Innovation is Obvious in Retrospect

Greg Satell does a fantastic job of clarifying difficult topics. For instance, in his excellent book, Mapping Innovation: A playbook for navigating a disruptive age, he explains how innovation is really a combination of many known things. For instance, the smartphone put together things we already use, a phone, a GPS, the internet and much more. The iPhone was a big hit because of how it combined things, but after it was put together it seemed obvious, because we already knew how to user all the parts.

     

Upon  reflection, I realized that happens after any of us learn new things. From things as simple as learning to read or to riding a bike, once we know how to do it, it is obvious. Even what seemed complicated, for example quality management, it was obvious after it was explained. Quality management means to continually improve what is being done, or the process, so the product, the outcome, is better. Again, upon reflection, how else could a better outcome be realized than by improving what creates the outcome. Its obvious, in retrospect, however focusing on it during the process takes effort.

I work in health, and work from the Salutogenic perspective as developed by Aaron Antonovsky. Salutogenesis is about the causes of health, most people who do health do it by learning about the causes of disease. Logically, although ending disease is good, it is obvious to generate improved health, we should focus on the causes of health, not just the causes of disease. In retrospect it is obvious.

As I have continued to do work, I realize this approach is more effective in almost every field. Google aimed to make information more accessible, not to eliminate barriers. Of course eliminating barriers to information was necessary, but not the primary function. The primary function was to make information accessible. Steve Jobs heroic work at Apple was not to end all its problems, but to make insanely great products that were like bicycles for the mind. Of course, many problems were eliminated or avoided, but a different path was found to success and that path was not just about ending obstacles, it was about finding a way to get a better outcome.

Innovations are not about ending problems as much as they are about finding better ways to get things done using things we already know how to do. Putting an eraser on the end of the pencil at one time was a beneficial innovation. Now it is your turn. What can you combine in a new way to generate comprehensive improvements because they create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits? I look forward to using your helpful innovations – please share to help us all move forward.

Be Well’r, 

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

 

 

A Promised Land by Barack Obama is a Good Book

I listened to this 29+ hour audio book. It was a far more enjoyable read than I expected. This book was chosen as one of NYT Best Books of 2020 (click here for NYT review). Listening to the book also enabled me to get a lot of walking in since I wanted to keep walking so I could continue to listen.

President Obama is a good writer. The book was interesting because it not only reviewed his first term, it also provided a history lesson related to all the events that occurred during his presidency. As he described the events from his presidency, he interlaced stories about his family. For each event he also provided a continual dose of the introspection he went through during his trying presidency. Those passages helped me understand the challenges he faced.

Overall, I kept thinking – how did he endure? I was exhausted just listening to all the things he did. After reading, upon reflection it seemed even more exhausting. I realized he did all these things while under time constraints, in real-time and with only limited information. When reading we now have the benefit hindsight, no time constraints and know more. 

The book started with a discussion of the work that was done on the financial crisis he inherited. While working on that solution, he would also have to do other things such as a commencement address to graduates in the US or in UAB, or to a meeting with national leaders, to meetings about ongoing issues such as Birthergate pushed by Trump, or the BP oil leak in the gulf,  or to his daughters basketball team practice. I say “or” but really it was “and” because all these events were ongoing. It was clear he did many things.

I encourage all to listen or read and I don’t think it matters which side of the aisle you are on politically. I force myself to listen to the other side at times, and generally gain increased understanding and or perspective. Once again, it is not that I am deciding which way is best, but learning about what can be a better way. As Stephen Covey helped me understand in his book, The 3rd Alternative, it is not about my way or your way, but about working together to find a better way. If you are interested, I discuss how to use the 3rd alternative in these posts: Honoring Justice Scalia – Dare to DisagreeProgress Trumps Problems and Perfection, and We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative.

It appeared to me President Obama was continually searching for selfish, selfish, and synergistic solutions. In my view he was often able to generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I found this book entertaining, educational, and helpful. If you read, please share your thoughts about what you learned about how to generate comprehensive benefits so everyone and everything benefits. I look forward to hearing from you.

