How our beliefs change our reality

You've probably heard of new age ideas like the Law of Attraction, books like Think and Grow Rich, and movies like The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know?. All of them share a common idea: That what we think inevitably becomes our reality.

We all know from experience that wishing an outcome into existence doesn't bring about the outcome. Who hasn't wished for more money, a new and lovely partner, or a more fit body? And who hasn't been disappointed when nature didn't deliver?

But I'd like to posit that although the Law of Attraction can be interpreted as new age hullabaloo, there is a grain of truth in the idea that is nearly as powerful if applied.

While our beliefs don't shape results directly, they do have a substantial effect on the action we take toward our desired results. If you believe you'll succeed, you're more likely to spend the time and energy required for success than if you believe you'll fail.

And at every step along our path toward our goal, we'll be confronted with bits of feedback which will further inform our belief. Progress strengthens our positive beliefs about our ability to succeed, which breeds more constructive action, which brings about more success.

So, will sitting around dreaming of a new lover who is yet to manifest bring them knocking on your apartment door? Probably not. But believing your dream can manifest means you're likely to hold yourself in higher regard, take the steps you need to get there, and ultimately find yourself in a scenario closer to where you want to be.

Read on: The meaning of life