You may recall that for centuries people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. The philosopher was regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of all time, and so it follows that he MUST be right!
But nearly 2,000 years after Aristotle’s death someone actually tested the theory. In 1589, Galileo Galilei summoned learned professors to the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He pushed two weights from the top of the tower — one light and one heavy. They landed at the same instant.
But the power of belief was so strong that the professors denied their eyesight! They continued to teach that Aristotle was correct. Galileo and others also tried to convince the educators of his day that the earth revolves around the sun. But they would not believe anything so radical and eventually forced him to renounce his support of the Copernican theory. He lived the last years of his life under house arrest.
Erwin M. Soukup compiled a list he calls “The Seven Steps to Stagnation.” You have no doubt heard these statements before. Most of us have said them! They are:
1. We’ve never done it that way before.
2. We’re not ready for that.
3. We are doing all right without trying that.
4. We tried it once before.
5. We don’t have money for that.
6. That’s not our job.
7. Something like that can’t work.
Learning: There is tremendous power in belief. Our beliefs shape our future; what we believe to be true quite literally becomes true for us. And there is a bold and exciting tomorrow awaiting anyone with the courage to believe something new can happen and things can be different. Your life and your organization can be stagnant or things can change. Tomorrow can look very different than today for those who believe. Will you stagnate or will you believe in tomorrow?