The business world is changing; and I think is is safe to say that we all know and recognize this.

The first stage of change is always a decline. As we try new things, we slow down a bit, make errors, learn a lot, and make rapid adjustments that eventually level the decline. As we gain confidence and competence, our efficiencies increase as well as effectiveness; and we begin to surpass the original point and set our sights on ever-greater heights.

On some level it makes sense that we want business decisions to be based on facts, figures, trends, and physical evidence. But no matter how much information we collect, analyze, or report; it will only tell us about things that have already happened.

Thankfully each of us have a mechanism that is completely independent of our senses and the physical world.

Imagination is the forming of mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses. It is this strange ability that has lead us to every creation known to humanity; the wheel, controlled fire, steam power, electrical power, automobiles, incandescent light bulbs, personal computers, television, radio, telephones, cellular phones, as well as non-technological innovations like sliced bread, canned beer, and left/right shoes.

Each of these sprung from the imagination of one person.

Each of them were ridiculed by friends, family, neighbors, financiers, and the general public on the basis that there was no evidence or support to suggest the idea was necessary or even wanted. There were no reports saying that a company can make their investment back on this idea that didn’t even exist yet.

The reason these creations (and millions more) actually DO exist is thanks to the power of BELIEF – an opinion, conviction or confidence in the truth or existence of something not susceptible to immediate proof. The creator’s belief was high enough to overcome a few people’s doubt. And this was enough to create a stir in the belief that many more others did want the idea and would support it financially. Enough belief was created that we all now enjoy many of these creations on a regular basis without much thought.

Our belief in our business associates, products, and our company leaders is what motivates us to work. Our belief in our self is what pushes us through challenges. And our belief in our imagination is what decides what tomorrow will bring. Belief is so powerful that it both creates and destroys all of our fears. If we believe it is safe enough to cross the bridge, build a product, eat sushi, start a business, join a particular firm, invest money here, etc.; we will. If we believe it is not safe enough, we will not.

What, exactly, do you believe?