Faith Is the Primary Power
There is a single mental quality that will determine a person’s fate in this life beyond any other: faith. I have no desire to suggest that the wants, beliefs, and imaginings of the mind transfer themselves into real-world outcomes. Rather, I wish only to contend that the sole linchpin of the psychological system at work in the human mind is faith.
If the most important virtues in personal efficacy are patience, persistence, confidence, gratitude, and self-control, we find that each of these are flowers on the tree of faith. The connection to patience is clear, for one is in no rush to obtain what they are certain will one day be granted to them. Persistence is just the same; we will not waver in our cause, unless we waver in our belief of its eventual success. We are directly made confident by a reassurance in the inevitability of the outcomes we seek. We are made grateful by a world that constantly cheers us on with a subtle suggestion, in both wind and light, that everything we want will in time be granted to us, and that on our journey as well we will receive daily delights. Finally, as to self-control, it is only when the distraction of doubt usurps the seat of command from our consciousness that we are unable to exert our power over the person-sized kingdom that is our due bequest. Faith is the hold that allows the strength of conviction to remain unmoved.
And yet, faith is nothing without action. It would seem many people get lost looking at the potency of faith, and forget that though it is of the utmost importance in the mind, it does nothing in the world outside of us. If we review those virtues in personal efficacy — patience, persistence, confidence, gratitude, and self-control — what is the purpose of any of them if they do not manifest in a change of behavior? Persistence is not only an enduring optimism; it is constancy of effort and development. What is confidence but the bridge to acting as one knows they must? What is self-control but the ability to act or not act, speak or not speak?
Faith is a foundation. Of course, we cannot build a home without a sturdy foundation to rest it upon, but a foundation is not a home; it is not even the beginning of one. No wonder we have so often been confused by this sentiment; what is most essential to the process is not even a part of the process. To build a home, one must build. Faith is only a steady base in the mind, which all real-world acts are later built upon.
Martin Vidal is the author of The Ambition Handbook: A Guide for Ambitious Persons