Need to Bring the Cradle Home

I have written about the “Cradle to Cradle” rather than “Cradle to Grave” care discussed by McDonough and Braungart in Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle. In their books, they discuss the life cycle of products from the beginning, Cradle, until they are not used anymore and disposed of, Grave. Their concept was to use products until the end of their useful life. When products cannot be used anymore, the products should be “upcycled”, not trashed, so the materials from the product could be used again. See Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad.

Overall they are referring to the organizations that extract material, then manufacture a product to sell which eventually ends up as waste. Their concept was for organizations to have responsibility for the products and all that it took to make them until the end. The end, however, should be an “upcycle” where it is used for a greater purpose or at least where it is used as recycled material for new products so more virgin material does not get extracted. While I understood this intellectually, I guess I did not understand what it meant until I was picking up garbage on our beautiful Greenways in Greenville NC.

While picking up garbage on the Greenway I realized there was no way to trace back these waste materials. Of course, many would suggest we should just more severely restrict people from dumping their garbage. That solution, however, is unlikely to work. Penalizing people is a day late and a dollar short. After all, nobody likes being told what to do to cause less bad, they want to be responsible for more good.

Hard to See Financial Benefits

At first glance, the benefits of being responsible for products from cradle to grave are hard to see. These benefits are what Kahneman & Tversky would call mental illusions. In reality, with effort, having organizations be responsible for their products through their lifecycle can be financially beneficial for them as it also benefits society, as a by-product. In a Karma-like fashion, organizations that do good for society get more business due to the good feelings generated by their efforts. This is true and has been documented by Interface, Inc., a modular carpet company (see We Must Make It Better – Saving the Planet not Enough!)

Action Needed

Right now we only have cradle-to-grave legislation for hazardous materials. Why don’t we do it for all materials? People are supposed to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and since corporations are considered people, they should be held to the same standard. Upon reflection, however, this would not be a problem but a benefit. Being a better steward of their business and the materials used would yield less expensive operations, better processes, better use of resources, and a cleaner world.

In other words, seeing all the garbage in greenways showed me what happens to the cradle if it is not brought home. (ok, not a perfect analogy) I know there is more to be done – such as advocating for new laws. However, moving toward a default standard that helps organizations be responsible for their goods from cradle to grave or ideally cradle to cradle, we could begin to generate comprehensive improvements. This means we should push for legislation, laws, studies, and more that document the benefits to organizations, people, environments, and more when actions upcycle used goods, not just cause less waste.

In other words, “nudging” organizations, with better regulations, to be more responsible for their products so they do not become garbage like I saw on the greenways could help generate comprehensive improvements. These new laws would push organizations to work like Interface, Inc who has been able to create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, and profitable synergistic processes from which everyone and everything would benefit.

Please share information about other organizations who have learned how to bring the cradle home by following a path to generate more good and how it has made them more profitable and a better contributing member of society. I look forward to hearing from you.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Randomness & Creating Outcomes

I read Nasim Taleb’s books, “Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Our Life and in the Markets” and “Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable“, in 2014 and 2015. I had created this post a few years ago but just noticed it was not published. His books are great and they have provided great insight. I encourage all to read his books. I updated these posts – Enjoy. Please share your thoughts when you read his work.

books
blackswan

To me, his books explained that although hard work cannot cause success, it is a necessary ingredient. For without hardwork and preparation, success at anything is less likely. In our world, the idea of random success seems unfair and is not something one can hope to occur.

Even though we want to believe hard-work is enough, we know that our world is random. Too strong a belief in randomness and its influence over our life is debilitating. Despite this contradiction, we want to believe we can influence life even with the powerful and overpowering influence of random events. As Israel Zangwill, an English dramatist proclaimed,

“Take from me the hope that I can change the future, and you will send me mad.”

Israel Zangwill – Ghetto Tragedies

Nassim Taleb provides an interesting perspective on the situation related to the idea of randomness and how it affects our lives in his excellent books. His perspective seems influenced by his work as a Trader on Wall Street.

An excellent point he explains in his books is how we are a backward looking species and our hindsight bias makes past events seem less random than they were. Our brains automatically fill in the missing pieces. He artfully explains how our biased brain works and how randomness affects us. He often cites and uses the work of Nobel prize winning psychologists Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky who examined how our biases impact the decisions we make under uncertainty. They concluded that life often leads us to misread reality and have “Mental Illusions”. (see Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us).

While he documents that we are designed by nature to fool ourselves, as Kahneman & Tversky’s work has shown, we have an opportunity to tilt the table in our favor. The opportunity exists because we evolved in a much slower moving world than exists today. As he notes, this means we are more susceptible to chance BUT that we can improve our chances by being prepared like nature.

As he explains, great and extensive preparation cannot and does not cause success, but it does improve the chances for success. It can tilt the tables in our favor and improve the probability of success. From my reading, it means that although hard work to prepare cannot cause success, success without hard work and preparation is unlikely.

He further explains that, unlike nature, we do not overprepare, but should. Nature, in essence, prepares for the next occurrence by over-preparing for higher exposure. This is why nature builds redundancy with spare parts, i.e. 2 kidneys. Over preparing, as is done by nature, which we are a part, (see Updated: We are Just Talking Apes) also means we have the capacity to exceed expectations. This function by nature is also documented by Jane Benyus in Biomimicry (see Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative)

Instead of building more capacity, we do the opposite by using leverage such as debt or worst case scenario preparation. As he notes, this type of testing cannot be only for what has already happened because the data for what could be worse does not exist. This becomes even more relevant with ongoing climate change. He calls this naive empiricism. As he explained, contrary to conventional wisdom, our body of knowledge does not increase from a series of confirmatory observations (i.e. Turkey killed 1 day but all other days were ok so cannot predict).

As Yogi Berra mused:

“Its tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Some insights from these books were:

1. We are more emotional than we are rational. We can train ourselves to be more rational, reasonable, or logical; but we need emotions to be able to function effectively. Training our emotions is good but we must remember that we cannot be Spock from Star Trek because we could never make decisions without emotions.

2. Wild success is possible but we need luck. Luck however cannot happen without being prepared and being prepared takes hard work. Like Gladwell explained in “Blink” and “Outliers”, we can trust our gut to make great decisions but that gut must first be trained well – 10,000 hours to become an expert. In other words, the age old saying that hard work leads to success is only partially right. Hard work cannot guarantee success, but without the work, success because highly unlikely.

3. A final point that has stayed with me from “Black Swan” was, “the absence of evidence is not evidence of its absence.” This is something I now apply to many aspects of my life. He provides examples such as breast milk which at first they did not see it as beneficial because of what was measured. They only looked to see if problems were caused, not of benefits gained. No evidence of benefits does not mean there were none.

Nassim Taleb seems to suggest we should work to generate comprehensive improvements by working like nature. As he details, we cannot rely on randomness but can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits by over preparing. Please share how you overprepare and how it has helped. I look forward to hearing from you.

PS For a different perspective on the same ideas – see Its All Meaningless! Here is How to Create Meaning! and Making Sense of Chaos, Meaninglessness, Disorientation

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Great New Years Message!

Vic Strecher who wrote, “Life on Purpose” and “On Purpose” and also regularly publishes Purposeful tips. For 2023 he sent a great New Years’ Message. I want to promote his message about taking action to make good things happen.

His Recommendation – frame messages as something positive to do, not something to avoid or something you will not do. Not taking action does not make good things happen, it may only possibly stop bad things from happening. Our life is about what we do because doing good things can “crowd out” bad things as noted in previous posts,

For the New Year 2023, focus on what you will do not what you will avoid. My focus is on creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Doing this is the best way I know to generate comprehensive improvements. Please share how you make 2023 and beyond even better.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Feature positive is real

Aloha from Hawaii. An interesting fact I learned is that it is pronounced HaVaii, not HaWaii. The V sound should be used when a W is in the middle of a word. The W does have the W sound if the W is at the beginning or end of a word like for Waikiki beach.

Aloha Stock Photos, Royalty Free Aloha Images | Depositphotos

Our visit to Hawaii also made me think more about a post I had started that was about the Feature Positive Effect. The Feature Positive Effect describes how we are more aware of and cognizant of things that are present rather than items that are absent. In Hawaii, we are constantly in nature and it becomes more present. With the aloha spirit, no beaches can be private in Hawaii – all must have public access.

Making Research Real

As a student and as a professor, I find it most important to understand what I am learning means to me in my life and how I can be use this new knowledge in my life. Feature Positive Effect explains that we see the presence of things more than their absence. This may be why prevention efforts are generally less effective. Why should people be willing to put an effort into getting rid of something that does not exist? Remember if we are preventing something, it cannot exist now.

Even so, what does the Feature Positive Effect mean in real life? I noticed an example recently. Toward the end of the semester, I grew a beard. Many people commented to me about the beard, probably because it was present. Then near the end of the semester, I shaved it off. Nobody said anything. In other words, the absence of the beard was not noticed, only its presence. Even when I said something to people they responded with a comment such as, “oh yeah, it is gone.” To me that could be an example of the Feature Positive Effect, Default to Truth or Status Quo Bias since no beard is normal for me.

Most of us want to make a positive impact in life, Feature Positive suggests we should do something that results in the presence of something noticable, rather than to prevent something which results in the absence of something we don’t want. For this and many other reasons I attempt to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-postiive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits so everyone and everything benefits – the presnce of something good. I look forward to hearing about how you create the presence of more good things.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Architecture Creating All Good

On Halloween, October 31, 2021 60 minutes shared an amazing story about MASS, Model of Architecture Serving Society, a non-profit architecture firm. Using the best designs, they developed hospitals that were amazing. Please watch the 60 minutes story below to learn more. However the most amazing part of this story is how they built on their initial success.

Building on Fantastic

After creating hospitals for Rwanda that better serve their communities by using locals sources for labor and material, they have now created a regenerative university in Rwanda. The story is linked to the headline below

MASS Design Group Establishes a Model for Regenerative Construction in Rwanda

The development is expected to be the world’s first carbon-positive university

More about MASS

On 60 Minutes Overtime it shared this story about why they use a film maker to share their story.

You can see the full 60 minutes session here.

Below is also a TED talk by Michael Murphy, “Architecture that’s Built to Heal”, shares more about how this amazing story started. He says we are designing hospitals to make people healthier as it reduces its environmental footprint.

Most important to me is how MASS demonstrated how their architecture techniques can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I am sure many more are doing this, please learn from these fantastic people at MASS and share how we can build on their successes!

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Becoming our Best Is Best

I was honored that Sydnii Robinson Co-authored this post with me. Thank you Sydnii.

Complaining begets more complaints. Anger begets more anger. And optimism begets more optimism.

Simon Sinek

As Simon Sinek suggests, what we do creates more of what we have done. In other words, “Good begets Good”. Evidence suggests that if we work to become the best version of ourselves possible, this will generate good for all. This runs counter to many of our efforts. It seems we are always trying to solve problems. For instance we want to “End violence”; “Stop Inactivity”; or “Stop eating Fat”. While these actions may be morally correct, they do not create what we want.

Ending violence cannot give us what we want, love and caring. Love and caring however has the potential to “crowd out” violence as it creates the reality we desire. Stopping what shouldn’t be done, does not and cannot cause what can be done. It may provide room to do the right thing, but doing the right things takes courageous effort and action. For example, we cannot end procrastination unless we do something.

As a personal example, I have had back trouble every 6 months or so. Then we finally realized my legs are different sizes, only a 1 cm difference. This small difference altered my walk and caused severe back and hip pain. It is all connected.

When I first got the small lift for my shoe it felt like I had someone elses legs – they felt very strange and uncoordinated. Not doing anything of course would mean it would continue to feel strange, however with walking and attempts at running my legs are beginning to feel normal again. As noted by Deming’s Appreciation for a System, General Equilibrium Theory, Risk Homeostasis Theory, Zoobiquity and so much more, when we change anything, we change everything. As John Muir, founder of Sierra Club noted:

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world.

John Muir. All things in the universe are interrelated.

An Exception?

I believed ending bad cannot cause good. However after I saw Seaspiracy I thought there was an exception. The recommendation in Seaspiracy is “…to stop eating fish” to end ocean fishing. The logic seems sound, if we stop eating fish, demand for fish will stop. After demand decreases, because it is a connected system, the lack of demand will end ocean animal agriculture. However, upon reflection, that was too simple. Either way, I strongly recommend you watch Seaspiracy if you have not seen it yet (the trailer is below – it is on Netflix).

To me, one of the most fascinating and enlightening facts in the movie was the role fish and their excrement play in managing both carbon and the health of coral reefs. We have heard warming is hurting the coral, but we haven’t heard that healthy coral reefs require more fish and the bonus that more fish also will capture and store more carbon as they enhance the health of coral reefs. Please share what you find most fascinating in the movie.

Another impactful take away from Seaspiracy was that deep-sea fishing, called bottom trawling, causes an estimated 3.9 BILLION acres of seafloor deforestation per year. This means sea floor trawling is way more destructive than land deforestation which is estimated to be 25 million acres per year. Despite its immense damage, it is not seen by satellite or people living near because it is underwater. It is alarming and certainly justifies the “stop eating fish” recommendation. Can some experts share their knowledge about this information and data to confirm these concerns?