Be Well’r, 

Craig Becker

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

 

Article Published to Improve Education & Health

 

With my colleagues, Ashley Norris,MS, Susannah Berry,MS, Beth Chaney, PhD and Molly Robinson, MPH, I expanded my research to early childhood education. The study was interesting and I learned a lot. Through this work I learned we can positively impact education and health by empowering the student and teacher in ways that also improve health behaviors. I published the findings in the American Journal of Health Studies article, “Pilot Assessment of the Scholar Checklist: A Tool for Early Childhood Health & Education“. If you are interested, you can see more about the article here.

Be Well’r, 

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Updated: Achieving Big Goals Requires a Team Effort

A Team Effort…Also One More Thing at the End

A team effort is a coordinated approach when all on the team work together toward the same goal. It is when each team member does their part to help the team achieve its goal, despite their different roles. As Alvin Toffler explained:

We are all citizens of planet earth, so we are all on the same team, despite our different roles. Climate Change is a big issue and a coordinated team effort is necessary for progress. It looks like such an effort is starting. To help all in government who have different roles share the same goal, all posts will now consider how it can have a beneficial impact on the environment.

As described in this Washington Post article, Every Cabinet job is about climate change now, it says President Biden insists that addressing climate change is a job for all, not just the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). World changing quality management expert, Dr. W. Edwards Deming also emphasized that all must work together to achieve an aim. In his 14th point of his famous 14 Points, he explained that organizations must:

Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

Leadership Sets the Pace

In the snow, once a path is made with a sled, it is easier for others to follow that path.

A path also creates a more predictable future. It is a more predictable future because you can see what is expected to happen if you follow that path. A predictable future helps organizations decide what they should do to be successful. Having a predictable future also means organizations can be more proactive about their choices, such as their decisions about environmental issues. Proactive decisions are better then being forced to react to new legislation or policy. As Mahatma Gandhi reminded us:  

The government is creating a path to follow.

Good leadership creates followers. Governmental leadership may have impacted the recent big change at General Motors. General Motors (GM) aims to end sale of gasoline, diesel-powered cars, SUVs, light trucks by 2035. GM created what some could consider an Idealized Outcome to sell only electric cars by 2035. While this is great, to me this really should be a way to plot progress. Either way, it is an example of how an organization with a different role, selling transportation, shares the same goal of a healthier environment.

The other benefit is that this change at GM makes them a leader. It also may help GM be a more profitable organization as noted in the NYTimes article, “G.M. Announcement Shakes Up U.S. Automakers’ Transition to Electric Cars: Every carmaker is trying to figure out how to make the leap before governments force it and Tesla and other start-ups lure away drivers.” This could be very impactful as people and organizations choose transportation options that are better for the environment.

To show things coming together, it was announced that “Biden wants an all-electric federal fleet”. From postal trucks to passenger vans, the president wants to convert some 645,000 federal vehicles to electric power. The sticking point: They must be made by union workers from at least 50 percent American-made materials. The linked article explains the plan.

This choice also demonstrates a Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic move. #SelfishSelflessSynergy It is Selfish because it is better for GM, Selfless because it enables others to make helpful choices and supports Synergy because it will enable us all to enjoy a better environment.

Idealized Outcomes Visualize a Better Future

In the Paneugenesis Process, the idealized Outcome should operationalize a better future for all. We all want is a health promoting environment. An even more aggressive goal, or Idealized Outcome, could be what I heard from Toyota, years ago, that their aim was to have cars that clean the air as they operate. As we move forward, good leadership about the environment should help more groups, organizations and people understand that although we all have different roles, we all share the same goal of a clean and healthy environment.

In my role as a citizen, to contribute toward a better environment I have a plant strong eating style, mostly vegan, compost, recycle, bike or walk when I can, and support good environmental laws and candidates so I can create pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. These actions benefit the environment as they also help me be healthier. I look forward to hearing how you are working to improve your life as you also make contributions to a healthier environment. A strong relationship exists between better personal choices and beneficial environmental actions. A wonderful synergy exists between improved personal and planetary health.

In the tradition of Steve Jobs, One More Thing…

On February 2, 2021 the New York Times Had a Daily podcast was about, Assessing Biden’s Climate Plan: The president has signed several executive orders for environmental policies since taking office. But the real work of reducing America’s emissions has just begun. I encourage you to listen about this plan.

