The power of belief is pretty undisputed. Hell, the placebo effect alone speaks volumes. In 30% of cases, a sugar pill will produce the same results as a real-deal pharmaceutical. What does that say?
This is science. This is the power of belief and perception. Wild things, these noggins of ours.
Unfortunately, most of our beliefs, both collective and individual, remain unexamined. We accept them wholeheartedly. We live and die by them. We see the world through their filter. And no, I’m not talking about religious beliefs. I’m talking the stuff society survives on — beliefs we carry around with us about how life should be.
A lot of them are a load of crap.
When we take a magnifying glass to our own lives, it’s astonishing how many of our actions, thoughts and choices are based on beliefs with no basis in reality or fact.
Here are some collective beliefs many people share.
- Olive oil is heart-healthy. Debunked.
- Decrepitude is a biological consequence of aging. Debunked.
- Animals not sentient. Debunked.
- Pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dog. Debunked.
These are just a handful of examples I run into all. the. time. But none of the above are based in fact or science or reality.
And yet, much of how our society operates is based on those assumptions and others like them?
Why do we believe what the man tells us? Why do we accept unconditionally what the mass media has perpetuated? Why do we allow ourselves to be brainwashed?
There are societal conventions and profit-making corporations behind many of the messages we receive and the beliefs we hold dear. We have to start questioning authority — including the authority in our own minds. It lies. It distorts the truth. It holds us back from the endless possibilities that are out there waiting for us.
Think about what you believe to be true about the world. Write down the beliefs that dictate the way you live. Examine your assumptions. Be completely honest with yourself. How many of them are absolutely true? How many of them are outdated nonsense? How many of them were osmotically passed down from the generations before you? Just because your gram said
Even if your current brain is full of beliefs with no basis in reality, the awesome news is: that they can be changed. And in doing so, you can also change everything else. Ain’t that a gas?