Thought-Belief Triangle

Ever heard the expressions

Time is money.

and

Money is power.

So, if this were an equation, then

Time = Money = power

or

Time is power.

Does that make sense? If you believe that time is money and money is power, then by logic you also believe that time is power. You have just unearthed a new belief, one that might explain why when you feel short on time, you feel frustrated (powerless), or that you might try to control another’s time when you really want power over them. Now, you can examine the two original statements and see if they are indeed true, if you were somehow fooled into believing one of them, or if perhaps you inherited these beliefs from your parents. You can choose to change them at any time, since a belief is just a thought you keep thinking.

Isn’t this interesting? I call this making a thought-belief triangle. Take two beliefs that have something in common and see if the addition of them makes sense. I did it in my last post too, where I talked about the gut-thoughts-moods connection.

Scientists have proven that our gut chemistry affects our moods, and we all know that thoughts affect our moods, and now I’ve put the other side on our triangle — our thoughts affect our gut.

Be aware, we are applying a scientific principle here, so it may break down with purely emotional things. I find it amazingly useful in uncovering new truths! Let’s try another one. It’s a fairly common belief that

I will get fat if I eat too much.

I will get fat if I don’t exercise.

So, the third belief is:

If I eat too much, I don’t exercise.

or

I don’t exercise when I eat too much.

What does this tell you? Overeating is really the reason it’s so hard get up and to exercise. If we change our belief that food intake is related to being overweight, then the whole triangle topples down and new truths come out.

Let’s try one more.

Time is money.

Time is limited (there is never enough).

So then

Money is limited.

So, we’ve just uncovered a common belief in the lack of money, and it rests on the belief that time and money are linked, and that time is something we never have enough of. If instead, we start thinking that time is not limited — there is more than enough time to accomplish what we want/need to — then the pressure immediately comes off about money. Alternatively, you could remind yourself that time really isn’t the same as money — poor people have just as much as the rich. Then the triangle comes crashing down and the belief that money is limited may also dissolve, depending on what else you believe about money!

So if your triangle reveals something you don’t want to believe — or something you refuse to accept is true — then take a look at the two initial beliefs and figure out which one you want to change (or feel is flawed). Then, start formulating, wordsmithing, journalling and talking about the new belief instead of the old and see what happens! This is so much fun, I gotta do one more!

The only thing constant is change.

Change is for the better.

Therefore

The only thing constant is for the better.

Sometimes, the third belief comes out sounding a bit like Yoda! So, you might need to “massage” the words a little. In the above example, this person is optimistic — things are constantly getting better. But if you believe that the world keeps changing for the worse, then the third belief would be “the only thing constant is the world getting worse.” This is a pretty negative chain of thought, and one that’s easy to fall into if you start focusing on change being bad. It IS inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be bad!

Notes: It is easier if you use expressions in the positive. For example, in the “Time is money” case, saying “Money has nothing to do with happiness” might get confusing because of the “nothing.” The third belief would come out as “Time has nothing to do with happiness.” Huh? 😛
Sometimes, you might have to use a synonym to make the phrase work or make more sense. Sometimes you have to read it backwards, like I did in the second example. Or pretend you are Yoda!

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