On this page you will find a summary of the foundational principles and concepts that form the POZE Paradigm and the methodology of social change that derives from it. What is presented here is a condensed overview of several interrelated concepts. If you are interested in more details, please get in touch or check out the books listed on the Homepage.
We will look at 4 questions : WHY does a holistic perspective matter ?
WHO does it matter for? WHERE does it lead us ? What does this mean for YOU ?
We are at a crossroads. Inequity has flourished under the radar for centuries. Today, it is obvious that many have too little, and a few have a lot. Despite the efforts of many people around the World to make change happen, many others did not join them. This situation is not sustainable. Nobody is alone in the game of life. Ultimately we win only with a cooperative scope.
We need to change how we experience and address our environment.
COVID-19 raised the curtain on a systemic imbalance. It represents a systemic social paradox, because today every person on the Planet is at risk of infection. However, the exposure to that risk, and the impact of the Virus, as well as the measures to contain it, depend on the income, profession, and location of the individual. Unless we seize the challenge that COVID-19 has placed in our hands as an opportunity to finally design a social system that takes the needs and resources of everybody into account, the perspectives are gloomy, for each and every one of us.
Individual and collective wellbeing requires an attitude of purpose that is not directed towards personal benefit but collective completion.
‘Happiness’ requires purpose; and purpose reaches beyond the self. Individual and collective change in attitude and action is needed to build a future that is worth living for people, and Planet alike. The aim of POZE is to help individuals identify their purpose in this life, as a steppingstone towards sharing their own best self with others.
Why does a holistic perspective matter ? Because nothing happens in a vacuum.
We are part of a constantly evolving universal flow of energy. Evolving with it, while contributing to this organic evolution. Change, Connection, Continuity and Complementarity are in everything, everywhere.
4 principles rule life
- Change – Everything is constantly evolving.
- Connection – Everything is linked. Being influenced and influencing in return.
- Continuum – Everything is part of a whole.
- Complementarity – Everything is part of something else which completes it.
The POZE paradigm is anchored in the understanding that human existence is the result of 4 dimensions which are symmetrical to the 4 collective dimensions of society. Wellbeing requires a synchronization of these eight dimensions, within and between each other.
Dimensions of humanness
Human existence involves 4 dimensions, soul, heart, mind, and body; expressed as aspirations, emotions, thoughts, and sensations. This 4-dimensional reality is common to all humanity and represents a common foundation for individuals around the World to connect as equals. Our being and behavior influence our inner and outer realm, and they are influenced by it.
These 4 dimensions and those 4 principles color our experiences and expressions in any environment. They are at stake if we are committed to change.
Who does this perspective matter for? You, me, us.
Individuals form the center of Society. Aspirations are the core of individual existence. Thus, individual aspirations are the core of the overall dynamics in which we operate. They are the driver of sustainable change.
The expression of the 4 dimensions of our being is geared towards the disclosure of the best version of ourselves. Becoming oneself does not entail the addition of layers, but the revelation of those that were present from the beginning.
Similarly to a newborn whose immune system is strengthened by the process of birth, the pain of life leads to the gradual polishing of our personality. Guides and teachers are like midwives; their role is not to add but to facilitate the birth of what is already inside.
POZE is about personal change for social transformation.
WHERE does it lead us ? From a 360-degree understanding of life to holistic solutions.
Individuals are the smallest entity (micro) of various communities/institutions (meso), together these two constitute countries/economies/cultures (macro). Altogether these three dimensions in addition to Nature and other non-anthropocentric elements form Planet Earth (meta). Changing the World begins inside, at the center of this multidimensional interconnected dynamic.
Everything is connected. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Our choices have implications for ourselves, others, and the Planet. Our aspirations for the future influence our emotions and thoughts in the present, which influences our behavior thus our interaction with others and the environment.
COVID-19 is a conundrum, a gigantic challenge, because any solution that ambitions to be practical and yield sustainable progress, must be planned in a 360-degree perspective. Since everything is connected, the measures that are taken in one dimension have implications on the other ones. From the individual sphere up to the planetary level; dropping one stone may trigger a domino-chain of reactions. In the same way in which the problem ‘benefited’ from our globalized connection, the solutions must seize and build upon the opportunities that derive from our connectedness.
Our respective choices have never been as important as today. Understanding our own internal operating model gives us a reference point to better comprehend the environment in which we evolve. Such understanding equips us with a tool to systematically influence not only our own choices, but those of others too.
The situation that has set in from 2020 is likely to last, afflicting individuals around the World to different degrees. It is the consequence of a systemic social paradox which has lingered for a long time. The prevailing situation demonstrates on the one hand how tightly social, economic, political and environmental issues are wrapped around each other. On the other hand, it shows how the systems that we had accepted as a given, perpetuated social fissures.
The situation that stares us in the face now has been in the making for decades. Today we have the opportunity to change it, starting with the conscious choice to align our aspiration for meaning and wholesomeness with our actions.
Change is planted at the core of the core.
What does this mean for YOU ? A shift from observer of society to agent of social change.
Personal purpose is the driver that makes individuals move and stand up to face the tide. It led humankind to invent and explore the unknown.
Change starts from the inside out
The aspiration for meaning – the quest of a WHY – is the core of our being. Every single individual represents a unique combination of characteristics, skills, resources, and connections. These personal tools equip each of us with the ability to accomplish our purpose in an idiosyncratic way. Individuals who have identified and started to pursue their own purpose, activate the power that is inherent to their humanity.
In turn WHO we are as an individual and as a member of society influences how we experience the environment in which we evolve. This impacts how we express ourselves in this environment. What we think and feel influences how we talk and act, which in turn influences how others perceive us.
The resulting attitude to and behavior in situations influences WHERE we end up in life, because it influences WHAT we do.
Our experiences and expressions result in memories which the mind draws from in the future to assess situations; based on these assessments we re-act.
It is a vicious of virtuous cycle that can be influenced systematically.
Such influence involves 4 steps:
- Awareness to the interplay of aspirations, emotions, thoughts, behavior.
- Conscious influence on this interplay to shape interactions rather than being shaped.
- Gradual optimization of the interplay, to nurture inner peace, and deriving from it, harmonious relationships with others.
- Identification and pursuit of a Purpose, our mission in life, is the fourth and first step on this journey of becoming and sharing our own best self.
Change is nurtured from the outside in
The experiences that result from the interaction with others influence our image; internally and externally. Internally our experiences either nurture a positive vision of ourselves and of the environment or they hamper it. Externally our experiences influence whether others perceive us positively or negatively. This mixed image impact, either helps or hinders us in the pursuit of our purpose; the answer to our WHY.
The outside-in change dynamic works in smaller and larger ways.
Body posture impacts our physical, mental, and emotional status. It influences our mood, memory, behavior, and stress levels. It not only eases the symptoms of depression but lessens self-focus. Physiologically speaking, a physical pose that reflects an attitude of power – upright, square shoulders, and head up, sends a signal to the brain; a neural impulse which turns into an actual, physiological response that boosts brainpower. Furthermore, posture affects hormone levels—decreasing cortisol and increasing testosterone, the latter being associated with self-confidence. On the other hand, our actions impact our experiences and memories which eventually reshapes our mindset; both metaphorically and practically speaking.
Action can precede attitude. Priming new habits can begin with actions that are performed consciously, even if the underlying motivation is not intuitive. Gradually, the resulting experiences will result in new habit patterns in the mind. Especially in times of transition and uncertainty, thinking, and introspection may follow physical experimentation – not only vice versa. As these unaccustomed behaviors are performed repeatedly, they induce changes in the physical brain circuitry thanks to neuroplasticity. This makes them ever more permanent until they feel ‘normal’. The best way to become part of social change is to be proactive, plunging into new projects and activities, interacting with very different kinds of people, and experimenting with unfamiliar ways of getting things done.
WHY we are in this life influences WHO we become as a person over the course of our existence, which shapes WHAT we do and WHERE we end up. This dynamic works in both directions..
The mind triggers our re-actions in any new situation based on old experiences. It is an evolutionary set-up to re-act quickly by establishing shortcuts (heuristics) which are prone to errors (bias). Understanding the sub-conscious connection between our mental storage from the past, and our urges in a present-day situation enables us to be vigilant.
Once we are aware of our tendency to re-act (too) quickly, we can:
1) Choose to put inner space between the external trigger and our re-action to it. And
2) Use this buffer-zone to consciously choose our action based on our best knowledge at the time, in line with our overall aspirations; rather than re-acting blindly to an external trigger.
The journey of life is about becoming our own best self, and to share this self with others. Once the 4 dimensions of our being are synchronized, the connection between us and others ensues gradually, naturally. Such internal and external connection is conducive to both inner peace and external harmony. Because individuals who behave in line with the values that they believe in nurture a positive self-image. The latter is central to finding harmony inside, and such internal harmonization conditions social synchronization.
Social norms are the unwritten rules of behavior that are considered acceptable in a group or society. They result from the interplay between beliefs and behavior, between individuals and larger communities. In the same way that poverty and violence are condoned in some parts of the world today, preventing and palliating these issues can become a new social norm tomorrow.
We must dare to care about others, and care enough to dare and explore the unknown.
