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BELIEFS: They Choose Me and I Choose Them by Dr.Bill DeMarco
Beliefs are one of three segments of the Values element of my Culture Model. Beliefs, along with Needs and Attitudes, taken separately and in their interaction, make up our unique Values proposition. Beliefs are ideas viewed as being true by most members of a society. This applies to personal, societal, and organizational cultures alike.
Our Beliefs come from two sources. In some inexplicable way, they are partly given to us by everything and everyone that came before us and partly developed through our life experiences. In this sense, they both choose us and we choose them. Our core or fundamental beliefs are the inexplicable kind. Our life experiences commingle with our core beliefs throughout our lives constantly calling out for reappraisal/ revalidation/ (re)commitment.
At a fundamental level, we are in search of truths about the meaning of life, love, and happiness. It is what Jefferson described in the U.S. Declaration of Independence as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Since our beliefs represent our understanding of the meaning of truth in important aspects of our lives, they are most often refined but rarely significantly changed.
From a cultural standpoint, the important thing to remember is that Beliefs are ideas viewed by individuals/most members of a society as being true. While constantly subject to reappraisal/revalidation/(re)commitment, Beliefs frequently act as cultural hot spots when challenged. To a large extent, this explains the reason for the personal and societal conflict between traditional religious and secular beliefs, both belief systems capable of profoundest impact. The former calls for personal sacrifice in support of a higher calling. The latter debunks sacrifice and supports a notion of personal gratification here and now.
This plays itself out in the business world as well. A business world corollary has always been the company-specific belief system informally described as “how things are done around here”. It defines what is important, what it takes to get ahead, what it takes to continue to be employed. For many employees today, personal core beliefs about the meaning of life and happiness are being challenged, leading to what I call cultural decision-making “moments of truth”.
Two metaphors at polar opposites of the Belief spectrum:
1. Supremacy of Scientific Knowledge!
Image number one is a metaphor for a belief system that says that there is truth only in scientific knowledge. It likely supports a bottom-line first business culture.
2. Supremacy of a Supreme Being!
Image number two is a metaphor for a belief system that says there is a Supreme Being, the Creator of all things and the source of all truth. It likely supports a people-first business culture.
Some Contemporary Philosophical/Religious/Business Belief Systems & Movements
Anarchism Atheism Baha’i Behaviourism Buddhism Capitalism
Christianity Communism Confucianism Creationism Environmentalism
Evolution Feminism Free Enterprise Free Will Globalism God(s)
Hinduism Human intellect Humanism Human Sexuality Islam Jainism
Judaism Nationalism Native Spirituality Paganism Personal Gratification
Personal Sacrifice Positivism Relativism Right to Choose Right to Life
Roman Catholicism Secularism Sikhism Supreme Being Socialism
Taoism Theory E Theory O Unitarianism Wiccanism Zoroastrianism
No matter what, Beliefs are all about our lifetime search for what is true. This applies to both personal and group cultures. In the case of a group culture, it is what the majority of people within the group hold to be true.
It does not matter where you start. Spread your wings and fly – Sue Krebs
You must believe that you will win somehow, someway – Roger Staubach
Oprah says many people are held back from becoming who they were meant to be by shadow beliefs and feelings of unworthiness. Watch as she encourages you to find your true purpose in the world.
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie
“Mind is the Master power that molds and makes. And man is mind and evermore he takes the tool of thought, and, shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills – he thinks in secret, and it comes to pass: Environment is but his looking glass.” James Allen
“The real distinction is between those who adopt their purposes to reality and those who seek to mold reality in light of their purposes.” Henry Kissinger
“You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.” James Allen
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” Albert Einstein
“Dreams are the seedlings of reality.” James Allen
“Undoubtedly, we become what we envisage.” Claude M. Bristol
“You form the fabric of your experience through your own beliefs and expectations. These personal ideas about yourself and the nature of reality will affect your thoughts and emotions. You take your beliefs about reality as truth and often do not question them. They seem self-explanatory. They appear in your mind as statements of fact, far too obvious for examination. Therefore they are accepted without question too often. They are not recognized as beliefs about reality, but are instead considered characteristics of reality itself. Frequently such ideas appear indisputable, so a part of you that it does not occur to (will not) speculate about their validity. They become invisible assumptions, but they nevertheless color and form your personal experience.” Jane Roberts
“The law of cause and effect works with or without consent or deliberate knowledge, although conscious participation and readiness greatly enhance the built-in rewards.” Glenda Green