In My Reality or Yours and Do Your Beliefs Reflect Reality or Create it?, Steve discusses how belief creates reality. He and I have both learned over the years that your intentions and beliefs have exceptional power to alter your life. Recently I realized how powerful beliefs are in that they affect what choices you make.
I have a close friend who does not believe in life after death. He thinks that when you die that’s it; no light, no heaven, no deceased family waiting for you with open arms, no all-you-can-eat-never-gain-weight celestial buffet. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. He does not believe his consciousness will continue on. And it shows in the way he lives. He is a major procrastinator (he even procrastinates on throwing out junk mail). He isn’t interested in growing or learning. He’s very intelligent, but he doesn’t use his intellect in any way that matters. All he wants to do is get through the day at his boring and unfulfilling job so that he can go home in the evening and entertain himself with hedonistic pleasures. To use an analogy, his boat is drifting and no one’s at the helm. Since he doesn’t believe in karma or reincarnation, and since he doesn’t believe there will be anything to atone for in the afterlife, he doesn’t go out of his way to help others or be a better person. He basically just eats, sleeps, works, and tries to have fun.
We have discussed the possibility of life after death many times and he’s told me that while he’d like to believe in life after death he can find no evidence of it (though he’s never actually looked for any, being a procrastinator and all). I told him there’s no evidence that life just snuffs out either, yet he seems to have adopted that belief quite easily. He admits I have a point, but his theory is that if he’s not sure he’ll continue on after death, why bother trying too hard in life. Why not just have as much fun as possible, consequences be damned?
I make decisions based on the belief that life is a school; I’m here to learn, to teach, to grow, and eventually to graduate. He makes decisions based on the belief that we are just biological entities enjoying a very brief and pointless existence; to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Now, I’m not saying he is wrong to have these beliefs or to spend his life the way he chooses. I just want to point out that your beliefs affect your choices. What beliefs do you carry and what choices do those beliefs cause you to make? Are you happy with the results?
My life is very fulfilling to me. I enjoy getting up early and seizing the day. I love writing and learning and helping others. I consciously look for ways to improve my life and the lives of others. On the other hand, my friend suffers from nightly insomnia, he lives in a home full of useless clutter (most of it junk mail), he has to drag himself out of bed in the morning and find the motivation to go to work, his work does not please him, he comes home and turns on the tv or the computer and loses himself in fantasy. He has been dating the same woman for nearly 6 years and isn’t sure if he wants to get married but is delaying making the decision because it doesn’t really matter and it will keep for another day. I feel sad for him because nothing excites him more than what happened on Lost last night.
What beliefs do you have and how are they affecting your choices? Do you feel those beliefs serve you? Are your beliefs holding you back from having the life you want? If so, drop them! Get rid of the beliefs that don’t make you happy. Adopt new ones. Whether life after death exists or not doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you feel about the life you’re living now.
The choices you make determine the kind of life you’re going to have. And that can mean the difference between a life of happiness and fulfillment or a life of misery and emptiness.
Check all of your beliefs and see if they are serving you well. Knowing that the choices you make will stem from these beliefs, put them under intense scrutiny and make sure you want them in your life.
And if you see any junk mail lying around, throw it out … fast!