Be Well’r, 

Craig Becker

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Cities Done Right Generate Comprehensive Improvements

Edward Glaeser’s, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier ©2011 has been enlightening. Most importantly he emphasizes how cities make people smarter when they interact with more smart people because it helps them connect and create. He also clarifies that it is people who make cities great, not things. Smart, idealistic, driven people make cities better, not great buildings.

Cities that spend money on buildings rather than helping people improve and have a better life was referred to as the “Edifice Error”. The Edifice Error is the belief that abundant new buildings lead to urban success. Good people are a leading indicator and great buildings become are a lag indicator. (see Money Is a Lagging Not a Leading Indicator) He documents the value of education and efforts that bring people together to help them develop skills abilities and common values citing these as the important precursors that enable cities to be great. As he documents in his TED Talk, “It’s Time to Embrace Our Cities”, income levels rise as population density increases. He also documents the more educated the population, the better that city does.

In other words, generating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless interactions such as education generates synergistic benefits when people converge and interact to make things better. Of course the pandemic makes face to face meetings difficult, however the technology enabling virtual communications are powerful and helpful. Another interesting point he discusses is the presence of poor people. He clearly demonstrates the obvious, cities do not make people poor, poor people come to cities for the potential to improve their lives. If people stay poor in a city, then things must be done to enable connection and contribution to improve. He also documents the value of diverse businesses in a city to provide the ability to ride difficult times for any organization.

I am not finished with the book, however I am amazed to see the same repeated themes as I have attempted to capture with the Paneugenesis Process to generate comprehensive improvements. From my understanding, people go to a city when they see and dream of a better future, or can “Operationalize an Idealized Outcome”. How good is the city doing at helping it citizens succeed? Cities help its citizens succeed by having having the “Precursors” of a good infrastructure and a good education system to build better people. Of course all this can only be possible if they “Optimize the Process” so they can create beneficial interactions. How well has the city done in making movement and interactions likely? This also means cities must continue to document or “Plot Progress” as they create the institutions and systems that make better possible. If progress is not happening, the process must be adapted, adopted and improved. This is another example of using Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act process to generate a better process. All this must be incorporated as we attempt to generate comprehensive improvements with the Paneugenesis Process.

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Operationalize a Desired Idealized Outcome – Imagine and then clearly articulate the future you want that is not possible now
  2. Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible – Generate and bring into existence those things that will be necessary to make the idealized outcomes possible that do not exist now
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that  Precursors possible – Continually find out what you must start doing, working with, thinking about and making possible that will in time ripple out to make that new idealized outcome a future possibility
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement – Continually take note of progress and then build upon that success to make it even better

To me Glaeser’s work documents that improved quality of life can be created through effort toward an envisioned better future. Please share how you can or are using a similar process to generate comprehensive improvements. Please let us know how we can work with you to to generate 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 contact me: Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

 

Getting Better as We Fix What we Broke

Without question, especially speaking morally, we must fix what we broke. Relatively speaking, despite being the most educated and advanced civilization to date, we are causing damage to our environment, we are sicker and less happy and more in debt than we should be. We are more materially abundant than ever. Despite striving for and getting much more, we only learned that we cannot buy happiness or health, it must be earned.

Fixing what is broken also relates to prevention. Even if we prevent all problems, we have not intentionally done anything to promote a better outcome. To promote better we must enable more capacity and increased potential. If the focus changed from fixing what we broke to building more capacity, potential and partnerships, so a better future could be realized, we would get better while also fixing what we broke.

This is the only way to be better than we were before. This better leads to an increased ability to overcome inevitable difficulties that also provides a better potential to prevent or avoid inevitable difficulties. Our increased ability to overcome would result from having developed more abilities from the beneficial interactions generated from the redesign of reality.

Relatedly, the health promotion or health care movement became the disease treatment and prevention movement, instead of the health generation, creation and improvement movement. On this trek the field has sought to continually find the root cause of the problem instead of designing a reality for success. I describe this in the evolution of positive health video:

Of course it is good to eliminate external or “special causes”, however we also need to develop better methods to move beyond not bad, or zero, the status quo. If we already had the needed method, our goals would have already been achieved. Using methods to generate more skills and ability through pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions benefits everyone and everything, due to comprehensive systemic improvements. To achieve this +3 outcome, we must exceed expectations.

