The Spodek Method Mindset Shift: Before and After. A World of Difference.

November 26, 2022 by Joshua
in Leadership, Models

People interviewing me consistently ask “what can one person do?”

If people are in the mainstream mindset, giving them instruction will more likely reinforce their current state. That is, if they think stopping polluting activities will make no difference or risk reverting to the Stone Age, then suggesting they plant more trees or avoid straws will seem pointless and make you look foolish in their eyes.

I suggest starting with the Spodek Method because it shifts their mindset, which primes them for a process of continual improvement. Then they want to change.

Before and after the mindset shift is a world of difference. Like the Continental Divide, where on one side a drop of water will reach the Atlantic, on the other the Pacific, acting before the Spodek Method mindset shift, action will revert to hopelessness and futility, after will lead to enthusiasm and compassion.

Actually, that description is the tip of the iceberg. The table below expands on the difference between before and after that mindset shift. I’m starting by sharing my experience of it. I’ll ask people who have gone through it to comment.

Before and After the Spodek Method Mindset Shift

[Note: The “After” below is long after moving from the cusp. Soon after, you may ask questions like “am I doing this right?” or “why aren’t more people doing this?”, or wonder things like “I didn’t think I could enjoy sustainability this much.”]

Guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness, dreadFreedom, joy, fun, connection, community, meaning, purpose
“What I do doesn’t matter”, “Only governments and corporations can make a difference on the scale we need”, “The plane was going to fly anyway”, “If we don’t progress, we risk reverting to the Stone Age or reaching a Mad Max-like apocalypse”“Nature is worth saving”, “I wish I had started earlier”, “I can’t believe I missed this staring me in the face all along”, “What have we done, what are we doing?”
Abdication, resignation, capitulationPersonal responsibility, compassion
“I have to”“I get to”
Focus on extrinsic motivationFocus on intrinsic motivation
Sacrificing Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You (Golden Rule), Leave It Better Than You Found It (Stewardship), Live and Let Live (Common Decency)Restoring the basic human values of the Golden Rule, Stewardship, and Common Decency
Not protecting life, liberty, and propertyRespecting others’ life, liberty, and property
Don’t want to learn more about nature or problem; it makes you feel guiltyWant to learn more about nature and our situation; it motivates action
“Here are ten little things you can do to help the environment”“Here’s how to connect with your emotions and motivations on the environment, nature, and stewardship”
If enough people do little things, it can all add upWhat more can I do and whom else can I engage. People doing big things they love so they share, leading others to do big things they love adds up
Better many people do a little imperfectly than a few people be perfectBetter we love what we do so we strive for our own reasons to do more, better
“Climate change is complex enough to understand or solve. All our other environmental problems are too numerous and complex to understand or act on: deforestation, ocean acidification, fisheries collapse, extinctions, biodiversity loss, and so on. I throw up my hands.”“Our environmental problems all result from our behavior, which is driven by our stories, beliefs, images, role models, and what constitute our culture. The difference between the fertile environment of our ancestors and ours today is the physical manifestation of our culture and values.”
Sustainability means deprivation, sacrifice, burden, and choreSustainability means connection to nature
Nature is scary and threateningNature is abundant if we don’t squelch it
Human ingenuity requires more energy than photosynthesis providesHumans are ingenious with or without energy
Constraints distort the marketConstraints breed creativity
“Others should change to pollute less, but what I do is so important, I should still pollute. I have to.” (Result: everyone else tells others they shouldn’t pollute while they still do)“You can’t lead others to live by values you live the opposite of”
“I’m doing all I can.” or “Aren’t I doing enough already?”Process of continual improvement
“Tomorrow will be worse than today”“I can affect tomorrow”
Outraged at others causing the problemCompassionate for others doing what you did too
Binary future: either we save ourselves or we collapse“There are levels of disaster. Everything we do can lessen others’ suffering”
“I just want to turn on the air conditioner or fly on a vacation and not have to think of everyone all the time”Connected to all other people, culture and nature
“Thinking of how my behavior affects others is a burden”“Thinking of how my behavior affects others is one of the best parts of being human”
“I have to balance caring about nature with living a good life”“I want to balance my comfort and convenience with how my behavior affects others, even far away”
“Being reminded of connection to other people and wildlife makes me feel shame”“Being reminded of connection to other people and wildlife makes me feel compassion and want to help”
“Technology is our only hope, or at least best”“Technology augments the values of the people using it. If we don’t act on different values, technology will accelerate our trajectory”
Simple cause and effectComplex system
“I am powerless”“I am powerful”
Don’t want to talk about itWant to share experience
Want more energy and powerEnjoy experience of nature and with people
Reactive, especially to marketingCurious about nature
“There’s no point. Nothing will make a difference”“I wish I had started earlier”
Twisted up inside from mental gymnasticsSeeing how it all fits together
“People who act are wasting their time, and stupid”“People who aren’t acting are suppressing and denying”
Addicted, dependentFree, independent
DoofFresh, local produce
“The people causing the problem are (unrepentant capitalists sleepwalking into destroying environment and enslaving people) or (ignorant socialists or communists sleepwalking into global totalitarianism we won’t be able to undo)”“We’re all causing the problem and we can all help solve it”
“We must destroy the system”“We must connect with our deepest, most human values. That’s what drives the system so that will change the system”
Resignation, giving upPassion, indefatigable
Others are hurting me“I can help others”
Want to get on with the life I planned before“What more can I do to help?”
Spread facts, numbers, instructionLead others to experience mindset shift
Education children. Adults can’t be changed.Lead most influential people, especially executives, elected officials, and cultural leaders

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2 responses on “The Spodek Method Mindset Shift: Before and After. A World of Difference.

  1. Pingback: This Sustainable Life turns 5 today » Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Flying to a sustainability conference is like hitting a piano with a sledgehammer to learn to play music » Joshua Spodek

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