Practicing for a new paradigm

The #1 tip to stay motivated when everything is bonkers

B. Lorraine Smith
5 min readMay 24, 2024
Geese flying in formation over Lake Manitou (photo by author May 2024)

A couple years back I shared a set of guiding principles to stay motivated in the face of overwhelming stuff, in a piece called, “How To Stay Motivated When Everything Feels Bonkers”. Things have felt super-bonkers lately, so I circled back to remind myself of this handy tool-set. It gave me a chance to test it out again in real life, and thankfully it still works. Here’s a glimpse at the first principle in action, including a couple live examples.

Principle #1: Live in the paradigm I want

In the motivation piece I offer three principles. The first one is awfully easy to say: “I live in the paradigm I want.” It’s a little less evident how to put into place.

For example, I can say: “In the paradigm I want, there are no borders or private property.” Meanwhile when I go to Boston next week I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to show my passport. And when I get back, my landpeople will expect me to pay my rent. How on earth am I just moseying over to this other paradigm?

New-and-different step by new-and-different step — that’s how. One such step is recognizing patterns in myself that don’t belong in the paradigm I want, and changing them.



B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact.