Change Your Paradigm And Everything Will Change For You
A paradigm is basically a generally accepted perspective, or how most people generally tend to view something. They can be very useful, even though some are not one hundred percent proven to be true. These assumptions or views have generally worked and were assumed true for generations. Some, however, can eventually become so far off that they can no longer fit the model of how we view things anymore.
Change is a constant, and even this Earth that we live on changes. For example, our North and South Poles are shifting, and even though for generations North has been located in the Arctic, it will someday be located in Antarctica, as the South Pole will shift to the North. It may be hard to accept as none of us have ever seen or experienced this change, but scientists have been uncovering evidence that this has occurred many times over Earth’s lifetime.
Other physical paradigms, such as the chair you are sitting on that you think is solid even though between each atom’s nucleus and electron is about 99% empty space, help to shortcut and delete some of the confusion and fear we might face if we really did have to know the truth about everything.
But as I mentioned, some paradigms shift, and no longer become useful as they are. They need to change, or those that still believe in the old paradigm will be someday discarded, like a Sony Walkman cassette player (if you know what one is).
For example, I am living a new paradigm right now, here in Japan. Due to my mother-in-law’s condition, she has a fairly rare disease called CBD (cortical basal degeneration), my wife and I have moved right on the outskirts of Tokyo. I was born in the United States and lived there for many years. I am able to function fairly normally here in Tokyo because I speak the language fairly well from my parents and my previous stays here. However, due to my age and experience, mostly spent in the US, I would find it hard to find a career here that would pay me enough to maintain the kind of lifestyle I really want to live.
When I was younger, I did spend several years working in Japan for corporations and at that time, the pay and living expenses were sufficient, and my English skills were needed. However, being married now, wanting to travel the world, as well as wanting to use more of my time to help others, does not mesh very well with the Japanese “salaryman” lifestyle. I’d be far too tired and my mindset would be spent mostly on the company’s problems to dedicate to my ideal way of life. In addition, my fluent English skills are less useful than they were ten years ago, as there are many more English speaking expats as well as higher level English speaking Japanese people here now. I recall a time, probably back in the early 80’s, when an English teacher could make a comfortable income of $60,000 USD or even more. These days, I assume it’s only about half as much.
So I have been pursuing the lifestyle of someone who can work anywhere, anytime in any country. I’m getting there, and with the help of fellow friends I have found here in Japan, I am learning to hopefully master this trade. For a while, I had been living mainly from cryptocurrency investing, and now I am starting a new venture into blogging and promoting myself through social media. Not new by any means, many have done well doing this, but a new challenge for me nonetheless.
My mother and my siblings, who have held steady jobs nearly all their careers, cannot fathom what I am doing. To them, I am sort of this hybrid new version hippie, nomad, something. Well, they really don’t know what to make of me. I am always bombarded by the question of when am I going to come home and face reality, as if I still have a home in Chicago. Otherwise, it’s the question of whether my job has any benefits, like insurance or a retirement package. I’ve never been comfortable with the term “benefits” because I can only benefit from these “benefits” when I am sick, injured or too old to move around and live freely. How is that a benefit?
Some people start completely fresh, go back to school and begin learning a totally new skill set and then go out and find a new job. I tip my hat off to them as it must be so difficult and time consuming to master a new skill. While I am learning so many new things right now, I am mainly leaning on what I have experienced and know now. I am hoping that the things I have learned and have found valuable in my life I can share and teach to others so they may find value in it and apply it to their futures. The things I learn now are just new tools to use to reach a new audience. But the rest is old school philosophy.
If there are any of you out there thinking about starting a new business I think now is a wonderful time to start. I remember back when I was still very young, my uncles and aunts were working several jobs to make ends meet. It wasn’t unusual to have that many jobs. Even my mother, who was a dedicated homemaker, did some occasional baking and sewing to earn a few bucks. And you know, I remember she really enjoyed it. We may be seeing more and more people with multiple jobs in the future, just like in past generations, as overtime work could be reduced in many companies. And there are so many opportunities depending on your country, Uber or Uber Eats, Amazon delivery, even making your own online shops through Shopify. It’s not such a stretch anymore, even for a middle aged dude (who will be eligible for AARP membership soon) like myself. Someday the anomaly will be the person who hasn’t tried all of these new opportunities. They’ll be the one behind the times who sits alone and has nothing in common with the rest of the crowd.
Shifts are happening now. Experiment a little and see what’s out there because one day you may find yourself becoming an old stale paradigm if you refuse to accept the opportunity to change.