You hear a lot about culture in these spheres of life

  • Organization
  • Societal
  • Family

The Cambridge dictionary defines it as ” the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.

You would have heard many clichés about culture in your day to day life.

My favorite ones are “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” “We are a very tolerant society” (depending on which camp you are), “In our family, we do it differently” and much more.

Your roles would have been adapting or adjust to the culture which was prevailing in each of the contexts you came in. If you were extremely curious or if you were are a rebel, you might have shaped or stood against some culture as well.

For me, culture is unwritten rule book in the context I operate. I cannot possibly give an explanation on the ‘Why, What and How’ but it has been like that, and it will be like that. If someone asks me an explanation, I will not be able to provide it.

However, I have always viewed culture as something I do subconsciously to the context I interact and the contexts like Organization, Society, Family which essentially are outside of me.

Hence, I was intrigued when a newsletter article came from Steven Pressfield, the author of War of Art, asking me about my “Personal Culture.”

I was surprised as I have never reflected about “Personal Culture” in my moments of armchair philosophy. I have viewed culture as something outside of me and not something inside me.

As I grew up to be an engineer by profession, I need objectivity in everything I do.

I will re-phrase that statement. I need objectivity in everything others do. I am liberal on myself.

I went to the drawing board and arrived at this formula.


The dwindling arrows indicate a feedback cycle to highlight that culture is not static.

Habits are easier to change than values.

I applied this formula to myself.

I could easily list down habits that were formed recently, habits that have stayed with me for decades.

However,  when it came to values, I struggled and am still struggling.

It does seem to me that I thrive on a half-baked culture which mostly looks like I am a creature of habits rather than a blend of habits and values.

I could have left the question from the newsletter without bothering about it. But nowadays I am attracted to things that challenge my assumptions about myself and the notion of a “Personal Culture” is an interesting experiment that I will continue to ponder.

I thought it might be of interest to you as well.

What is your “Personal Culture”?

Do you have one?

Do you think it matters?

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)