maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: Dogma can only exist in the face of ignorance.

I was watching an interview with Dr. Michael Ruscio, the author of Healthy Gut, Healthy You, when he made a very interesting comment. He said, “Dogma can only exist in the face of ignorance.” He went on to explain that dogma (a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true) generally results in your unwillingness to look for, review, discuss or contemplate any data or evidence that contradicts your belief. You will ignore the 20 research papers, which contradict your position, and embrace the 1 that supports it. He was not suggesting you are constantly jumping on the bandwagon for every new idea. He has very clear criteria for research to be considered as valid and reliable. 

This is something we all see in many areas from teaching to learning to nutrition to exercise to leadership to medicine. It is good to have strong beliefs. The key is to hold them loosely, to be open to new information, ideas and evidence. It is important to avoid linking your identity and sense of self to those beliefs. Doing so means that you see any contradictory opinion or evidence as a personal attack. 

"We are not what we know, but what we are willing to learn."

Mary Catherine Bateson

It is important to be continually reading, asking questions, listening and learning to see if there is a better way, to see if there is new, more relevant information. If there is a strong body of research, not just one paper or one person’s opinion) that clearly reveals new information contrary to your current beliefs, you need to be willing to adapt and change. 

The world is continually evolving. New technologies allow scientists to continually gain greater insights into the brain and the body. Medicine and science have come a long way in the last 100 years. The research on learning, teaching, health, nutrition and exercise has come a long way in the last 100 years.  What we once believed to be fact in many areas has now been proven to be wrong or inaccurate through ongoing research. 

Lets be clear that there are certain things, such as your core values, which you can and should hold tightly to. If you take time to reflect on the beliefs you hold tightly to, you will see which should be held loosely, and which should be held tightly. 

What’s Important Now? Have strong beliefs, and an open mind. 

Take care.

Brian Willis



Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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