I just had a funny thought: “I really want a bowl of cereal. Surely some Lucky Charms will make me a better writer.”
Mostly, I think my brain is craving cereal. And yet.
When I was a kid, I held the unshakeable belief that a pair of new shoes made me run faster, jump higher, and altogether much cooler. As if, during the manufacturing process, they put some kind of mojo in between the layers of leather and rubber. Or perhaps some fairy godmother or wizard on loan from fantasy epics blessed each pair as they rolled by on the conveyor. Heck, I don’t even know that I had a reason why it was so. It just was. Unquestioned. Pure, iron-clad, unshakeable kid-logic truth. And when I laced those suckers up–or tightened up the velcro straps (yeah, I was that cool)–the world knew to watch out.
As we age, we lose the strength of our convictions, invariably replacing ours with those on loan from people who feel they know better than us. Since when is it unnecessary or uncool to believe in ourselves? Marketing, too, is driven by this idea: use their product, and we’ll be better/sexier/whatever. And, oftentimes, the marketing and products work. We feel better/sexier/whatever. But the magic isn’t in whatever doodad they’ve sold us: the magic is in belief. And so if we can separate belief from money, and remind ourselves that the latter does not beget or validate the former, then we can recapture some of that kid-logic. Putting on a lucky shirt, a flattering pair of pants, morning affirmations in front of the mirror, and other daily rituals tap into whatever shreds of our childhood remain.
If we believe something enough, does it become true?
When it comes to things like science and politics, absolutely not (despite what various organizations say).
But in the realm of the internal? For sure.
Internally, belief is a fuel to create all kinds of realities. It freezes ambiguous intentions into the solid form of truth and helps you figure out what the heck you want. In the landscape of the mind, if you believe it, writing enough stories will make you successful, that new haircut does make you look better, five minutes a day spent in reflection does make you a better person, cereal does make me a better writer, and new shoes do make the young version of myself run faster.