Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Paradigm? Pair-a-dime [20 cents]?  Speak English, stop with the fancy words!!
I’ve loved the word Paradigm since high school. We had a math teacher whom we learned to appreciate. He introduced us to the word paradigm LONG before the rest of the world began using it [no, I won’t say how old I am].  But it’s been a recurring and enlightening word and concept in my work and learning experience ’lo these many years.  And here’s why that’s important to YOU!

A paradigm is the framework within which we interpret and understand our world. In math, we usually use base 10 as our paradigm for counting [1-10].  In computer programing, it’s two: ON/ OFF or YES/ NO.  In the US, we speak English – in the UK, they speak English – but it’s different!

The word Paradigm has so much explanatory meaning in so many areas.  One of the secrets of changing or improving ANYTHING is to look at it from a different perspective - a new paradigm. For example, humor is funny because the comedian changes the expected Paradigm - the punchline – against YOUR expectation.

In exactly the same way, your teenager does things that make no sense to you - or worse! And yet if you try, struggle, change your perspective, see it from their paradigm - you will almost always walk away highly informed and illuminated!

In the work of Carol Dweck [‘MINDSET’] – she moved us away from the belief that – “if I didn’t learn it the first time, I can’t” toward a different paradigm - “I haven’t learned it YET – but I will!” 

One of the paradigms I see referenced CONSTANTLY regarding teens is “I told him to do (something) - and he didn’t do it – and now look where he is [or isn’t].” 

Think about that paradigm for a minute: “I TOLD him.”  And it didn’t work!  How much longer are you going to TELL, TELL, TELL – when it isn’t working – until YOU change your paradigm? 

I’ve said it before – here it comes again:
Wouldn’t it be great to UNDERSTAND their thinking?  How do ya think you might find that out?  What if you ASKED a QUESTION!?
To enhance, accelerate and strengthen your understanding of your teen, ask a question or two – unbiased, not challenging – just wondering – to better understand their thoughts and thinking!!  You WILL be enlightened!!

If you want or hope to breed a teenager who THINKS, why shut him/ her down when they DO think?  ASK a question: “What do you mean? I don’t understand – help me to see what you’re thinking – explain, please.”

Then, use one of the most powerful communication skills we’ve got: LISTEN!

On a different paradigm-shift topic:  CREATIVITY: as you consider the possibility of your teen advancing up the ladder of success throughout life, be ASSURED that one of the most fundamental and powerful traits is creativity.  Doing something better, faster, more efficiently - or inventing something new are the things that will speed his/her trip ‘up the ladder’ - - and they’re ALL instances of creativity. 

And what IS creativity?  It’s establishing or opening a NEW PARADIGM.  Creativity is defined as two or more ideas not previously combined, connected, blended, considered together.

FYI – the classic creativity/ new paradigm question is “WHY NOT?”

Bottom line?  Until life is perfect, Change is needed.  And change necessitates new paradigms.  
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