What do you believe in
Lewis Howes is a lifestyle entrepreneur who has a podcast called School of Greatness. In it, Howes expresses his gratitude, acknowledgements and encouragements of other people who have turned themselves into Greats. And those people aren’t just the millionaire business men, he has talked to everyone from jazz musicians and recovered addicts to Tony Robbins. His podcast is interesting and intentional in a way that other “business” minded podcasts are not.
One thing Howes frequently questions himself and his guests on (especially in the early episodes) is what is more important to believe in, God or yourself. His logic is most elite athletes, or success stories in general, have an unwavering belief in something. Often that something is either themselves – where they know intrinsically that they are the world’s greatest; or it’s in a Higher Being – where those athletes understand that their talent is a gift and abundant success comes from the Higher Being. Either way, it is this faith that helps them through the hard practices and fortifies their mental clarity.
The question becomes which is better? Will you go further or be more successful if you believe in God or yourself? Or is it the act of believing that is important and not the thing in which you are putting all your faith?
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
It’s far better to believe in the Higher Power than it is to believe in yourself.
Believing in yourself is a good thing, but believing in a Higher Power is a great thing.
That probably came off more preachy than I intended.
What I mean is believing that you and you alone are in control of your fate will make it exponentially more difficult to 1. create long-term repeating success for yourself and 2. bounce back from any failures you experience throughout your life.
Let’s talk about excuses. Imagine any expectation you’ve ever had. You wanted something and thought you deserved to get it, but you didn’t. Human nature is to protect ourselves and shift the blame from something we might have done to get in our own way towards someone or something else. Someone else dropped the ball, technology failed us, we would have totally asked that person out if only we weren’t running late for our lunch meeting. It helps us preserve our opinion of ourselves and our general well being. Because if you don’t find an excuse then it’s your own fault and this grand idea you had of yourself starts to fade and then what?
It’s a survival technique that isn’t always detrimental to our growth, but it can be. And that happens more often to those people who believe in themselves more than anything else.
But if you believe in something greater than you, every success and every failure is the result of forces outside of who you are. They don’t reflect you personally, they reflect the events of the world and the need for excuses vanishes. Now, you can immediately begin work on yourself, your game, your project so that it’s better next time; because that should always be the goal – be better the next time.
Believing only in yourself to reach accomplishments in life also puts a limit on the things you can do in a way that doesn’t happen when you put your belief in Something Greater. You can only work towards what you believe is possible for yourself.
LeBron James, the greatest player in the NBA right now, moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat squad because even though he was the greatest player in the league (and probably thought as much about himself) he knew he wasn’t going to win a championship without a strong team alongside him. He knew success wasn’t going to come from his efforts alone. He needed something bigger than himself, something more than himself.
The arrogance of James can be debated, but I think that’s why he’s such a good example. If LeBron James can learn to humble himself and ask for help from something greater – if he knows when it comes down to reaching the highest level, he can’t do it alone, then I think it’s pretty safe to assume it’s the better option.
And he has the rings to prove it.
People who believe in something beyond just themselves are also successful in the long term because they don’t feel entitled to the success they’ve found. Knowing that a portion of any successful venture is due to timing and luck makes it impossible to attribute that success entirely to yourself. In that way, you approach your next project with the same dedication, persistence and humility because you never know whether luck and timing will be on your side. But you do know that it will work out the way it should. Because something greater is happening in the universe. And you will always end up exactly where you should.
Thank you for stopping by today. I know I’m not doing exactly the schedule I said I would, but some major changes are happening and I can hopefully start posting much more soon. I’ll be back on Wednesday. I hope you will too.