So, I almost made it two months consistently having a paradigm shift every day. I missed the entire last week, though. Some days I had one, but I forgot to write it down; other days I was so busy, that I wasn’t contemplative enough.
In any event, that is the official end of the endeavor. The official experiment was to see how many days I could go in a row shifting at least one paradigm to its opposite. Even though it only lasted two months, I learned quite a lot…and I think (although I’ve been told this sounds pretentious) grown as a person.
The main effect of forcing myself to have daily paradigm shifts is that it made more more empathetic, a better listener, and more receptive to differing points of view. Any time that I would hear someone say something that I disagreed with, rather than immediately disagreeing (and tuning out or arguing) I would listen and try to understand their point of view. It was a little artificial, since I was only filling my quota…but in the last two months I did much more listening than arguing.
The secondary effect was an understanding why people are slow to change their views. People tend to surround themselves with people who are agreeable to them, so if someone changes their view on something likely those around them will become disagreeable. Not entirely, of course, but in the last two months I’ve gotten in fights with friends that I have never had an altercation with by saying things such as “Limp Bizkit’s cover of ‘Faith’ is a good song.” or “I like futbol.” Things like this set normally docile friends off on rants on how I shouldn’t like this one thing or another…and this was on silly things like art and sports, the argument flared to even greater temperatures if I moved into politics and said something favorable about Nixon. This is why it was important to have paradigm shifts publicly.
We all, as individuals must be unafraid of changing our views, and we, as peers, must judge slowly and listen when our friends have their own changing views.
This is the only way to make sure that our paradigms don’t stagnate within us.
As an experiment, try your own Paradigm Shift Quotidian. Every day make it a goal to believe one thing that you believed to be untrue when you woke up that morning. Find a public way to make your PSQ known. (Tweeting was great for this.) See if you can do this for two months straight, and let me know how it goes!
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