take ownership of your beliefs.