The Golden Rule
Existence starts with birth.
Life begins when we acknowledge that we are not alone and act accordingly.
Our individual wellbeing depends in the long-term on action that we take, for the wellbeing of others in the short term. The longstanding paradigm of homo homini lupus est (Latin for ‘man is wolf to man’) has served for centuries as an unspoken justification for ego-centric behavior. However, an attitude of homo homini lux est (Latin for ‘man is light to man’) is part of our human evolution. Enshrined in our DNA it is the reason why humanity has evolved.
What we do for others furthers our own interests – and theirs.
Individuals who act to further the wellbeing of others benefit in 4 direct and 4 indirect ways:
Win-1 – When we behave in line with our personal values, and the inherent aspiration of being ‘good’ we cultivate a positive self-image (Soul);
Win-2 – Helping leads to the release of endorphins (body); a hormone that is connected to the subjective feeling of happiness (Heart);
Win-3 – Experiencing the reaction of those who benefits from our action enhances the positive experience of that action, as we see and feel that our action has made a difference (Mind).
Win-4 – As our action enhances the wellbeing of someone else who is part of the same environment as ourselves, the betterment of that person’s situation improves the overall situation and atmosphere of the place we live in (Body).
Win-5 – Behaving in a kind, helpful manner influences how we are perceived by others. When that type of behavior is repeated over time it re-shapes the image that others have of us, leading them to trust and appreciate us more.
Win-6 – The repetition of a certain behavior strengthens the underpinning synaptic connections. This makes that behavior easier over time. Thus, what was initially a conscious effort turns into a natural action, that still yields the aforementioned benefits.
Win-7 – Bystanders who observe the act of kindness not only see their own mood enhanced; they may be inspired to echo the helping behavior, which may benefit other people in their environment, or ourselves who took the initial action.
Win-8 – The snowball effect of a pay-it-forward dynamic is triggered, which impacts wider Society.
In an ideal case, the constellation of Society, the meso, macro, and meta dimensions that we are part of, are conceived to nurture the best possible outcome for everyone. Building this type of Society involves all of us.
Finding and revealing our best self is not about adding more layers, but about removing the existing ones; to uncover that which is waiting underneath.
4 fundamental questions underpin humanity.
Each question is anchored in one of the 4 dimensions. Asking and answering these questions offers pointers to purpose
WHY do you aspire to live? It derives from the Soul’s quest for meaning.
WHO do you feel you are? It relates to the persona inside, the Heart that is alive underneath our social layers.
WHERE are you in your life? It comes from the image that a person has in Mind of themselves.
WHAT do you have to do to align your aspirations and your action? It activates the potential of transformation in the Body. Linking the present-day situation to the self that one aspires to be; it considers the past without judgement.
The answers to these 4 questions lead up to a fifth question:
HOW can you experience and express your own best Self?
The Honesty for Humility (H4H) questionnaire offers 4 entry-points to begin the journey of finding your Why, or to reconnect with it. Structured around the 4 interrelated dimensions of the POZE paradigm, the interview, which can be done autonomously or as part of a coaching process, looks at the various dimensions of our existence. Please check out the questionnaire and explore your thoughts, emotions and aspirations at this point in time.
The components of POZE
POZE entails 4 practical approaches: It helps individuals identify and pursue the meaning of their life through Purpose for Power (P4). Based on the P-Puzzle with addresses the 4 components of institutions – priorities, people, positions and programs, POZE supports organizations to (re) establish the connection between their staff and their mission, through Compassion for Change (C4C). It offers Influence for Impact (i4) to design pro-social communications that works with a 360 degree understanding of human decision-making. Finally Honesty for Humility (H4H) guides leaders at all levels to reconnect with the aspirations that brought them to their role.
Everything is connected. Collective transformation begins with individual change. Soul, heart, mind and body, expressed as aspirations, emotions, thoughts and sensations are symmetrical to the micro, meso, macro, meta dimensions that shape our life in society.
Our WHY, the purpose that we aspire to achieve, influences WHO we become, which influences WHERE we end up and WHAT we do. It is a two-way dynamic. Within the spiral of life it is never too late to reverse course. POZE may help to start or ease the journey.
HOME introduces POZE. In DISCOVER you find micro-presentations of the core concepts of POZE with short video-clips. In DIVE IN is a more detailed explanation of the paradigm and the logic underneath. In DREAM a selection of images and drawing is waiting for your interpretation. In DARE you have the possibility to get in touch, with ideas and questions.
For a guided visit of your 4 dimensions come and visit us at the Mystery Galaxy
A space dedicated to thinkers and doers, dreamers and seeks is waiting for You…