I’m not a man of faith; I’m a man of belief. I believe in rational, logical and measurable principals that will help anyone be successful. I'm not going to lecture about god, or spirituality. I'm not going to tell you about how the universe "wants you to be happy or successful" because, besides the fact science disproves this notion, I don't believe that. I do believe that you deserve happiness; I do believe you deserve love. I do believe you deserve to have the life of your dreams. The only thing that matters from this moment forward is whether you do as well.
I’m reminded of Peter Pan and the scene where Tinker Bell is trying to argue her seemingly illogical assertion that the reason she can fly is a combination of pixy dust and belief. And of course all of the children look at her and say that is ridiculous, you are a foolish little fairy, and we’re half sure that this is a hallucination or that we are dreaming… please stop disturbing us with your lies. And Tinker Bell says, “Oh yeah, watch me,” and she takes off. I love that part; it’s my favorite, whether it’s from the play or any one of the movies we all grew up on.
And although, we can’t fly in that sense… yet, I wish. I wish I could just take off. I think that idea is why so many children love that story, even beyond the whole, live on an island and do whatever the hell you want thing. I think it’s the notion that if you believe enough, anything is possible. That’s such a great lesson to instill in children, but it also important to remind yourself the very same thing throughout adult hood.
There’s another story that gets forgotten in elementary text books, a story of a couple of brothers from the mid-west. They believed they could fly. They believed every man could fly. And since pixy dust, seemingly the rarest of natural resources, was so scarce. They were going to have to pair their belief with something else. In this case physics, but it was there passionate belief that made them first in flight. The Wright brothers weren’t the only ones trying to build a flying machine. There were dozens of teams around the world trying to do the exact same thing at the time. And out of all the competing teams and companies, these two brothers were the most under-financed, under-educated, and under-equipped… they were working out of barns and a bicycle shop. All the other groups that wanted to be the first were after money and fame; the Wright brothers just believed they could fly. This belief consumed them and they saw it as their purpose to achieve it. It was that passionate belief that served as the tipping point. Their belief leveraged shortcomings, overcame adversity and enabled them to be the first in flight.
People do what they believe they can do. People become what they believe they will become. I see this truth play out in the lives of so many. Back in college one of my good friends didn’t know and frankly didn’t care what he wanted to be. He would joke that he wished he could major in apathy. He once even told me with sincerity that he would be content being a beach bum. Playing guitar with his ass in the sand and buying margaritas with his tip money. Well it’s the end of sophomore year, and my friend and I are walking back from class and he asked me, “What do think I should do?” Because he was on his way to his advisor who had told him that he had to pick a major that day. I looked at him and said,
“If you don’t know what you want to do, think of who you want to be. Think of the life you want. The family you want, the house, the car, everything. Not in dollars and cents but in terms of what makes you happy. Think of the man you want to become, and what it takes to become him.”
He thought about all the people he knew from his home town that were our parents age, and he scrolled through them like a rolodex in his mind. And he thought of this one guy, who had went to his high school and was now a big booster, and he was such a cool guy, and he was really involved in the community and school. This one guy seemed to have the life that my friend wanted. He had a great income, great family, beautiful wife. He just seemed happy, and its hard thinking of somebody in their fifties that always seems happy. And this particular man was a doctor, a general practitioner that specialized in family medicine. So my friend made up his mind, right then and there, “I’m going to be a doctor… that’s what I’m going to be.” Now my friend had no disposition towards biology, and even less towards medicine, but he was going to be a doctor. Because the man he wants to become is a doctor. Today, that friend is my doctor. Now I’m not saying I’m responsible for it, but he gives me a candy sucker, for free, every time I see him. I think we all know why.
So let’s go back to that seemingly genius scene in that famous play. Tinker Bell was right. Belief is a very important thing, and self-belief is the most important thing. Virtually everything we can actually do is only possible because we believe we can do it. We are all, in this exact moment, what we are because we believe we are. If you want to be something better, believe you are something better… and reality will shape your life within the parameters you allow.