The idea for this post was first introduced to me by an old friend – http://www.deanaduffek.com/ – You can see some of what she does on that link. She recommended that I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people and made reference to the paradigm shift idea. I had no clue what she was talking about so I got the book to find out. I didn’t read very much of it but I remember the lesson about the need for a paradigm shift when facing challenges so I am going to elaborate on that just a little. I sure wished that I would have remembered that lesson last night ……
Oh sorry – I guess I should get you onto my page so that you know what a paradigm shift is: a radical change in underlying beliefs. Relax just a little. I am not about to put some spin on a deep issue and ask you drink some Kool-Aid or anything like that. I am just going to tell you about something that happened to me so that you might avoid doing the same thing.
This fact about me is a need to know if you plan to read forward. I am a highly competitive person. Yes, really! I am sure there are some hidden issues from my past that a shrink could find as the reason but …. I like me. As a matter of fact, I like me sooo much that I refuse to stay the way I am! Which is why paradigm shifts are needed in my life.
So last night I had a singles tennis match and was set to play the #1 guy in my division. I just happen to be in LAST place which is a big deal for me. (see above) I am playing about 2 levels higher than my ability and he appeared to be playing about 2 levels beneath his. See where there is going! I am sure this will come as no surprise – He won. He won big. Matchstick / Bagel!
I didn’t go into the match expecting to win, even though I had some great words of encouragement from a friend – YOU CAN DO IT was my rally cry! But I did take on and accept a very negative attitude in the middle of the match. That attitude filled my mind after I asked my opponent if he really meant to play at the 4.0 level when it appeared he should be playing higher. Now I wasn’t rude and it was just as clear to him as it was to me that our skill levels are miles apart. He confirmed that he meant to play 4.0 as he really felt that he was a 4.0 player! My internal attitude took a dive.
BTW: Matchstick / Bagel = 6-1 6-0
I simply could not accept the fact that he should have been playing 4.0 and I could not get my mind over it! Period. Negative attitude set in and …. ……. well – I needed a paradigm shift.
I did continue to play and I even continued to try different techniques but my mind just wasn’t into it. I didn’t lose the match because of my attitude – He was clearly going to win on the skill differences – What I lost was the ability to get to know someone that crossed my path! I lost the chance to “touch” him (see yesterday)
When all was said and done I offered cordial congrats and good lucks and crawled into my hole to sulk. Basically I got into my car and drove home. Too bad because my paradigm shift came once I got here. I logged into the leagues website and searched this guys history – Based on 6 seasons of play it became clear to me that he did belong at 4.0
I know it took me a little while to get to my point and here it is: Once you become a negative person; before you act, speak, comment, move, motion, etc ….. etc ….. etc …… look for the Paradigm Shift!
Otherwise you may miss an opportunity to be something great to someone else!
(PS – Wanna know what my profile picture has to do with this post? Just ask)