What You Believe Determines What You Believe

February 14, 2021 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

It is wonderful to know that [my] future is somehow dependent on my decision in every moment.”

NOTE: This post is based on thoughts from Viktor Frankl, Yes To Life.

Frankl says, “… every single moment contains possibilities—and I can only choose one of them to actualize it.”

The Infinite Possibility of Thought

As my son and I discussed the “infinite possibility of thought” and the role of “belief” in that equation, my mind was set off to endless pondering. Although Frankl doesn’t use the word “belief” it was our conclusion that truth is simply a matter of whatever one chooses to believe.

Whether our beliefs are based on science or religion or experience (or all three) the veracity of any of them depends totally on what one chooses to believe. Typically, “facts” that support our preexisting belief system just naturally “feel” truer than ones opposing it. This proposition is obviously problematic. For how is one ever able to change one’s mind without suspending “a priori” beliefs? (Fodder for another post.)

Responsibility

For me, Frankl’s emphasis on the place of personal responsibility in this whole matter is essential. When faced with an infinite possibility of thought, we must make choices to actualize them. And that comes down to belief. I am whatever I believe. And once that belief takes deep root, it becomes more difficult to be “open” to new ideas. And yet, it is my responsibility (and privilege) to make choices, but I must also be prepared to admit, I could be wrong!

And so, after all this philosophy, what is my point?

I AM the determiner of my future. I cannot control fate but I can control how I manage circumstances that unavoidably come my way. It comes down to what I believe and upon what basis do I make my decisions. Science, religion, and experience all guide my decision-making.

The Role of Identified Values

Perhaps it all comes down to core values. What I believe about the exterior world is always predetermined by what I believe in my inner world. Therefore it is my responsibility to make conscious choices about my values. For instance, in the last election I voted not for a person, but for the extension of my political values of freedom, meritocracy and individualism.

In addition I value love, equality, kindness, and openness, all of which direct me to what I believe about life in general. My life, and yours, is highly belief-centric. In a world of infinite possibility of thought, in the end, we must make a choice. For what you believe today determines what you will believe tomorrow.

It all begins today, for today marks the beginning of tomorrow.

When All Is Said and Done

What You Believe Really Matters

Photo courtesy of Peshkova at istockphoto

2 thoughts on “What You Believe Determines What You Believe”

  1. Isn’t this title a little axiomatic? Like “you are what you are” or “you eat what you eat”? That’s different that “you are what you think” or “you are what you do” – or “You are what you eat”.

    Perhaps the suggested title of “What You Believe Really Matters” would convey your message more accurately?

    Or were you trying to provoke just exactly my response, by making ME think? If so, very clever….

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2 thoughts on “What You Believe Determines What You Believe”

  1. Isn’t this title a little axiomatic? Like “you are what you are” or “you eat what you eat”? That’s different that “you are what you think” or “you are what you do” – or “You are what you eat”.

    Perhaps the suggested title of “What You Believe Really Matters” would convey your message more accurately?

    Or were you trying to provoke just exactly my response, by making ME think? If so, very clever….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *