Life's Doorway

Truth Or Consequences

I believe that anything is possible. I don’t have any evidence for this belief whatsoever, other than perhaps the 2006 upset when the Oilers ousted the Red Wings from the first round of the NHL playoffs. But seriously, there are a lot of things that people have deemed impossible – things that, on the surface, I’d agree with – and yet somehow still I believe.

We all have things we believe which we haven’t carefully considered, perhaps. And those beliefs might be sabotaging you in ways you aren’t aware of yet.

For instance, do you believe that people are inherently good or bad? Your answer to this question might actually determine whether you’re a good person, believe it or not!

Just think about it: if you believe people are inherently bad, how will you tend to treat them? You might be distrustful, guarded, or you might even take an offensive approach: get ‘em before they can get you.

I’m sure you see the problem with this approach: it just produces a whole society of terrible, unkind people.

But isn’t this what we see in the world, if not just on a smaller scale, day after day? Someone cuts you off in traffic so suddenly you feel justified in cutting off the next person.

That negative, self-serving attitude goes viral and we’ve created a culture of jerks.

That’s precisely how the world changes. That’s how the atmosphere of our world is created, one way or another, either for the good or for the worse.

It happens in friendships, in marriage, in council, in traffic, at work, so it can all stem from one seemingly innocuous belief: I’ll act better when they act better.

That’s how powerful our thoughts are. We actually build our entire world experience upon them, like fun, faulted little foundations. And most of the time, we don’t even realize that a simple belief has such far-reaching consequences.

Do you believe that the oil and gas industry is a big problem, especially for the environment? If so, how do you show your frustration? Is it by parking your car for the summer, or even just walking to the store instead of driving?

Have you stopped to realize that fossil fuels are such a problem because of us? Yeah! We’re the market for these resources. We’re the ones buying the gas instead of walking to work, to the mall, or to church. WE are!

But we sure don’t like the idea of sacrifice, because comfort and convenience are more important than reducing our impact on the environment.

Go ahead, admit it! It’s actually a really good thing to do, because then at least you can begin to do something about it.

If you just keep tricking yourself into believing you’re some kind of environmental hero, and yet you’re presented with all of the evidence that you’re not, you’ve got a big problem on your hands. You’re not going to like yourself very much.

This is the number one way we actually lose self-esteem: when who we think we are, who we present to the outside world, and who we actually are turn out to be three completely different people.

But luckily, there’s a solution: fess up. See who you really are. Admit to it. When you do, then you can decide if that’s the person you really want to be, or you can decide to change. But at least you won’t continue to be some false version of yourself.

Also, ask yourself the tough questions. “If I believe ‘x’, what else must follow?” Be curious, and you may just find you’ve been living a lie, but a correctable one. At least it’s better than the error we never even knew we were making.

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