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All Posts by Wouter

On Beliefs And The Nature of Reality

Beliefs form your experience. The world is what you think it is. Not in some metaphysical, metaphorical way, but in very real terms.

What follows is an ongoing exploration of how beliefs shape your life and more importantly how you can change and use them to create more of the life you desire.

Over the following weeks, perhaps years I will be adding to this work, making it more complete. I will start today, despite my urge for perfection. If you have anything to add, please do.


The Structure of Beliefs

Beliefs exist on different levels of intensity. At the core is the belief itself, around it you have:

  1. Assumptions. These are the things that you have no doubt about.
  2. Attitudes. These are habitual, but there is room for doubt.
  3. Opinions. These are easily changed.

I see it as an onion. The onion itself is a belief. On the outer edge you have opinions that are easily peeled off. The next couple of layers are attitudes. Assumptions are at the core.

Certain opinions, attitudes and assumptions belong to certain core beliefs. If you peal the layers away you will get to the core and discover which beliefs give you which experiences in life.


How To Change Your Beliefs

In the most simplistic terms, if you change your beliefs, your experience of life will change.

If you take the time to discover what beliefs you hold, you will understand more about your life and why things go the way they do in yours.

How to change beliefs effectively is still something I am exploring. However, the first step in any case is to be aware of them. I have included a simple exercise in this article, to get started with exploring your beliefs.

There must be a way to get directly to the core, without peeling. If you know a technique feel free to share this.

Answer the questions below. Keep writing until there is nothing more to add. It usually takes me a couple of days before most of it is out.

  • The world is…
  • I am…
  • Love is…
  • Money is…
  • People are…
  • I think…

Once you have as much on paper as you can it’s time to reflect on it.

Look at it as if u were looking at someone elses beliefs and examine them. Even better is to ask someone to look at them with u.

You will see patterns emerge and will be able to group some assumptions, attitudes and opinions with the same core belief. You will see that they originate from the same core belief and how a lot of your thoughts stem from it.

For example, a core belief we generally hold in the Western world is that we are human. A machine made out of flesh. An assumption attached to it is that your body deteriorates as you become older. An attitude is that you will behave differently as you grow older. An opinion linked to is that certain foods are bad for your body.

Ultimately “being human” is a very strong belief. One that your entire life is built upon. What if that belief is wrong? What if we are something else?


Why Change Beliefs?

I am not saying that belief is right or wrong. I am saying that a big part – if not all – of your daily life unfolds thanks to that belief. Some beliefs will help you in life, some will cause you stress.

Generally, strong held beliefs are what you call truth.

When you explore your beliefs you can discover which ones are helping you and which ones are not. Then you can change the ones that you want. Any belief you hold can be changed.

This is a mixed list of commonly held beliefs:

  • People are inherently good
  • People are inherently bad
  • I am a failure
  • I am lucky
  • I am human
  • The world is a scary place
  • I am not good enough
  • Everything happens for a reason

The list could go on forever.

By exploring your beliefs, you gain insight why your life unfolds the way it does.

Over the next few months I will dive deeper into the matter and will explore any questions you have. Topics I plan to explore:

  • How beliefs shape your world/reality
  • What are beliefs
  • How are beliefs structured
  • How belief affects your behaviour
  • How you can change your beliefs
  • The role of emotions and thinking
  • How belief can cause illness
  • How beliefs are formed

That’s all for now.

Mindful Monday #1

I just spent an hour looking at David Bowie. Not listening, looking. There is something about him. He is himself, so incredibly him, so pure, so authentic.

I don’t even really like his music, but I keep watching and listening.

What makes him so special? Why is he such a pleasure to look at and to listen to? Why is he thát good? Why makes him so charismatic that he is claimed to be an alien?

How come I click away a great band playing exactly my kind of music, but keep listening to a genre that I normally wouldn’t listen to?

Because he is just so frickin real.

His mimics, his movements, his voice, his art, it is all him, he shows himself fully without any reserve.

That is what I strive for, everyday again. To be the real me and show the real me. That is living life to the fullest. To be me.