Doing Better than Fixing what we Broke: In “The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance” by Gerald J. Langley , Ronald D. Moen, Kevin M. Nolan, Thomas W. Nolan, Clifford L. Norman, Lloyd P. Provost they emphasized maintenance teams should be updated to become improvement teams (For more see Evolve Maintenance to Improvement to Create +3’s). Maintaining keeps things as they and this is insufficient when improvement is desired.


For example, often people interchangeably use sustainability and regeneration. They are different. Both are good, however regeneration ALWAYS supports sustainability but not all sustainable actions are regenerative. Regeneration also includes restoration, rejuvenation, renewal, replenishing, healing, nurturing, revitalizing, reenergizing, harmonizing and more. Regeneration is restoring and renewing systems as it improves the ability of those systems to restore, renew and heal more effectively if damaged. That means it is an improved or better version. (see figure below) 

Regeneration Means more than Sustainability

 

All of this relates to the Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad as posted on . More good means something akin to what McDonough and Braungart describe in their book Upcycle. As the chart below, displays more good, not just less bad optimizes the positive impact that is possible with Upcycle efforts. 

 

What does this mean?
I had started this post prior to attending a retreat we had at work related to race relations. Without question, better relations and improved interactions are a valuable and important goal and this means better methods are needed. I am also reading Marshall Rosenberg’s, NonViolent Communication. While the title seems to suggest it would be a focus on less bad, the contents demonstrate how to generate more good.
In the book he describes a 4 step process for more effective communication.

Four Components of NVC

  1. Observations – objectively observed concrete well-being impacting actions 
  2. Feelings – how do we feel in relation to what we observe
  3. Needs – identify the unmet needs, values, or desires that create those feelings
  4. Request – concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives
At the retreat I attended, the initial keynote outlined all the unarguable facts of disadvantages that have resulted from our current methods. Using the method above I observed what happened. When I checked in with my feelings, I realized I agreed with everything said – there are were problems and bad actions had been taken. However the presentation left me feeling defensive. As Marshall Rosenberg explains, defensiveness makes compassionate actions difficult.
 
I needed a better way. A better method would have been a plan for everyone and everything to benefit, which by default must help those more disadvantaged most. If it did not do that, it would not be an optimized process. My request, lets work together to find a way to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.
 
Last year I posted: MLK Day FOR Everyone’s Benefit, where I acknowledged how W. Edwards Deming insisted:
Defend your rights, you lose. – W. Edwards Deming
Although it may seem contradictory, Deming said this because he knew that we needed to make it better not just for one group, we needed to make a better system so everyone and everything benefits.
 
Please share how you will help build a better system and generate comprehensive improvements by letting us know how you create 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 contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Together We Can Cause a Better “Upswing”

Robert Putnam’s new book, Upswing: how America came together a century ago and how we can again suggests we are the verge of a move toward togetherness. He further documents that our initial move mid 20th century from from”I” to “We” did not set sights high enough for what we could be or with regard to full inclusion because we did not Operationalize an Idealized Outcome to become what we really needed to be for it to work. The precursor of inclusiveness he suggests was left out because it would have been helpful to help all do better. Here is the review I posted on Good Reads and Google Books.

 

Upswing: how America came together a century ago and how we can again provided an interesting perspective. It was unique because it looked at changes over a longer period of time than is typical, 125 years. Generally books examine changes and hypothesize why. This books longer time frame was interesting because the view was about multiple changes that occurred. He described the changes as the I-We-I inverted U curve.

He demonstrated, with abundant data, how the selfish, individualistic period of the early 20th century, the Gilded Age, evolved into a communitarian, altruistic mid 20th century stage, in the 50’s and 60’s, that then moved back toward an individualistic “me” stage. He explained how the mid century move toward “we” did not aim high enough because it did not include race and gender benefits. He also documented that by aiming low, nobody did as well as they could have. In other words, we did not seek to “Exceed Expectations” as we should have.

Helping all in the “we” benefit would have helped all succeed better than the less inclusive benefits produced. He also put to rest the ideas that social media, big government, war, abundance, poverty or even immigration as “the” cause of the move to or from “I” or “We”. He explained that they could not be the primal cause because each of these factors caused movements either toward or away from both “we” and “I” depending on many other factors.

