When you change your surroundings, you change the present, but when you change your beliefs, you change the future.
Beliefs are like filters. When you observe life through a particular filter, you can only receive certain information. The rest is unavailable.
It’s like having your TV tuned to NBC. You’re not going to see any shows on CBS, no matter how hard you try. You can go to therapy, join a support group, or take assertiveness training. You can even buy a hi-tech, multi-channel satellite dish, but no matter what you do, if you don’t change the channel, you’ll still be watching NBC.
The same is true of beliefs. Your beliefs won’t let anything in except those things that fit with your beliefs. For example, if you believe “life is hard,” you won’t have much fun in life. If good times come, you may tell yourself, “They won’t last…so be prepared for the worst.”
On the other hand, if you believe “life is good and getting better,” you’ll probably have a lot less stress. Even when difficulties come, you may be thinking,” They won’t last…and it’s always darkest just before the dawn.”
The lesson is simple. If you don’t like how things are going, if you don’t like how you’re feeling, change the channel. That’s what Leonardo da Vinci had to do when he was painting “The Last Supper.” Da Vinci had painted the face of Judas to look like a personal enemy of his. As he thought about how much he disliked the man, it was easy to paint the face of Judas to look like his enemy.
However, when it came time to paint the face of Jesus, da Vinci had great difficulty. His eyes would wander to the face of his enemy, and thoughts of his enemy made it impossible for him to concentrate on the goodness of Jesus. In fact, da Vinci succeeded in painting the face of Jesus only after he painted out the face of Judas and reconciled with his enemy.
In essence, da Vinci couldn’t change until he changed his belief. Until he changed from the belief of “get even with your enemies” to “love your enemies,” he found himself stuck.
Telemetrics International found the same thing to be true in the business world. They studied 16,000 executives who had risen to the top of their various corporations, but they were divided into “high achievers” and “low achievers.” In other words, some were effective, and some were not.
What was the difference? The effective ones BELIEVED in employees whereas the ineffective ones did not. As a result, the effective executives cared about employees as well as profits. The effective ones trusted the ability of their subordinates while the ineffective ones did not. The ineffective executives were simply preoccupied with their own security.
When it came to communication, the high achievers sought the advice of their subordinates. They listened to them. By contrast, the low achievers didn’t seek employee input. They avoided communication with them and relied on impersonal policy manuals and formal procedures instead.
So if you don’t like how things are going, if you don’t like the results you’re getting on and off the job, change the channel. Then everything else will start to fall into place.
Action: Take a look at the channels you watch or the beliefs you hold. Select a channel that you watch too often, and then consciously switch to a channel that is just the opposite. Do it for two days, and see which results you like better.