Linked Facts from Seaspiracy

Deprivation Never Works

It seems obvious, however the recommendation to “stop eating fish” is too simple. As the Losada LineKahenman & Tversky’s Loss Aversion, and Gottmans work with marriages documents, we need more good, not just less bad to ignite action. Not only will people feel deprived, making it unlikely for the action to continue, research demonstrates that unless we are providing people with a better alternative, doing without, such as doing without seafood, will not take hold. On top of that, the proclamation that we should not eat fish will add guilt when seafood is eaten and this will lower life quality.

What do we do?

To do something that can make a difference in this interconnected world, take actions to become the best version of yourself by eating whole plant foods. As noted in the movie by James Cameron, Game Changers, plant based nutrition is the necessary ingredient for athletes and people to perform and think their best.  The action recommended to be our best in Game Changes also means we don’t eat fish.

In other words, eating plant based nutrition to become the best version of ourselves is also what will be best for the world and will also help solve the problem of animal agriculture.

Wonderful Example

Brad Lancaster provides a great example of how to do good, that begets more good as a “Water Harvester”. I encourage you to watch as he shows how doing good, begets more good.

Eating Our Way to Extinction

I also recommend you watch Eating Our Way to Extinction, it does a good job documenting our situation and supports actions we can take to help us become the best version of ourselves. The actions recommended in this movie will also benefit everyone and everything.

I live to make my life as good as it can be and doing so helps me become a better version of myself. What I find rewarding is that the actions I take to improve myself generate comprehensive improvements. These improvements also lead to net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits, which is paneugenesis or creating all good. This post shares more ways to become a better version of yourself that will also make a positive contribution. What more could we ask for?

Please share how you make your contribution so we can learn from your actions and also share how you integrate these idea into your life. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker & Sydnii Robinson

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Mundane mobility is all good

I recently had the opportunity to attend the NCBikeWalk Summit. The conference was good a reminder of the tremendous impact communities have our lives. The focus of the summit was on “active mobility” and a move away from our car-centric communities. This is good from many perspectives, most especially for all our quality of life as it also reduces our reliance on fossil fuels.

I learned a great deal at this summit, including learning from Melody Warnick about how we can better our home and develop “Place Attachment” by walking and biking. I encourage you to review her resources here. I also discussed at her work in the post Prevention can Be Harmful.

David Zipper also provided a fantastic keynote. He captured the simple concept of mundane mobility. As he states in his excellent article, “It’s Time for Some Cheap and Boring Transportation Solutions”, rather than paying to get the next expensive invention such as a hyperloop or autonomous vehiclse, we should develop “Mundane Mobility solutions” because they

“…actually work…don’t grab headlines, but… also (won’t) break a city’s budget or trigger angry pushback”

David Zipper in “It’s Time for Some Cheap and Boring Transportation Solutions

This means instead of having FOMO – or Fear of Missing Out – as he explains in the article, “What does FOMO have to do with urban mobility policy? , we should focus on better ways to commute. FOMO should have nothing to dow with policy, but in reality, it impacts policy quite a bit”. He suggests FOMO should not impact policy because cities should “…embrace whatever solutions can bring the most benefit to the most people”. As he documents, these mundane include greenways, biking lanes, pedestrian cities and other simple ideas desired by many.

Melody Warnick even highlighted that 60% want walkable and bike-able neighborhoods. It was this strong desire that generated the creation of a Walk Score so people could choose cities that make walking and biking easier. Walk score rates a cities walkable opportunities. Walkability has become so desired and valuable that it is even being used by real-estate sites such as Zillow so they can better evaluate neighborhoods. It impacts our lives, studies show walkers are happier than commuters. One study suggests if walkers became commuters they would need a 40% raise to get the same satisfaction.

Overall, mundane mobility can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everyone benefits. Mundane mobility is another way to practice paneugenesis to create all good. Please share how mundane mobility has impacted your life. Do you walk or commute? Which do you prefer? Why?…

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Prevention can Be Harmful

As noted in the Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! post, a prevention and problem focus is not a path to improvement. I only noted that prevention and problem elimination does not improve, however some research has now demonstrated that prevention efforts can be harmful. In other words, prevention effors can actually makes things worse than if nothing was done at all. The Scared Straight! program provides an example.

Scared Straight!.jpg

Studies of results from a number of Scared Straight programs showed that those in the program had increased crime rates and higher re-offense rates than those in control groups. Though they are unsure why, this peer reviewed research suggests that a focus on prevention caused more harm than doing nothing. This example suggests a need to focus on causing more good, not just less bad.

