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Let me ask you, what do you believe?

The power of belief amazes me especially when people, apparently very intelligent people, ignore a huge weight of reason and logic to maintain the illusion of being right. I have a couple of fine examples for you

This report got posted on my wall today and immediately my bullshit radar went haywire;

I get this often. It’s especially prevalent when people tell me the government are keeping us all riddled with cancer because they don’t want us to know that eating 3 tubs of Asda’s Special Value Plum Purée every day cures the cancer cells they are spreading through our cheese (or something like that). I remember a cracker a couple of years back that said that our childhood vaccines had ever been scientifically tested. Wtf? Really? That day the sound of my head hitting my desk in disbelief was heard frequently!

Anyway, back to Americans being mind controlled by their government; I checked the report in case I was wrong, ended up on the very reputable and as expected, it’s complete bollocks.

However, and here’s the cool bit, even after posting the snopes link to the comments as a public service to let people know that it wasn’t real, people still came back and commented about how we need to stay aware because this is a terrible reality and how shocking the original article is.

Pardon my French here but the article is not shocking, it’s bullshit But isn’t it amazing how it shows us the power of belief?

When we truly believe something we will fight to keep it true. If our ‘model’ of the world says its true then we will find ourselves largely ignoring any evidence that doesn’t back it up. This can, of course, be useful (placebo effect etc.) as well as damaging. Our mind has produced a feeling and neural circuitry of so much certainty that we will find a way to make it true even to the point of physical changes. We will discredit or twist any contrary evidence given to us to make it true, sometimes even seeing that evidence as confirming our belief (for example ‘ is the mouthpiece of the American government and is used to deny anything they don’t want us to know about’). Think about recent stories coming from Russia or, of course, back through history and you will see countless examples that show how powerful beliefs will resist evidence and reason.

So let me ask you; what do you believe about the world? Yourself? Your relationship? Your career? Other people? Your life?

You see I wonder how maintaining beliefs that ultimately lead to paranoia, fear or stress can help you? How can it be useful to you, in anyway, to keep a belief system that hurts you in anyway?

Let me give you a positive example; I meet a lot of amazing people that wish to maintain the belief that they are less than everyone else. They often believe they are protecting themselves from hurt when, in reality, they are just hurting themselves. Often the rationale is that ‘it’s better I do it than anyone else’. But even when people tell this person they love them, care for them, think they are the most amazing person on the whole planet, they will refuse to believe them. I challenge this belief. At every opportunity. It’s my job! Luckily for me I have a whole barrage of tools and tricks that give people evidence of their own awesomeness. Its a beautiful thing to finally see someone realise that they have been living a painful lie and that the truth is so much more amazing.

Is it not more useful for your life to nurture a belief system that allows you to work with the world around you, being flexible enough to make good decisions at every step for the good of you and those you love and care for always taking steps to carve out your own little bit of the planet for the brief time you have on it?

So to finish, here’s a perfect example of how someone’s strong belief, maintained in the face of incontrovertible evidence, may actually one day kill them. Here’s a useful belief this lady might want to learn; you can’t lose weight on cream cakes for dinner…

As for you, believe things that make you smile. Why would you do anything else?

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