You Can Believe What You Want About the World, But the Truth Shows Up in Your Results

By AAwosika07 | happiness

Apr 12

We’re in a war of ideas. Everyone wants their ideology to be right. At one point, I used to care a lot about whether or not people shared my worldview. But now? I’ve come to a realization. The truth will show up in our results. We don’t have to argue about anything. I’ll live my life based on my beliefs and you live based on yours. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see who gets what they want and who doesn’t.

You can think whatever you want to think and have whatever beliefs you want to have. I have strong convictions, but I no longer need anyone to see the world the way I do.  Let people think what they want to think. Share your ideas and leave them at that. Bet on your ideology and let people bet on theirs. Let the chips fall where they may. I aim to help those on the fence, not to convince those that are too far gone.

I have a pretty good idea where people’s lives will end up based on the ideology they follow. At least, I think I do. What the hell do I know? I don’t know anything. I can do lay out the case for why I believe what I believe and let you think about how it applies to your life. And that’s what I want to focus on before we even dive into the topic at hand.

You might feel like you have to adopt a certain set of beliefs, adhere to a certain ideology, stick to a side, whatever, but you have to live your life. I don’t know you, but I’m guessing you have a combination of things you really believe and things you think you’re supposed to believe. Don’t let the things you think you’re supposed to believe keep you from living the life you actually want.

Because, when the dust settles, you don’t get any points for clinging to certain beliefs. At the end of the day, you’re left with the results of your actions, guided by your beliefs, and nothing more.

Forming Beliefs is a Life-Long Process

Changing your beliefs is hard because you have your identity tied up in your beliefs. You don’t see them as things you believe but as statements of who you are. Your beliefs drive your behavior and your behavior does show you who you are. But remember that your beliefs don’t have to be permanent statements of who you are. You can have a certain set of beliefs for years and ditch them the instant you find evidence that contradicts your beliefs.

Over time, I try to course correct my beliefs based on how they map with the real world. I try not to believe something because I think I’m supposed to believe it. I focus on forming beliefs that help me move in a positive direction. That’s it. My problem with some of the beliefs I see promoted in society today has nothing to do with morality. I just believe those beliefs will make people’s lives worse in the long run.

Again, what the hell do I know? I only have the observations I’ve made, the sources I’ve learned from, and the experiences I’ve had. I’m pretty sure I’m right, sure enough, that I’m betting my life on those beliefs. You’re betting your life on yours, too by the way. I’ve spent years trying to get it right. I’m not perfect, but I think my studies have yielded some good criteria.

Here are some of my criteria when it comes to forming beliefs:

  • I don’t look at beliefs as good or bad. I prefer to look at them as useful or unuseful
  • Instead of thinking I have everything figured out, I try to be a student of life and learn by first realizing the extent of my own ignorance
  • My end goal is to get it right instead of being right. I see so many people in society that will throw their entire life away just because they can’t deal with being wrong
  • I try to focus on the way the world actually works versus the way I think it should work. I’m optimistic but I’m not idealistic
  • As best I can, I try to take emotion out of the process. Easier said than done. But too much emotion and identity attachment cloud your thinking

Think of the rules I have and see whether or not they work for you. Also, focus on actively creating rules and values for your life. Set your own criteria. And update your rules over time. Too many people permanently outsource their thinking to others. Instead of thinking for themselves, they have a set of programmed responses they’ve learned from authorities. Regardless of what ideologies you choose to follow, you’re always better off actively choosing and refining them instead of playing ‘set it and forget it’ with your beliefs.

Useful Beliefs That Will Make Your Life Better

Are your beliefs useful? Do they help you get what you want? Do your beliefs make you feel good or bad about yourself and your life? Like me, you have this sense in your mind that you pretty much have life figured out. Even if your life sucks, you feel this way. It’s better to feel like you have a handle on reality than to admit you don’t, even though that admission could help you change your life in the long run.

