Many people often grapple with an elementary question: “If what people assume to be average results are so sub-par, why are they so popular?” Bob Proctor provides the answer succinctly: “The majority of people have ingrained beliefs that are extremely hard to overcome. You would think they would want nothing more than to break free from their mundane and mediocre existence, but they stroll through their lives accepting what is simply given. They refuse to believe there is more.”
We need to conquer the old beliefs that are lodged in our minds. This work is internal, and we must do it ourselves. However, be aware that, no matter what new ideas you incorporate into your life,you will be faced constantly with the paradigms of those around you and of society as a whole.
Proctor believes that the word paradigm has been so overused, especially in the business world, that many people do not really understand its full meaning. “A paradigm is a collection of beliefs that are held by a group of people. It is not just one belief held by one person. These beliefs are shared, passed on and believed by generations.”
Take the paradigm that you need to have a traditional job. Included in this paradigm are these ideas: (a) you must have a job to be a contributing member of society; (b) those who put in many hours at a job are more committed and deserving; and (c) the better your education, the better your job.
Everyone around us passes on these ideas in actions and statements. They are taught in our schools; most of us hand them down to our children. You may not think these ideas are central to your own life. But answer this: When you are first introduced to a new person how often do you ask where they work?If your child or relative says they have no interest in school, how likely are you to be concerned and ask them how they ever expect to get a good job? If someone tells you they are self-employed, do you wonder if they really mean unemployed and are less than motivated to work? All of these thoughts are evidence of how deeply rooted this paradigm may be.
Once you begin to question your assumptions and thoughts, you will encounter something known as predictable divergence. At this point, you are able to see the truth—that these accepted paradigms are not what you want for your life. And your change in mindset will separate you from those around you—those who have not changed. This separation can be difficult. The unchanged around you will constantly try to bring you back to their way of thinking.
Fisher folks will tell you that you can catch a bucket full of crabs and never worry about them escaping: Any crab who tries to climb out will be pulled back into the bucket by the others. This is how it feels when you try to strike out on a new path and in a direction of which others are wary. You may think they are doing all they can to get in your way and pull you back. However, what they are really doing is projecting their own fears onto your situation. They may even feel that they are helping you—that they are steering you away from disappointment and failure.
If you want to accomplish what you want for your life, you must be able to resist this pressure. You have to do what others will not. You have to believe what they question and commit to stay the course. By moving out of the accepted norms and paradigms that society believes, you have an opportunity to investigate what life really has in store for you—not just accept the same old expected outcomes.
CRISIS OF CONSENSUS
When you go against the expected path—the one others think you should follow—you can feel isolated. This is another widely held paradigm at work; one Proctor calls the Crisis of Consensus. “We are indoctrinated from our earliest years to believe that working as a team produces the best results.”
To be fair, this can be true. If you have a sports team where the members are constantly pushing one another to greater heights, this works toward their collective good. They all have a common goal and an understood agreement as to how that goal will be accomplished. However, if you have a team where the path to the goal, or the goal itself, is undetermined, then something very different happens. As ideas are shared, the group will try to determine a path that all members of the group can agree on—not necessarily the one that will get them to a goal in the best or fastest way possible. The members who have very bold oravant-garde ideas will be brought down, while the members who have low expectations will be encouraged to participate and help.
As a result, the consensus becomes the action that will move them forward with the least amount of risk. Some of them may be sure what direction will be better, and others not. Since they cannot agree, they come up with a solution that everyone can live with but no one is happy with.
If you truly want to change your life, it is important to be around people with a similar mindset. If you constantly have to explain your actions and thoughts to someone who refuses to understand, your resolve will burn out over time and self-doubt yourself constantly.
While you have to be able to take criticism, it is more important to evaluate that criticism’s source. If you are given caution or advised by someone that has experience in the area in which you are working, then you should listen and give their words significant weight. If the person has no experience, then you shouldlet their words slip away and ignore them.
PERFORMANCE AND PROFIT
There seems to be a connection between performance and profit. Nearly every system in the business world relates these two concepts in terms of cause and effect. If you do A, you will get B. So, it makes logical sense that if you want to achieve a particular goal, then you should create the actions that will produce that goal. For example, if your goal was to run a marathon, then you might assume that if you train very hard, your goal will be achieved. However, if you really think about it, you will discover that these actions also represent an effect. The real cause was the decision you made, and continually make every day, to run that marathon. Without this occurring first, you will never become involved in the training necessary to bring about the effect of running that marathon.
This is obvious, widely understood by most people; and completely wrong, according to Proctor.“When you are looking for a cause, it is almost never an activity—it is a decision or intention in the mind.”
If you want to attain wealth, then you must first decide to do so. This is the first step in creating a wealthy mindset that will bring about your chosen result. The second step is to act. Missing this very simple distinction has contributed to quite a number of failed attempts. If you want to achieve a goal you have set, the most crucial part is to make the decision to bring it about and completely believe that it will happen. It does not matter if you feel it is outside your control. It does not matter if you cannot yet see how you will get from A to B. Those resources will show themselves after you have made the decision, not before. Always remember: BELIEVING IS SEEING, not the other way around.
If you do not embrace this concept, then you will waste a lot of time. The first step is to decide not to play ‘what if’ or to ask around and see whether or not others think you can do it. If you want to start your own business, then decide to make it so. If you want to change careers, then decide to do it. If you want to add value to people’s lives, then decide to do so. So many people waste so much time thinking that there has to be more to it. They often spend weeks, months or even years wondering if a particular goal is possible. However, if they had just decided and acted, they would have already achieved it. When you create this kind of doubt, you will invoke the Law of Attraction. Which will inevitably work against you.