Doreya Karim is the director and vice-president of BioGeometry Energy Systems Ltd. She manages the BioGeometry research and product development team. Karim is also a building biology environmental consultant, with degrees in both Psychology and Graphic Design.
Where did you grow up, and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Cairo, Egypt, before moving to Canada at 17. I went to an international school and traveled a lot, so I am sure this is why I love to travel and see new places and cultures. I also grew up in a family environment that valued education, science, art, philosophy, history. My mother has a degree in educational psychology and always made learning fun for us; a lot of my learning was through educational games. At my father’s architecture office, there would be weekly meetings either with him lecturing on BioGeometry topics or general lectures on things such as history, sacred architecture, eastern and western philosophy, alternative health, etc., by himself or guest speakers. This coupled with the fact that my father is not only an architect but a scientist who developed a whole system backed with research on the types of shapes we can introduce into our built environment to increase well-being, has shaped my view that there is still so much for us to learn and the possibilities that the future holds.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
The importance of introspection for growth. To look at the bright side of your flaws and learn to use them to your advantage. For example, I have a lot of interests, and this can lead me to jump around a lot in what I am reading or pursuing, which would be frustrating for me. Still, I’ve learned to be thankful for my curiosity and be open to it rather than confining myself to one path.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Relying on pre-existing business practices or formulas/ thinking linearly and within specific constructs due to a fear of failure.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I think everyone has experiences or actions that they do that shake their core beliefs, and they force them to look at themselves and choose what core values they want to pursue moving forward. These are needed to grow, and that’s how I’ve been able to come out of any dark periods by not denying anything but learning and changing from it and, in a way, being thankful for the lesson that came my way.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
If something doesn’t work out my way, I’ve learned not to dwell on it (while making sure I’ve learned from it) and focus on moving forward. I’ve paid attention to situations that made me feel good and those that made me feel bad either with my relationships with people or things I do, and this helps me know where to channel my time and energy. I have a great support system that allows for this type of confidence and growth.
What is your morning routine?
I enjoy working with no interruptions, so I actually get a lot of work done at night and am a late riser. The first thing I do is write down two or three things to make sure I do that day (I try to think about what I can do so I can be proud of myself when I’m winding down at night). I usually wake up to a lot of emails, so I spend 5 – 10 mins organizing them into two batches (answer today/ answer later). Once that’s out of the way, I make my morning coffee and spend the first hour of my day listening to a lecture or audiobook.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
To be present is a big thing I am always working on. I used to check my emails and messages as soon as they came in, and I realized that I could be sitting having quality time and get distracted by an email or question coming in that in the bigger picture doesn’t matter as much as my current task or connecting fully with the person in front of me.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Continuing the same train of thought as above, I ended up deleting work emails off my phone to remind myself to be fully dedicated to each task I am working on. I also try to note two or three big things I want to do in the day rather than many little things that can easily lead to feeling like my day is off track and not giving me flexibility.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I grew up reading a lot of fiction and still do. It’s my right brain activity. Mythology is one of my favourite genres. I love the writings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. I love the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl; it’s an excellent reminder to rise to the challenge of seeing the worth of every moment by living it to the fullest. I also love books that put the power of shaping the environment back in your hands, such as Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible” – not sure who said this one.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand.
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.
And Eternity in an hour” – William Blake.
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster.
And treat those two impostors just the same” – Rudyard Kipling.
“The most important people to be kind to are those who are unable to speak for themselves”- my mother.
“If you dislike something, then you do not understand it. Knowledge will always lead to appreciation”- my father.