I know very little about the Solar System.
Science was not my preferred subject in high school and I think I got a C- in my intro to Astronomy class during college. To this day, I only know that the Earth is the third planet away from the sun because of the old TV show Third Rock from the Sun. I wish I were joking about this.
So why am I so interested in the recent discovery of a ninth planet that reportedly exists past Pluto?
Because what we are learning about the solar system reinforces a bigger concept about our personal belief systems. More specifically, how we spend our lives accepting what is taught to us as the "truth", even when we later realize that might not be the case.
I remember sitting in Mrs. Burrell's third grade class, learning about the nine planets and how Pluto was the smallest and furthest from the sun. It's what our teachers and textbooks taught us, so it had to be right!
Until it wasn't.
In 2006, scientists downgraded Pluto to a "Dwarf Planet", leaving us with 8 planets in the Solar System. And for the last ten years, we have believed this new understanding of what exists in the far reaches of space...
But that might be wrong too.
Now we are learning of another planet, further away than Pluto, that could be 1.5 times the size of Earth. Interestingly enough, scientists haven't actually seen Planet 9, they just infer its presence because of the gravitational pull of of other smaller, icy bodies that exist in the nether regions of our solar system.
So what does any of this have to do with your life and your success?
Because there are so many other beliefs that are taught to us at an early age by parents, teachers, and clergy that:
A) Are not true.
B) Hold us back from living the life we dream of.
I recently watched an interview with Oprah, who was raised by her grandmother in the pre-civil rights movement south. Her grandmother earned a living as a maid for wealthy, white families. One day, while watching her hang up laundry to dry, Oprah says her grandmother told her "Now you pay attention, Oprah. You are going to need to learn to do this when you grow up. Then you can find some, nice, white folks to take care of you."
Oprah was told that the best possible outcome for her life would be to do chores for white people.
Did her grandmother say this as a way to deliberately hold Oprah down? Not at all. But her belief about what was possible for her granddaughter was a reflection of her own inability to see a better life for herself. Rather than encourage Oprah to go break the mold, she urged her to live a life that was safe and status quo for African Americans in the 1950's..
Thank God that Oprah knew she had a bigger purpose.
So take a moment today to write down what lessons you were taught that might not be true.
Do you feel unworthy of achieving your goals? Take 20 minutes to journal and try to remember the exact moment that you first took that on as a belief.
Do you not feel that there is enough money for you to support yourself? Take time to write down your first memory of money growing up. Was it one of scarcity?
Do you not believe that there is a partner out there who will love you? Write about the first time you felt unlovable.
But there is a second piece to the puzzle...
Just as the scientists, who have not seen planet 9, are inferring that its existence is possible, can you make a new belief today about your life? Can you do it even if you don't see the path right now? Can you let go of your story from the past and write a new one?
Just as we know our school teachers, who taught us incorrectly about the solar system, were doing the best they could with the knowledge that they had at the time, we must understand that the people who hurt us and taught us to play small in our life were also doing the best they could from their own point of self-awareness.
We live in a universe that is infinite and full of planets that we simply haven't discovered yet. The same could be said about our own potential. There is a power within you that you haven't tapped into yet. Once you do, your life can expand to experience infinite possibilities that exceed your wildest dreams.
Remember... Reality is only what we believe it to be.