Generating Great Ideas with “White Space” from Exercise

Did you ever come out of or go into the shower and get a great idea? Of course you have, it happens to all of us. We often have an idea on the tip of our “mind” or have a complex issue that we are unsuccessfully working toward. Then, unexpectedly, an answer races into our mind and it seems to come from nowhere. Why is that? How did it happen? Well nobody is sure, but there are many theories and most revolve around the same idea – “White space” or unstructured time.

Research indicates our mind is always subconsciously working on unsolved issues. Many theories  attempt to explain why ideas unexpectedly fly into our mind like in the shower or when we wake up. I have read about this from many authors and I found Ori Brafman’s explanation of this phenomenon useful. Ori Brafman ©2013 wrote about this idea and how we make sense out of chaotic thoughts in The Chaos Imperative: how Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation. He explains that giving people free time improves our ability to think. He suggests organizations give people unstructured “white space”, or unstructured time, so new ideas can grow and flourish.

His work suggests it is helpful to the give the subconscious mind time to organize chaotic information to enable you to have “eureka” moments. To have more “eureka” moments, it is recommended people give themselves “white space”, or unstructured time. They further suggest having unstructured time after significant mental effort has been expended toward a clear goal.

I get my “white space” time when I exercise. I also often do this to give myself a break from the work I am doing, or after I have spent significant mental effort toward a clear goal. I enjoy swimming and getting a regular workout at the gym. Unfortunately the pandemic has made doing this more difficult. The gym I usually use has been closed since mid-March. I have been walking more but I missed the harder workouts. Luckily, several sources have sent information about online video workouts.

I have no financial interest in this promotion, still I want to share that I have enjoyed HasFit for online exercise sessions. Coach Kozak and Claudia have great workouts and a large variety of types and lengths. Everything has been free and they are not trying to sell anything – that I have noticed. If you are interested, I recommend their workouts  that you can access  Here at hasfit.com

I recommend these video workouts for home as a way to find solutions by creating “white space” time for yourself:

Using HasFit.com’s workouts can help you become more fit. Being more fit will increase your capacity and enhance your ability to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I also know that when I get stuck, my ideas often come together when I get in the shower after a workou. The workout created time I was not consciously thinking about those ideas.

Some have suggested the “white space” created by by 1918 Spanish Flue plague led to unstructured or “White Space” time caused a dramatic shift in priorities. Might that happen now ? Exercise sessions can create “white space” for you so you can generate your ideas. A Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic way to move forward. #SelfishSelflessSynergistic

Either way, workouts are times when you do not actively think of your ideas and these “white spaces” can allow your mind to work its magic. This way, while you get fit you can also move forward on other important things you are thinking about. This is a no lose proposition. Good luck, please share your future successes.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Patriot Act by Hassan Minaj is Great! Then Cancelled????

I just started watching Patriot Act by Hassan Minaj. It was great and he seems to support #SelfishSelflessSynergy. I encourage all to go back and watch what they can. I first watched an episode on YouTube that caught my eye, Is College Still Worth It? | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj .

I then learned, after watching a few GREAT episodes, the show is being cancelled.

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53833224

Patriot Act: Fans of Hasan Minhaj’s show urge Netflix to reconsider 19 August 2020

Hasan MinhajHasan Minhaj was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2019

Fans of Netflix’s topical comedy show Patriot Act have voiced their disappointment after it was cancelled.

 

I encourage you to watch, it seems most episodes are also on YouTube. I learned a lot of eye opening information in the few episodes I watched. I plan to watch more.

For instance, although I use TurboTax, it seemed impossible to find the free version. I thought mine was too complicated, but I also I found that I could not help my daughter use the free version. Hers was simple and should be free. Here is why:

Why Doing Taxes is So Hard | Patriot Act

25:26 Jun 29, 2020 – Uploaded by Patriot Act

For me, the most interesting episode I watched so far introduced me to ranked voting. I also learned that ranked voting is being used in states such as Maine. It looks like a much better way to vote than our current method that causes many to choose between least bad options. I encourage you to watch.

