Is the foundation of your belief system on shaky ground?

Yesterday’s heresy is today’s dogma.

The definition of dogma is, “An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.”

Dogma is certainty. Dogma is a belief system. This system could be personal, religious, social, corporate, communal or cultural. This system could be rigid or open. This system could be small or big. But whenever your belief system becomes ingrained and you are too certain this is how things work or need to work then you have to ask yourself the following two questions to ascertain whether your dogma is on firm ground.

1. Is my certainty based on my own personal experience or someone else’s?

If it is based on someone else’s experience then the foundation of your dogma may be on shaky ground. For example, let’s say you have never driven a car before but you have seen many people do it. You never sat in a car before but based on observation, you have developed a strong belief that driving a car is easy. This is dogma based on second hand experience.

I know the analogy is very simplistic in nature but the point I am driving towards is that beliefs formed because of second hand experiences may be on shaky ground. You need to test them before completely depending on them. There is a possibility that not all dogmas can be tested but knowing that there is a slight chance of the dogma being wrong, in itself gets you on the straight path.

On the other hand, if the dogma that you are carrying is based on your personal experience then you may need to ask the next question.

2. If my surroundings changed then will this belief still hold true.

Taking the car analogy further, let’s say you sat in a car but in the passenger seat. You observed that the driver seemed to have no trouble driving the car. Based on this experience your belief is made stronger. But the question you now need to ask yourself is what happens if you changed the situation, which in this case is, you moved from a passenger seat to the driver’s seat. Will the belief that “driving a car is easy” still holds true.

Until you experience driving a car first hand, you will not know how easy or difficult it is to drive a car. Till then your belief could be on shaky ground.

I hope these two questions help you in understanding whether your foundation of any belief system is on shaky ground. If it is then you may have to test it out.

In the meantime, here are some words of wisdom from Steve Jobs.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

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3 Do’s from the book Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

Here are the 3 Do’s from the book “Uncertainty: Turning fear and doubt into fuel for Brilliance” by Jonathan Fields. 

  1. Accept uncertainty. Whenever you start on a new path or venture or endeavor, accept the uncertainty. Looking for any guarantees before you start can only lead to mediocre work and not great work. Great work is possible by accepting “uncertainty and its trusted sidekicks: risk of loss and exposure to judgment”. This is the mindset change needed to get started.
  2. Develop a method. With any new venture there is a possibility of a worse case scenario. Depending on the venture, it could be losing everything that you have, going back to zero or worse. Draw out a detailed plan of how you will come out of this scenario if it comes true. You can then go to the next scenario of what if you did not start this venture. Will you be happier five, ten, or fifteen years from now if you did nothing now?. Then go to the final scenario of what if you succeeded. Again, visualize this scenario thoroughly. Hopefully, you will get your answer.
  3. Create rituals. Rituals provide some certainty in uncertain times. Create rituals that are specific for your situation. Creating rituals that matter help in bringing the best out of you. There are many benefits from rituals from enhancing creativity to minimizing distraction to building momentum to gaining mastery.
I highly recommend this book because it provides you tips to change your mindset, methods to handle uncertainty, and actions to succeed despite uncertainty.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

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Prasoon Joshi – Impressive Credentials

Last weekend, we went to Aspen to see the fall colors. We stayed there overnight and meMaroon Bells being a morning person wanted to see the fall colors in early morning sunlight. So, I went to Maroon Bells (pic: courtesy Aaron Norris) around 6 in the morning and waited for sunrise. After soaking in the beauty of Maroon Bells for a few hours, I started back in my Jeep. While driving back, I switched on music and the song that played was “Dua” from Kurbaan.

I have heard this song many times before but this time the song’s meaning came through to me. I have been reading on quantum physics, the divine matrix and now all of this made sense through this song. Here are the lyrics (courtesy: www.indicine.com)

Give us the joy of love
Show us from above
Your shinning light
Everyday and night
And when the dawn is new
May we receive from you
Your shinning light
Everyday and night

Aashiyan apna bana le
Khwaabon ki chhaon mein
Aanewala kal basa le
Aaj ki nigaah mein
Bas tumhara saath de de
Ishq ki panaah mein
Muskurate pal bichaa de
Zindagi ki raah mein

Dua hai due hai
Yeh rab se dua hai
Dua hai due hai
Yeh rab se dua hai

Teri meri khwaahishon se
Aasman rangeen ho
Haal e dil apna jo sun le
Do jahaan haseen ho

Chahe kuchh umeed na ho
Aas yeh zaroor ho
Gardishon ke saaye mein bhi
Chaahaton ka noor ho

Dua hai due hai
Yeh rab se dua hai

Dastan apni buni hai
Har kisi ke pyaar mein
Apni dhadkan gaa rahi
Har ankahe iqraar mein

Jhoom uthe har
Saans pal mein
Dil mein yeh jazbaat ho
Masti ke pyaale mein
Doobi saari Kaayanaat ho

Dua hai due hai
Yeh rab se dua hai

While looking at these lyrics online, I saw the name of the lyricist: Prasoon Joshi. I googled him and came across his bio on wikipedia.

  • Author of 3 books, first book published when he was 17.
  • Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s in Physics. MBA from Institute of Management Technology
  • Business Awards: Young Global Leader 2006 and Ad Guru of India
  • Lyricist for Bollywood films like Hum Tum, Rang De Basanti, Black and most recently Aarakshan.

Prasoon Joshi turned 40 last month and so far has quite impressive credentials, IMHO. I could not stop myself from writing a few words about him. I will create a playlist of his songs that I like and post someday.

Thanks for reading and have a great day !

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Steve Jobs and Bill Gates together – Great Video

Amazing video of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates together.

Here is what Bill Gates said after hearing about Steve Jobs’ death

“I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”

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Steve Jobs’ advice, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish”

Here is a video of Steve Jobs giving a commencement speech to Stanford graduates. This video is very popular on youtube and has been seen millions of times. Pretty inspiring and particularly when Steve Jobs talks about death.

I have multiple posts which referenced Steve Jobs and some of them are below.

iLeadership: Steve Jobs way.

Steve Jobs, the minimalist

How iPhone changed my life

iPad, delegating parenting

Thanks for watching this video and hope it inspired you as much as it did for me.

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How Happiness Can Fuel Success At Work

Disclaimer: I do not agree with each and every statistic mentioned in the infographic below nor with the solution. I agree with the most obvious thing.

Engaged employees spur profitability.

As to how much profitability, it is up for debate and further analysis within the company.

Yesterday, I posted an infographic that said 1 in 3 employees are engaged and this one says that less than half of American workers are satisfied with their jobs. So, take this statistics with a grain of salt. There is no need to get hung up with the exact number because no matter which study you believe in, employee engagement plays a factor in your company’s profitability.

Infographic on happiness at work

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What % of employees are engaged?

Check this infographic out. It says 1 in 3 employees are engaged. There have been different studies that did not come out with the same numbers. Some studies have said that over 53% of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs. Some studies have shown that only 17% are fully engaged. It does not matter which study you believe in. The truth is that there is no average company. Either your company is above average or below. And definitely the impact is to productivity and ultimately to the bottom line of your company.

What % of employees do you think are disengaged in your company?

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

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