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The Skytrain system is being extended to where I live. It’s called the Evergreen Line, and we’re eagerly anticipating its opening early next year (2017.) The construction includes a two-kilometer bored tunnel, similar the other tunnels the Skytrain goes through here.

Now, when a train you’re on goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off; you sit still and trust the system, the engineer. When you’re heading for a stop light and the light changes, you don’t leap wildly out of the car; you apply the brakes to stop your 4,000 pound car and relax while you come to a predictable stop before careening into the other cars. You have faith in your car’s brakes.

Some people confuse faith and hope with trusting politicians or believing poisonous snakes won’t bite you. Some will ride a runaway “business opportunity” all the way into bankruptcy. That’s not faith – that’s lunacy, idiocy, naivety. Believing the past is equal to the future and the Sunk Cost Fallacy and Optimism Bias are signs of weakness and immaturity, not faith and hope. Holding stocks through the 2008 fiasco and prospering later as a result is no indicator of what to do when the real financial disaster hits, and it’s coming. Read “1984,” “Brave New World,” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

Instead of defaulting, in times of stress and fear, to Recency Bias, which is the mistaken belief that the future will resemble the recent past, we need the courage to see the big picture, to objectively observe. The is a great scripture in 1 Samuel 7:12 – “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.”

For those of us who have a sure and reasonable belief in our objectives and systems, faith and hope mean the understanding that “tough times don’t last, but tough-minded people do.” It means that “this, too, shall pass,” that we need to hold to the iron rod of our faith and ride through the storm, not jump ship. As a good man said, “Don’t doubt your faith; doubt your doubt.” We know that some things are unfailing, proven time and time again. Those things are our principles and values and deeply held beliefs.

This is a lot easier when we surround ourselves with the right kind of people. Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer – Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” should be read carefully and in context, but it should be read. There are many who specialize in manipulating those with limited mental abilities, the desperate, and the unwell, and we must avoid those people. They are not interested in your well-being, but rather in gaining power and making money from our sheep-like obedience.

For me, the Bible, my church, and the people with whom I associate, as well as knowing my own strengths and weaknesses help me to stay the course, to keep my eye on the prize, and to remain true and focused.

Robin Elliott   LeverageAdvantage.com

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