“Field of Dreams Illusion”

It is as if we have fall under a spell and believe the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” when they said, “If you build it, they will come”. That is a dream, it takes more to create a new reality, specifically it takes action to create a desired reality.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

Thinking too Small

Focusing on problems or prevention is “thinking too small” and it is easier. Deciding what you don’t want is simple, putting in place what you do want is harder and takes more effort. As an example, it is easier to not like where we live, however as Melody Warnick and other demonstrate, creating attachment to place and having a higher quality of life takes action.

As noted in the Become by Doing post and by Andrew Huberman, PhD:

Beliefs do not change our actions, Actions change our beliefs.

Andrew Huberman, PhD – Stanford

Supporting Podcast

Simon Sinek has offered and provided many valuable resources including his excellent book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. I highlighted some of his work in this post, Talk without Your Phone – Everything can Benefit. Besides all that, he also has a good podcast called “A Bit of Optimism…” I listened to episode #57 when he talks with Pat Berges and he explains how he took action to cause what he wanted. Throughout the episode he discusses how his actions are what created the reality he desired so it I am adding it to this post because it seemed relevant.

The podcast webpages describe the episode this way:

Don’t you hate it when you’re coasting along — not a care in the world — and then it feels like life comes out of nowhere and hits you like a car, almost paralyzing you? Well, for Pat Berges, that wasn’t just a feeling…that actually happened.

Like many of us, Pat is not a natural optimist. He had to learn how to find optimism during this dark period. Not only did it help him recover, but what he learned continues to help him be, well, optimistic.

I encourage you to listen to this good podcast with Simon Sinek and Pat Berges.

Doing Good Better

The answer seems to be Doing Good Better, which is the title of an excellent book by William MacAskill. In this book he promotes methods for effective altruism. In the book he cites multiple data sets and empirical evidence to document that taking better actions to do good is necessary to cause or enable more good.

Doing Good Better book cover

As another example, developing attachment to place has been shown to improve well-being as it improves the place, reciprocal determinism. Specifically Melody Warnick in her 2 books, If You Could Live Anywhere and This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, discusses 10 actions to use to develop attachment to place. More information about here work can be seen here (posted July 2022). You an also listen to this podcast with Melody here (also posted below). The methods proposed by Ms. Warnick which I strongly endorse will simultaneously improve a persons quality of life as it improves ones attachment to their place.

In simple terms, these are the actions she suggests:

  1. Buy and shop local
  2. Walk & Bike
  3. Get to know your neighbors
  4. Enjoy assets – spend time in area
  5. Experience nature
  6. Volunteer
  7. Eat local food
  8. Be civically engaged
  9. Create something
  10. Build residence

Developing Attachment = Paneugenesis or All Good

Melody Warnick provides a fantastic example of how to practice paneugenesis to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. The 10 actions espoused by Ms. Warnick, which I strongly support, will create attachment to place as it yields selfish, selfless synergistic benefits from which everyone and everything benefits. Please get Melody Warnick’s books to learn how to improve your life and share the benefits you experience as you take action to gain “attachment to place” by practicing paneugensis.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Creating a Better Tomorrow

I talk and post often about designing for MORE GOOD, not just a less bad. To enable this I use and require my students to use the Paneugenesis Process. As noted in many posts, including Less Bad ≠ More Good – We Must Create Good, Make 2020 Your Best Decade Yet… and many other posts, I describe the 4 step Panueugenesis Process this way:

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Operationalize Desired Idealized Outcome
    • Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
    • Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
  2. Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
    • Research to discover what must come before idealized outcome, what must be true for desired outcome to occur
    • Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
    • These Precursors are goals that must be achieve before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, its designing a process to help grass grow)
    • Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
    • Update unneeded, outdated or inappropriate actions to ones that created idealized vision,
    • Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
    • Measure and document progress forward toward idealized outcome
    • Plan and develop next steps to enable continual improvement

Experience has documented that hardest part is also the most important. This is step 1 which requires Creating and Operationalizing an Idealized Outcome. To operationalize means all parties understand the goals and aims.

People often avoid generating an idealized outcome and fall back on the default of noting problems that explain why things are not ideal. That is easier and most importantly, if improvement beyond the status quo is desired, doesn’t actually make things better. It can’t be better than the status quo because Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant!

I noted all this because Damon Gameau’s and his team appear to have created 2 films that Operationalize Idealized outcomes. These 2 movies are 2040 (I ordered and plan to watch)

And Regenerating Austraila. Right now information suggest this movie is not available in the US yet, but I am trying to get a copy. Please advise if you know how I can get a copy.

