Read these short blog posts to explore the Conventional and Natural Paradigms, and what it might mean to you to Re-Align with Nature.
“You can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet” is a mantra in the sustainability community. This statement makes logical sense, of course, but I also believe that finite planet thinking is inhibiting us from achieving our sustainability goals.
In his book The Infinite Game Simon Sinek says that an infinite game is where all parties are working to keep the game in play perpetually, and that there are no winners or losers. By contrast, a finite game is where all parties agree that the game will end and that there will be winners and losers.
Sinek describes how business is an infinite game, yet most companies play this game with a finite mindset. Leaders with a finite mindset are focused on themselves, on their competition, and on winning. This mindset can lead to short-term wins for the leader and the company, but there are always losers, and there are always negative long-term consequences.
The problem is that many sustainability leaders have come to believe that to be successful, they need to think like business leaders — they need to operate with a finite mindset. They believe they have to play the game and play to win. They may seek win-win scenarios, but they still need to win. They may seek collaborations and partnerships, but when push comes to shove, they need to protect their own organizations, and themselves. Does this sound familiar?
It may be true that “You can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet”, but the planet, the celestial body we call Earth, is not really the focus of our concern. What we really care about are the systems of life that exist on our planet. We care about Nature and human well-being.
The goal of life on Earth is to keep life going, forever. Although each living thing is ephemeral, life itself continues by focusing on reproducing, recycling and regenerating, adapting and evolving, creating conditions conducive to life — and by depending on sunlight, an infinite energy source.
Nature has an infinite mindset and plays an infinite game, so in Nature infinite growth is possible.
Nature’s Paradigm — believing in and valuing abundance and systems, synergies and trust, resilience and curiosity — is an infinite mindset.
The Conventional Paradigm — believing in and valuing scarcity and individualism, competition and greed, resistance and fear —is a finite mindset.
I believe if we want to succeed in achieving our sustainability goals, we need to shift from a finite mindset to an infinite mindset. We need to shift from the Conventional Paradigm to Nature’s Paradigm.
If you’re curious, I invite you to download the [free] Tiny Transformation Workbook which will give you tiny peeks into the Conventional Paradigm and the Natural Paradigm, and then a tiny experience of intentionally living from your Natural Paradigm.