The Benefits of Believing in Something Bigger
Inspired by this week’s episode of the Moms Making Six Figures Podcast with Dr. Barbara Ryan who attributes her success, service of others, and belief in herself to her faith.
As parents, one of the first existential conversations we are asked to navigate by our children is the inevitable, “Where do babies come from?” shortly followed, or preceded by, “What (or who) is God?” ultimately leading to the teenage quandary, “What’s the point?” And, if we’re being honest, that last question drives many of our decisions as adults, the answer to why that guides our how. Without a why, a sense of purpose, or a belief in something bigger than ourselves, life can be practically unbearable. Dr. Viktor Frankl, a famous psychiatrist, author and holocaust survivor describes the magnitude of belief as essential to enduring life’s hardships and traumas, “He who has a why can bear any how.”
According to a scientific study conducted in the Netherlands, a belief in God, or a higher power, “gives entrepreneurs a greater tolerance for positive risks.” When we have faith in God, in the universe, or in humanity as a whole, we believe someone or something has our back when we struggle to believe in ourselves.
Passion and Vision
Belief in a higher power gives you confidence through the assurance of your own worth. Being grounded in your identity and your ability to benefit others positively enables you to more clearly and passionately communicate and sell your vision to those around you. Faith emboldens us to persevere.
The Happiness Quotient + Secret Sauce to Success
According to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook founder and venture capitalist, in his commencement address to Harvard graduates, “purpose is what creates true happiness.” “Purpose is the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for.” Research supports his assertions; people who are purpose driven:
- Are four times more likely to be engagedat work and 50% more likely to be a leader and have 64% higher level of career satisfaction
- Earn a higher income and have a higher net worth
- Enjoy a 42% more contentment overall and live up to 7 years longer
Purpose is an Assurance
When we believe in something greater than ourselves, and that we are needed, our life, our work, our daily decisions become meaningful. Humans, by design, are meant to fulfill their basic needs, but once those needs are met, purpose is necessary to avoid debilitating depression, a perceived sense of burdensomeness, and ever more prevalent loneliness. Frontline humanitarian, Linda Cruse, says we always have a choice to serve others and recounts her why that has served her throughout her efforts, “When I was 18, in nurse training, my Matron said to me: ‘It’s not about you. It’s about what you’re here to do…to be of service and [to] help others.’”
Our children are filled with wonder and an uncanny ability to ‘call it as they see it’. It may be time for us to tune-out the world’s noise and tune-in to our own childlike wondering. Without belief in something greater than ourselves, faith in God, the universe, or humanity, without purpose, we run the risk of living in a state of apathy, simply going through the motions. What is your purpose, what is your why, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?