Friday, February 17, 2012

Belief/Faith/Sight - Part 1

In this series of blogs I will discuss the connection between core beliefs, our faith, our sight/vision and how to live successfully and fearlessly. This is not a theological or religious discussion but a practical attempt to help the reader understand that we all get to choose how we experience life.

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines belief as: A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.

In a quotation about belief, the great heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali said: “It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen”.

I like the Champs’ above comment because we can make nothing happen for ourselves until we have some sense of conviction about who we are and where we want to go. Our core beliefs can be positive or negative and develop over a long period of time. They are the result of our experiences and influences.

A core belief is something that we just inherently know to be true. It acts as our guide to life. However, I do not believe they should be permanent. They should be re-examined on a regular basis to test their continued validity and applicability to our life. Let me provide you an example.

I grew up in Chicago in the 1960s during an era of social turbulence & unrest. It was the 1st time I heard the phrase: “The white man is the devil”. I lived in a black neighborhood where many expressed this sentiment. As a result I believed it. This is an example of how core beliefs can be influenced by our surroundings.

This belief stuck with me through grade school. Upon entering a predominately white high school and becoming friends with a few Caucasians I could no longer reconcile this core belief to my experiences. I learned to take individuals at face value and not to be easily influenced by the opinions of others. I learned to question my core beliefs and found that I could replace one belief with another.

It is important we recognize that our early core beliefs were not normally based upon fact but more on our trust in other individuals. While in most instances these individuals in our lives were completely trustworthy, could it be possible that their core beliefs were created early in their lives, never questioned and passed on to us? When is the last time you identified and questioned your core beliefs?

In my next post I will discuss the connection between our core beliefs and our faith. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines faith as: something that is believed especially with strong conviction. As you will see our belief dictates our faith and our faith determines our sight/vision. Our sight is our link to this physical world. Can you see/visualize where I'm headed?

Let me know what you think about these posts or if you have any questions.

Peace and Blessings......Al

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