The world is made of beliefs. Everything you see, hear, touch, taste, and feel is created from or interpreted by beliefs. Some of them are unique to you, but the majority originate from your environment. You were born into a world full of beliefs, and as you grew up, you were socialized into accepting those beliefs as true. Basically, we all live in a world of other people’s ideas, and somewhere along the way, we’ve taken them as our own. We’ve agreed to the beliefs and take them as ‘the truth.’
As we grow up, it’s very common to forget that we’ve accepted these belief systems as the ‘right’ answer. We forget that they are subjective and malleable. Then, at some point in our lives, for whatever reason, we decide to change something about ourselves-lose weight, earn more money, find a partner, leave a partner, have more compassion, become more intelligent, get more work done, remember our dreams, etc. This motivation to improve is a fundamental characteristic of consciousness. We work hard at making these changes, struggling against ourselves, hoping to surmount a lifetime of conditioning and habit. Sometimes, we are successful, but most times after a few hours, days, or weeks, we revert back to our old familiar patterns.
But what is it that prevents us from transforming into the people we wish to become? Why is it that Jeff can’t stop eating Twinkies, and, therefore, can’t lose that extra 108 lb? Why is it that despite her best intentions, Emily can’t find a way to be nice to anyone, even to herself? Why is it that Rich fails to become rich, despite all his talent and intelligence?
The answer to each of these is belief. Deep down, the person has a belief that conflicts with the change they want make in their lives. It’s very much like the Titantic.
Even though there is much concern over global warming and shrinking polar caps, the frigid waters of the poles are still littered with icebergs. But in 1912, when the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England bound for New York City, there were even more of these frozen behemoths. The Titanic was the pinnacle of its day, the highest standard in luxury and extravagance. It was a testament to the beauty that mankind could create, the collaboration of so many lives, so much human effort, into the construction of a floating wonderland. After setting sail, Captain Edward John Smith received warning of icebergs further south than predicted. Being careful, he deviated his course into warmer water, believing that was enough to avoid these dangerous ice-cubes. But he was wrong, and the luxury liner-the crème de la crème of haute-couture-barreled straight into one of these floating mountains of ice. Suddenly, the hopes and dreams of so many, the futures, the lives of these people, all of that was dashed away into oblivion because of an iceberg, only one-ninth of which was visible to human eyes. The rest of it, the part that did the most damage, lay silently underwater, hidden from sight.