Overall he suggested that Tocqueville’s initial assessment of America in the early 1800’s that America was pursuing self-interest, rightly understood would be most beneficial. My understanding of self-interest rightly understood is that self-interest is best served when communitarian interests are also served well because it is not a zero sum trade-off or competition between communitarian equality and individual freedom.

Communitarian interests and individual freedoms are cumulative and additive because they can be mutually beneficial. Overall, this suggests benefits from #SelfishSelflessSynergistic actions. In other words, actions can provide individual benefits in ways that also serve others and are holistically beneficial. My understanding of Putnam’s recommendations are we should aim to generate actions that produce comprehensive benefits through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

In this new year it would seem wise to follow Robert Putnam’s recommendations to help everyone and everything benefit from another Upswing!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

How to Write a Better future

We have been slapped in the face, again. COVID has told the world we need to write a better future. We need a new and better path for tomorrow if we want to live in a better world. To create  a better tomorrow, we must create it. Unfortunately, continuous improvement is not enough, a new path must be designed. Below is how Greg Satell explains it:

As Greg Satell explains, we must innovate to develop a better way. As he explains in other video’s,  it is necessary to ask why, but we must also at least ask “Why Not”.

The Paneugenesis Process, which is a method to generate comprehensive improvement by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergisitic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, is a way to nudge you toward designing that better future. The process is simple, but it is not easy.

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Determine Desired Idealized Outcome – Imagine and then clearly articulate the future you want that is not possible now
  2. Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible – Generate and bring into existence those things that will be necessary to make the idealized outcomes possible that do not exist now
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that  Precursors possible – Continually find out what you must start doing, working with, thinking about and making possible that will in time ripple out to make that new idealized a future possibility
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement – Continually take note of progress and then build upon that success to make it even better

Using this process requires use of the 7 C’s of Challenge, Courage, Commitment, Competence, Connection, Contributions and Consequences. 

  • Accept the Challenge – Yes, it is a challenge, if not you, who?
  • Use Courage to act – You may not succeed perfectly, however doing nothing guarantee’s failure
  • Develop Competence – Learn and become better because we need more we would have already achieved goals
  • Be Committed to purpose, meaning and values – It is vital we do what is right, not what is easiest
  • Make Connections to people, organizations and the environment – That generates better for all
  • Doing this enables us to make impactful Contributions – Beneficial interactions
  • To continually improve, build on those Consequences – How can I build on this success?

It is a new year. Please share how you use the Paneugenesis Process and the 7 C’s to create a better future. Also, let us know how we can work with you to to generate 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 contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

 

“Safety” Shows Power of Community

2020 has been a tough year for everyone. In looking forward to a better 2021, I recommend the movie “Safety“. The movie did a great job of showing us how we are always stronger together. The movie shows how the Clemson family came together so all could do better. The team and the community came together to help a player and his brother have a better life (selfless), so the player could get a good college experience (Selfish) so we help all do better (Synergy). #SelfishSelflessSynergy

We all can help make 2021 better. The paneugenesis process is about how to create more good. I look forward to hearing how you start a cascade by engaging in the paneugenesis process to generate comprehensive improvements by creating, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you took action to help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Past irrelevant for future improvements

The past is the past. It cannot be changed. It also can only hurt to feel bad about what happened. There is nothing that can be done to change anything that was done. We can, however, improve and do better. We want things better for ourself, selfish, that also helps others, selfless, so society is better, synergy. Taking actions to help others makes us feel good, enables others and ourselves to be more capable and builds a better society. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

As noted by Robert Putnam in Upswing: how America came together a century ago and how we can again, Tocqueville’s review of the American experiment in the 1830’s indicated he believed that American’s were pursuing “self-interest rightly understood” because it created a better society.

He also noted, the past may set the agenda, but it is about a choice going forward. The past does, however, prepare us for the future. It prepares us by knowing what could be and how to make better choices.

We all want a better future. To have a better future, we have to think about what could be and then work to make it so. It cannot just happen. The Paneugenesis Process is about how to create a better tomorrow.

