Its the Environment Stu*?#!

“It’s the economy stu**#?!” was a famous catch phrase when Clinton ran for president and in a book by Paul Begala about George W. Bush’s presidency. As the title states, “It Still the Economy, Stupid”.

book by Paul Begala

This idea seemed to catch on because the economy seemed to be instrumental in peoples lives. Most people cared about the economy because they thought the state of the economy would have an impact on their lives.

Research continues to document that the things around us, such as the economy, greatly impact what we do and what we think. From a more general perspective, it’s not the economy, it’s the environment that is most influential.

Social Cognitive theory (also referred to as Social Learning Theory) explains how thoughts (cognitions), behaviors, and the environment continually influence one another. As any one of these factors changes, so do the others. Therefore, when we alter the environment, our thoughts and behaviors will also change, reciprocally. It is what is referred to as reciprocal determinism. If you are interested in learning more, you can watch this short video.

The power of the environment drives many recommendations. The simplest recommendation is to have healthy food in your house, prepared, and it will more likely be the food you eat. This simple point was driven home for me when I saw how we changed our home environment for our new puppy. For some reason he liked to play with our bolt cap covers on the bottom of the toilet (see pictures). To solve the problem, we put out toys and removed the bolt cap covers. He now plays with better toys and we don’t have a problem. All of this happened by “simply” changing the environment. How can you change your environment to get the outcomes you desire?

Simplicity, however is sometimes overrated, there is always more than one causal factor and this alone make simplicity incomplete. Still, Einstein was a fan,

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Albert Einstein

For a great discussion on simplicity I recommend Steven Dubner & Angela Duckworth’s “No Stupid Questions“, podcast episode #104, “How Simple Is Too Simple?

Creating an Environment to Get Desired Outcomes

Preparing healthy food and having it available in my home generates a health promoting environment that makes health more likely. Making healthy food available is a time multiplier (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…) I find myself, upon reflection, using time multiplier options all the time. Many actions, that take time initially, can create an environment more likely to generate desirable outcomes. For instance my wife and I share the notes App on our iPhones. It took time to set up, however now whenever we run low on things, or need to get something, we put it on our shared list and we are more likely to get and have things in our environment that we need. In this way, our digital environment helps our home environment.

Idea from this post: Design your environment to make your desired outcomes more likely. The environment enables or inhibits desired outcomes. Though it will take some work initially to create the environment you want, the time spent creating that desirable environment, will save your time – as Rory Vader explains, it is a Time Multiplier.

Behaviors Become Habits

It is important ot remember that any action taken sets the foundation for a habit. (see What We Do Without Thinking, Sharing “Atomic Habits” Wisdom from James Clear … and more. The environment we live in determine if engaging in that behavior will be easy or more difficult. Understanding this means we should design your environment to make desired behaviors easier so a better life can take care of itself because as behaviors become habits, it will be what we do without thinking. Habits are also great time savers, or time multipliers.

Please share how you design you environment to generate comprehensive benefits by enabling more net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Questions Enlighten

To enlighten means “(to) give (someone) greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation”. Upon further reflection, I realized that we learn more by asking questions, often unexpected, questions that may seem to be off the topic at first.

Enlightenment was the subject of Steven Pinker’s fantastic book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (see Things are Great – And They are Getting Better…) that chronicled the amazing progress we have made and what are important factors that made that progress possible.

Ulcers from Bacteria?

An example of asking a different and somewhat off the mark questions happened when Marshall & Warren discovered that it was a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, not stress and lifestyle that caused peptic ulcers (see this 1984 Lancet article). This amazing discovery was possible because they asked good questions. That paradigm improving work helped them to eventually win the 2005 Nobel Prize.

I learned about Marshall & Warren’ work while reading Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health ©2012 and it came to mind while attending a conference.

