Good Morning Ladies and Gents! And welcome back! We hope you enjoyed July’s Black Sheep of the Month as much as we did. Today, we wanted to riff off one of our previous and most enlightening articles, Variables. So, without further ado, please enjoy our newest segment, Paradigm: Differentiating yourself from a limited to growth mindset.
So what is a paradigm?
Simply put, a paradigm is a framework or set pattern that influences and interacts with the way someone perceives a particular subject. Here are some simple examples:
- Political Paradigm
- Economic Paradigm
- Historical Paradigm
- Biological Paradigm
- Geographical Paradigm
- Educational Paradigm
The way these different subjects are studied have changed throughout history. As we progress, our continuing curiosity and constant demand for answers to life’s many questions have pushed us beyond the threshold of discovery. For example, in the mid 4th century, it was a common belief held by the ancient Greeks that the world was flat. Up until Plato came into the scene, history’s people used to believe that the world was flat. Like many, Plato felt the wrath of the people for his uncommon and unpopular ideas. It was not until years later when Aristotle provided evidence of a spherical earth that people’s paradigm began to shift. From then on, when people realized the earth was round, it changed the way they studied the earth.
Now, we can sit here day and night and never fully crack the paradigm codes throughout our lives, but what is important today is bringing about awareness of our own paradigms throughout our daily lives.
Our own personal paradigm is a framework of the way we think individually based off of our own experiences and interactions within our environments. Very similar to our habits, our paradigm or thought process is the result of reoccurring events and the actions taken to said events. From there, we build our notions and belief systems only swaying to proof positive facts that can break beyond our set-in stone mindset. Much like variables, thinks of it as a three-dimensional space that continuously evolves, adapts and changes throughout our lives. Our mental shift is what fills in the gaps of inexperience and ignorance thus leading to issues when experience and intelligence is at an all-time low.
The way someone perceives reality differs from person to person depending on too many variables that can be both seen and unseen. Unbeknownst to many, we have yet to touch biological factors within each individual that can mold a person in a very specific way.
As you know by now, it is important to understand that no single individual will hold the same thought process or mindset. Fundamentally, what makes each human unique is how we interact with the world as we grow and learn. For example, a person in the United States will perceive reality differently than a person in the Netherlands. There are many variables that come into play. Culture, resources, terrain, economics, history, politics, family and friends. These different factors influence a person’s thought processes, habits, and patterns which in turns influences a person’s perception of reality.
Think back, on all the choices you’ve ever made, where you grew up, where you went to school, how others interacted around you, and how you interacted back. If you do this, you’ll soon realize how special you really are and why. You’ll realize that no single person can match you and everything you are up to this point. Now, let’s move on.
When someone thinks and expresses their own political opinion, these expressions are influenced by their country of origin, parents, they’re locality, culture, language, history, heritage, adopted mannerisms and of course their own personal experiences just to name a few variables. So, to give an example, lets pit two ideologies against each other.
Let’s use a very simple math example to demonstrate my point.
In Cuba, at a young age many are taught about a sense of duty and love towards their community. It is this belief that drives a majority of the political decision making and has influenced their education system, healthcare system, and their current standing in the global arena. The same can be said about the United States, our education system is also heavily influenced by our political paradigm.
For example, If I can grow 100 apples, how many can I distribute to each family in my community? Now to look at a country on the opposite side of the spectrum. In the United States, if I can grow 100 apples, how much money can I make from the community?
Can you differentiate the two ways of thinking here? While two of the variables remain the same it is the one variable that can completely shift the outcome.
These two examples above are quite easy to understand and do not involve too many factors. However, since when is life that easy. Now, let’s dive even further. The Cuban perspective is that of socialism, how can I distribute these apples to the community, while the United States perspective resembles capitalism, how much profit will I make. Which one is better? For the sake of this conversation it doesn’t matter. The point here is, people will think based on their own frame of mind. It is not uncommon for either line of logic to pass in their own respective environments. It only becomes a problem when one individual takes their respective way of doing things into different environments where it may not work but create friction in the process of implementing their way of life.
Unfortunately, paradigms can be quite limiting to the human mind. The reason for their abundant limitation is due to the fact that they focus on past experiences to make a present decision. For example, back in the 1950’s and the following 30 years, it was not out of the question for men to go to college, join the war, start a family at a young age, and be a productive member of society. These very same notions carried on as a byproduct of the times because our great grandparents told our grandparents and all the way down to us.
As a result of these paradigms, at a young age, we are told to do the same, go to college so we can make a life for ourselves and pursue our own endeavors. Consequently, these paradigms are not always the best options nowadays when there are much more options than to join the military or go to college. And yet, people are looked down upon for not pursuing what is considered to be acceptable by others in their environment.
The point here is our thinking is shaped by these social constructions. We all know that not every person will be given the chance to go to college, and not every person will graduate from college for whatever reason. Yet, these people can still go on to live meaningful lives.
Many variables affect the way we think since we first began interacting with our surroundings at a young age.