Greg Satell, in Cascades: How to create a movement that drives transformation change suggests building support so the change can cascade from multiple areas. The Paneugenesis process is a way to build a cascade of transformational change as it works to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. It can happen by taking these steps:

  1. Operationalize an Idealized Outcome -make it clear to you and others what a better future could be. It needs to be clear and understood so it will motivate people to take action to make it happen.
  2. Discover the Precursors – by describing what will have to be in place. Who will be your Spectrum of Allies and Pillars of Support needed to bring your new reality into existence. Make sure you explain to them how their support will bring related benefits to them and society so they become supporters.
  3. Optimize the Process – take action, do what needs to be done to build support, build a team, and make good things happen. Don’t just stop bad from happening, cause good.
  4. Plot Progress – as you make progress, note and celebrate successes that you can build upon to make it even better.

Building a better future isn’t just about fixing or making it less bad, but about creating more good. The paneugenesis process is about how to create more good. I look forward to hearing how you start a cascade by engaging in the paneugenesis process to generate comprehensive improvements. Please share how you took action to help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Longcut is the Shortcut

I learned the truth of Beverly Sills quote while I was doing the Ropes Course at the US National White Water Center in Charlotte, NC. While on the course I attempted to follow my daughter through the advanced path on this course. I wasn’t planning on doing the advanced course but I was doing well and she said there is only 3 more stages. I got on the advanced course and although challenging, I was progressing. Then I got to the most challenging last section of the course and I was tired. This part required us to walk over swinging wood boards.

Swinging boards on rope course 

As I got to about the middle, I selfishly thought, I need a break. I then thought it might be easier to take a shortcut by sitting on the boards and scooting over the boards to the finish.

My attempted shortcut caused me to get my cord tangled and required me to do several extra boards to be able to complete the course. The shortcut I thought I was taking was really a long cut.

This was an analogy to life. Evidence from research indicates that shortcuts supposedly designed to create a better life may produce short term gains but most times result in poor long-term outcomes. Many, such as Martin Seligman, PhD, in his book Authentic Happiness, attribute our desire for shortcuts to a better life to be related to the increases in depression.

As Dr. Seligman demonstrates, happiness, progress and success must be earned. Rewards cannot be given to us.  If they are given to us, what is being rewarded? Value generally becomes associated with price. The cost in life is not money but time, effort and diligence. Paying with personal effort enables us to purchase a better life, a valuable commodity. 

Life often teaches us that what appears to are shortcuts are not faster or more efficient. Vital to this approach  is perspective. It is not that life has to be hard, it is the best and most rewarding way. It is not the required path, but choosing to do things better can be rewarding.

Today I learned that the interaction which appeared to be the long cut because it required me to work harder to exceed expectations and finish the ropes course, was actually the shortcut. Using this harder path was the only path that could allow me to earn a glowing sense of accomplishment. As it turns out, the harder path was the fastest way and it was worth the effort.

In life I choose to make the effort needed to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.Please share the benefits you experience by making an extra effort to exceed expectations.

P.S. If you are interested, John Rosemond’s linked 12/7/2020 column. This column provides a long cut that is really a shortcut for parenting:

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Children

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Help Others Be Better – We all Benefit

Generating comprehensive improvements happens when we develop more abilities to not only do the the current action better, but also develop better critical thinking skills and increased competencies. Better abilities gives us the potential to successful create what we want in an uncertain future and the ability to better handle the unexpected. We cannot know what will happen in the future, however more skilled we are, the better able we are to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Simon Sinek explains this better than I have heard before in his “Empathy” presentation below. I learned about this presentation from Greg Satell’s work on innovation and transformation, networks and mapping Innovation. Sinek emphasizes that we are now the leaders and for us to create new leaders we need to help the younger generation develop more skills instead of just getting frustrated because they are not doing as well as we want them to do. If they are not as successful as they should be, then we should help them be more successful. By helping others, being selfless, we will get the better world we want, selfish, and the result helps all of us, synergy so everyone and everything benefits. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share how you use some of these ideas to create beneficial interactions that ripple out so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Healthier’s By-Product is Comprehensive Improvements

Selfish-Selfless-Synergy is a Win-WIn-Win strategy because it benefits you, benefits others (friends and enemies alike), and improves the environment. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Dr. Gregor’s  Nutrition Facts Video explains how eating can be a way to benefit yourself, others and the environment. I encourage you to listen about how and why our food choices help generate all good. In other words, eating provides a way to Be Well’R by practicing paneugenesis.

