As a former religious zealot, I hate the concept of "faith" in epistemological terms: it's a shit way of acquiring knowledge. Having faith that there's a giant squid floating above Times Square doesn't make that any more likely to be true, and the same applies to the various sky gods people hold in high esteem.
I used to be super militant about this, but I've seen cooled off somewhat, since now I also understand that certain beliefs have utility as means to specific ends, not purely as signifiers of truth.
Case in point: the old adage of having faith in yourself.
In life, there are many goals that require advancing through many failures prior to success. Thus, any one failure is an imperfect signal from the world: it doesn't mean you're not going to succeed, but at the same time, emotionally, a series of failures can cripple you.
The solution is faith in yourself: understanding that, eventually, as you continue to adapt to the feedback the world is giving you, and continue moving forward, you're eventually going to succeed again.
I've been feeling really demotivated by a series of personal failures over the past couple of weeks, but today I remembered all the other times I felt exactly like this: crushed, defeated, and broken - yet I still came out successful in the end.
Just fucking keep going.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis