Progress, Not Problem Focus Essential

As I listened to the April 30th 2021 Friday Morning, NYT Daily Podcast,”Odessa, Part 4: Wellness Check“, I was stunned at their focus and how it seemed to relate to life. At the end of April 2021 there is hope that we are coming out of the pandemic. This 4 part NYT Daily Podcast has described the experience of a High School in Odessa Texas during the last half of 2020 as they attempted to have in person classes during the pandemic.

I enjoyed the podcasts focus on the progress they made to have school despite difficult times. I was then confused when their ending question was, “What is the permanent damage that has been done?”. They also stated they were asking this question about the impact on these 17 year old students.

I stopped walking as I was listening because I realized it related to me and my story. At 17 years of age I was the passenger of a car that collided head on with another. Despite difficult times because of the accident, I carried on. What was my option? In my incident, the driver and the other 2 passengers were killed and I suffered a severe head trauma that left me comatose. The Odessa podcast shocked me because I wondered why they were asking about the permanent damage being done instead of how and why some did well and how how they can do better.

If you are interested, more about my accident and its impact on me, it is described in the linked Positive Health tab here and at the top of the page. The link opens to the essay: The Power of Positive Health: Why I am so passionate about Wellness.

In my recovery, I also wondered, “What is the permanent damage done?” I am sure there is some, however it it is not where I focus. I focused then and still do, on discovering how I could make progress. This focus was possible because of the significant positive help from family and friends, most especially my parents. Can you have this type of influence on your family friends and or organizations.

A progress, not problem focus is helpful because my success, and the triumphs of anyone, come about by finding ways to do better or more good. Progress cannot develop evolve or happen, unless by accident, by only learning how to experience less bad. Bad or difficult things will happen, they are inevitable, however we will only be capable of overcoming those difficulties if we have a capacity that enables us to adapt and “carry on” in a better way. Searching for permanent damage will not enable us to do better or have more capacity. To move forward we must develop our capacities and enhance our collaborations. It is also valuable to remember the self-worth reinforcing feelings accomplishment generates, especially through trying experiences, by focusing on progress, not problems.

As noted often on this blog, research from my work and that of many scientists has documented how it is more effective and powerful to generate more good, or comprehensive improvements, than it is to diminish bad. Even though less bad may not be the focus, it is often the complementary side effect. For instance higher quality products and services generated by quality management methods also result less bad in the form of in lower costs and less waste.

The most notable proponent and promoter of quality management methods can be seen from the work of world changing quality management Dr. W. Edwards Deming. His promoted quality methods provides a processes to generate more good and as a secondary benefit, less bad. His quality management methods are relevant and useful everywhere because as he stated, by doing things this way, “everyone wins”. I prefer everyone benefits because if someone wins, it suggests there are also losers. Quality management methods like paneugenesis helps everyone and everything benefit. If it does not, it is not being done correctly.

Dr. Deming’s work is certainly foundational to what I do. A foundational principle of quality management is continual process improvement. I have translated these quality management techniques to wellness and lifestyle process improvement. My work has also shown the most effective way to generate more good and practice paneugenesis is to work toward creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Shakespeare provides another related perspective when he explains that there’s not good and bad, it is just what we label it. For this situation, we should choose progress, not problems

The labeling perspective is also shared by Ben Saunders who trekked the South Pole. At the end of his Ted Talk, “To the South Pole and Back – the hardest 105 days of my life”, he suggests we focus on progress

“Happiness is not about finish lines…If we can’t feel content here, today, now, on our journeys, amidst the mess and the striving that we all inhabit, the open loops, the half finished to-do lists, the could-do-better-next-times, then we might never feel it.”

Ben Saunders

If we truly want to make progress and overcome problems as necessary side effect, our focus has to be on progress, not just problems. Please share how you focus on progress and how this has helped. Thank you for all you do to help all of us make progress!

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Stop the Death of Expertise

I recently read Tom Nichols The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters. He had originally written this essay, also titled “The Death of Expertise”, as a precursor to the book. If you find the essay interesting, which I did, I recommend you read the book.

