Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 885

What do you believe? 

Yesterday I turned on Ellen just as she was showing some vintage advertising from the 40s, 50s and 60s.  What amazed me about these ads was how they probably summed up the belief systems of people at the time they were produced.

One ad said "more doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette".

Another ad suggested that women could help out in the war effort ... the tag line at the bottom then said "turns out you girls are useful after all".

The final ad Ellen showed suggested we should probably give our kids Cola at a much earlier age.  The fine print says that "laboratory tests have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and 'fitting in' during those awkward pre-teen and teen years."  Are you serious?

Besides finding this incredibly funny, and then incredibly distressing, these ads just proved to me how quickly and easily our belief systems can change.

The ability to change our belief systems isn't a bad thing.  Take the above for example .... imagine if, as a society, our beliefs hadn't changed in the last sixty years.  To live a life with true health, forward movement, tolerance and with minimal judgement, it's important to challenge our belief systems often.

Those ads show a set of "beliefs" commonly held by advertisers and companies at the time, which then no doubt molded the beliefs of individuals within their communities.

Imagine if women truly believed they were useless?  Imagine if a lack of soda pop really made you feel ostracized as a teenager? Imagine if you started smoking cigarettes to make you feel fit and healthy and cool?

Well guess what.  People still feel like that every single day.

People still have certain belief systems (or is that lack of belief?) that dictate the way they see themselves in the world.

Now I am going to put on my "consultants hat". Ok, ok ... stop your groaning.  Just consider this a free session (whether you want it or not).    

What is a belief? A belief is any guiding principle, faith or passion that can provide meaning and direction in life. Beliefs are pre-arranged organised filters to our perceptions of the world ... they are like little commanders of the brain.  I honestly believe that there is no force more powerful than human belief. It is the motto in which I live by ... "believe and you will achieve".  Beliefs provide a direct road to excellence - a direct line to your central nervous system. When you believe something is true, you go into the state of it being true.

The coffee cup I am using today says "believe".  It reminds me that handled correctly, beliefs can be the most powerful forces in creating our lives.  My cup reminds me that if you believe in success you will be empowered to achieve it.

But ... beliefs that limit our actions and thoughts can be just as devastating as positive beliefs can be empowering.  So there comes a point where each and every one of us has to look at our beliefs ... and challenge them.

The people who have changed the course of history have all been people who have managed to change OUR beliefs.  Imagine if we still thought the world was flat?  Or if we thought the only way to hear another person speak was to be standing face-to-face with them?

What do you believe about yourself?

How are those beliefs shaping who you are?

How's that going for ya?

Today I challenge you to look inside your mind and your heart and see what it is your truly believe.  And if it ain't pointing you in the right direction, then simply change your beliefs! 

Coz as someone incredibly wise once said "whether you say you can do something, or whether you say you can't, your right."

It's all about what you believe in.

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