What's Blocking Progress - a word on ParadigmsIt’s like ‘black and white’, ‘yin and yang’,‘up and down’, ‘in and out’: Each are opposite. The opposite of Human Creativity is our ability to block our own progress!
One blocking technique our brain will use is known as a paradigm (pr. para-dime), which is a ‘deeply held belief’ or ‘pattern of behaviour’ that we exhibit. Everything we each do is governed by our paradigm about the subject. For example, the way we tie shoelaces will depend on how we were taught, and this will remain our 'shoe lace paradigm' until we decide to replace it with a different pattern of behaviour i.e. a new paradigm. Just for interest, are you the ‘right over left’, or the ‘left over right’ type of person? This is an innocent example, as both ways will get the job done. But what if the paradigms or beliefs were bigger, and encouraged people to perhaps lie, bully, fight or kill to protect their viewpoint or deeply held belief? At times we are unable to see reality because we are blocked by our beliefs about the situation.
A paradigm shift
There is a bigger component to this idea, and it is what is called a “paradigm shift”. When a paradigm shift occurs the old belief is completely overtaken and permanently replaced by a new belief, one that is eventually adopted by all.
Breakthroughs in science often come about when people take an opposite point of view to the prevailing wisdom. For instance, take Nicolaus Copernicus’s experience. It took a long time for people to fully accept his proposition that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe. In the early days a great many people died terrible deaths at the hands of the Church, defending his new paradigm. Like all examples of a paradigm shift, the new notion went through three phases:
1) Outright rejection;There have been a number of blocking paradigms effecting agriculture and the health of the planet. Here is a common one: after a little explanation, almost everyone now accepts that when properly managed, tightly bunched herding animals impose beneficial impact upon the land. You'd think every land manager with livestock would now be doing it, but when it comes to getting the impact happening on the farm, paradigms often get in the way. People invent all sorts of reasons why they cannot do what others are successfully doing, even though they can physically see the results themselves.
2) A few people beginning to say, “perhaps it is true after all”; and finally,
3) Everyone saying, “why are you bothering me with this—we have known it all along”.
I remember one fellow who broke his limiting paradigm on this subject by simply taking a deep breath, walking outside and joining a number of small mobs together into one large herd. “Pretty soon I had to make some more decisions”, he said. He was on his way to success. Once his new management brought about good outcomes he not only wouldn’t but couldn’t go back to his old ways. That was a total paradigm shift for him.
Be prepared: you'll face the need for paradigm shifts. Steel yourself, make the plans, and then JDI - just do it!
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