This week we continue our discussion of uncommon resolve by examining two categories of belief: relative and universal. Relative Beliefs such as I believe in American exceptionalism, or that I will be met by a bunch of virgins in heaven are formed through human interaction relative to cultural norms, religious beliefs and other orientations around things such as success, health and morality. These types of beliefs are heavily influenced by families of origin and pop culture. The relativistic nature of these beliefs is what leads to such disparity of lived experience on our planet, for better or worse.
Universal Beliefs, such as I believe in the Golden Rule, or I believe in the law of Abundance exist outside of the realm of human interactions and do not discriminate by race, class or creed. What is universally true for me is also for universally true for you, regardless of whether we believe it or not. Examining your beliefs starts with testing a belief to see if it is relative or universal. If it is relative, then I recommend you examine it more closely and be prepared to upgrade or discard it. If it is universal then ask whether you fully understand and appreciate its power. Also ask whether it is possible you hold a competing relative belief that cancels it out.
Here’s an example: You hold a universal belief in abundance, that there is enough to go around and there is no reason to hoard or be scarce. However, you could simultaneously believe that you are not worthy of the abundance you dream of because you were born poor, lack the right opportunities, didn’t go to right college or are stuck in a dead end job. In this simple example it is clear that though you could believe in the concept of abundance, the relative belief about your self-worth contradicts and cancels it out. Not good.
Ok, let’s get to the bottom of this: how does all this talk about belief tie into uncommon resolve? Well, the beliefs that you hold individually form the foundation of your broader sense of belief in yourself and your abilities. The foundation for willpower is belief itself. If you hang your hat on your relative beliefs, then you’re at risk of relying on weak or outdated beliefs to prop up your willpower. If your beliefs are tied to universal beliefs, then your resolve will be strong because you have the universe to back you up! Belief in yourself and your mission will come from acting in alignment with universal truths.
What I propose is that for you to truly believe in yourself, your purpose and your projects with uncommon resolve, then it’s necessary to examine the beliefs that are driving behavior moment to moment. It is plausible that your beliefs could be upgraded for better results. Ideally you will tie your beliefs to universal truths, and let those truths be your guiding force. Know that with relative beliefs what is right for you now may be wrong for you tomorrow, and that what is right for you may be wrong for another person. With this approach to living an examined life you may accelerate your growth toward a multi-dimensional and integrated perspective toward all people, leaving absolutism and rigidity behind. Only then will you will find that uncommon resolve to back up the worthy things you desire in life.
Hooyah. Train hard, stay focused, and have fun! Mark Divine