A Fresh Perspective on Beliefs and Happiness: Same Same, but Different
Most of us think we hold the only true beliefs about religion, politics, complex social issues, and the best way to live a happy and fulfilling life. And for good reason. It’s taken a lifetime of experiences, mistakes, religious faith, and advanced education to reach the emotionally convincing “feeling of knowing” that we have today. If only it were that simple.
Finding Balance and Wisdom in a Complex World
In my book, Same Same, but Different: A Life Beyond Certainty, I share my unique and refreshing perspective on beliefs, happiness, and the elements of a meaningful life. Using an eclectic mix of 55 short stories culled from my rich life experiences, including decades of international travel, I both entertain and challenge readers. I explain that our beliefs are far from the certainty we imagine and that we’d be better off if we set down our burdens of belief, even if a steep price has already been paid. I am a good example of how major life changes are possible. After spending much of my life training to be a physician, I left clinical medicine because it wasn’t how I wanted to live, and I adopted the Buddhist philosophy of the Middle Way that has strongly influenced my life.
Becoming a Better Believer
Same Same, but Different passionately advocates a worldview where everyone’s beliefs are nearer to the center than the extremes. The inspirational message of tolerance and hope is a welcome change from the narrow-minded ideology and extremism that plague today’s social discourse and international relations. My book concludes with six strategies on how to become a better believer on an emotional, spiritual, and intellectual level. Chief among these recommendations is that we think long and hard about how we’d see the world if we could step away from our age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, occupation, religion, and political views. As our mind begins to think differently, more broadly, more inclusively, and more humbly, we start on the path to wisdom, happiness, and an appreciation for the interconnectedness of people worldwide who share the same desire for purpose and meaning in their lives, but who often start from much different places.
A Subtle yet Powerful Distinction
As stated in the book’s preface, there is no intent to convince readers that they‘re wrong about some of their most fundamental beliefs. Rather, the goal is to suggest that, in some cases, they may not be right. This is a subtle distinction, to be sure, but one that has far-reaching implications for how we view the world and our place in it.