A central theme at Christmas time is belief – from our favourite festive movies (Elf, anyone?) to Christian faith in the coming of Jesus.
When we feel a sense of purpose and hold on to a belief in something bigger than ourselves or a better future, we can achieve great things. As Daniel Pink recognised in his book Drive, purpose is one of the core elements of motivation. Identifying something you can believe in; a purpose that drives and motivates you, can act like the golden thread through your life, pulling you onwards and acting like a buoyancy aid to keep you afloat when things get difficult.
And I’m not talking necessarily about faith or religion here. Any time we choose to hold on to a personal value (e.g. kindness) or remind ourselves of a future goal (e.g. quitting smoking), we are choosing belief. Seeing that bigger picture can help to pull us up from the tangle of the weeds of daily life (e.g. that person pushed past you on the tube, or slipping up and having a cigarette on a night out) and keep us going. Researchers found that one of the reasons Alcoholics Anonymous was effective for some attendees was because of their emphasis on faith and belief – the people who believed they could get sober, and had faith in something (maybe God, maybe in a better version of themselves) were the ones who had the best and longest lasting results.
As you look to 2018, a new year of new possibilities, ask yourself, “What is my purpose?”, “What is the personal value, faith or future state that I choose to have belief in?” and “How much more could I achieve once I hold on to that belief?”