Friday, 29 March 2013

Beliefs and Guiding Principles ( Eigth Post)

Beliefs are formed throughout life and are often generated gradually through experience, experimentation, reflection, and generalization. They form the basis for directing our lives and offer as the ‘guiding principles’ in our life journey.
I realize that a particular belief that I might hold is never ‘rigid’, as it may not be practicable in all situations. So, when I say that I believe in ‘something’, it means it is a belief that I follow by and large.
Taking a very simple example: I believe strongly in ‘being on time’ or ‘being punctual’. I make it a point to be punctual in any meetings that I may call or others may call, and have been practicing this for a long time now. It reflects my sincerity and commitment. Only then would others recognize that punctuality is important for me and may begin to respect it. It is our actions and behaviours that serve as evidences of our beliefs.
However, at times, I am caught in a dilemma. Continuing with the same example; when others are not on time and my precious time is lost, it questions the correctness of this belief. This often happens in case of social functions such as marriages, in which ceremonies start later than the scheduled time and one has to wait for hours together. In such situations I am tempted not to be ‘punctual’ and begin to wonder if I should break this principle.
This is just a simple example and there might be more complex ones, where situations challenge our beliefs and demand flexibility in our long cherished principles. To what extent does one stretch the flexibility? What are our ultimate non-negotiables? The choice is ours, but where does one draw the line? The challenge is - how does one identify them?
……………I have found no answers to the above questions, and will be happy to explore more about this with you - DO SHARE your experiences about the dilemmas you may have faced. Looking forward………..

Shantilal Muttha


  1. A belief is an internal feeling that something is true, even though that belief may be unproven or irrational. eg : I believe that walking under a ladder brings bad luck or i believe that there is life after death. After all beliefs are the Assumptions & Convictions that are held to be true by an individual regarding concepts, events, people and things.
    Therefore it is not necessary that we identify or draw a line or to what extent should one stretch the flexibility. It all depends on a particular situation at that moment of time and accordingly we have to be little adaptable and flexible but not always.

  2. Punctuality is a simple example, Mr Muttha. But thank you for taking up such an issue on your blog.

    I would take a far more complicated example of belief, namely, belief in the intrinsic goodness of people, on the basis of which we trust them.

    Here we enter far more difficult waters, if our belief is proved to be wrong. Do we keep trusting the newer people we meet, despite our bitter experience that some of the older people we knew have betrayed our trust?