“Figure out your core beliefs.”

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my core beliefs had always been that life had to been meaningful to be happy, and I had built a whole city of beliefs and values upon that belief, that I later overturned.

Which brings me to my next topic.  Do you know what your core beliefs are?  I didn’t.  And even after sitting and thinking for a few hours, I only came up with a few of them.  I’ll share the process with you since I thought it was interesting.

At first, they were pretty basic:

  • Be good.
  • Be responsible.
  • Treat people like I want to be treated.

Then I realized that these beliefs were all about other people, where was I in there?  So I added the me beliefs:

  • I control my own destiny and happiness in life.
  • I choose how and to spend my limited time on earth.
  • I have equal rights to everyone else on earth – no more and no less.

From there, I realized that there were beliefs that I had about the world, life, friends, and so I started putting them down.  Honestly, I’m still working on the list.  However, here is what was interesting about the exercise.

I turned to the girl to my right and asked her, “what is a core belief of yours that I might not have on my list?”  To which she answered, “That there are things worth dying for and killing for, like democracy.”  Then later that day, I was in line, and asked the same question to a father of grown children and he told me, “Having honor of self (which he defined as acting good and being truthful) permeates everything I do to myself and to others and what I expect from other people.”

So my list keeps growing.   Point is, we are motivated by beliefs that underlie everything we do, and we can’t even articulate what they are.  Scary, isn’t it!

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