If you wanted to devise a mathematical formula for life, it would look like the one at the right. Summed up, perceptions relied on over and over and over again, become beliefs. Beliefs (coupled with feelings) lead us to actions. The sum of our actions becomes our life.
Beliefs are our most powerful force.
Although religion and spirituality would certainly fall within the realm, they are much more than that; existing on multiple levels affecting everything from which foods we eat, to how we raise our family, to whom we vote for. Beliefs can give us the strength to withstand great pain, overcome unthinkable obstacles, or even to give up our own life to save others.
They can propel us forward or drag us backwards.
But they can be changed.
Example 1: Perception = Frustration
If you’ve ever tried to lose a few extra inches, you know how frustrating it can be. So, let’s follow the above formula and see how it works.
You start a program to lose weight. The program provides unrealistic goals; for example, it requires you to give up everything you like to eat, or tells you that you’ll lose 20 pounds a month. You start with great intentions; however, after about three weeks, you’ve only lost seven pounds, not what you expected. Therefore your perception of the program is that it doesn’t work. Because of that perception and the resulting frustration, you stop following it — and the weight returns.
You repeat this process a few times a year. Of course, the same thing happens each time. You start to expand your perception to, “diets don’t work.” Over time, you come to believe you cannot lose weight.
Because you believe that, you feel sad (because weight loss means a lot to you). Therefore, when given the choice of starting yet again on a weight loss program, your beliefs and your feelings lead you to avoid what you’re sure will be a whole lot of frustration, sadness, and — in the end — failure. You opt for an action of “stay away” from the program. Over time, avoiding weight loss programs causes you to gain more weight.
You feel sadder. You feel hopeless. You give up, feeling condemned.
Example 2: Perception = Progress
This perception puts a “spring in your step.” It encourages you. When faced with choices, you opt to continue the positive feelings. That generates more results, causing more apparent benefits.
Over time, you see enough change that you really start to believe that you’re really going to make it. When faced with setbacks, although you feel frustrated, the abundance of positive results is still enough to cause you continue on a forward path. Because you do that, you lose more weight. Because you lose more weight, you feel empowered.
The cycle continues.
By changing how you perceive what happens to you, you change your life!
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