Posted by: brandextenders | July 18, 2011

Five Ways to Help Shift the Paradigms in Your Life

Stephen Covey tells the story of riding the subway when a man gets on with his two young sons. The boys start running all over the place, making noise and bothering others around them. Finally, irritated, Covey asks the man if he wouldn’t mind doing something to control his children and the man, looking weary and broken, apologizes. He says they’ve just come from the hospital where his wife, their mother, passed away. Covey’s view of the situation changed immediately and he looked at the children and the man differently given the new information.

That’s a paradigm shift or a sudden change in your point of view which all of us have at one time or another experienced. These shifts, sometimes seismic, have occurred throughout history. Thousands of years ago our foremothers and fathers used to roam from place to place in search of food, but at some point the idea of farming came to be. All of a sudden people could stay put, build homes and cities and grow their own food. It was a known fact the earth was flat, until it wasn’t. More recently the introduction of the PC in the mid-1970’s turned our world upside down followed a few decades later by the wide-spread public use of the Internet. Apple changed forever the way we listen to music with the introduction of their iPod a decade ago and because of social media, future generations will communicate and relate to one another in ways our grandparents couldn’t have imagined.

Paradigm shifts are those “ah ha” moments we experience when we all of a sudden see a new way of doing something. It’s finding a new way to sell your products, developing a more streamlined process for invoicing customers or perhaps finally understanding a math problem that has perplexed you. Or it could be something as simple as finding a shortcut that saves you time when creating an Excel spreadsheet.

Can we willing shift paradigms to make changes in our lives? The answer is a definitive maybe! The truth is we can’t become what we hope to be, or help change the world in positive ways, if we aren’t willing to change. Although there is no formula I’ve found that will instantly change the habits and paradigms in our lives there are a variety of techniques I’ve used to can help precipitate those changes:

  1. Spend time thinking. It’s easy to push through our daily lives getting done the things that need to get done without ever considering how we might perform those tasks better. I’ve found that if I spend 10-15 minutes, usually early in the morning, focusing on a specific task and how I can do it differently, ideas begin to flow. It’s important to put everything else out of your mind (easier said than done) and look only at the one task. Write that task on a piece of paper and then write down the ideas that begin to flow no matter how silly they might seem. This one idea has helped me solve vexing problems and create new ways to gain traction with my business and is an amazing way to put your brain into high gear and offer up solutions you might never have considered.
  2. Brainstorming. Although similar to #1, I usually brainstorm with others because as they say, two heads, or three or four, are better than one. Again, be specific about the topic for brainstorming otherwise the session can break down into chaos. There are all sorts of resources on the web that can help guide a brainstorming session. These sessions can be great because not only will they aid in paradigm shifts, but build teams that become energized and engaged.
  3. Surf the Web. I’ve found entering a search term in Google or Yahoo or Bing can take me down roads I never would have thought of on my own. One thing leads to another and soon you’re seeing ideas and strategies you might never have thought of. Include YouTube in your meandering because there are nuggets in those hundreds of millions of videos that might offer the breakthrough you’re looking for.
  4. Read. Stop by a bookstore or newsstand and look at magazines and books you normally wouldn’t pick up. When you’re in customer’s offices take a look at the magazines in the waiting room as they many times are industry related and will offer a perspective you aren’t typically privy to.
  5. Change your internal dialogue. This is probably the hardest of all, but critical to successfully changing the paradigms in your life. Your subconscious takes all the things you say to yourself during your waking hours and works to make it reality. If your thoughts are negative, guess what? Similarly, if your thoughts are positive, chances are you will be happier and less stressed. Program yourself to be open to change, to look at things with a new perspective and see what happens.

The ongoing evolution of our society and the world, in every aspect down to the microscopic, is God’s way of shifting paradigms. The only constant in our world is change and those who are open to change and open to paradigm shifts will ultimately be those who achieve their goals and find the happiness we all long for.

I work with my customers to evaluate their promotional marketing needs and develop creative and measurable solutions based on those needs. I build long-term relationships to become a trusted advisor my clients turn to for their brand extension, promotional product, incentive and other branding needs. Contact me at  


  1. […] Five Ways to Help Shift the Paradigms in Your Life Stephen Covey tells the story of riding the subway when a man gets on with his two young sons. The boys start running all over the place, making noise and bothering others around them. Source: […]

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