He also documents the importance of trusting others. Specialization is good, we get higher quality and it means we do not need to know everything, which we couldn’t anyway. This also means we need to have trust. Even better, we can be part of the solution when we become experts in our own domain. Experts empower selfish, selfless, synergistic actions. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

I liked the final points in his essay about things to think about with regard to interactions with experts. His book does a great job explaining and describing all these points. He writes:

“Here, presented without modesty or political sensitivity, are some things to think about when engaging with experts in their area of specialization.

Tom Nichols, Death of Expertise

We can all stipulate: the expert isn’t always right.

But an expert is far more likely to be right than you are. On a question of factual interpretation or evaluation, it shouldn’t engender insecurity or anxiety to think that an expert’s view is likely to be better-informed than yours. (Because, likely, it is.)

Experts come in many flavors. Education enables it, but practitioners in a field acquire expertise through experience; usually the combination of the two is the mark of a true expert in a field. But if you have neither education nor experience, you might want to consider exactly what it is you’re bringing to the argument.

In any discussion, you have a positive obligation to learn at least enough to make the conversation possible. The University of Google doesn’t count. Remember: having a strong opinion about something isn’t the same as knowing something.

And yes, your political opinions have value. Of course they do: you’re a member of a democracy and what you want is as important as what any other voter wants. As a layman, however, your political analysis, has far less value, and probably isn’t — indeed, almost certainly isn’t — as good as you think it is.”

I also provided the review below on GoodReads.com and Google Books to encourage more to read this important book:

Death of Expertise is a Great book. There are so many valuable insights, I strongly encourage you to read the book. I can only highlight a few I thought were of value.

He explains, expertise is not dead but it and respect for it is on life support. The main idea I got from the book was how people are mixing up the fact that everybody’s vote counts the same in this country with the idea that our opinions are of equal value. As he points out, in clear detail, experts are of great value, importance and service to society. They help us make sense of the flood of information available. For example, he appreciates dentists because he knows even on a dentists worst day and on his best, his ability to dentistry would be wholly lacking despite what he could read on the internet.

Yes everybody can have an opinion, but educated opinions from schooling and experience are of significantly greater value and it has been what has made our lives possible. It is the ability of people to become experts at different functions that allows us to have a higher quality of life. Nobody can do everything well. Yes we could all probably build our own houses as they did in days past, but then the quality of our houses would be severely lacking for most who not have the requisite expertise.

He also suggests that much loss of respect for expertise seems to be a way to protect fragile egos. As he notes, everything is not a matter of opinion, some things are right and wrong. Yes, sometimes experts are wrong, but is rare and that is why it is news. We all must understand we can be wrong. Some of this problem has been fed by the media that now focuses more on entertaining than on informing and fact-checking. Of course the internet is a huge source of problems because all the information appears to be of equal value despite about 90% of the information on the internet being incorrect. Deciphering what is right and what is wrong is difficult for a layperson. For example, he notes the public claims they have been misled to which experts and policy makers respond, “how would you know?”

This relates to his discussion of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This effect helps us understand why the least informed are the most confident in opinions. They are confident, though wrong, because they do not have the understanding to know there information is insufficient. I am sure if you are reading this blog, you know how much you do not know, but it is still easy for all of us to point out mistakes and to believe we have a more thorough understanding than we do. That is the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Predictions by experts are hard because science helps explain and understand more than predict. It is also hard to predict because it is impossible to account for all possible intervening factors. Predictions by experts, however, are almost always much better than by those less informed. Of course there are time when uninformed get it right, but it is rare. The difference in how often experts or laypersons are right would dramatically impact our lives and we are better because we more often rely on experts.

Death of Expertise in Higher Education
He also provides a great chapter about Higher Education. As a professor I especially appreciated this information. He suggests it is important to universities to focus on helping students become more self-reliant and resist knowledge being viewed as a consumer good for students purchase. As he points out in one example, it is easier for students to email the professor with a question than to find the answer themselves. Students often think of emailing a professor like communicating with a customer service department, this however does not help students become more self-reliant. There are also more difficulties because if the professor pushes students to do their own work, they may come back with a “customer is always right” retort, putting higher education in a precarious position.

To me this is one reason society should help support higher education more so students are not forced to go into debt to get a university education. Higher education should be seen more as a privilege and societal obligation to improve. He was concerned that students are being taught to be picky consumers rather than critical thinkers. He is also concerned that students are learning that feelings matter more than rationality and facts because often emotion trumps everything else.

