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The power of belief!

Tue, 07/24/2012 - 15:47 -- admin

Ever heard the story of the four-minute mile? For thousands of years people held the belief that it was impossible for a human being to run a mile in less than four minutes until Roger Bannister proved it wrong in 1954.Within one year 37 more runners had broken this belief barrier. And the year after that, another 300 runners did the same thing.

What happens if you put an animal, any animal, small or big in a pond? It swims its way through. What happens when a person who has never learned how to swim lands in deep waters? They drown. If an animal that has not learnt swimming could escape, then why not the person? Because the person believes they will drown but the animal does not believe so. Nobody has ever put the thought in the animal's mind that it should know swimming to escape.

Let me share another example. We all use a computer keyboard or a typewriter. Have you ever wondered why the alphabets are organised in a particular order on the keyboard? You might have thought: to increase the typing speed. At least that is what I was told. Most people never question it; after all this system has existed for 120 years. But I believe this system was developed to reduce the typing speed because the typewriter would become slow and eventually jam if the operator typed too fast.

These three cases show the power of beliefs. When Roger Bannister proved the four minute mile was possible, hundreds could do it. When you believe that you will drown if you do not know swimming, you drown. When you believe the structure of the keyboard is making typing faster, you do not question it. Your beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. A belief delivers a direct command to your nervous system.

There is no more powerful directing force in human behaviour than belief. With powerful guiding beliefs you have the power to take action and create the world you want to live in. Take for example, the placebo effect. People, who are told that a drug will have a certain effect, often experience that effect even when given an empty pill with no active properties. I remember doing a workshop for the students of Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj, Delhi. They told me their beliefs about snakes being slippery, slimy and poisonous. I took an actual snake to show them how unrealistic those beliefs were. After doing some exercises for changing beliefs they handled my snake and said it was very dry and clean, and afterwards they remembered that there are only three types of poisonous snakes in India.

Once I was reading the classifieds column of a Delhi newspaper. My glance stopped at the ‘To-Let’ advertisement. Most of them mentioned south Indians preferred. I began to wonder, "Why?" I asked one house-owner for the reason. He told me that it was his belief that getting a house vacated from a south Indian would be much easier. Just weigh this perception again, against the impact of likes of south Indians such as Prabhakaran and Veerapan. I am sure your belief would have already dangled.

It is our belief that determines how much of our potential we will be able to tap. So start looking at some of your beliefs. Do you believe that you can excel in whatever you do? Do you believe you are intelligent? Do you believe you are bad in mathematics? Do you believe you can not remember numbers? Do you believe that other people do not like you? Do you believe life is full of problems? What are your beliefs about people?

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