It is scary though, you have to break social conventions. You can’t do what others expect you to. You will be criticized, you will be frowned upon. But you know what? That will happen either way. Whatever you do, people will think something of you.

But you have a choice. You can decide how this will affect you.

You can write what you want, you can paint what you want, you can say what you want. I always thought I couldn’t dance, because I didn’t know “the”moves, but you know what. My moves are my moves. I move my body how I want to move it. I do what feels right.

I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) care less about what you think of me. I imagine myself on being stage performing a rocking song, one that you would want to dance to.

What if I don’t feel like moving in that moment, but to just hear and feel the music, in stillness or with small movements. The audience could not like me for it. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I do what I want to do, the way I want to do it.

In that moment I am inspired from the core of my being, everything around me fades away and I become the inspiration.

Just like Bowie does. Not just like Bowie does. He does what he does, I do what I do.

Inspired by Bowie.

Through my writing I show you the real me.

What do you want to show?

How to Rekindle Your Passion for What You Do


What do you do when the things you enjoy doing suddenly turn into a source of stress and disgust?

It happened to me. Writing was a source of joy, a means to relax and learn. Out of seemingly nowhere I hated it. I couldn’t get a word on paper. I was repulsed by any attempt to write.

How could I go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye?

Simple. I sold out. Here’s how it happened.

In my attempts to grow the audience of this blog, I was lucky enough to write an article for a popular blog.

I was asked to promote the article on my end. I did. It felt horribly wrong.

Facebook is the way to share things nowadays, so I asked a few close friends to read and share the article (if they wanted to). For every request, I wanted to sell a tiny bit of my soul.

I don’t share something on Facebook because you ask me to. I share something because it is interesting, inspiring, or funny. And even if I do, I rarely post it on my wall – I send close friends a link. How could I ask you to do something that I would not do myself?

This wasn’t me. And this feeling of “selling out” slowly started filling the void from which I normally find inspiration to write.

With my new goal to grow the blog there was now an ulterior motive to my writing. Marketing started to get the overhand and all my blogging efforts were approached from a perspective to “sell.” It crept up on me without me realising it.

I saw marketing everywhere and was disgusted. Luckily the solution was just around the corner. I had just forgotten about it.

One Simple Answer, One Simple Solution

Why do I fly planes? I don’t do it for the money. I don’t do it to build up my hours. I do it because I enjoy it. I enjoy it so much that I would even pay to fly.

The problem – and a good chunk of stress – starts when you do things with an ulterior motive. You start doing things for the wrong reasons. This is when you lose sight of what is important.

Why do you do the things you do?

If you feel you are walking on the wrong path, this question is critical.

Why do you work? For the money? To provide for your family? Or do you do it because you enjoy it?

Why do you go out? For the hopes of meeting a nice girl? Or to have a good time?

Why do you exercise? To get a six-pack? Or because you enjoy team sports?

Why do you want a girlfriend? To fill a hole? Or because it enriches your life?

Why do I blog? To grow an audience? Or because I enjoy writing, connecting with you, sharing ideas, and creating?

What happens when you let go of these ulterior motives is wonderful. You go back to a childlike state of being and enjoying the present moment as it is.

You know what I am talking about. In this state, there is no other possibility than to be happy. For most of us these moments are just that; moments, fleeting periods of happiness. Soon you must go back to “real life” again. Back to work.

But what if you don’t have to? What if you could fill your life with happy moments?

You can. It starts by doing what you love to do and do it your way.

That is exactly how I wrote this article. I asked myself why I am blogging.

I love writing and I love creating. But most of all I love to connect with other people. Connect with you. That’s what I decided to do.

I let go of my ulterior motives and went back to the core. By doing this, frustration made place for joy, words started to flow again and this article was born.

Instead of focusing on the BS – fancy words, marketing, polishing up the site – I focused on sharing my feelings and my thoughts with you. That is what it is about: being real.

To rekindle your passion, all you need to do is ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If it is not in line with your core values and beliefs, drop it.

When you do, the BS will leave a space behind for your passion to grow.


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