The Two Worlds We Inhabit: Inner World and Outer World
Art credit: DeviantArt

Are there two worlds? Now, I know you think I've lost my mind. I'm too far out there -- He's talking about the existence of two worlds! The two worlds I'm talking about are the outer and inner world. There is a physical plane, which we live in everyday. And there is the inner world, which is a different one altogether.

The inner world is the place you find when you sit alone and listen to music, when late at night it's just you. Maybe you've had a few problems that day and there is no one to talk to but yourself. You just sit there with the lights out and think, What in the world have I gotten myself into? What direction should I take when facing these problems? This is you. You can't lie to yourself. This is the self that is naked before the world. This is you in the inner world, the world of feeling, prayer, and spirit where things happen that are unexplained. This is the world of emotions and hunches and intuition, the world that makes coincidence happen. Why did this happen to me? How could something like this have happened?

Now I'll tell you a story about my sister and me. This was in 1985 or '86. We were coming back from our hometown of Hampton, Virginia. I had just gotten a new car and we were making the drive back to Maryland. Truth be known, I was speeding along I-95. There were about three other cars on the freeway keeping up with me. All of a sudden I heard this noise in the engine. I told Sis that the engine was having problems. She said that she didn't hear anything and I should just keep going. "You're just hearing things; everything is fine." I knew that I heard something and I just couldn't get it out of my mind. I said I'd better pull over and check out the engine. Sis said, "I'm telling you, I don't hear anything in that engine."

Well, I pulled over and popped the hood and looked at the engine. Now, I did see a screwdriver in the little part where mechanics sometimes put their tools, but that would have been just a rattle at most. I didn't hear anything going on with the engine. Everything seemed OK. "Well, I was wrong I guess," I told Sis as I got back into the car. "It all seems fine." She said, "I told you that everything was fine."

So we started back on the highway, went a little further, and then hit traffic that was backed up for miles. There must have been a terrible accident. It's just a hunch and I'll never know for sure, but I felt that the other cars that were speeding along with me were in that accident. Whatever it was, I'm glad that I had pulled over. Once we were moving again, we got off the freeway and took a back road.

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That was the inner world talking to me -- I'm just glad I listened. It speaks to us all. Whether we listen to it or not is a different tale. The inner world is where all things happen before they can ever become reality on the outside. This is where all the masters throughout history did their first bidding before all the great they accomplished in life. This is the start of an "A" in school and this is also the start of a "D" or an "F." This is where we put limits on ourselves or we give ourselves wings to fly. How far do you dare take yourself on your own wings? If you can't get to this world you need to go further within yourself.

Late at night or early in the morning, let your mind drift and visualize all that you want to achieve in life. See yourself as a whole new person and see what you need to reach your goal. Think of different ways available to you to accomplish your dreams. What can you do to make this thought turn into reality in the outer world? Can someone you know help you accomplish your goal? You already have the answers to all of your questions inside of you. Some of us just can't get to the source to reveal the answers. When we mine gold, a lot of people give up before they ever get to the source. They settle for the gold dust (fool's gold) or the small chips they find along the way. They never make it to that big payday. They're just too impatient. Have patience. As long as you try, you will find the gold.

The outer world is the world of the physical. This is where we live and make things happen. All things that you wish for or thoughts that constantly occupy your mind manifest on this plane. You think in the inner world and it appears in the outer world. You may wish, "I want to be rich," but deep inside you think, "I'll never have enough money." And guess what? It's the deeper inner thoughts that will win. You may not even know what you have been asking for but you just keep asking over and over again. That is why you keep getting it. This may be the bad luck that just keeps following you around. Or the good. Remember, what you receive is just what you asked for.

The outer or physical world happens to be the world in which most people seek their fortunes, where you think you want those cars or that jewelry. It is where most people try to make everything happen. This is the world they think will bring them happiness. This is the world they think will give them money. This is the world they think will be there for them when all else fails.