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 11.38.33 AM.png

Rabbit Hole Misdirection

As I attended a fantastic 2022 Appalachian Energy Summitt presentation about how North Carolina was going to get to net-zero carbon with transportation, a question broke our rabbit hole thinking. The discussion was about electric cars and continued with a discussion about the need for a recharging infrastructure, fast charging stations and or battery exchanges, and the need for policy. As we learned, despite available technology, without supportive policy, change is unlikely. As we continued down the rabbit hole of electric cars and their benefits, then infrastructure, fast chargers, and exchange batteries, someone asked a question: What about trains? High speed rail?

It stopped us in our tracks (pun intended). As he stated, even if we have all this, we still must drive, ugh… If we had trains, we could arrive rested, socialize, read, do work if desired and travel easily. He also pointed out the possibility of trains helping NC get to net-zero emission if done right. As I reflected, I realized how different our conversation would have been if we would have thought about what the best way would be to travel, rather than how can we just convert what we currently do toward something better. This question enlightened.

A Problem focus is limiting

Questions enlighten. If we start with the understanding we want things to be better and deprivation will never work for the long term, it will help. Deprivation means doing without. Unless we have a better substitute, it will not be desired. Seeing the new way as better requires framing and promotion. Simply eliminating a problem is less bad, not more good and it limits our thinking toward the problem, not a possible paradigm improving solution as documented by Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden & Build Theory of Positive Emotions (see Build a Net Positive Life for ALL).

This is important because we always move towards what seems better. But to get us to move in that direction, the good must be 3x better than the loss is bad (refer to Critical Positivity Line or the Losada Line). The positive must be 3x more beneficial than the loss because evolution taught us to be oversensitive to losses. We function with what experts call loss aversion. Loss aversion is part of us because it enabled us to survive. Therefore, if we want paradigm improving answers, we shouldn’t ask, what is the problem? As Einstein explained:

Image] #Einstein: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we  used when we created them... | Einstein quotes, Wise quotes, Quotable quotes

Asking a different question enlightens because it can enable us to use different thinking. In health we seem to only ask, what causes sickness? Why are we asking that question when we want to know, “What causes health?” Asking the right questions can help us think about how to create comprehensive improvements that are much more than just not bad.

I know this realization has helped me “Think Again” (see “Think Again” Very Helpful Book) as Adam Grant suggests. Enlightening answers require better questions (see Asking Better Questions Can Generate a Better Tomorrow). Our current focus may help solve a problem but it is unlikely to shift toward true, net-positive, improvement.

As we work to make things better, the new ways will need to crowd out bad things. From my perspective, we should be asking – how can we generate comprehensive improvements? We need to be asking, how do we create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that cause benefits so everyone and everything benefits? For example attempts to answer this question see: A Way to Practice Paneugenesis, A Paneugenesis Process for America, Create All Good – Paneugenesis – in Prisons?, Practicing Paneugenesis – An Example and many more on this site. These examples are times when people asked questions that kept them out the rabbit hole trap.

Please share questions that help you and may help us think about how to generate comprehensive benefits. Thank you – I look forward to hearing from you.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Measuring for Benefits

Prevention benefits mean nothing bad happens, it does not necessarily create more good. By definition, it will just get us back to where we were before. Of course this is good, at least not worse, but why not create better? Time and again we look for errors that could have been eliminated, suggesting less errors is higher quality. Unfortunately, less errors only mean things are less bad than they could have been, not truly better. To me that type of thinking sets the bar too low.

Dr. Deming often explained it doesn’t make sense to focus on getting better at things we shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Inspecting at the end of an assembly line, he would explain, could not produce higher quality products, it could only catch errors. Quality management meant focusing on doing all the steps better, through informed decisions made possible with process behavior charts. Process behavior charts also enabled better connection between the steps so all could be done better. It matters more how things work together than how anything works independently. A continually improved process is far more effective than an improved ability to find errors at the end.

Isn’t searching for and finding errors what we usually do. We measure for errors rather than showing what could be. I thought of this as I listened to the June 3, 2022 NYTime Daily Podcast, “The Cost of Haiti’s Freedom“. I encourage you to listen here.

