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What You Believe

I watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with the family last night in preparation for the new Indiana Jones movie coming out this weekend. My wife and son were huddled up on the couch siphoning body heat off one another as NYC still seems unaware that it’s Springtime or May. My daughter ran around the living room screaming, throwing everything that wasn’t nailed down and stripping off all the layers of clothing her mother dressed her in to stay warm. I sat alone on the love seat with a cup of coffee.

Near the end of the movie Indy has go through the formulaic booby traps to get to the Holy Grail. He comes to a point where he has to cross what appears to be a bottomless chasm. He stands there chanting about believing, while his ailing father chants with him (I’m not going to explain any more of the scene – rent the movie).

When Indy’s ready he takes a deep breath and steps out…onto a rocky foot bridge made to look like the other side of the chasm wall.

“It’s an optical illusion,” I said.

“Wait, I don’t get it,” said my son.

“It was there the whole time, all he had to do was believe it was there,” I clarified.

My wife smiled at me and repeated what I said. I thought about it for a second and smiled. How many times in this life do we avoid really living because we’re afraid of falling, afraid of failing, afraid of the unknown, and afraid of the boogey monster? But that opportunity, that job, that deal, that chance was there the whole time, just waiting for you to claim it.

I’m not talking about get rich quick schemes, but the real stuff upon which a rich life is built. If I let fear drive me I wouldn’t be in New York, I wouldn’t be a loving father, I wouldn’t be a husband, I wouldn’t strive for the best in myself (regardless of the outcome), and I wouldn’t be typing these words right now. Yesterday a fraternity brother of mine called me from Atlanta to say goodbye. Through his job he and his family are relocating to Turkey. I know in college he had no idea this was going to happen. I also know he had to do some serious believing to get this job, excel in it, and receive this new, exciting and unknown opportunity.

My life is the collective sum of my beliefs. When it’s stagnant I have to take a step back, dust myself off and fix what it is I’m believing (or not believing).

How many people do you know that make things happen? Do you include yourself on this list? If not, do you ever seriously consider why you're not? Is it everyone else's fault, or is it simply what you believe...about yourself and about your world?

Believe that job / entrepreneurship / chance / man / woman / goal / race / game / house/vacation is yours and if it’s meant to, so it shall be.

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