We’re Doing Elections Wrong | Patriot Act

 

24:39 Jun 22, 2020 – Uploaded by Patriot Act

I also thought his episode about local journalism was very good and important.

Hasan Minhaj Speaks Upon The Importance Of Saving Local Newspapers

21:39 Aug 7, 2020

I encourage you watch his show, and if you like it as I did, please join me in asking Netflix to bring back the show. For me, this is a  way I can generate comprehensive benefits by creating 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

Resilience is Not Always a Virtue, If that is all it is for…

In reporting about the explosion in Beirut, the reporter on the 9-6-2020  New York Times Daily Podcast said, “Resilience is not always a virtue, something needs to change.” In this situation it referred to the inaction of the government to secure dangerous chemicals. That statement stuck me as important. It was important because if we are always coming back from difficulty, that should be telling us something needs to change. It seemed to relate to many quotes such as:

Are you too busy mopping up the floor to turn off the tap?

This quote comes from a story about a person busily mopping up the floor without realizing the tap is open and water is flowing on to the floor. If the person simply turned off the tap, they could do something other than just mop up the water.

and

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

This ancient proverb refers to our need to learn from our experiences. As I have noted in Best Practices are Contraindicated for Improvement and Making a Better (+3) New Normal, we can’t just keep fixing what we break. We need to build a better system.

Resilience is defined as 1) the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness: the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions. 2) the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shapeWe are incredibly adaptive creatures and we learn to adapt to anything. Being able to adapt is great, but is it the best? Deming explains improvement is not continuous, but continual and discontinuous. It happens in spurts.

This means Resilience and Thriving are different. Being resilient, does not mean Thriving. To thrive we need to do better and be better. To be better we need increased capacities to live a better life. To be able to do and accomplish more and have a better life. Those capacities can then also, SECONDARILY, or as a by-product help us bounce back during difficult times when needed. The capacities therefore are to improve life, not just in case something happens, though they are useful when they do.

Resilience is a secondary benefit of increased capacities. Once again, I am suggesting we change our priorities. In health I recommend we focus on enhancing physical, social and mental well-being so we can create the life we desire. Secondarily it also will protect us against difficult times as necessary. This Pandemic provides another example. It is difficult to be healthier when something happens, we needed to achieve that prior to the pandemic.

Please share how you are able to increase your capacities and abilities and how they make your life better today. Of course the main benefit is being able to do what you want and a by-product knowing you are more protected. Building more capacities and abilities will help you generate comprehensive improvements as you create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic (#SelfishSelflessSynergistic = +3) interactions from which everyone and everything benefits. I look forward to hearing about your successes.

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

Good Begets Good and Bad Begets Bad: Green Grass Theory

Beget means brings about or gives rise to something. In that regard, one thing Dr. Dean Ornish reported, in his study of cardiovascular disease, was that anger begets anger. He explained that letting out your emotions or getting angry by yelling or in other forms did not end anger, it actually encouraged it. Similarly, positive health behavior studies cited how better food choices, like involvement in sports and time with parents brings about more desirable behaviors. These studies show that it is not just bad that begets bad, GOOD BEGETS GOOD.

A prediction is a theory. The Green Grass Theory predicts that good actions bring about or beget more good actions and the cumulative effect of these actions will create desirable results. Good, meaning productive, effective, correct etc.  actions are the only way to create a desirable result. Only improved actions can improve the process and better results are only possible from an improved process.

The Green Grass Theory prediction suggests that engaging in good or health promoting behaviors will crowd out bad behavior. Interestingly, recently there have been multiple mentions of a crowding out effect. Currently  and unfortunately, because of promotion and availability, the opposite is happening that is bad behaviors are crowding out good behaviors. To have the world we want, we need to alter this trend.