Shocking Information

It wasn’t so much about what they lost that sparked my interest, but later in the podcast the information they calculated about what good could have been created. If rather than paying the “double debt” back to France, Haiti could have invested in themselves and could have had a thriving island of educated citizens who would have had a better opportunity to live up to their potential and contribute. Nothing says it would have happened, but it could have…

It seems this linked Mother Goose and Grim comic strip, posted the same day as this post was attempting to make the same point. How much better can that camel perform??

As was explained in the NYTimes Daily podcast, at about minute 12, Haiti paid France $560 million dollars. Then they said, if that money had stayed in Haiti, it would be worth $21 billion dollars to Haiti which could have been used for schools and roads. That was in raw dollars, according to calculations by economists, they determined that it could have been worth $115 billion dollars if the money was used wisely. They explained that this was the opportunity cost of the money that went to France. In other words, it is what Haiti could have been – a country with electricity, water, schools and health care.

Magical Thinking…

They suggested that it was magical thinking. Is it magical thinking, or is it seeing a future that we want to create and then working to make it so? According to John List in his 2022 book, “The Voltage Effect: how to make good ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale“, this type of thinking is what was the best chess players do. They use backward induction to figure out how to create the best outcome. Is that magical thinking? No – it is backward induction or Prospective Hindsight (see Use Prospective Hindsight to Create a Better Tomorrow) It is what is used by everyone who creates better outcomes than what currently exists. It is also what I suggest we do with the Paneugenesis Process by first creating an Idealized Outcome, an outcome that cannot be now, but could be if we redesign reality to make it so.

John List explained, this evolved from Zermelos Theorem. According to what is posted on Wikipedia, backward induction is:

…is a process of reasoning backward in time. It is used to analyse and solve extensive form games of perfect information. This method analyses the game starting at the end, and then works backwards to reach the beginning. In the process, backward induction determines the best strategy for the player that made the last move. Then the ultimate strategy is determined for the next-to last moving player of the game. The process is repeated again determining the best action for every point in the game has been found. Therefore, backward induction determines the Nash equilibrium of every subgame in the original game.[5]

As explained on Wikipedia

Using Backward Induction for Benefits

Although life does not allow perfect information, shouldn’t all of us use backward induction to determine our next move? My point, in simplistic form. If we want to improve, we must start with what we want, i.e. a regenerative world, not just a sustainable one (see Getting Better as We Fix What we Broke).

We can live a lifestyle that not only makes our lives better by living it, by eating a plant strong diet, by being active with friends and family, building our minds be cooperating, and by learning and creating new methods to generate comprehensive improvements through the creation of net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits so everyone and everything benefits. This is the Practice of Paneuegenesis.

This can be made more likely by measuring for benefits, rather than problems to avoid. Dream of a better future not possible now, an Idealized Outcome seen through Prospective Hindsight. Then use backward induction to figure out how to create that desired reality. It will be exciting work to generate and contribute toward creating a better world for everyone and everything. Please share how you are using the same strategy the best chess players use, backward induction, to create a desired outcome that helps generate comprehensive improvements.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

An All Good Simple Clean Up

38,973 Bar Of Soap Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

In baseball, the 4th hitter in the line up is called the clean-up hitter. The clean-up hitter is often one of the best hitters on the team. Most coaches adhere to the idea that the first 3 hitters in the lineup will be those with high on-base percentage so the fourth hitter, can “clean up” those runners on base and score runs. The hope is doing this will mean the team will not waste any opportunities to score due to the higher probability of the clean-up hitter “hitting” them in.

Clean-ups are generally good things. It means we don’t leave a mess or leave waste. In nature, there is no waste. Natures functions such that all living things: animals, plants, human and Gaia (Earth) function in ways that make life more livable for everyone and everything. Nature is not survival of the fittest but of the most cooperative and adaptive (see Tree’s to Nuts to People – ALL Connected SuperCooperators, Strategic Alliances are Powerful, Survival of the Fittest Misleading and others).