I encourage you to learn more about his work so you also can be inspired to use the Paneugenesis Process to generate and create idealized outcomes. I look forward to learning about how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Hearing a Repeated Message

Be a Good Listener

Over and over it seems I have heard that the smartest person in the room is the best listener and they say you can’t learn anything from others while talking, etc. In a recent post, Trust but Verify, I noted that sometimes the universe seems to be sending messages. The message last week that the universe kept sending, but it took time for me to hear, was that I should Trust but Verify. This week I am finally hearing another message the universe continues to share over and over, but for some reason I was hearing it without fully internalizing it.

This idea focuses on what seems to be captured by, “nature knows best”. Although humans are clever, we generally learn our methods are not as good as we think and nature is smarter. Nature obtained its genius from its 3.8 billion years of development and testing, see post Standing on Natures Shoulders. This idea was captured and has been discussed many times in my posts when I discuss “Undoing”. Undoing was how Michael Lewis captured the works of Kahneman and Taversky in his book, “The Undoing Project“. I shared more about this book in my post, Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us. Some of the other related posts include: To Improve: “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!, More Undoing: A Beneficial Drug Policy, Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us.

Michael Lewis also documented and demonstrated this idea in his book,  Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game (also a Movie of the same name) . In that book Lewis highlights undoing of what were thought to be good methods in baseball and many other fields.

Soft Versus Hard Path

This idea that “nature knows best” was also captured by Amory Lovins in the 1976 article, An Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken. The article described the options as a soft versus hard path, see post: Policy for Comprehensive Improvements. The soft path worked with and facilitated what would happen and did not force outcomes as was done in the “Heat, Beat, Treat” traditional method. As he demonstrated, the soft path was a better path economically, environmentally and with regard to quality of life.

The Soft Path by Amory Lovins, The Gaia Hypothesis and Deming’s System Appreciation and System of Profound Knowledge all replicate natures methods and call for engaging in net positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic actions so everyone and everything benefits. It is what I call the Paneugenesis Process.

 As we build a better system, this new system must build a green economy that works with our environment not against it by using the soft not the hard path. Our traditional, thought to be clever method of “Heat Beat Treat’, or forcing nature to comply was not as good as we thought. A better way works with nature as Janine Benyus, of  Biomimicry fame, made these methods much more popular. This is a link to article that describes how she is Inventing the Eco-Industrial Age .

A better system has been shown over and over to us by the universe as one that works with nature to generate comprehensive benefits. Better listening skills would have helped me hear this message more clearly. Listening has helped me understand that pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions, a soft path, will also benefit the environment and enable us to thrive from our actions.

Act Now – Act to Think

Although these actions seem obvious in retrospect, my slow understanding means we must Act to think and not wait to believe it before we act. Huberman’s research supports this approach.

Beliefs do not change our actions, Actions change our beliefs.

Andrew Huberman, PhD – Stanford

Other benefits follow, as noted by Dr. James Lovelock and his Gaia Hypothesis:

…if the Earth improves because of our presence, then we will flourish.

James Lovelock

What is the Moral?

Messages are out there, we must listen by seeing what works without forcing it to happen. The soft path, not the hard path as described by Amory Lovins will help. It is not about forcing an outcome, it is about not getting in the way and helping it happen. If we listen and work with nature, thus making life more livable, amazing things are possible for everyone and everything because of it.

What is the universe telling us that you have not internalized? Please share what you have learned and also how you worked with nature to generate comprehensive improvements.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Trust but Verify

Hurricane “Ian” ravaged Florida and the east coast in September, 2022. Some were fatally trapped because they stayed in their houses when the storm hit land. Although most would “trust” weather forecasts, they could not “verify” it would be that bad until it was too late. That is often the issue, timing delays our ability to “verify”.

“Trust but verify” became famous, according to Wikipedia, when Ronald Reagan used it during nuclear disarmament talks with the Soviet Union. Ironically, at least according to Wikipedia, it is a Russian Proverb. This saying has become relevant in my life, can be related to actions with hurricane Ian, and may be beneficial to your life.

At least for me, it seems the universe can talk to me. This time it was about the Russian proverb, “Trust but verify”. Of course it only became relevant because I also had read Malcom Gladwell’s provocative 2019 book, “Talking to Strangers“.

