Articles on Leadership: Believing and Thinking is about the distinction between what a man thinks and what he believes. Understand this distinction as a leader and learn to discern what a man thinks, and what he truly believes.
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” Andrew Carnegie, the steel mogul said these words almost a century ago.
As I write this, we are a day away from the supposed end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar. The social media is filled with comments about the apparent end on the 21 December; celebrities are interviewed on what they think about the date.
As I took a ride on the train, everyone seems to be going on with their normal lives, carrying on their chores as usual. I thought to myself, everyone thinks it, but nobody believes it.
You see, there’s a very big difference in thinking and believing.
We think a lot.
We have a lot of opinions about things in our lives. Now social media even encourages us to share our innermost thoughts with the world, as if it mattered to us.
Facebook’s “What’s on your mind?” constantly pushes us to have an opinion about everything in the world. Their comment box doesn’t help either.
From the end of the world to the latest corporate scandal, it seems like we need to have an opinion about everything.
But having an opinion is merely in the area of the mind, in the area of thought, seldom of the heart.
We can have a big argument about whether the Mayans were correct about the end of the world, about ultimately the question is not whether we think, but what we believe.
What we believe is infinitely more important than what we think. Our thoughts move us to opinion, but our beliefs move us to action! Do you really believe in something? Then don’t just talk about it, act on it!
The fact that you even have to be told to act on your opinions is a sign you don’t believe.
What do I mean? For example, do you believe that the Sun will rise tomorrow when you wake up in the morning? Of course you do.
If you didn’t the first thing you would have done when you woke up would be to switch on the lights!
Do you believe that the world will end tomorrow? Well, most of you don’t, because I don’t see you quitting your job, selling all your assets, and building a nuclear proof underground bunker with years of food storage!
As a leader, we must learn to discern the difference between an opinion and a belief. Most people nowadays have opinions, but few have beliefs.
Many will give you their take on a situation; few will commit themselves to a cause.
How do you know whether this team member is the ‘real deal’? Look at what he does, not what he says.
Anyone can praise themselves to the stars in an interview, but it is when the rubber meets the road that you see the true beliefs of a man.
A good leader is able to discern the true character of a man by the actions he takes, not by the word he speaks.
How about yourself? Are you a leader who just has opinions or are you the man committed to what he believes?
As Theodore Roosevelt famously said in a speech:
“It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
In a world where most people choose to be a critic, a cold and timid soul who gives their opinions from the spectator stand, you must choose to be a believer.
Choose to stand in the arena and give it your all to what you most deeply and truly believe!