Throughout the book, he also emphasized that facts, which can be obtained on the internet, is not the same as knowledge or ability. I teach an Applied Principles class and students are always amazed how difficult it is to apply what seems like common sense information.

In his discussion of “Wisdom of Crowds” he acknowledges that the average of many guesses, like for the weight of a pig, will be very accurate. This suggests crowds can have wisdom but it does not mean all in the crowd are wise. While this suggests the Wisdom of Crowds is valuable, it does not mean crowds should run society. A wisdom of crowds does not translate well into creating a coherent policy. Small groups of experts are needed for that because they are needed to aggregate the publics irresolvable demands.

As I noted, there is so much good in this book, I could only skim the surface of what I found interesting and of value. I strongly recommend you read it. If you want a sampling, you can read the short essay, “Death of Expertise” he wrote and suggested inspired him to write the book. Enjoy…

I hope this inspires you to build on your expertise and to value and use that of others. Developing expertise is a way to practice paneugenesis because it will help generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfish, synergistic interactions so everyone and eveything benefits. Thank you for helping everyone and everything benefit. Please share your efforts so we can learn from your selfish, selfless, synergistic actions. Thank you.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

More than a “Whack a Mole” Life

You are better than this! Society pressures us to live a “whack a mole” life. Problems in life are like moles in this game because a new problem keeps popping up. We then spend our time whacking them down, or fixing problems (like gif above). This is like Sisyphus because this makes it difficult to move forward. Fixing problems uses up our time an energy instead of using it to create a better future.

Fixing problems mistakenly feels like progress, however we never move forward, we just don’t move backward. I analogize it like never getting past 0 in the video below.

You are better than this. We all want a better future or what I refer to as +3 where we exceed expectations. We need to devote our time and energy toward generating comprehensive improvements. If we spend all of our time looking for, and finding, problems to eliminate, progress is unlikely

Vic Strecher and Jim Loehr do great work helping us learn how to build purpose and meaning in life. I recently listened to their 30 minute Purposecast, “Energize Your Life: How to Boost and Better Manage Your Energy“.

I love their work, however, as I was listening, it seems they are still suggesting if we get rid of our negatives, such as negative energy as mentioned in this talk. How, it seems like they are suggesting we shoudl be looking for moles to whack? This is contrary to Shawn Achor and “The Happiness Advantage” who documents the flaw in this approach. I addressed his work in this post Is a Problem Needed for Change? II recommend you watch Achor’s wonderful TED Presentation: “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance

In other words, regardless of the situation, we should do something that aligns with our values and goals that helps you and us move forward. This is captured in the “Anyway” poem.

In other words, put energy into creating what you want, Anyway. If you are spending energy ending what you don’t want, exhaustion will keep you from chasing better things. To create what we want we need to put our energy into creating more good, not just less bad (see Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad).

Creating what we want crowds out what we don’t want. To create what you want and crowd out what we do not want, it is vital to work at generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, Anyway.

Please share how you are making the world better for everyone and everything and encourage all to do the same.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

🧘🏻‍♀️🧘🏽‍♂️🧘🏼‍♀️MorningYoga is Great🧘🏻‍♀️🧘🏽‍♂️🧘🏼‍♀️

My family and I have now found a way to do 10 minutes of yoga a day, each morning, and it is great! Most mornings we meet using one of the available technologies – WebEx, Zoom, FaceTime, MS Teams, since our girls live in different cities. My daughters were the inspiration for yoga and now my wife and I are amazed because 10 minutes of yoga each morning has helped us increase our mobility and have a better day. Smart girls!

There are many options on the internet. We chose to join Kassandra for 10 minutes of yoga each morning and have liked her sessions. Here is her day 0 video.

We started her 30 day challenge and are now doing those 30 days for a second time. I now feel a desire to do yoga each morning because it makes me feel better and helps me feel ready to start my day. I also now notice significantly better flexibility, all from just 10 minutes of yoga a day.

I encourage you to try this, it is only 10 minutes. You don’t need to drive anywhere or even change your clothes. We have enjoyed adding this habit to our day. Please let us know how it has helped generate comprehensive improvements because it is a pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits. Also please share if you find other good videos online.

