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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, dancing and good movies.  

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Pixie dust, Murphy's law and unicorns, or why changing your beliefs system could actually change your life, one day at the time

People make mistakes in life through believing too much, but they have a damned dull time if they believe too little. 
James Hilton [1900-1954] 

One should believe in something, sure.
It doesn't matter if one decides to believe in religion, rationality at any cost, pixie dust, ethics, Murphy's law, tolerance, happy endings, science, unicorns, morality, magic, logic, the good intentions of all human beings, music, the laws of attraction, karma, the three main concepts of the French Revolution, the power of now, serendipity or just in oneself.

[Tinker Bell's Pixie Dust -
Black and Purple background by TheOriginalGinger]

One should believe in something. Totally got it.
But what if one should not be able to believe any longer?
What if believing would hurt too much? What if believing would actually not even hurt any longer, because one is just so sure that it is normal not to believe and that doing otherwise would only cause further pain, disappointment and dissatisfaction?

I guess that each person on this planet (and maybe in other planets too, we can't be sure about this one... okay, I am just kidding) has been there, one time or another.
And this is absolutely normal, comprehensible and even healthy, in some measure. It is a protection mechanism, like the ones known from computer science, and it is definitely useful, once in a while.

[I believe in Sherlock Holmes
... even if Sherlock actually never said it...
Elementary, my dear Watson!]

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
Randy Pausch [1960-2008]

At the same time, life is a matter of experience, perception and perspective.
Most of the time, someone's life and experiences are not the result of what happened to them, but of how that person would perceive what happened and how she will then think, feel, act and react on the situation and over time, depending on her beliefs, her values and her perception of the situation itself. Depending on how she will handle a similar situation in the future, how she consider natural to behave in the present and which lessons she learned from the past.
Like in a good movie, it's not the what that counts, but the how.

[Audrey Hepburn's gorgeous quote about believing in pink, 
kissing, happiness as the source of beauty, being strong and a lot more]

Being resilient enough, being strong even in terrible moments, being able to believe is really hard sometimes, I know. And it can suck too. It can be scary, difficult, tricky, painful.
And yet, if life is a matter of perspective and what we decide to believe in will influence the quality of our life and our experiences, how about deciding consciously what one wants to believe in?

[Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner 
as Annie Savoy and Crash Davis
in Bull Durham (USA, 1988) by Ron Shelton,
a timeless classic with a spectacular scene about believing in...]

Annie Savoy: These are the ground rules. I hook up with one guy a season. Usually takes me a couple weeks to pick the guy - kinda my own spring training. And, well, you two are the most promising prospects of the season so far, so I just thought we should kinda get to know each other.
Crash Davis: Time out. Why do you get to choose?
A: What?
C: Why do you get to choose? I mean, why don't I get to choose, why doesn't he get to choose?
A: Well, actually, nobody on this planet ever really chooses each other. I mean, it's all a question of quantum physics, molecular attraction, and timing. Why, there are laws we don't understand that bring us together and tear us apart. Uh, it's like pheromones. You get three ants together, they can't do dick. You get 300 million of them, they can build a cathedral.
[Crash laughs]

Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: So is somebody going to go to bed with somebody or what?
A: Honey, you are a regular nuclear meltdown. You better cool off. Ha ha, ha ha!
[to Crash as he stands up]
A: Oh, where are you going?
C: After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don't try out. Besides, uh, I don't believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.
A: What do you believe in, then?

C: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
[pauses then winks and walks away]
C: Goodnight.
A: Oh my. Crash...

Crash David has his own beliefs system, apparently. How about us?
How about deciding to believe that, from now on:
- there is nothing wrong with how we are and we can be authentic, true to ourselves and in peace, no matter what and no matter what others expect us to be;
- the past is gone and the future doesn't exist yet and it is going to be shaped by the decisions that we  take today;
- every day is precious and our time should be shared with people who care and can appreciate it as the most valuable gift we could ever give to them;
- in relationships it is not all about getting something but way more about giving something first;
- other people should leave an interaction with us while being more happy and more enriched than they were before talking to us;
- life is short and spending it in embitterment, grudge, jealousy and resentment is a huge waste;
- we have to take responsibility for our own feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions and therefore to live in a way that will make us proud of ourselves...

How do you feel, while reading these lines and imagining how your life would be, if you would start immediately to believe that and to live accordingly to this new beliefs system?

How about creating your own system, with what matters to you the most?
How about giving yourself credit for it and being proud of it every day?
I would love to hear from you about this.

Previous posts:
How to spend your next 16,000 days on Earth in the best way, and why that matters a lot
How you can be better than Nostradamus: all you need is a positive self-fulfilling prophecy
Three magical questions that can change your life, or why the best gifts are not about material things
Mood: The Scarlett O'Hara in me
How I survive while trapped in days like "Groundhog Day"
How to wait for a brand new day, or the art of taking a deep breath, choosing the right chocolate and relax
Why happiness is... the most important muscle in everybody's body and how to train it
Quick and dirty, Feat. Audrey Hepburn

Tags: Beliefs system, Believing, Audrey Hepburn, People, Quotes, Resilience, Bull Durham, Time, Relationships, Emotions

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