We can alter this trend with what I have termed, and written about, “The Green Grass Theory”. As previously noted in the post, Terrorism Cannot be Prevented Or Eliminated, our current approach, or prevailing style, because it simply tries to mainly lessen terrorism, without making it truly better. If we want a better tomorrow, it can only happen by taking deliberate actions that can generate a new reality.

This theory suggests that creating something new and better will “crowd out” what we do not want. Good will beget or bring about more good. If it does not, the new, better reality cannot not exist (see Green Grass Theory). In my More Undoing: A Beneficial Drug Policy post, I shared how Johann Hari demonstrated, with real-life examples in his book and presentations, that when people generate a meaningful reason to live, they have a better life. Their better life then “crowds out” a destructive drug habit. The destructive drug habit is inconsistent with their better life so it is removed like an weed in an otherwise lush green lawn. If the bad habit or weed were not removed, the better life or lush lawn could not be realized. Good begets Good.

In my Science Suggests: Focus On More Good over Less Bad post, I highlighted Dr. Michael Greger’s April 26th, 2017  Nutrition Facts video, “Is It Better to Advise More Plants or Less Junk?“. In this video he documented the “crowding out” phenomenon from good food choices when students were given a free piece of fruit. Giving out fruit free was financially beneficial, over the longer term. It was cost effective because these students continued to eat more fruit more than 3 years later than those who were not given the fruit. In other words, these good choices crowded out bad choices because we can only eat so much. To help you understand,  I encourage you to watch his 5 minute video.

Recently, on The Crowding Out Strategy to Eating Healthier. The post again emphasized the Norwegian study. The post explained that not only does “crowding out” bad choices work, it is a more expedient strategy to promote an increase in consumption of healthy items than a strategy designed to decrease consumption of unhealthy items. This is also common sense, good results can only result from good actions. Good begets good. Benefits can only ensue from better choices. Not making a bad choice does not necessarily lead to a better choice instead. A “Nudge” is needed to help them make the better choice so Good Begets Good.

The program Dr. Gregor sites was a free school fruit scheme that was introduced in Norway for grades 1 through 10. This program not only increased fruit consumption, it also had a positive ripple or spillover effect on their parents who also started eating more fruit also. Importantly, “…although the “intention of these programs was not to reduce unhealthy snack intakes,” that’s exactly what appeared to happen, the fruit replaced, or crowded out, some of the junk. As noted, “Increasing healthy choices to crowd out the unhealthy ones may be more effective than just telling kids not to eat junk, which could actually backfire.”

Promoting good is more efficient because you only need to encourage good choices. The good choices should be choices that can crowd out bad choices. This is more efficient because then you don’t also need to discourage bad choices. As noted, “…the intention of these programs was not to reduce …but…that’s exactly what appeared to happen…”

Goodresults from a “crowding out” strategy were also shared in a story outlined in Dan Heath’s new book, Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen. This example relates to excessive alcohol consumption by Icelandic teenagers. I know drinking less is less bad, however it was the promotion of more good, sports engagement, that also crowded out the bad.

This intervention gave kids more opportunities to be involved in sports. They chose sports because it was a different way to experience a “high”, as a way crowd out the bad choices. Not only were kids more likely to be more physically active, they were also spending more time with their parents, a beneficial ripple effect. These good options, sports and time with parents, “crowded out” the bad options, excessive drinking prevention being the main action of the effort.

Of course this all lines up with why Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant!(see linked post). The result of these strategies is a net-positive improvement beyond the status quo reference point. Create the life you want by engaging in good actions physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, vocationally and environmentally and it will bring about more good actions. Good actions improve the process and an improved process will yield a better life, as a by-product.