It is our inherent, biological predisposition to continue to curiously poke and prod our way throughout our lives always looking for answer to our questions. Unfortunately, in our more modern times, a majority of our population have grown complacent as to where they gather information from or bothering to fact check their sources. In our current technological times, it is easy to follow the herd on social media and get lost in the endless spiral of opinion pieces and false information.
Paradigm Shift: Growth Mindset
Now, let’s see another example of a paradigm shift.
Therein lies the problem. It is our ability to understand beyond our normal thought processes and our ability to fill in as many gaps as possible that brings us success.
To achieve a higher level of not only success, but intelligence and understanding, we must continue to fill in our shortcomings through learning and experience. It is all about personal growth. It is being able to say that one thing is not normal in our respective environment yet to still being able to understand and accept it, that’s what makes you better day in and day out. Understanding your own paradigm and expanding beyond your own limited thought processes is key to establishing new horizons and the continuance to push past them.
The more you understand politics, economics, culture, history from both a local and global perspective, the better your comprehension of the world will become. Put yourself in other people perspectives, expand the framework of what you know, and this will help build deeper knowledge and understanding thus reducing ignorance. The truth is we are all ignorant to something, that is not the biggest issue here. The biggest issue here is continuing to accept your own ignorance and speaking lightly of said subjects.
Remember, Paradigm: Differentiating yourself, teaches you to have a growth mindset to enhance your paradigm, and increase your intelligence and understanding of a subject.
Personally, I like to learn as much as i can about anything and everything. It gives me a holistic understanding of the processes that have shaped society today and helps me evaluate my future decisions in the long run. Everything around us is a social construct, influenced by existing paradigms, created and developed by humans.
Understanding that others are not perfect will allow you to understand and accept their paradigms but breaking through your own limitations will not only help you to communicate and understand others, but also help free your mind of self-sabotaging habits or choices. Once you understand that, you can begin to understand why you think the way you do. You will also understand why most people follow the crowd and why only a few dares to challenge the status quo.
The key is to learn about multiple subjects, to challenge yourself into something “you don’t like” or have a lack of experience in.
For example, I enjoy science but i was not excited to take courses in Geology or Biology because of its complexities and my lack of experiences with these subjects. However, after taking these courses, I learned how important these subjects are to our current existence. These challenging subjects have done so much for humanity, from understanding land masses and where it is safe to build structures, too developing vaccines and treatments for all types of viruses and diseases.
The point being, the more you learn the more aware you become of your shortcomings within yourself, others, and your environment. So be highly adaptive and aware. Also, never let your guard down when making a decision. Assess all the variables and ask questions, trust me it’ll make things easier.
I’m sure by now, you can completely understand why this is important. This is a Hallmark trait of a Black Sheep. It is our ability to adapt, grow, and succeed that makes us a force to be reckoned with. Like many Black Sheep before us, we set the bar high and we do not take things lightly.
Part Two in Paradigm: Differentiating yourself. Reactivity paradigms: our evolutionary downfall of short term versus long term thinking
The majority of us don’t think in terms of subjects rather we are reactive and don’t have time to sit back and think. We may be working a 9 to 5, or busy taking care of children, or, distracted by social media and television. Most Americans don’t have time in their busy schedules to think. By the time they get home, they want to relax, rather than put their mind through more stress.
Unfortunately, this hinders their ability to think independently. Rather, they are reactive to the events that are happening around them. They react to the latest trends on social media, they react to what’s on the news, very little time to really sit back and do what they really want to do. Most of us will never have the opportunity to become “enlightened” to understand the social, economic, and political forces that shape who we are, how we live, and help shape the outlook of our future. Many Americans also live paycheck to paycheck, not having enough money to make new meaningful experiences.
The cost of traveling out of the country is only a dream for many, and the only way they get to experience it is through cinema rather than personal experience.
What really sucks about it is expanding your paradigm and understanding of the world comes with traveling abroad and truly experiencing the world and its many wonders and cultures. How can someone have an opinion about Europe if they never been to Europe? How can someone call an undocumented migrant a “leech” if they never lived a day in a migrant’s perspective? As a Marine, I was fortunate enough to travel to Japan, Guam, and Australia. Those experiences taught me that there is so much out there in the world then just my point of view.
Remember, Paradigm: Differentiating yourself, teaches you that knowledge is power, and power is enhanced when you enhance the limits of your own personal thinking.
Challenge yourself to constantly shift and grow your paradigm, and you will become wiser, humbler, and more connected to the people, and to the earth. Do not be afraid to learn something new, whether it is a formal class you are taking, or just a YouTube video. I hear many times “school is not for everyone” or “education doesn’t mean you’re going to be rich.” The truth is, education is key for the growth of a society at both micro and macro level. This is why Black Sheep stay humble, but hustle to be the best learners they can be.
Lastly, we always love to hear and promote open discussions on anything we talk about. Feel free to contact us and let us know what you think. And dont miss out on our newest gear or sneak peeks to follow us on Instagram to get the latest news on Black Sheep Heritage.