I want something I can use from this

A paradigm is a metaphor that lets us see patterns in complexity. This is valuable because it helps us to interpret the past and predict the future, rather than perceiving events as random white noise.

By definition a paradigm is imperfect. It is a metaphor, it is not the real thing. It will explain some things, it will not explain others. A paradigm should be testable, if it bears up reasonably well then it is a usable paradigm, if it consistently fails, then it is a bad paradigm.

However a paradigm is can be used positively or negatively.

Negative paradigms are a form of fatalism; I am getting older and not so good at things, things always go wrong for me, people seems nice at first but once you get to know them they let you down, there is no point in trying because it won't work anyway. You can do all you like to keep fit but just get run over by a bus anyway. These negative paradigms often delight in their counterintuitive nature or rely on anecdotal evidence of people who were disproportionately lucky or unlucky.

Often these paradigms are a form of comfort, they tell you that there is no point in making an effort in future because whether you make an effort or not, the end result will be the same anyway. You have lost nothing by not making an effort in the past, because it would not have made any difference anyway.

There are positive paradigms too. These more actively and objectively seek to find a pattern in observed events that can be used to positive effect for example by modest changes in behaviour.

For example you might observe that people with a positive attitude and can do attitude at work tend to do better than those who are obviously negative, you could accept this as a general rule and then seek to demonstrate the behaviours that you have observed in others even if you do not feel that it is naturally you. Assuming you want to do better at work.

You might observe that groups of cyclists are more visible and hence safer than lone cyclists, and act upon it by cycling with others whenever you can. Assuming you want to be safe on the road.

Often these things can be little perceptual tricks, things that don't cost much effort but have a disproportionate effect. Things that make one example stand out above the others. Things that are associated with better long term outcomes.

Rather than using paradigms as an excuse for inaction, you can use them as a means of changing your own behaviour to achieve your own goals. It follows that you should have explicit goals, you should objectively observe/record relevant events, you should attempt to establish useful paradigms, you should amend your behaviour to test these paradigms, and be prepared to start all over again. Embedding the useful behaviours and constantly seeking out new paradigms and behaviours.

The world is one of constant competition against others - for example for jobs, and against an indifferent nature - for example seeking a long and healthy life.

You are born with what you are born with, but it is your paradigms and resultant behaviours that are what is really you, they are what you have actively chosen. What you do today makes you who you are tomorrow.