You hear it all the time. “It takes a lot of faith,” to accomplish this, that, or the other thing, or “only those with great faith,” can achieve this, that, or the other great thing.  Many teachers stress the importance of faith in order to succeed in life and be a fulfilled person. Ever since I was young, I wondered what it took to have strong faith, or even how faith ought to be practiced and used.  To me, it seems to be the case that the sort of faith one needs to achieve an endeavor is the confident and joyful belief in the coming manifestation of one’s desires.

I should qualify that I am not talking about “faith” in a religious sense of the word to mean belief in one’s religion.  Rather, this post will discuss faith as an element of one’s life and pursuits.

When I was a child, faith seemed an elusive thing.  It seemed then that faith took the form of desperately hoping and praying that something will happen and then desperately waiting to see if it will happen or not.  This feeling of hope was often accompanied by strong feelings of disappointment when something I was desiring as a child did not manifest.  In this way, faith seemed to be the practice of hoping against the odds that something one wants might just come one’s way.

I now know that a more positive mindset is needed in order to practice faith that will add power to one’s cause.  My childhood practice of faith was based on the underlying assumption that the odds are stacked against you – that the world outside of the self dictated one’s success or failure regardless of whatever one did.

As a child, I was often told that I could not be an artist, and that I could not be an actor because too many people want to do that but companies will only pay a limited number of people to do these things.  There were many things I was told I could not do, and I see many other people telling other kids similar things.   In this way, a child comes to view the world and life as always determined by what other more affluent desire and never by what the child’s self desires.  It is then perhaps no wonder that most adults find themselves working jobs and living lives that they don’t particularly desire or enjoy and feel trapped in.

Avoid being trapped in negative expectations

On the other hand, if one were to look at individuals who are generally regarded as successful, one would find that these individuals view life in a very different way.  People like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and even Will Smith don’t view life as something that is determined by other more qualified individuals but rather view life as an opportunity to create and achieve what ever one’s self may fancy.  A study of any of these individuals’ lives would show that they pursued their dreams and passions despite many nay-sayers, and they ended up achieving great things despite what others said about their abilities.

Faith is not about hoping against the odds.  Faith is about believing in one’s own ability to pursue and achieve one’s goals.  It might take some time, and it might take some hard work and dedication, but the faithful joyously know and understand that they are on the path to success so long as they continue to move in the right direction; as long as a vehicle continues towards its destination, it will certainly reach it given time.  Faith is about realizing that you are able to achieve what you desire, and that is the fire that has fueled so many success stories.

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