Paradigms – Life’s Railroad


A paradigm can save your skin or drive you over the edge of insanity. We all have them. We all live by them. Even when you never heard of them before.

Paradigm is defined as:

  • a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.
    “society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’”
  • a world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.
    “the discovery of universal gravitation became the paradigm of successful science”

Paradigms are patterns or standards. Those which I am thinking of are the patterns of thought, of habit which accompany us though life. Paradigms are learned. They become set in stone to help us through life. But watch out, paradigm’s can be our ruin if we allow them.

As I write I am sitting in a train. The train runs on steel tracks laid out on the ground and guide the train in one direction and one direction only. There is no turning to the right or to the left unless the tracks make the turn. The train has no choice but to follow the track.

Paradigms are like this. If you drive a car you probably find yourself doing many things other than driving: tuning the radio, searching your pockets, eating a sandwich, grabbing something off the passenger seat. Do you remember when you first sat behind the wheel? Everything was new. Everything required great effort. Everything had to be remembered all at once. But now, after years of practice, you drive that car without thinking. You have formed a habit. You body and mind know what to do and your thinking mind can be busy thinking other things. You have built a paradigm.

A paradigm is nothing more than a pattern of thoughts, a set of ideas belonging together, a habit of action. We get so used to doing something a certain way or thinking in a certain way that it becomes very difficult to break the habit or change the paradigm. You get set in your ways like a train in its tracks.

If life were simple and predictable there would be no problem with that. In fact many of those patterns will serve you a lifetime and never need to be changed. But life is what it is and the time will come when the old paradigms no longer serve you. You lose a job, have an accident, fall ill, get divorced. A friend betrays you, a family member disappoints you. A tornado destroys your home, or a flood ruins everything you have. Whatever it is, when it hits you, you will find some of your paradigms don’t work anymore and you will have great difficulty admitting it.

Your habits will need to change. You will walk different paths, get different trains, meet different people. Your beliefs will alter. Yes, beliefs are the biggest and most stubborn of all paradigms. I know because my belief paradigms were shattered many years ago. I believed in a certain way that the world was made in a certain way and that life had a certain purpose. Until a several life changing events happened and My habits and beliefs needed to change.

This is the point if life when you either bludgeon on and crash or you make a deliberate choice and change direction. You get off the rails and set out on a new path. And as with any new way there is uncertainty and fear. But keep on. You will form a new paradigm, lay down new paths and reach new heights.

I want to encourage you that if you find yourself at a crossroads consider the untrodden path. It will lead to to light and a life you never imagined.

As a writer my characters often meet such crossroads. When you read my books let me know what you think. By the way, Pursuit is free when you subscribe to my newsletter.


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