I’m not going to tell you what to think. I’m going to tell you the cold hard truth that the beliefs you adopt will make or break your life. I encourage you to focus on thoughts that are useful. Not beliefs that are one hundred percent ‘correct’ or ‘accurate.’ Useful. Sometimes useful beliefs involve an element of delusion and irrational confidence. Sometimes useful beliefs force you to ignore what everyone else is doing. Overall useful beliefs move you in that direction you know you want to go in, deep down, that’s it.

But, just to be sure, let’s break things down a bit further:

  • They tend to be discomforting upfront but help you have a better life long-term. Often, you’ll have to confront harsh truths about the world and about yourself upfront, but being honest with yourself will help you do what’s necessary to change your life
  • They bring you closer to your desired outcomes. It’s okay to want what you want. First, be honest about what you want. Second, simply assess whether your beliefs will help you get what you want.
  • In the long run, they increase your self-esteem, confidence, and contentment with life
  • They have some level of predictive ability. You should be able to have a sense of what will unfold next based on your beliefs.
  • They seem to be glaringly evident even though most people will go out of their way to ignore them

Based on these rules, I’ve formed a long list of beliefs that guide my actions today. Some of them are crazy inspiring, some are harsh but necessary, others fall under the category of ‘it is what it is.’

  • Certain things in life aren’t your fault, but everything is your responsibility. Complaining about societal ills and how you’re oppressed for xyz reason won’t help you get what you want. Doing what you can with what you have in spite of your disadvantages will. 
  • Human beings are predictable and programmable. See them for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Understand human nature, persuasion, cognitive biases, etc. This isn’t cold at all. Humans are awesome but don’t idealize them. Focus on programming yourself too instead of thinking you have more free will than you do.
  • If you make smart decisions, work hard, and give yourself a long enough time scale, you can get pretty much anything you want.
  • You are the primary one in the way of your own success. Not the government, not society, not your friends, not your family, not the way you look, not your talents, not your intelligence. You. If you trust yourself enough to get out of your own way, you’ll get what you want.
  • The mainstream media is not your friend. Don’t get mad at the media either. They have every incentive to sensationalize the news and drum up negative emotions to get clicks. They need the money. It is what it is. Don’t listen to them.
  • Nobody is coming to save you. You’re on your own as far as getting what you really want from life. Don’t wait for some law to change or some politician to take office. They won’t do a damn thing to fix your life and you don’t need them to anyway.
  • The results you get in life are mostly based on whether or not you’re willing to do what it takes to get them. Sometimes, what will be asked of you to achieve certain results will be unfair, but you still get to decide whether or not you’re willing to do what it takes

Most of the rules on my life, and a lot of the things I share in my writing, tend to be direct, brutally honest, raw, aggressive, whatever you want to call it.

People tell me all the time they half hate and love the way I share these ideas. Look, I’m only this way because it seems to be the best tool to snap people out of their funk. It was the best tool for me.

I didn’t change my life by having this rosy picture of success. First, I admitted my life sucked. Second, I decided to humble myself and try to learn how to live a better life since clearly, I didn’t know what I was doing. Last, along the way, I continue to try and update my philosophy based on the things I need to know instead of what I want to hear.

And I pass that information on to you.

Counterproductive Beliefs That Tend to Make Your Life Worse

Then there’s the set of beliefs that are useful, counterproductive, or downright dangerous.

Some beliefs can be technically accurate but directionally counterproductive. Or they can be lies you tell yourself about the world to cope with that keep you from making the changes you know you need to make. In general, I try to avoid beliefs that I don’t find useful, period, regardless of how strongly other people believe them. Actually, I often avoid believes that too many people believe. 

I only add the morality-laced adjective of dangerous because it bothers me to see just how much certain beliefs ruin people’s lives. The people who believe some of these dangerous beliefs don’t seem happy to me. Many of these beliefs manifest themselves into outward hatred, too. People who believe them tend to lash out at others, because, deep down, they know these beliefs are BS but can’t bring themselves to change. That energy has to go somewhere. And it usually goes to the worst places and behaviors.

Anyway, enough with the emotion, let’s just look at the criteria:

  • They tend to be comforting upfront, but ruinous over the long term. A lot of the lies society feeds you, as well as the lies you feed yourself, keep you from facing the truth about the world and about your life. In a way, you and society both benefit from the lies. Part of breaking the spell is realizing how much you want to be under it.
  • They move you further away from your desired outcomes. Logically, it would make sense that people who are living lives they don’t want would question their beliefs, but usually, they do the exact opposite and double down on them.
  • In the long run, they tend to erode your self-esteem, confidence, and contentment with life. Often, I see these beliefs drive people to Henry David Thoreau’s famed “life of quiet desperation.”
  • They focus on the way the world should work instead of the way it actually works. Nothing wrong with wanting to make changes, but certain beliefs, utopian beliefs, are too far-fetched to waste time on.

You can see the direction I’m heading with this. But just remember. None of this is personal. Don’t feel attacked if this list shares a belief you currently hold. Look at your own life and see how things map out.

  • You’re so oppressed that you can’t possibly do anything to change your situation at all. I call this the soft bigotry of low expectations.
  • Not only do you believe someone is coming to save you, you think society actually owes you something. You also have faith that it will deliver. Maybe it owes you something, maybe it doesn’t. But question whether or not you really think it will deliver.
  • Nothing is your fault. If your life isn’t where you want it to be, you have plenty of places to point the finger — the government, your parents, white people, the patriarchy, whatever. Again, my point here isn’t that the ills and isms of the world don’t exist. Of course, they do, but they don’t absolve you of personal responsibility.
  • Success is only reserved for the lucky, extra talented, or greedy. This belief varies in intensity. Sure, luck plays a role in the success and there are some crooks and charlatans out there, but an overall belief that success is divorced from merit entirely will keep you from being successful.
  • You deserve to feel good. Somewhere along the line, we started to see happiness and positive emotions as rights. Sometimes you aren’t supposed to feel good about yourself because you’re screwing up. Sometimes you need to earn positive feelings about yourself. Technically, you don’t need to, but the way your mind works will ultimately require you to.
  • The world is a terrible and evil place where everyone is out to get you. The world has its problems. But there’s also a ton of upside to be had if you’re not mired in negativity.
  • Your story is so unique and different that no one could understand it or thrive with it. There are many people just like you with pretty much the exact same circumstances that got entirely different results.

Often, people share iterations with these beliefs in the comments of my blog posts. They’re not trying to convince me that I’m wrong. They’re trying to convince themselves that they’re right. Often, when you tell yourself convenient lies, you have to continue to form this big cognitive pretzel. You know you’re full of it, but you don’t want to give up your beliefs, so the rationalizations run deeper and deeper.

To whatever degree you’re telling yourself narratives like these, just know, you can stop. You can stop running from the truth about the way the world works and what you need to do change. You don’t have to play this BS societal game.

Opt-out altogether.

Final Thoughts

Again, I’m just going to keep sharing my ideas, living my life by those ideas, and letting the chips fall where they may. Earlier in the post, I talked about how useful beliefs have predictive ability.

So far, one of my main predictions continues to grow truer over time. I predicted that society would fracture into hyper optimistic, sovereign, self-taught, and free individuals or hyper pessimistic, reliant, obedient, and oppressed people.

Maybe you’re telling yourself that you don’t fall into either category right now. You’re just a normal person. Give it time. The “mindset gap” will continue to grow. I hope you’re on the right side of it all.

I wrote a piece that probably won’t be popular with the masses or go viral or get approved by some of the gatekeepers, but I don’t care because it’s the truth.

Do with what truth what you will.


About the Author

Ayodeji is the Author of Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement and two other Amazon best-selling titles. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, eating chicken wings, and occasionally drinking old-fashioned's.