People who believe this just live day-to-day and never feel completely satisfied. How can you be happy if your happiness depends on the outer world? You don't know exactly who you are. You "become" those material things. You're them and not the real you. Not the inner you -- the thinking you. So, simply don't let those outside things determine who you are.

Remember, if you believe enough you will get the material things you desire; the "real" world is where they must appear. But you must have balance between the two worlds. If you can't live in the world of the physical, you will certainly have some problems. If you can't live there and you live only in the inner world, you will probably be deemed crazy by those around you. You need to live in both worlds and understand the relationship between them, which can make all things come true. You must live for your dreams and your correct thoughts of your inner self. They then will materialize on the outside. Your inner self is the battlefield of the And-I Warrior!


I've spoken of the inner and outer worlds, the physical world, and the spiritual world. I've said that all things we believe in the spiritual world will come to be in the world of the physical. Similarly, there are two worlds of strength. You can work out and get great physical strength. You can lift weights and become very strong and develop muscles. But the greatest strength of all is in the inner world. This is the strength that all people seek. This is that hidden strength.

When a mother can push a car off of herself and her child, she doesn't get this strength from her muscles; it's derived from a greater strength, deep inside of her. When a person is persecuted for doing nothing but right, the strength that he or she draws on is not that of the physical world but that of the inner world. I talked a bit [earlier in this book] about using inner strength to pursue your dreams "in spite of." It is the greatest strength you can possess. In all difficult times, this is the strength you must draw on. This is the tough part of life. But this is the part that is worth living. The important thing to remember is that you already have it inside of you; you just have to find it.


I may not be the right one to talk about this because I usually go overboard in most of the things that I do. For example, I like riding bicycles; it is a great amount of fun. I just started taking swimming lessons. I want to be a good swimmer, so I work hard at it. Before that I was always playing tennis. I would play as much as my schedule allowed.

Before that I trained our dog, Tiffany. We trained all of the time; eventually we went to dog shows and I showed her in the obedience ring. We won a CDX title, which stands for Companion Dog Excellence. Before that I played basketball. When I was small I rode stick horses and jumped rope with the girls.

The point I'm trying to make is that -- regardless of what you choose -- you should engage in some type of physical activity in your life. It is not necessary to go overboard as I do. I'm emphasizing the importance of doing something for your body. You only get one during your lifetime; therefore you should take care of it. Try to eat right and do things in moderation. You might do something as simple as walk -- walking is good for you. You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day; we often forget that the body is made mostly of water and can easily get dehydrated. So drink plenty of water and watch what you eat. Engaging in physical activity is good. It makes for a sound body.

Likewise, don't neglect the mind. Brains need exercise just like bodies do -- something active, not passive like watching TV. If you learn to enjoy something like reading, you will be a long ways down the road to having a sound mind. Reading is something you will always use, and the more you read, the better you will comprehend. And because everything starts on the inside, the things you learn end up popping up in other places. Had I paid more attention in French, the first time I went to France I would have been able to speak to the people better. But when I was in school I never thought I'd go to France. If on the inside I would have believed I would go to France, I would have gotten there faster (and I would have studied the language better). It starts on the inside.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Beyond Words Publishing. ©2003, 2018.

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Believe to Achieve: See the Invisible, Do the Impossible
by Howard "H" White

Believe to Achieve by Howard WhiteThe founder of Nike's "Achieve to Believe" program serves up a collection of inspirational observations, positive thinking, and locker room banter with Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, and other athletes.

Info/Order this paperback book (reprint edition) and/or download the Kindle edition.

About the Author

Howard 'H' WhiteA star in high school and a standout point guard for the University of Maryland, Howard "H" White was an NBA draft pick until knee injuries put a stop to his basketball career. Undaunted, Howard put his other skills to use, eventually finding his way to Nike, Inc. With Nike's support he founded the "Believe to Achieve" program, an innovative traveling seminar designed to encourage youth to believe in themselves and adults to mentor them.

Video/Interview with HOWARD “H” WHITE: How to Achieve to Believe & Do the Impossible!
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