A tandem free fall with the earth in view below them.

Faith, Belief and Prejudice

Why “How to’s” don’t work

With all the “How to’s” you will find throughout the web, you’d think that the world would be full of happiness, wealth and fulfilment. But it’s not. It’s not that the direction given in those “how to’s” is not correct or useful, it’s more to do with your faith in following those directions.

You might read something and say, “That’s a good idea”, followed by, “I’ll try that next week”, which is another way of saying, “I’m never going to do that”.

Why, though, does it happen that you never take notice or act on advice? There are two main reasons:

  • The desire for change is not strong enough, and
  • You don’t really believe in what you’ve read – you lack faith in the process.

Now, faith in the process can mean that you don’t have faith in yourself, that you don’t believe you can achieve something, or you don’t have faith in what you are told to do – you don’t trust the idea or the person that’s writing the process.

Faith in the “How to”

In one part we’ll read something and question if what we are reading is fact or fiction, will it work or won’t it.

It’s easy to dismiss something because we have never heard of the person saying it, but we are willing to accept almost anything said by someone who has fame. That is a form of prejudice, based on beliefs and linking success with knowledge and understanding.

For example, when Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke about his keys to success, he spoke fro his own personal experience. He spoke of principles which helped him get to where he wanted to get to; and they are all valid.

But if you don’t like Arnold, what are the chances that you will pay attention to what he’s saying? It’s that prejudice again.

It’s not that you don’t have faith in what he’s saying, but you are not willing to listen, your ego gets in the way. And as a result, you begin to lack faith in what he says.

In the same way you will behave to others in your life who give you “advice”.

Just because someone isn’t famous or well known doesn’t mean to say that the message they have is not important. We should listen and then make our own mind up, by asking the hard questions and overcoming our fears. It is better to learn we are wrong in something so we can make the changes, than to continue on our current course of action that could end up in disaster. Our ignorance, our prejudice, caused us to fail to see and listen to advice that could have avoided a negative outcome.

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool from a wise answer.
Bruce Lee

Do you know who Bruce lee is? Do you accept the quote as truth or is it just a sentence for you? What if you found out who he was and more about him? What if you thought about the saying rather than just reading the words? Have you got prejudices that stop you from accepting it?

The “how to” represents external factors. Only when we have convinced ourselves that what is being said is true and fact can we actually have faith in it.

There is another type of faith:

Blind Faith

Love and trust are two emotions that require complete faith.

You’ve heard of the saying, “blinded by love” (and if you hadn’t you have now). That saying means that we love so much we can only see the good in the other person. We cannot see any negatives, the bad, we only see the good. On a relationship level, this is not how it should be – we should accept our partners faults and love them for them, but it stops when those faults are abuse and abusive.

Love requires blind faith, in that we cannot really see it, except through words and actions.

Blind faith extends to other parts of our life. It is intertwined in our daily actions, because if we didn’t have faith we would do nothing.

Turning the lights on in your house, starting your car, the water flowing through the taps. For most of us, we take these things for granted and we have that element of blind faith, that each time we do them they will happen.

Can you imagine waking up in the morning and wondering, questioning every act you will carry out during your day?

You’d go crazy and, more than likely, not move at all because of fear.

We have a lot of trust in our environment and what it is meant to do for us. At the same time we also hold a blind faith on things that we have come to expect and believe that will happen for us and to us. And there is a contradiction right there, because it is there where we have limited ourselves and our expectations to our ability to have faith in ourselves.

That ‘blind faith” is a metaphor to the way we should be when it comes to achieving the life we want.

Faith in Me

If we had a faith resolved to our ability to achieve anything we set our minds to we would be able to do anything, without fear or limitations.

Can you look at yourself in the mirror and have complete faith in your ability to accomplish something you want to do? Are you able to make that uncompromising decision to go ahead with your plans, regardless of what your fears tell you?

That’s not just belief, it’s also faith. The two, belief and faith, are always linked. It’s having faith in yourself as a whole.

We have become accustomed to being placed into boxes that define us as who we should be and what we are. Any change, any deviation from that and we are unable to complete any task related to that new thing, that new challenge.

We forget that if we don’t know how to do something we can learn how to do it. Or we feel we can’t or just simply get lazy and don’t want to. The only cure to laziness is action and laziness is the number one reason for failure, followed by a lack of confidence.

Faith is what we need to have, because there will come a point in any endeavour when we have to take that “leap of faith” to make something happen.

Making the Leap

A leap of faith is that step we take when we don’t know how we are going to achieve something – we just know that we are.

But it doesn’t have to be an all encompassing action, such as leaving your job to follow your dream, without a back-up. It can be a progressive change, until the point where you can make that change from one career to another. It can be a gradual change.

At other times, however, we have to make that leap because we feel that there is no other option. Like the change in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, from Spring to Summer – there is a distinct change. We take the leap because we feel that our current circumstances are not taking us anywhere, we feel trapped or our passion to follow what we love to do is greater than the fears that have been holding us back.

Whether its because of a point of crisis by us or by external influence, such as losing your job, we make that change.

We reach a decision to make a change, even when it appears that there is no other option, we still choose, we still decide.

Making it work

Faith and belief are connected. Add to this confidence, self esteem and self image.

We gain faith when we have confidence. Our self esteem and self-image determine whether we believe we can do something, or not.

When we feel we are unsure we must take courage to overcome doubts and fears, and have faith that we can.

If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, you will.

Faith is build through small consistent actions and effort towards what you want to achieve; through small actions of courage.

By acting on things and having faith in them, you, in turn, build courage. It’s a circle. And by doing this you begin to make the “How to’s” to work in your favour and you build more courage, you act more, more faith and so on.

If one method doesn’t seem to work, thats fine. You have learned that this way is not your way and so you now know that if this isn’t it then there will be another way and so you go ahead with that.

You see, faith is the feeling that something is going to turn out a certain way, that something is going to be a certain way, even though you cannot see it yet.

It’s the point where you know that anything is possible, even when there is no physical proof to point a finger at.

Faith is based on understanding and the more you understand yourself, your fears and beliefs, how your mind works and the universal law, you’ll begin to realise that you’re not limited, but that you’re limitless.

The great trouble with many of us is that we don’t believe enough in ourselves. We do not realise our power.
Orison Swett Marden

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Photograph by: Muzammil Soorma on Unsplash

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