To bring about good, do good by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic actions so everyone and everything benefits so you can generate comprehensive benefits. Creating good, by doing good begets more good and this can give your life the meaning it was meant to have. I look forward to hearing how you do good from selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions  #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

Please share how you do good…

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Proposed NYTimes Letter to the Editor about a Better Way

I read Paul Krugman’s July 27, 2020 New York Times (NYT) Column: The Cult of Selfishness is Killing America: The right has made irresponsible behavior a key principle. I found it interesting, and disturbing. Can’t we do more than complain? What was his recommended course of action? Seeing an opportunity, I put together a response to his column that I pasted below. I also encourage you read is column. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Dear NYT Editor,

I think we can all agree, there must be a better way. Most of the NYTs articles published complain about the outcomes from current societal responses. With interest I read Paul Krugman’s July 27th article, “The Cult of Selfishness is Killing America”. I agree with Krugman’s suggestion that America’s response has been a lose-lose for individuals and society.

Mr. Krugman suggested impatience and the rush to reopen was part of the reason we are getting a lose-lose instead of a win-win outcome. He suggested the economy and the well-being are worse and that we are losing the battle because we are using a selfish plan, rather than a selfless plan that would help those hampered by the virus. He says this approach has hurt the economy and the well-being of Americans.

He then suggests the cult of selfishness and the fight for rights was hypocritical because while it proclaimed wearing a mask was a right infringement, a blind eye was given to the rights of protesters being tear gassed. As W. Edwards Deming prophetically proclaimed, “Defend your rights, you lose”. This proclamation decried attempts for individual rights over efforts focused on improving the system. To confirm Deming’s hypothesis, Krugman ends by explaining how these selfish acts to open the economy to get more, cause them and everyone to get less.

It seems this was a sophisticated attempt to tell others that one way was right, and the other way was wrong without offering a better way? The reader is left believing the only option is to agree not wearing a mask was wrong and wearing a mask was right. Unfortunately, this approach generally does not inspire people to change, rather it causes people to dig in their heels. The 3rd Alternative, as suggested by Stephen Covey, in a book by the same name, seems needed.

A 3rd alternative does not mean your way, or my way, but instead it is about finding a better way. It also is not a compromise where each side gets less of what they want, but it is a mashing of both ideas, so both get more of what they want. If they don’t, it is not a better way. If we step back, most will realize we all want the same things: a more active economy, jobs, open schools, lower risks and less virus cases and deaths.

In other words, we all want selfish benefits that can only result from selfless acts (i.e. wearing masks and social distancing) to generate synergistic results, a healthier, functioning society. Synergistic results are better results than could be achieved by either method alone. This means the way to generate comprehensive benefits, more jobs, a better economy, safe schools, and lower virus incidences can only happen from people engaging in Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits.

To move society forward, Paul Collier’s recommendation of reciprocal obligations, which are duties owed to one another such that it binds them, offered in “The Future of Capitalism”, seems useful. Reciprocal obligations are doing things such as developing and implementing or following traffic rules, paying for and or providing quality products or services, or just saying thank you when others provide help, feedback, assistance and or constructive criticism. Complying with current virus tracing efforts provides an opportunity. Collier clearly explains, obligations are akin to societal revenue just as rights are societal costs. Using the idea of reciprocal obligations can create a “richer” and more fulfilling society that yields more rights to all…as a by-product.

There is no downside to this approach. Everyone gets selfish benefits, a fulfilling interactive life, jobs and less sickness, selfless benefits, people can feel good for contributing and for doing good which will mean all can benefit from this synergy or a society that is more than the sum of its parts. Reciprocal obligations will enable all to be selfish, selfless and synergistic. This is Paneugenesis which literally means creating all good. (Pan = all, eu = good, genesis = creation) #SelfishSelflessSynergistic

Unfortunately, I had not read the instructions related to writing letters to the editor at the NYTimes. The instructions explain that letters are to have only 150-175 words, not the 600+ I offered. I therefore cut it down to less than 200 words and submitted it. I tried to keep the message , however I think something was lost in its brevity. I am therefore sharing this with you. What do you think?

I will keep you posted if my shortened letter gets published.

It was not published. Oh well, I will try again.

Either way, I think we can all agree that it would be good if we all start generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. What is our option?

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