Our decisions are shaped by our beliefs

What is a belief? It’s nothing but a feeling of certainty about what something means – something that you’re a hundred percent certain about. Now, what do you do when someone says something that’s in conflict with what you’ve been conditioned to believe? You react. You defend. You may even demonize or vilify the other person. But you’re responding based upon your current beliefs, which may or may not be true.

Every day you are putting principles on your belief window – the view you have of the world and what they mean – because you think they are going to meet your needs. The problem with our personal beliefs is that we put them on our belief window and consider them as absolutely correct without knowing whether they truly describe reality or are just misconceptions on our part. And this lack of testing on our part can cause trouble for us because, regardless of their degree of soundness, we conduct our lives as if everything written on our window is true.

Our health is primarily determined by our decisions, but our decisions are shaped by our beliefs and our philosophy of health.

Let me illustrate with a simple story what I mean by having principles on a belief window.

This guy comes into his kitchen on a Sunday. His wife is preparing a wonderful dinner and he notices she takes out of the oven a beautifully cooked ham. The ends have been removed from the ham. He was a little bothered by that and said, “Why did you cut the ends off the ham?” She said, “It makes it taste better,” “How do you know that?” “My mother told me that.” On this woman’s belief window is the principle, if you cut the ends off the ham, it makes it taste better. We know that’s on her belief window because that is what she is doing. The next time he was at the in-laws for dinner, he took his mother-in-law aside and said, “I understand you cut the ends off your ham” “I do” “Why do you do that?” “It makes it taste better” How do you know that?” “My mother told me that.” Two generations of women now have the principle on their belief window, cut the ends off the ham makes it taste better. He was really bothered by this. The grandmother was still alive, 93 years old, and lived in Texas. Called her on the phone long distance. “I understand that you cut the ends off your ham” “I do” “Why do you do that?” “It won’t fit in the oven if I don’t!” Two generations later, that floats down on a belief window, cut the ends off the ham makes it taste better.

There are beliefs and ideas that society conditions us to believe about what causes people to become ill, avoid disease, and maintain sound health. And the beliefs that most of the people in our society hold to be true are unsurprisingly false. Remember, beliefs create, and beliefs destroy. Regrettably, most of society have been psychologically reprogramed into believing all kinds of absurdities when it comes to health-related matters. And if you have a false, deep ingrained belief it will cause you to take actions that consistently take you down a path other than the one you desire because we look for what we believe.

What’s important is to evaluate beliefs before they affect your behavior. Used this way, you can predict the types of behavior that may result from a particular belief. When you observe a pattern of behavior you can tell quite a bit about what is on a person’s belief window. Conversely, if you know what is on a person’s belief window, what can you predict with great accuracy? Behavior, and ultimately, the results of that behavior.

Could the world have known what was on Adolf Hitler’s belief window? Yes, we could. How? He wrote a book – Mein Kampf (My Struggle). In it he told us what was on his belief window in considerable detail. One belief was that the races are graded. There were, for him, superior and inferior races. The highest race was the Aryan race – the race destined to be masters. The lowest races were the Jews and blacks – those in his view, were the root of all civilization’s evils. Could we predict Hitler’s behavior by knowing that he had this belief on his belief window? Yes, we could. In fact, some people did. The predictions were so ugly that for a long time no one would believe them. In the genocide that he perpetrated during WW2, millions of people died as a result of his screwed-up belief window.

Did the results of Hitler’s behavior meet his, or his country’s needs, over time? How long did Hitler’s predicted thousand-year Reich last? Only 12 years, but it cost 50 million lives.

The wonderful thing we need to remember here is that you can be very confrontive about attacking someone’s belief window without ever attacking them. Why? Because the person is separate from their belief window. The other is that it places responsibility for behavior directly on the human being where it belongs. We all reach a point in our lives when we must take responsibility for ourselves.

Let me leave you with this. You’re putting principles on your belief window every day because you think they’re going to meet your needs. Are you mature enough to take that window off, put it on the table, and find out if those beliefs are correct?

Until next time, stay informed and do what is right, not what is easy! God bless