Shift the Paradigm

Berkeley, 2015 #cindyproject
Berkeley, 2015 #cindyproject

There is a concept called a “paradigm shift” — when we totally shift reality and perception.

What was once considered “truth” is discovered as “false” — and a new theory takes over.

As a thought experiment, I wondered to myself: what paradigms or “truths” do people believe in photography and life? And what if the opposite were true?

For example, I think these are some common “truths” people believe in photography:

  • More megapixels = better photos
  • More lenses = more creativity
  • Shooting with an iPhone or smartphone is not a “real” camera
  • Filters are “cheating”
  • You need to be on social media to become a famous photographer
  • You need to upload a photo everyday
  • To be a ‘legit’ photographer, you need to publish a book, or have a big exhibition
  • The more cameras, lenses, and expensive stuff you own, the happier you’ll be
  • Traveling will make you a better photographer
  • You need to backup all your photos

And here are some other “truths” I think most people believe in life:

  • More money = more happiness
  • Bigger house = more happiness
  • More luxurious car = more happiness
  • Fewer kids = happier
  • More gadgets, technology = happier and more efficient
  • Bigger smartphone or screens are better
  • Happiness = traveling the world
  • Retirement is good
  • Having “passive income” is the goal
  • Pleasure and entertainment are “good”
  • You need to eat 3x a day
  • You need to check email, social media, all the time

All of these are wrong

As a thought experiment— what if all these paradigms were false? What if the opposite were true?

Photography paradigm shift

So to switch up the prior list, this is the list of opposite ideas — which I believe are actually true:

  • More megapixels = worse photos
  • More lenses = less creativity
  • Shooting with an iPhone or smartphone is a “real” camera
  • Filters are not “cheating”
  • You don’t need to be on social media to become a famous photographer
  • You don’t need to upload a photo everyday
  • To be a ‘legit’ photographer, you don’t need to publish a book, or have a big exhibition
  • The fewer cameras, lenses, and expensive stuff you own, the happier you’ll be
  • Traveling will make you a worse photographer
  • You don’t need to backup all your photos

Life paradigm shift

Let us also take the prior list of ‘truths’ in life — and make them opposite:

  • More money = more problems
  • Bigger house = more stress
  • More luxurious car = more misery
  • More kids = happier
  • More gadgets, technology = sadder and less efficient
  • Smaller smartphone or screens are better
  • Happiness = staying at home
  • Retirement is bad
  • Having “irregular income” is the goal
  • Pleasure and entertainment are “bad
  • You don’t need to eat 3x a day
  • You don’t need to check email, social media, all the time

Think opposite

Whenever I want to be more innovative, to come up with new ideas, or to think outside of the box — I try to switch things up. I try to “think opposite”, and always ask myself, “What if the opposite were true?”

I’ve always been a bit of a black sheep. I remember ever since I was a young kid — I looked at what everyone else did and thought they were crazy. What a lot of other people did to me made no sense. Why did people work so hard, to earn more money, when it obviously made them more stressed out and miserable — and they didn’t even have time to spend their money.

Why did people spend all their time accruing stuff, when it just added more clutter, stress, and complications to their lives?

Why did people try to work more, and sleep less? Doesn’t everybody love sleep?

Listen to yourself

Whenever society or others tell you one thing — always consider that the opposite might be true.

Learn to think for yourself, and follow your own gut and intuition.

So what are some truths that you believe in, that nobody else believes in, but you? Write them down, reflect, and live a life according to your own beliefs and standards.

Always,
Eric

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