Enjoy this opportunity to make a contribution to a better life for all. It is exciting to improve our life and well-being in ways that, as a by-product, also generate comprehensive improvements for others and the environment. Make it a Great Day & Week by choosing to be Selfish, Selfless & Synergistic. Remember, there are additional secondary benefits by spreading loving kindness to others. Making these choices benefits you with energy and well-being, the by-product is a spreading of loving kindness to everyone and everything!

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Do Good, Ending Demonization is Not Enough

As NYTimes Columnist Michele Goldberg predicted, “…America (did) jettison its leader…” “But…” as she noted, “…a President Joe Biden won’t be able to simply pick up America’s role…” In a similar way we cannot go back to how we were. We have to do better. President Elect Biden followed this trend indicating that ending demonization was not enough

How do we do better? Where do we go now: CHAOS OR COMMUNITY?

In my bias view of the mandates, the Mandate to build community requires us to Practice Paneugenesis to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic, interactions so everyone and everything benefits. We can start by doing as President Elect Biden suggested and give each other a chance by listening. This is great and I suggest you take it a step further when talking with others that have different perspectives and search for how they are similar to you rather than how they differ. This is more likely if instead of thinking it must be your way or their way, develop a better way. (For ideas see We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative)

These ideas were driven home to me by a thought provoking “Freakonomics” Podcast where Steven Dubner interviewed Whole Foods CEO John Mackay. The interview with Mr. Mackay was great and a few comments that he says he has learned over the years seemed especially good to me. One comment that stood out was when he explained that one side does not have all the answers, supporting the need for a better way rather than your way or their way. Further he suggested he aims for a win-win-win outcome so he does better, the other party does better and the environment does better. It seems he practices this and the win-win-win philosophy is a driving force behind “Whole Foods”. This win-win-win idea is also what drives my push for Selfish, Selfless, Synergy where I benefit, you benefit and the world benefits. #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

This election season should remind us that -We the people- have the power to build a better future. One way I try to do this is represented on a T-shirt I bought from the Kind coffee house in Colorado. The shirt says, “Make America Kind Again”. I think this is something we can all agree is important and valued. We also can understand how being kind is something we can all contribute toward accomplishing.

Please share how you can be kind to create win-win-win, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions by creating pervasive, reciprocal beneficial interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

 

Vote for More Good, Not Just Less Bad

In 2015 I made a similar post about the value and importance of Voting. I encourage you to vote. Your vote should be about the future and think about who plans to build a better future, not just a less bad future. When you vote, think how can I help generate Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic benefits.

As I noted in 2015, I Voted Today & Every Day We vote everyday by what we choose to do and how we choose to act because

“Economics is a value system masquerading as mathematics.”

This saying is a guiding light to me because it reminds me that every time I choose to buy or do something, I am voting. My actions demonstrate to others what I value because those choices are my vote on how I use my limited resources. This choice of what I buy or use sends the message that more of the same should be provided.

All of our choices send a vote about what we think is important. I choose to  spend my resources on what I want more of, not less in the world. I choose things that make me and us stronger, healthier and more capable so if something happens, and it will, we can bounce back. For most of the time, when nothing happens, we just have the ability to have a better life.

Vote Every Day to Help Create a Better World

I try to keep this in mind with all the choices I make by thinking about the impact my choice has on the others and the world. Plant based foods for instance are good for me and the planet while animal agriculture has been shown to do damage to personal and planetary health.

As an example, in this election I voted for candidates that support sustainability and other helpful issues. After voting day I will continue to vote for the same  by making choices that demonstrate that I want a stronger and more sustainable world.

A short article in my local small town paper explains how we can make our communities better.

      Anti-immigrant policies weaken America

[Excerpts – link above]…I moved to the U.S. from Manchester, U.K…It wasn’t only the lack of universal health care and paid family leave…that shocked me…America had long been a place known for welcoming outsiders from around the world and giving them the chance to thrive

…people here in North Carolina…have never treated me with anything but warmth and kindness. Getting to know them, I understand…Please consider…anti-immigrant policies will reduce money for Social Security and Medicare …mean(s) fewer new companies, smaller workforces and a slower recovery

As a group, immigrants…pay…taxes annually…create jobs…add…to our GDP…and get more Americans working.

I encourage you to vote today and everyday on what will generate comprehensive improvements because it creates interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Your vote can be a way to help generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.