Talking to Strangers

Transparency, Understanding

Gladwell’s book was very enlightening (I recommend the book and summary). WIth research, “Talking to Strangers“, in Gladwell’s trademark neutral method, documents how we are good at understanding others when they act as expected, but bad at discerning the truth when they do not act as we think they should. He even suggests it could be because of the “Friends” effect. In the sitcom “Friends”, the actors emotions, expressions and actions are all consistent and support what they will do.

In “Friends”, if they are smiling, they are happy, if they are trying to cheat or trick someone, they act suspicious. In real life, that is not always the case, only sometimes are we transparent such that our actions match our intentions. Gladwell explains the “Friend’s” effect to Jimmy Kimmel at about 2 minutes in the interview below. He also summarizes so much more. I strongly encourage you to listen to this 8 minute interview and read his book.

To demonstrate this conundrum, Gladwell documents other experiences in the book. One story discusses how Penn State’s University President, Graham B. Spanier, was fired for endangering children when Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of child abuse. He contrasts this to parents who were in the room when Larry Nassar abused their kids and yet they were not thought to be negligent. Life is ambiguous…

Default to Truth

Gladwell suggests and suspects this happens because people will automatically default to truth, or believe what is best, when people are acting as expected. In other words, we default to “Trust”. It is hard not to and it takes extreme risk and difficulty to go against the tide when others trust. The second part of the proverb, “Verify”, is what we should do but it is complicated by timing and effort.

This is a proverb because we want colleagues and supervisors to think the best of us, or to Trust us. Think how horrible it would be if people automatically assumed the worst in each situation. In other words we should “Trust”. If we didn’t trust, Gladwell seems to justifiably suggests without implicit trust the world would be a less desirable place for us all.

Verification takes extra effort and those steps may also cause us to find out things we do not want to know. This happened in the pandemic when people stole funds as highlighted in this NYTimes Daily Podcast, Why Was Pandemic Fraud So Easy?

During the pandemic, an enormous amount of money — about $5 trillion in total — was spent to help support the newly unemployed and to prop up the U.S. economy while it was forced into suspension. But the funds came with few strings and minimal oversight. The result: one of the largest frauds in American history, with billions of dollars stolen by thousands of people. Guest: David A. Fahrenthold, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, focused on nonprofits.

Summary of 9/27/2022 NYTimes Daily Podcast

It got Personal…

Recently, I did not adequately “Verify”. The “Friends” effect impacted me. I didn’t adequately verify people because I could not imagine why a group I was working with would not be telling the truth. Unfortunately my “default to truth” and failure to adequately “verify” has slowed and damaged progress on plans I had to Practice Paneugenesis on a much bigger level.

Though this this attempt to “Optimize the process” did not work, I am finding a better way to reach my idealized outcome so we can generate comprehensive improvements by being nudged to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefit.

We want to provide people with a GPS for life that will nudge them to efficiently use resources such that they lead a fulfilling, regenerative life that will also create regenerative communities. This BeWell’r Web will work like a forests mycelium in roots of plants and trees that enables plants to be healthier through efficient use of the forests resources.

This function of nature through the root network in a forest was dubbed to be the “Wood Wide Web” by “Nature”(August, 1997). The “Wood Wide Web” is a communication network that shares information through its fungi with all in the forest about how to best use its resources so the forest can thrive. The video below shares the vision for our BeWell’r Web that will help create healthier people and thriving communities:

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Amazing People, 2nd edition

In 2014 I wrote this post, Dad Our House is on Fire!…People are Amazing! I wrote this because I was in awe of the amazing generosity we experienced after our house burned down and we lost most of our belongings. As I noted in that post, despite the awful news we hear 24/7, I believe most people are good. I also believe people want to help others. Scientifically this makes sense because it makes us feel good.

To my delight, I once again was in awe of amazing generosity of others. As I noted in 2014,

“… my belief that people are amazing has been confirmed.” Again!

My belief that people are good has been confirmed again – people are amazing! This time it was confirmed when my wife and I went Lowes to pick up some lattice for our yard.

Lattice punchased at Lowes

I have a Prius which has a hatchback and almost everything fits. This time however we were about 2 inches shy of being able to get the lattice into the hatch. As we picked up the lattice to return it to the store. a gentleman, with broken English gets our attention and says, “do you need help?” We explained we did and he then offered to carry the lattice pieces in his truck to our house. People are amazing!

We loaded the lattice in the back of his truck and asked him to follow us. Of course, if you believe the news, he would have driven away with the material. He did not. He kindly brought the material to our house, helped us unload it and said he was glad to help. We offered to pay him, but he refused. People are amazing!

