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Fischer: Forget resolutions, this year it’s all about paradigm shifts

By Jen Fischer - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Dec 31, 2021

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Jen Fischer

Ode to the paradigm shift. Stay with me here while we lay a little background before we get to the real estate application. I promise, there is one. The new year is fast approaching, traditionally a time for reflections and resolutions. So much so, in fact, that it has become a cliché. Frankly, I refuse to do it. Perhaps because it is expected and I am a somewhat rebellious soul who balks at the idea of following tradition, or perhaps it is due to years of Jan. 1 goal setting that becomes absolved by Jan. 6. Either way, I struggle to succumb to the conventional. Call it a paradigm shift, however, and I will happily climb aboard.

Although the paradigm shift was originally identified by the well-known physicist Thomas Kuhn, I was first introduced to this concept by Stephen Covey when I picked up his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” nearly 25 years ago. While some people want to meet their favorite actor or music performer, I wanted to meet Stephen Covey. Although we never met in person, his ideas continue to influence me every day.

A paradigm shift can be defined as a fundamental change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way. Simple concept, but it becomes mind blowing (by my perspective) when Covey describes the result of application. He says, “Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world. … If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” Mind blowing, I tell you.

Covey gives a brief example in his book. He tells the story of a man who climbs on a moving subway in New York City with a gaggle of children. He sits back and closes his eyes while the kids wreak havoc upon the other patrons on the subway. The man does nothing. When Covey brings his attention to the unruly nature of his children, the man looks up and explains that they had just come from the hospital where his wife, the children’s mother, just passed away. He apologized for his children saying, “I don’t know what to think, and I guess that they don’t know how to handle it either.” Covey described how he suddenly saw things differently, and because of that, he felt differently, thought differently and, in turn, behaved differently. Voila, paradigm shift.

In this business of real estate, I am a witness to this process time after inspirational time. Many potential sellers or buyers of real estate must first experience this shift. It is uncomfortable and exhilarating, emotionally charged and exciting, terrifying and thrilling, all at the same time. The result, however, is life altering on many different levels, and I am one fortuitous individual to have a part in seeing it unfold.

When someone makes a decision that changes an entire location, even if it’s just a few blocks away, the dynamic of an entire geographical area changes. This is huge on every level.

Through the next few weeks, we will take an in-depth look at the habits that can be instituted to make this Great American Dream come true for anyone who wants it. Whether it is moving from an existing home, purchasing a first home, building a real estate portfolio through investing or any combination of such ventures, these are pivotal habits to have in place in order to shift both the literal and proverbial paradigm.

For now, however, lest you become immediately overwhelmed by the seemingly colossal implications of this undertaking, rest assured, if you hire a professional Realtor, the most difficult first habit is accomplished; be proactive. Stay tuned.

Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jen@jen-fischer.com.

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