Yoga is a way to practice paneugenesis with selfish, selfless, synergy. It is selfish because it is good for me, I feel better so I am better to others, selfless, which also makes it pervasive and likely reciprocal which generates synergy so we all do better. Thank you Kassandra for helping!

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

#GoodMorning

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

 

Obvious Finding: More Health Behaviors, Better Performance

With my colleague, Martha Chapin, we finished a study and published the results in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 34(1), pages 65-75. The findings from the study outlined in the article, “Contributing Factors to Academic Performance for Students with Disabilities”, suggests college support services should focus more on nurturing, supporting, encouraging and reinforcing health promoting actions in the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational and environmental areas. The focus on encouraging these behavior was suggested because the more students engaged in these health promoting actions, as measured by the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS),  the higher their life satisfaction, grit, and resilience. More SWPS measured health promoting actions was also associated with better performance in college as measured by Grade Point Average (GPA).

Often we think health is secondary, however, engaging in actions that enable health is being shown over and over again to the be the latent, or hidden, underlying cause of desirable outcomes. Engaging in health promoting behaviors is not something you should do when you have time or after being successful, engaging in health promoting actions makes it more likely you are successful, just like Shawn Achor demonstrated in the Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance.

In other words, this study provides more evidence to support the obvious. To get the life we want, it would be beneficial to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. This supports the contention that Practicing Paneugenesis can contribute to generating comprehensive improvements.

Below is the abstract of this published article:

Please share how you are Practicing Paneugenesis by taking action to create the life you want. Thank you.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Updated Review of Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City

The April 12, 2021 Op-Ed for the New York Times by Edward Glaeser encouraged me to update my February 2021 post. It seems as things change, Dr. Glaeser’s prophetic work becomes even more relevant.

This article suggests his work and the current Biden agenda should include zoning as a key to enable America to be more productive, equitable and green. Interestingly, he is suggesting allowing more growth is greener and more equitable. I certainly encourage a read of his book. This article is a good complement. Enjoy and please share your thoughts.

There were several other aha moments for me throughout the book. A developed a new understanding related to poor people in cities. Dr. Glaeser explained that poor people come to the city because they see it as an opportunity to create a better life, which many are able to do. If people remain poor in a city, then work must be done by that city. If new poor people keep moving in, this can drive improvement. According to Dr. Glaeser, these are the keys to helping a city thrive: a good education system so people become more educated, a good infrastructure with good transportation, clean streets and the rule of law. If these factors are in place, it attracts people and investment. Additionally, with those precursors in place, they can generate an optimized process to yield desirable results for the city and that city can then contribute to the world. If a city wants to thrive, it is Incumbent upon that city to have a good infrastructure so all people can get a good education, be transported to jobs and are likely to meet with and interact with other people. He also documented the cities are good for immigrants and immigrants are good for cities because interactions with a diverse set of people yields even better results. This is an outcome from which we all benefit. Developing new talent through education and interactions is a good investment for the city and the world.

He also caused me to rethink taxing and how it is used. He documented that cities pay higher taxes due to higher salaries and higher productivity but then that tax money goes to less productive areas. Overall, he wasn’t complaining about being taxed just that the tax system now is anti-urban and pro suburban. He also noted a reason this happens. Congress is over represented by suburban areas. Low density states get 2 senators like high density states. He cited 5 states with just 1.2% of the population have 10% of the power in the senate and this creates an imbalance of power for a minority of the population.

Overall, he had an environmental agenda. He questioned this policy because cities are significantly less carbon intensive per person than suburban living. Suburban living generates more emissions per person than city living because suburban living generally requires more driving and bigger houses, each of which requires more energy use. An example of the subsidizing of suburban living was the mortgage tax deduction. I wonder about his thoughts now since the mortgage tax deduction has been eliminated. Another question relates to the recent publication in Scientific American, “U.S. Cities Are Underestimating Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The errors could make it more difficult for cities to meet goals for reducing their planet-warming footprint” (at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-cities-are-underestimating-their-greenhouse-gas-emissions/)

Overall, it is a good book and a thought provoking. I recommend this book. These ideas all seem to support the practice of paneugenesis because it suggests cities can help generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions with a good infrastructure from which everyone and everything will benefit.

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.

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.

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.

Thank a Teacher! They Deserve It

I’m sure I’m biased because many in my family are teachers, however I am watching the teachers at our primary, middle, and high schools work extremely hard. All of the teachers, principals, and at school administrators work very long hours. On top of that what they are asked to do continually changes during this pandemic. Please take a few minutes to give your kids teachers a thank you. If you don’t have kids, but know teachers, please thank them.

All the teachers I know do their best to help kids be a better versions of themselves. I know they helped me become a better person. The requirement to go to online teaching has required extensive work on their part. They spend numerous hours in front of the computer trying to help the kids and many parents and do so much more. Most would rather teach face to face, however they know this is what must be done and they are doing great work for the kids.

Every teacher I know practices paneugenesis. Teachers are the perfect example of what it means to exhibit Selfish, Selfless, Synergy. #SelfishSelflessSynergy  I say this because I know they are generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive reciprocal selfish selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please give them thanks, they have more than earned it and I know they greatly appreciate a note for their efforts.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Imagine a Better Future then Create It = A Simple Example

I thought this would be a simple post, then I saw how all these connections run through my life. The post was just going to share: 

My wife is amazing. She cooks delicious, wonderful, mostly vegan food. In that respect we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. This of course means we have a lot of skins and inedible parts left over that traditionally are thrown in the trash or go down the disposal. I compost, which is an amazing and powerful natural “soft” or natural process.

I take the scraps, that would be garbage, and put them in a container in my yard, which for me is an old garbage can with the bottom cut out, with my grass clippings and other yard waste. Over time this waste turns into rich soil. In other words, I grow soil, as I learned from the incredible Will Allen (see Growing Healthier Food, People, & Communities). After leaving the waste in the composter for 6-12 months, it turns into healthy soil that I then put in the garden to grow my fruits and vegetables. A circular economy. I thought that was an amazing efficient and effective process that was circular. Then my wife made it even better. Before I put the scraps in to be compost, my wife put them on high in the Insta-pot and made vegetable broth (here is the recipe she used).Wow!

This documents Selfish/Selfless/Synergistic benefits. In other words, it is a great way to Practice Paneugenesis. This is a way to develop a personal circular economy that is regenerative. It makes tomorrow and TODAY Better. It is a way to give to all and get for yourself – Selfish and Selfless because more clean air and water, so it is Synergistic as we Give & Get by making a Positive Impact.

Then I started thinking…

We all recognize, during this terrible pandemic the world is not what we want it to be. We saw this coming, Bill Gates warned us in his 2014 TED presentation. Despite knowing what was possible, action was not taken. From my perspective, I don’t think we did anything because the best we could’ve gotten, at least the  way it was presented, was not bad, or things would end up the same as they were.

Taking actions would mean we could keep what we have. If we took action we would have had less bad – No Pandemic. Of course this is great, but it did not inspire action. In my compost example, simply using scrap food gave us the benefit for better, more convenient and less expensive vegetable broth, besides no need to go to the store, extra waste. We got more than not bad, less garbage, for that action. For me and it seems most of us, the getting and giving something seems to motivate action. Selfish, Selfish, Synergy is how to get and give at the same time. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

It is likely the warnings of a “possible” future pandemic did not inspire action for many reasons. One reason is because nothing like this has happened in our lifetime. How could we imagine it as a possibility and why would it happen now?? We all most have assumed what we are doing must be working well enough. As noted, things always work, until they don’t. To me the main reason action was not taken was because if action was taken, the result would be nothing – NO PANDEMIC. We would be left with what we already

Most of us want to make a positive impact, we want to feel good and we want to give. While it may seem contradictory, being Selfish and Selfless is Synergistic and by Giving We all Get…better. Our minds do not know how to handle nothing, a not bad outcome. It is also logical, why do we need to take action to keep what we already have? If we want a better future, not just a less bad future, however, we need to have an emotionally rewarding outcome we can get to move toward.

If we put these actions into a mathematical formula, it could look like this:

Selfish +Selfless = Synergy with a Remainder of Get & Give  with a leftover of Positive Impact

In other words, we need an “Operationalized Idealized Outcome” to move toward. #SelfishSelflessSynergy to Give & Get for all so everyone and everything benefits.

Using scraps for broth and soil is a simple example of how I and my family attempt to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. It is how I give and get. I am anxious to hear how you cause your positive impact – please share! Thank you.

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