A paradigm is a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that each of us have.
Joel Barker created a video titled “The Business of Paradigms” that I bought for close to $1,000 a number of years ago. At the time, I was leading a change process in organizations to change their culture from a “boss” mentality to a “participative” mentality. To do that, we had to challenge many paradigms. The process worked and the organizations saved millions of dollars.
So how can each of us, as individuals, use this concept for our own benefit? First, we need to identify our current situation and what paradigms we are a part of. A few examples:
- There are not any good jobs available.
- I will never be successful.
- Learning new things is difficult for me.
- There is only one way to do this procedure.
- I don’t have enough money to start a business.
- I have to tell people what to do or they will not do it.
- People do not have great ideas.
- I can’t survive without drinking.
- I can’t make new friends.
- Why make good grades?
- I can’t change.
- I can’t lose weight.
- Teamwork is not necessary.
Each of us have developed habits and mindsets. Many of these are based on false assumptions that we have made over the years. An example is working in teams. So many organizations have managers who “tell” their employees what to do every day. These employees may have been working for twenty years and know their job well. They are smart and capable and when asked, they can give you information to make the job easier and the company more profitable. But guess what? They are never asked, so valuable information is lost. The manager learned to be a “boss” from another person who used “boss” behavior. And so it goes.
There are so many stories of people who were told they were not smart by their parents or teachers, but for some reason, were able to prove these people wrong, and succeed in spite of them. I know one of these people personally and a derogatory comment from a teacher in school kept her from succeeding for over twelve years. She was finally nurtured and is slowly overcoming the stigma she has been under.
There is a Bible verse, “You are what you think about”. If you dwell on this verse, Proverbs 23:7, for a while, you will recognize that you can change your thinking, thus changing your paradigms.
Reading selected books, such as “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill or “See You At The Top by Zig Zigler, will allow you to find new information and inspiration and will help you challenge your thinking about what you can do to move forward.”
Begin to think about and make a new list of what paradigms you would like to develop. Think about where you would like to be in ten years and what you want to be different. Then begin to develop goals and action steps that will move you closer to your new paradigm.
Begin to intentionally think about your new paradigms. Keep these new paradigms in the forefront of your mind. Write about them and describe them in detail. Do something every day to make progress. Find ways to measure your progress. Have intentional progress meetings with yourself and review how far you have come. Measure your progress and celebrate when you go to new levels. Share your thinking with others who can reinforce you.
Enjoy your journey. Help others with their paradigms as well. Have fun.