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