How quantum physics supports this kid’s inspiring speech about riding a bike

Amongst all the rousing speeches that have inspired us to take action in the past—the freedom call in Braveheart, Shia Leboeuf’s vehement demand that we ‘just do it’—the most universally relatable comes from a 2011 viral video of a kid who just victoriously rode a bike for the first time.

“EVERYBODY—I KNOW YOU CAN BELIEVE IN YOURSELF,” he rallies, with a delivery that can only be expressed in all caps. “IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, YOU WILL KNOW HOW TO RIDE A BIKE.”

Check out the video here.

It’s the age-old adage; we’ve heard it time and time again—‘just believe!’ Closely related to ‘putting it out to the universe’, and not letting fear hold you back. There’s even a wildly popular book and documentary echoing this kid’s wisdom (you may have heard of The Secret).

And while it’s become a somewhat cliche means of inspiration in the mainstream world, the power of belief is a philosophy that quantum physics has actually found evidence for.

The Experiment

In testing the behaviour of electrons, which are tiny bits of matter, scientists were confounded to find that these ‘particles’ were behaving like waves in some—but not all—of the experiments.

When they came at it from a different angle, they were even more surprised to find that the electrons’ behaviour changed depending on how the observer expected them to behave.

In other words, if Tom the scientist believed the electrons he was observing would behave like particles, then they would.

The findings laid the basis for the quantum mechanics theory that the universe is not the immovable constant we often peg it as, but instead is influenced by our thoughts and expectations.

So if you think you’re going to fall over on that bicycle because it only has two wheels and that’s bad physics and you’re still too small to ride with the ‘big kids’—your chances of failure are high. But if you truly believe today’s the day you’re going to soar down the street sans training wheels and feel really ‘happy of yourself’ in the end, you’ve got the power of quantum physics on your side.

So go ahead—believe in yourself. Whether that means smiling at the super productive day you’re about to have, or having steely confidence that you’ll succeed in your dream career, your attitude calls the quantum shots. And as our favourite kid who rode a bike and made a speech about it says: you will get the hang of it, I know it!

Written by Carly Walde