Mental Modes in the Making

What is a paradigm? Before reading the excerpt that was required in class I had no earthly idea of the depth that it held. A paradigm is a lens that we look through which can be viewed as a collective mental mode made up of our values, beliefs, and assumptions. An analogy that was discussed in class was an iceberg. To the viewer’s eye it is a small iceberg above water but below the water the iceberg is massive. Along with the size contains patterns, structures, and paradigms. This is a perfect analogy because our thoughts essentially represent the iceberg, they contain so much more than what the eye can see especially underneath the surface. Thinking is powerful in various ways and it’s fascinating that we are all subject to our own opinions. This heightens the wicked problems that surround us are unsolvable because no opinion is the same. Some opinions can go identified until someone pokes at the topic. I’ve learned in Wicked Problems 1101 that it is necessary to share how you feel and the thoughts that are running through your head because you gain new perspectives and ideas from others.

Like I said, I wasn’t aware of what a paradigm was and as the class continues I am learning more and more of things I didn’t know existed. I have come to conclusion paradigms may be personal or cultural, and we each have many different paradigms for different contexts. It is known that culture shapes paradigms. I then began thinking hard about the culture around me. What is the culture in Stillwater, Oklahoma? A college town that is filled with young people trying to figure out their future. How scary is that? A ton of indecisive teens that have only experienced little of the real world. Personally, I’m too focused on the wrongs instead of thinking about wicked problems, the crumbling world, or the underlying paradigms that surround me. Truthfully, I only think of myself. How can this be changed? I think a great plan of action can be taking time out of the day to meditate. Mindfulness this week has blown my mind. Who knew that taking 10 short minutes out of a typical busy college day can lead to better results in school. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. I have noticed that after meditating I have felt calmer, more in the moment, and eager to learn. I am excited to practice mindfulness before every class that I have.

If everyone were to participate in mindfulness I believe the world would be a better place. We the people would be happier as a whole. One way I can prove this hypothesis is I have the best example of happiness in my life. My aunt, Amanda, takes time out of every morning to dedicate it to yoga and some days just meditating. Although, they are two different exercises they both achieve the same things. Overall happiness. Amanda is someone who I look up to due to the fact she is simply kind, happy, and mindful of those around her. For me personally mornings are beyond hard. I need at least 30 minutes alone to recoup from the slumber that probably should have been longer. But, realistically I should take time to meditate or do yoga. Focus on the good and eliminate the negative. This would change my day in the best of ways and shape me into the good example that Amanda is for me.

Mental modes if expressed and shaped correctly can change the world. We are all subject to our own opinions and thoughts. How lucky are we that we have rights to express them? Because we have these rights we shouldn’t let them go to waste. I’ve learned to be expressive and tell others what’s on my mind and how I feel in every situation. This class has helped me realize the importance of speaking up. I am thrilled to see how mindfulness changes my view on the world and wicked problems that it holds. Mindfulness is a positive step to watching the wicked problems diminish.

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