A new born child is blessed with a fresh mind, open to receive anything the world has to present. He is an empty cup, full of happiness and freshness. As an empty vessel can be filled with water, sand, stones or all of them, so do the child’s mind. What the child becomes depends on the surroundings and people around him. Whatever he perceives through the outside sources ‘good or bad’ is inculcated into his brain forming his belief system. The talks, situations around get impregnated into the subconscious mind.
The environment, culture, parents, family, neighbours, school, society, mass media, various games etc all play a crucial role in developing the mindset of a person, especially during the initial stage when the child learns the most. Studies say that the child develops the belief system and even express their beliefs as early as the age of five.
In this article, a small effort is made to understand the believe system and its correlation with mind.
The Human Brain and Mind.
Human Brain is phenomenal. It is a powerhouse of a vast resources of which majority are unknown. Scientifically, Brain is defined as the portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It functions as a primary receiver, organizer, and distributor of information for the body. It is a visible tangible part of the body. The brain is a part where the mind resides. Mind is an invisible intangible place responsible for the thoughts, feelings, imagination, belief, attitudes, memory, perception and thinking. The mind is the awareness of consciousness we know, the ability to control what we do, and know what we are doing and why. It is the ability to understand. Brain is hardware while the mind is the software of the system called human.
The mind observes and stores all the information presented to it in the form of images, conversations, circumstances, happenings, observations etc. Different individual holds a different perception and understanding about a given subject based on his depth of knowledge and awareness. The perception and understanding forms up the believe system.
A simple example to illustrate the concept can be of a pencil.A normal human will have the perception based on his observations, imagination, perception and what he has heard about the object. Majority will know how the pencil looks like, different colours it’s available in, its use. When we hear the name “Pencil”, the mind first creates the image of the object. When we talk about its uses, different people hold different images; some see themselves writing, some see theirchild holding it etc. Mind within fractions of millisecondscreate the images based on the past experience stored in its database. However based on depth of knowledge, some will know that the writing material of pencil is made of ‘lead’. Few will know that lead is a metal, an element studied in chemistry. Very few will be aware that lead is poisonous. On the other hand, a blind person would have the perception based on his hearing alone and a deaf will hold his own perception based on observation alone.
So, different individual have different level of information and perception about the object that forms their belief system. The same is true when a person thinks a particular task is doable for him or not. The belief system differentiates a person who can talk efficiently and effortlessly in public from another person with same qualification and abilities filled with fears. The statement “Whether you think you can or cannot you are right” holds true.
The Belief System
Belief system is classified into two “Entity theory (fixed entities)” and “Incremental theory (increase or change)” based on the individuals mindset. People holding the entity theories are of fixed mindset and belief that the human characteristics are fixed and stable. They easily agree with the statement “monkey is a monkey even if it is dressed in silk”. Those holding the belief of incremental theory are open to increase or change of their mindset and agree with the saying “It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf”. As seen, both the belief systems are entirely opposite and reflect the belief system prevalent within different cultures. Both the belief systems are correct in their own way depending upon the situation.
Studies have shown that an individual holds more or less both the entity theory and incremental theory. However, depending upon the situation, a person tends to hold stronger belief for the one verses the other, reflecting the belief system prevalent in the culture or the one which most suits the need of the hour.
The belief system affects people’s thoughts, emotions, behaviours and actions towards themselves and those around.
As the object property information is acquired and is continuously updated through different mechanism of learning, the perception and believe about the subject also varies with time. This holds a scope and provides an opportunity to improve. That means the belief system can be moderated with efforts, change and constant learning.
Shift in the belief system
As rightly said “You are an average of five people you spend the most time with”. The statement provides scope for the first level of improvement.
Have a look around the people you are surrounded with, your neighbours, colleagues, society, etc. Pay attention to their conversations, their mindset, their tasks, thought process, activities, etc. Analyse whether those are the things you want to inculcate within yourself. Make sure you are surrounded by the right set of people.
A shift in focussing the energy to positive thoughts is the second way to improve. Think positive. That does not means that negative thoughts won’t come. Do not resist the negative thoughts, remember “What you Resist, Persists”. Simply consciously start thinking of something you love and feel happy about. It might seem difficult first, but as mentioned, with efforts and practice, it will turn into a habit. Maintaining a ‘gratitude list’ is another way which shifts the paradigm from negative to positive. When we pay gratitude (focus on positive aspects in our life and being thankful for it), it resides in the subconscious mind and the focus move to the positive aspects.
Start reading. Reading has a profound effect on the mindset. Choose carefully what you read. Focus on the material and books that enhance you, help you grow and motivates you. Reading helps in revealing our strengths that are already residing within us. They help in enlightenment.
Train yourself in the right direction. A child can be trained to see a puppy as a violent animal or can be trained to love it. An individual can be fearful of making mistakes limiting his potential, or can be courageous to embrace them, learning from mistakes and improving his potential.
Invest in improving yourself. Remember that we are limitless souls and the mind is our powerhouse, a resource of limitless possibilities. “The only limits on your life are those that you set yourself”
Be LIMITLESS and live a grand king size life.