Overall, it was a nice, net-positive pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction. This is a way to practice paneugenesis because it helped generate more good, not just less bad. That act encouraged me and my wife to pay it forward, thus causing a positive pervasive ripple, as it also reinforced our belief that most people are good and kind. People are amazing!

Make it a great week by being the amazing person you know you can be. Also please share your stories of yourself or others paying it forward!

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Salutogenic Bacteria

Most times we hear about pathogenic or disease causing bacteria. There is however many wonderful Salutogenic or health causing bacteria. It is another example of our amazing body. I learned about his amazing process when reading the advice column, “Ask the Doctors”, Eve Glazier, M.D. and Elizabeth Ko, M.D. In their 8/23 column. They informed us:

..nitric oxide…is produced by cells throughout the body and plays a crucial role in promoting blood flow….nitric oxide helps keep blood vessels relaxed and pliable. This lowers the pressure that circulating blood exerts on the walls of the veins, arteries and capillaries.

Their response was to a reader that heard brushing your tongue can be harmful. The doctors explained the research (some of which you can see here) found that brushing your tongue and using antiseptic mouthwash can damage the tongues microbiome and inhibit its ability to regulate blood pressure. Yes, the tongue also has a microbiome. Its amazing, they now even know the mechanisms of how plant strong nutrition, specifically green leafy vegetables, helps us:

…The nutrient that the tongue bacteria convert is called dietary nitrate. It’s found primarily in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and bok choy, and in root vegetables such as carrots and beets.

Of course these helpful benefits course through our body and plant strong nutrition helps them work better. You may remember, (see Stress can Improve Your Health) Kelly McGonigal explains in her upside of stress book and TED talk (below), stress hormones actually help heal the heart.

Evidence supports that we can generate comprehensive benefits by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless interactions by eating plant strong. From these interactions everyone and everything benefits as we help our bodies be health causing machines (see also Healthier’s By-Product is Comprehensive Improvements. Please share how you help your body be a health causing machine so everyone and everything benefits. Make it Great Week.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Going in Circles is Better?

We often think that going in circles means we are not making progress, however, although it is not perfect, going in circles around roundabouts is a better solution. Like the idea of a circular economy, these circles provide personal and planetary benefits: How roundabouts improve traffic safety and lower carbon emissions

Although roundabouts only mean less pollution, less gas burned, and less accidents – the more good about roundabouts is that they enable faster transportation as they completely eliminate the need for traffic lights. Here is the story about roundabouts in Carmel, Indiana:

While my goal is to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive reciprocal selfish selfless synergistic interactions – roundabouts seem like a move in the right direction. What do you think? Please share your thoughts

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Walking, Talking Contradictions

Humans are contradictions. Often we say one thing but mean another. It is not our fault, eliminating these contradictions in life are difficult. Often this state is referred to as cognitive dissonance (the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs), and it can create an unease, it is a sign of development. We should see this feeling as a sign we are about to evolve. The contradiction about how we view change presents a perfect example.

The Most Painfully Idiotic Contradictions You Have Ever Seen – Vappingo

Desiring Change

Most people will say they do not want to change, yet it is always chosen. We choose change when we decide to get married, go to school, get a different job, have kids, or go to a new or different place to eat. Change is really something we choose. It is not something we avoid, it is something we want and desire but for some reason it can cause fear. Change is something we enjoy but hate in our mind. This is cognitive dissonance.

Seeing things differently is what has enabled all of human development. The microscope, telescope and or different opinions has helped us see things differently or in a different light. Seeing things from a different perspective unleashes our potential to do and be better. In this respect, seeing change as a benefit, rather than a burden, can lessen our unease and also provide a path to a better life.

Often when we think of change we think about the difficulties of doing something new and or possibly about being confused or scared about how things will turn out. Yet if we see change as a necessary and unavoidable part of life, it can be our ally. Change is our beneficial partner because change enables us to forge a new path to a better life.

After all, to be better, things will need to be different. Doesn’t different mean change? How do you want your life to be better? What are the benefits? I consistently seek change by working to generate comprehensive improvements through the creation of net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. That means I seek changed interactions.

My goal is to make life more livable for everyone and everything. Research suggests this is what we are hardwired to do. Society does not nurture these types of actions. We are therefore probably unconsciously generating cognitive dissonance which could be causing unease. Seeing change as the path to a better tomorrow can help us make life more livable for everyone and everything. After all, that is what we are here to create. How will you generate a better tomorrow?

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com