Are You Walking Around With False Beliefs? Here’s How To Tell
In 1995, a man named McArthur Wheeler boldly robbed 2 Pittsburgh banks wearing nothing but lemon juice on his face as a disguise.
After the evening news broadcast showcased video surveillance footage of his blazen bank robbery, Wheeler was arrested within an hour.
When he was apprehended, a surprised yet incredulous Wheeler muttered “But I was wearing the juice,” referring to the lemon juice disguise on his face, which he wrongly believed would some how disguise his face, making it impossible for security cameras to capture a clear image of his identity.
How wrong was this guy, and where the hell did he come up with this idea?
As you may or may not know, lemon juice is often used in kid crafts to create stuff like “invisible ink” which when written with on paper, the message, once dry is completely invisible (mostly), until held to light or some sort of heat source.
Maybe this is something Mr. Wheeler contemplated. Who knows?
The point is he erroneously believed, for some reason that was deeply ingrained that lemon juice would offer him a suitable disguise for robbing banks.
Now, of course, this bizarre but true account of ignorance and false beliefs keeping a clearly demoralized person from achieving his goals was used simply to illustrate a point.
The point is, how many of us, hopefully good, upstanding and ethical folks, are walking around with these staunch, immovable false beliefs that are keeping us from our goals.
Answer: a lot.
The problem is that most people are inflexible in their thinking and the stronger the belief, the less likely we are to see the viable and often more effective and efficient alternative we can use to solve to solve a specific problem or achieve a specific end.
The moral of the story was not that we should wear REAL disguises to rob banks, but, however, that we should not be COMPLETELY surprised by our failed output if all we did was believe, blindly, that something was true and act upon it without any basis of evidence or merit that showed its promise.
Often, you can find tons of failed business startup attempts that failed because the people trying to make a go of it didn’t do any research and for some reason or another decided to act on an assumption without careful consideration.
Unless you’re doing something stupid, like Mr. Wheeler did, and you’re robbing a bank or doing something else illegal and immoral, make sure to consider your beliefs, think through your assumptions and see if what you’re trying to do has been done or at least attempted before.
There is a great deal of value in learning from the mistakes of those that have gone before you…especially avoidance of repeating that mistake as well as finding opportunities in things not tried or figuring out what you can do differently.
I hope this post message was clear and made sense, but if not please let me know what you thought in the comments below.