Much of what we do as humans is get stuck in paradigms. A paradigm is a set of patters, and we use that pattern for everything. We have trouble seeing it any other way, so we keep using the same patterns over and over and over and over again.
The greatest inventions, the greatest revolutions, in life come not from copying the same pattern, but by being creative and coming up with a new pattern. And, thus, the greatest changes come about not by paradigms, but by paradigm shifts
Here's the best example I can give. For hundreds of years man rode horses. In the 1800s when one man invented a bike, the seat resembled that of a horse saddle. He wasn't very creative, he simply copied the same pattern.
Today, even though we have the technology to produce more comfortable bike seats, we still ride those uncomfortable bike seats because "to do otherwise would result in the rider not fitting in."
The motor cycle bike was a paradigm shift. Now there is a seat that is comfortable and fits nicely on top that bike. You can ride it without your butt getting sore.
When I was an advertising student my teachers would never let us make mock advertising campaigns for any famous product like McDonalds, Energizer, or Aflack. The reason is that those products already have famous ad slogans, and to try to think of a new campaign once the old campaign is already ringing in your head is next to impossible.
Yet it can be done. But only the brightest of minds can cause a paradigm shift. A good example on the negative end is Burger King. That company has had the worse advertising campaigns in the history of advertising, and yet ever time they come up with a new campaign it's just as bad as the previous -- a paradigm.
Politics is full of pattern following. Look at liberalism. For thousands of years people have believed that the government is the only solution to people's problems. They believed that by raising taxes on the rich and giving that money to the poor they will actually be helping the poor.
But, every time that pattern has been tried it has never worked. Thomas Jefferson and many of the founding fathers thought of a change to this paradigm by creating a government by the people and for the people with limited government involvement. And while this worked for a while, people caught up in believing in the feel good policies of the tax the rich ideas took over government.
In 1929 Hoover increased taxes to stave off a depression, but he caused it to get worse. FDR created a new deal and fooled the people into thinking it was working, yet in 1939 the unemployment and the GDP were twice as bad as in 1929.
By 1980 taxes were so high on the rich that the middle class and the poor had to suffer as a result. America had perhaps one of its worse recessions ever. And not only was there high unemployment, there was run away inflation too. So it took Ronald Reagan to come in and cause a paradigm shift to get the economy rolling again.
Then in the 1990 and 2000s you had liberal programs pent on providing loans to people who could not afford them, and therefore the economy spiralled into a recession. And Obama was elected and now he wants to try the same pattern as has failed thousands of times in the past.
Unless we have a major paradigm shift again, the economy will continue to spiral. The second coming of the New Deal will not work. And, still, Obama will continue to sell his New (RAW) Deal to the people because they are trapped in the ideas of the pattern -- the tax the rich and make people feel good about themselves paradigm.
The light bulb was invented by Edison making a paradigm shift, so too was the battery and the Ford assembly line, and the computer, and Google, and Yahoo and so many more brainstorms you use on a daily basis. What about E=mc2? The Atom bomb? The airplane?
These all resulted from paradigm shifts.
If you ever want to get rich, and leave your mark on the future, you will have to come up with a paradigm shift of your own. If we want America to prosper again, we need to elect officials who will not stick to the old patterns that do not work. A paradigm shift is in order.