What Do You Believe?

Knowing what you believe is an essential part of becoming a fully-realized person. It is also helpful in a number of different ways.

Knowing your beliefs can:
  • Make you more confident

More than anything else, perhaps, your beliefs help define who you are. The more you know your beliefs, the more you know yourself, and the more confident you will be.

  • Keep you from being fooled

If someone tries to provide you with misleading or manipulative information, knowing your own thoughts is crucial. In other words, they can help you navigate difficult waters.

  • Help you make decisions

Companies often have a “mission statement” that provides guidance when there is a decision to be made. Personal beliefs can serve the same purpose. For instance, does an action get you closer to your ultimate goal? Does a decision match your values?

  •  Be a conversation starter

If you find yourself talking to a stranger and you don’t know what to say, falling back on what you believe is a good way to start. Talking about something you believe in will provide a topic to build a discussion around. Similarly, it can also be useful in determining how to respond to a conversation someone else starts.

  • Make fulfilling friendships

If you know what you think and care about, you can surround yourself with people who have beliefs that are similar, or complementary, to your own. Those friendships are likely to resonate more significantly.

  • Help you choose a meaningful career

Similar to finding friendship, the key to a fulfilling career can be an alignment of your own beliefs with a company culture or goals.

Can you think of other ways beliefs are important?

Easier said than done

Of course, talking or thinking about your beliefs is quite different from actually knowing what they are. In attempting to discover what you believe, you may even find that you question things that you have believed for a very long time. That can be very disconcerting.

Do you know what is important to you? What you are passionate about, and what is central to who you are as a person? What do you believe?

Related questions: What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? How can we encourage meaningful conversation? What is important? How do you know who to trust?

3 thoughts on “What Do You Believe?”

  1. – I believe that poverty is corrosive, both literally and figuratively.
    – I believe the far-too-numerous -isms are oppressive and violent and born out of the desire to maintain misbegotten power.
    – Unfortunately, I also believe that children can be taught that poverty is natural and that the oppression and violence used to lord over others is warranted.
    – Therefore, I believe in justice-oriented parents, teachers, and activists who pay as much attention to children and teenagers as they do adults.

    – I believe in charity and justice, but primarily I believe in justice.
    – I believe: “When the people lead, leaders will follow.”

    – I believe that good parenting is one of the most important jobs in the world.

    – I believe that working toward individual and systemic health, over time, creates abundance.
    – And so, I believe that — as best we are able (while staying away from self-absorption) — we must care for our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health.

    – I believe, as my mom once told me when I talked to her about needing to go to work even though I was incredibly ill, “Michael, you are not that important!”
    – Yes, I believe, if you have done your job well, others will know how to fill your shoes.
    – Furthermore, I believe that there is a danger in taking yourself and others too seriously.
    – So, stop doing that!

    – The main values I want to live out are: balance, curiosity, doubt, gratitude, (active) hope, humor, integrity, idealism, reverence, responsibility, transparency trustworthiness, vision … and love.

    – I believe in the scientific method and, more broadly, science.
    – I believe in the observation that the more we know, the more we know we don’t know.
    – I believe doubt is a virtue.

    1. Michael, one of my frustrations with this blog is that often we get few or no responses to our comments. This comment of yours is a good example. It’s been a week and no one has responded to your excellent reflection. Are you able to see how many people you reach with your comments? Maybe that’s a better measure of this blog’s effectiveness. It’s like planting seeds, or throwing pebbles in a pond that send out ripples that touch people’s lives. 🙂

      1. Tom:

        Lee and I share your frustration. We are trying to figure out how to change that (and other things). We have even set goals for 2020 to address issues like this. On a positive note, we see the number of visitors, and we know that we have more people reading the blog than ever. We just need to encourage visitors to engage in the conversations.

        Thanks for being upfront.
        Michael

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