Driving towards the office, one pretty normal day, I was faced with an event that significantly changed how I thought about certain things. Well, usually I leave a bit early to reach my workplace on time and that day was no different. Light music was playing in the background inside the car, the road was pretty smooth and I was driving slowly towards my destination. Suddenly, a biker swerved in front of me at such a great speed that I had to slam my foot on the break to avoid hitting him which would’ve resulted in both him getting hit and my car getting damaged. As he went on, I started murmuring insults at him inside my car.
Well the biker moved on and drove around a dog just like he had with my car; the dog obviously started barking at him. That, for me, was when I realized that when someone ruthlessly crosses us over and we start shouting insults at him or if not even at him but within our own mind too, what difference remains between the dog who barks at him and us who shout at him. It doesn’t even affect the person who annoyed you, he moved on and you should too. What is the use of escalating a fight when you can avoid one altogether?
This very thing, us shouting at a random stranger, has a ripple effect on our mind and causes us to be grumpy and in a bad mood throughout the day.
We all know this obviously, and yet we choose to act on impulse, abandoning our whole belief system. Ok so let’s first clarify what a belief system actually is. A belief system is an ideology or a set of principals created by one, accepted by others, generalized by society and labelled as normal. Or we might say that it is an ideology or set of principles that helps us to interpret our everyday reality. This could be in the form of religion, political affiliation, philosophy, or spirituality, among many other things. An example of a belief system could be when it comes to human nature, do you believe that we are inherently selfish or selfless?
Our beliefs are shaped and influenced by number of different factors, and we are talking now about social influence on our belief systems.
Let’s take an example. I feel happy when a guest visits me and entertain them to the best of my ability because I believe that they are blessings from God. Let’s say that they come to my place to have tea. I take out my best utensils, serve them the best snacks I can find and treat them with honour. On the other hand, when I visit their house for tea, I don’t receive similar treatment and am served whatever food they had in their house at the time. This affects my belief system and the next time they come over to my house, I don’t serve them in a similar fashion that I served them in previously. What does that imply? It implies that I abandoned my own beliefs and took upon myself his actions, not thinking about whether it was right or wrong, good or bad, in accordance with my nature or not.
This routine of shifting our beliefs as we go on about our lives according to the situations we are face with affects us the most. The thoughts that we create affect our mood and stay with us throughout the day, trapping us in a vicious cycle which we have to strive very hard to come out of.
To maintain our own beliefs, it is a healthy habit to review all our actions and evaluate them before performing them. If not possible, set a time period to review your whole day’s activities, say before going to bed and then try to make amends the next day. This does not go far as to say that your beliefs should never change at all, but instead they should always keep changing for the best. No belief is ever right or wrong and it all depends upon the person’s perception of the world.
I read a story of a girl who was not too short, not too tall, not beautiful but not ugly, not very young not too old, not dressed up to good or nor too bad. She used to walk to work daily. One fine morning she was walking through the street to reach her work place as she passed through a hat shop and instantly her eyes caught sight of a hat she loved and decided to buy it at once. She went inside the shop, put on the hat and saw her face in the mirror. The hat looked very fine on her and that instantly put a smile on her face. She bought the hat and walked towards the office. At the entrance, she was complimented by the security guard and inside, her colleagues also remarked on how commendable she looked today. She worked all the day in a good mood and left for home. As she entered her home, her mother also commented that she indeed did look beautiful. She passed her a smile and told her mom it was because of the hat that she looked remarkable and that everyone had complimented her throughout the day. Her mother asked her which hat she was talking about. Her hand instantly went to her head to take off the hat and show it to her mom but she found that there was no hat there. It instantly clicked her that she had in fact, bought the hat, paid for it, but forgotten it at the cash counter of the store.
This shows that only the thought of having a nice hat on her head made her smile throughout the day resulting in her looking beautiful throughout the day. It is our own thoughts that honour us.
So be positive and welcome positive notes from the environment around you. It will make you happy.
Having a positive belief system helps our thoughts become positive, our thoughts in turn, become our feelings. These feelings promote a positive attitude which makes us perform positive actions. Consistency in these actions develops positive habits and these habits shape our personality which when positive, shapes for us a great destiny.
Be Happy and best always.