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How to Avoid Having Your Beliefs Become Dogma

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Dogma is a belief so strongly held that it becomes the truth. It’s an ideology so stubbornly held that it doesn’t allow for any new evidence or ideas to change it. It especially resists conflicting ideas from the outside world.Your dogmatic beliefs might be around your sales process. Or maybe you have a dogmatic attachment to some sales methodology. Maybe you are dogmatic in your belief that you shouldn’t have to prospect in this age of inbound marketing and social media. Or perhaps your dogma is something else.What makes dogma so dangerous is that it doesn’t allow for new and conflicting information. And in a world that is changing ever faster, holding onto to old beliefs—beliefs that may no longer serve you—is a dangerous business.Here’s a quick example. I have a deeply held belief that cold calling is the most effective method for prospecting. But if that belief were so strong that I believed that no other method of prospecting could be effective, that would be unhealthy. It would eliminate other effective methods of prospecting, maybe even my dream client’s preferred method of being approached.Here’s how you avoid dogma.Allow Your Beliefs to Be QuestionedAnything that fails to grow dies. Anything that refuses to take in things from the outside world dies too. If you refuse to allow what you now believe to be questioned, you are refusing to take in information from the outside. Are your beliefs so strong that you bristle when you hear ideas that conflict with them? Does that ever happen to you?The first step in avoiding having your beliefs become dogma is not to judge all ideas by your existing beliefs. Instead, you remain open to new ideas, especially ideas that conflict with your existing beliefs. You hear people out without making any judgments about right or wrong, truth or lie.It’s not easy, but there is power to be found in taking in new ideas, especially ideas that conflict with your existing beliefs.Purposely Seek Conflicting IdeasAn even more powerful way to avoid having your beliefs become dogma is to purposely seek out conflicting ideas. Ideas that are in direct conflict with what you believe can be powerful in improving your results.Instead of reflexively rejecting ideas that conflict with your beliefs, try to find out why others value those ideas. Try to find the truth in the ideas that conflict with what you believe. Try to discover when those ideas could be valuable.Become AgnosticThe more tools you have in your toolkit, the more prepared you are to deal with different circumstances. Being agnostic means being open to using whatever works and whatever the circumstances demand. In a rapidly changing world, you need ideas.Being agnostic doesn’t mean you don’t believe anything. It means you don’t have a religious devotion to something that you adhere to even when something else might work better. You use what works when it’s useful, and you discard what doesn’t work when it isn’t useful.If you are agnostic, you can remain open to new ideas. You judge them by their useful under some set of circumstances.QuestionsWhat beliefs do you hold so deeply that they’ve become dogma?How long has it been since you questioned those beliefs? Have you ever?How do you ensure that you are continually taking in new ideas?How do you react to ideas that conflict with your dogmatic beliefs?How much better would your results be if you were willing to shed some of your dogmas and open up to some new beliefs?last_img read more

Assam villagers donate land for elephant meal zones

first_imgA cluster of villages in central Assam’s Nagaon district has found a way of keeping crop-raiding elephants off their crops — by setting aside land to create a meal zone for them.Most farmers of 12 villages in the Ronghang-Hatikhuli area of central Assam’s Nagaon district do not have enough land to sustain their families. But they donated 203 bighas (roughly 33 hectares) of community land and took turns to plant paddy exclusively for the elephants that often come down the hills of the adjoining Karbi Anglong district.‘Jumbo kheti’The “jumbo kheti (cropland)” has been envisaged as the last line of mealy defence against some 350-400 elephants that have often paid for venturing too close to human habitations. Five of them were electrocuted by illegal electric fences in the last 16 months while half a dozen, injured by spears and arrows, died in the jungles up the hills.About 10 km from the paddy field, toward the hills, is an 8-hectare plantation of Napier grass that 35 reformed hunters have grown for the elephants. This plantation is on land belonging to a tea estate.The locals have also planted saplings of 2,000 outenga (elephant apple), 1,500 jackfruit and 25,000 banana plants on barren land between the paddy field and grass plantation. The three-step plantation has a common thread — environmentalist Binod Dulu Bora and the NGO Hatibondhu, meaning ‘friends of elephants’, he is associated with.“Growing paddy for elephants was the idea of Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, the director of our NGO. We had several meetings with the villagers and managed to convince them by saying they would be setting an example for the world to follow toward reducing man-animal conflicts,” Mr. Bora told The Hindu on Monday.Feeding patternOnce convinced that the experiment would save much of their crops, the villagers decided to donate land and labour to grow paddy for the elephants. Forest Department officials chipped in to provide solar electric fences around the crop area.“Work on the paddy field began less than two months ago. The fence will be withdrawn once the paddy ripens for the elephants to feed on. By mapping the area and studying the feeding pattern, we calculated that the elephants would take 20-22 days to finish the paddy in their demarcated zone,” Mr. Bora said.The nearest fields where the villagers have grown crops for themselves and for trade are 5 km away. “By the time the elephants finish the crop grown for them, we will have harvested much of our own. We think the elephants will turn back if they don’t find crop in our spaces,” said Dyansing Hanse, one of the two village headmen.The Ronghang-Hatikhuli area is inhabited by the Karbi and Adivasi communities.“The fruit trees will take time to grow. But the elephants can feed on the Napier grass, a tropical forage crop that grows fast, if they return to the hills. They have already partaken of the grass six times,” Mr Bora said, adding that 35 hunters who had given up hunting four years ago have been maintaining the grass plantation. ‘Unprecedented’Jiten Kro, the other headman said the villagers had been living in dread of the elephants for years. He hoped the experiment would go a long way in ensuring co-existence with the animals. “We are happy to have given back some space to the elephants through a project that I believe is unprecedented,” he said.last_img read more