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Do Our Convictions Matter

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim connor 50Everyone has convictions whether they are aware of them or not and how they contribute to the quality of their life.

Our convictions keep moving us closer and closer to their natural outcomes with or without our cooperation or our resistance and whether they are positive or negative.

There are a number of critical life areas that contribute to our ultimate success, happiness and lifestyle, but one of the most important ones is - our convictions.

What is a conviction? It's simple - it's something you believe to be true or a firmly held opinion about anything.  It doesn't matter whether it is true or right or not, the bottom line is that you believe it and it, therefore, the conviction influences and often determines many of our behaviors, attitudes, decisions and life outcomes.

We all have convictions about many areas from politics, religion, health, relationships, career to even how people should or should not communicate or talk.

Want just three simple examples?

-  People should not talk loud in public places - it's rude.

-  I believe that all politicians are stupid.

-  No one has the right to say things like that.

There are millions if not billions of examples that I could use but neither of us has the time or interest in covering them all. What I want to share briefly are the critical factors that contribute to convictions and how they influence the quality of our lives.

A few of the things that contribute to our convictions are; 

our upbringing, 

  • how or where we were educated, 
  • the values and beliefs our parents or caregivers gave us, the people we were around during our influential years of our lives (age 4-18), 
  • the spiritual foundations that were given to us in our early years, 
  • how we needed to behave in order to get other's approval or validation, 
  • what part of the country we were raised in, or
  • even our gender, race, and age old heritage.  

There are others but these over time tend to have the greatest impact on what we believe and why and how we react to life and others.

Trust me - The Irish are often raised differently than Italians and girls are raised differently than boys.  Don't believe me - just observe many of the social media idiots and what they think is important.  Oh well, don't get me started on that stuff or I'll never finish this article.

What really matters is how we responded to these early influential factors and how we let them control to some degree our present or current behaviors, beliefs, values and attitudes. Our convictions that were derived from these historical factors continue to contribute to the quality of our lives as we grow and mature into adults, seniors or even us really old folks.

Here are just a few to consider but first, can convictions be wrong and hurt us as we proceed through life? You betcha. 

Wrong convictions about others, including race and gender, can prevent you from learning or growing from many of the valuable or influential people that life may bring into your experience. Wrong convictions about spiritual matters could have a dramatic impact on where or how you spend eternity.  Wrong convictions about health and exercise could shorten your life. And yes, the best or right convictions could have a dramatic positive impact on all of these previous areas as well as many others.

Here are just a few of the life areas that I believe are influenced for either positive or negative outcomes by our convictions.  There are obviously many more but these are some of the important ones.

-Your life purpose and its value.

-How you communicate with others.

-When others challenge your convictions, you cave or give in or remain  

  steadfast.

-Your ethics, morals, and integrity.

-How you treat others who you disagree with or disagree with you.

-Whether you respect or invalidate others who are different in any way.

-What contributes to your happiness and inner peace?

-What causes regret in your life.

-Whether you see life from a victim or life-long student mentality.

-How you respond to adversity, failure, and problems.

-How others or situations cause tension or stress in your life.

-What you need to feel loved or valued.

-How you make choices and decisions and then justify them.

Want more?  Ok, just a couple.

-How you treat money and why it is or isn't important.

-Your levels of compassion, understanding, and empathy for others.

We are all different in many ways. But in the end are we really better or worse than others because of wealth, education, status or any other factor? I don't believe so (one of my convictions).  Each us has a history of combined good deeds and stupid mistakes - we are human - but do these mistakes deserve the judgment, scorn or ridicule of others?  "Those of you without sin, cast the first stone."

Let me leave you with a question - are any of your convictions, regardless of their origin, getting in the way of your success and/or happiness or are they moving you steadily in the right direction, one that someday in the distant future you will look in the mirror and smile and say - yes - I did it - it wasn't always easy but I lived a life I am proud of.

"You are always learning or resisting learning. Life wants you to learn to survive, succeed, prosper and be all that you can be. By resisting - your message to life is - I don't need this learning or these lessons. In the end, resist if you will, but life will win the day."  FromTim's Quote Library

Make it a great 2019 . . .

tim connor 75Tim Connor, CSP