Religious leaders tell us to have “faith”, but they fail to tell people how to have faith. They have not told anyone that faith is a state of mind, and applies to every aspect of your life, not just your religion.
Your belief or faith is the primary building block to the action of your subconscious mind. It is the foundation of your character. Most twelve step programs capitalize on this concept by suggesting that you act as if what you want/desire is already true, i.e., as if you were already in possession of the physical reality which you desire. The more you practice this behavior, the more “real” it becomes until it is second nature and has manifested into reality.
The mind begins to take on the character of the thoughts that dominate it. This is why it is critical to encourage and practice positive emotions as the primary energy of your mind, and discourage negative emotions. If you think back on your life, and what you have told yourself over and over about who you are, and what you are capable of, has it come to be, whether true or not? Each of us is what we are because of the prevailing thoughts with which we occupy our minds.
I am reminded of John, a man I have known for a very long time. He has told himself since he was a child that he is stupid, slow, and unintelligent. He believes this with his whole being. He struggles with reading – he is dyslexic – and he can’t spell, or construct grammatically correct sentences. And, if you sit down to talk to him about the history of the United States since World War I, he can keep you enthralled for hours. He can accomplish this enormous task, even if you have no interest in history. But, because of his beliefs about himself, he struggles in many areas of his life, and has nothing positive to say about himself in relation to most of society. He considers himself a failure. We are working on creating a positive self image by recognizing and celebrating his successes. When he doesn’t allow himself to be frustrated by his physical challenges, he is brilliantly alive with his greatness.
Faith is the “miracle” of life, which gives strength, focus and clarity to the energy of thought.
Faith is the only known answer to FAILURE. It helps you keep your eye on the goal. It encourages you to learn lessons from the obstacles placed in your way. It keeps you going even though what you are trying and practicing may not be yielding the results you desire.
Thomas Edison did over 3,000 experiments before he perfected the light bulb. He had faith in his dreams.
So, how do you have Faith; faith in yourself, your abilities and your strength?
- Write down your major purpose. Commit it to memory and repeat it, out loud and frequently throughout the day. Say it with emotion, and passion.
Compare this purpose to a seed you are planting, fertilizing and watering on a daily basis. It will begin to germinate, grow and multiply itself over and over again, until it becomes an integral part of who you are.
- Make a list of your strengths, gifts and beliefs. If you are struggling with moving forward with your greatest desire, you may find that your greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence. Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, and Jack Canfield, The Success Principles, suggest some steps you can take to build your self-confidence.
- Acknowledge that you have the ability to achieve your purpose in life. Promise that you will take persistent, continuous action toward it’s attainment.
- Concentrate your thoughts for 30 minutes daily on who you are willing to be, creating a clear and focused mental picture of that person.
- Spend 10 minutes each day to the development of self-confidence by creating tests for situations that cause you discomfort.
- Keep repeating steps 3 and 4 until you have developed enough self-confidence to reach success in your purpose in life.
- Make it a principle in your to life to not participate or engage in any endeavor that does not benefit everyone whom it affects.
- Your passion for your purpose will attract others of like mind, and because of your willingness to serve others, you will inspire others to do the same.
- Success will be yours when you lead authentically, because you believe in others, and in yourself.
I am reminded of a poem, written by Walter D. Minten, entitled “The (Wo)Man Who Thinks (S)He Can”
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a person’s will –
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster (wo)man
But soon or late the one who wins
Is the one WHO THINKS (S)HE CAN!