With this in mind, we human beings, who are a part of nature, should do what we can to make life more livable for everyone and everything. At this stage of our development, we really need to be living regenerative lifestyles to repair the damage we have done (see Getting Better as We Fix What we Broke, Fixing Problems is Inefficient, Ineffective & Insufficient, More than a “Whack a Mole” Life and others).

Of course life is already busy, nobody needs more responsibilities so this is a simplifying suggestion that provides multiple benefits and is a time multiplier (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…. As Einstein explained,

Here is the suggestion or recommendation, when we clean up, use bar soap. Yes there are body washes, shampoo, conditioners, and more, but they are all soap. With regard to the lasting impact of soap, it is generally considered negligible because it breaks down quickly. However “…although the impact of soap itself is supposedly next to nothing, the packaging can actually make a difference, according to Conservation.” Logically, bar soap has less packaging, is lighter to transport, easier to store and has less disposal issues since it does not come in a plastic bottle. See more here.

Overall, in a civil of society we should be clean, however these efforts should not harm or harm other forms of life. Using bar soap helps us be in line with nature, is simple, eliminates complexity, a key driver of quality improvement as espoused by Dr. W. Edward Deming, and therefore can improve our lives and that of everyone and everything else.

It is almost like being a clean-up hitter, using bar soap makes life better, enables us to save money and also helps us contribute toward making life more livable. In other words, using bar soap is a way to create all good, or is a way to practice paneugenesis because it generates comprehensive improvements from a net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction from which everyone and everything benefits. Please share your thoughts!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Accelerating Forward Faster

COVID has changed us forever. Never did we believe a virus could change our society as dramatically as it has. COVID has caused us to quickly move even faster than we thought possible. Unfortunately, in some ways we could be accelerating forward faster.

Our justified fear of the spread of the virus and problems associated with COVID has overly emphasized prevention by crowding out the promotion and improvement of health BEYOND the absence of disease. We can be and do better. Improved well-being amplifies the power of prevention. Prevention has been wonderful, but as I noted earlier, Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! or at least it is insufficient when health improvement is our objective. Positive health amplifies prevention so we can accelerate forward faster.

Health is the PRESENCE Of WELL-BEING, it is not the absence of problems. Think about it, you feel good and have joy when you do things that make you feel good and or do good. Avoidance can only lead to temporary relief, not well-being.

Well being is caused by interactively developing physically, mentally and socially through conscious actions. Prevention efforts keep us from doing things. The BEST WAY TO PREVENT PROBLEMS is to be as healthy as possible. Prevention is a by-product of improved well-being. Study after study shows those engaged in health causing behaviors and thoughts in multiple dimensions, which my studies have labeled as social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, physical, vocational and environmental, benefit with improved well-being and higher life satisfaction due to the cumulative effect of these multiple well-being enhancing actions. There is no magic bullet.

To be able to prevent bad things, we must be strong mentally, physically and socially resulting from the development of those assets. Prevention, if taken alone, encourages us to isolate and become stagnant. Only when we take action can we get healthier and stronger. If you are interested and have time, I detail this in this Creating Better presentation.

Exponential growth

Another factor related to our difficulty, as Michael Lewis describes in The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, is from our problem understanding exponential growth which explains the rate a virus can spread. After all, isn’t it hard to believe a penny doubled every day for just 30 days would amount to over $5 million dollars? Even crazier, folding a typical piece of paper 50 times would end up being over 7 million miles long???? HUH?

Of course this is hard to believe, see the videos below that attempt to help us grasp the concept of exponential growth:

Exponential Growth:

Overall, we should be taking actions to enhance our well-being which will amplify our ability to prevent problems as a by-product of improved well-being. In other words, we can accelerate forward faster and experience better well-being with a side of prevention. This future will happen when we work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you make your life better do everyone and everything benefits!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

“Finance adds No value”

I recently listened to the April 2022 Deming Institute podcast, “In Their Own Words”, entitled and linked: Kevin Cahill’s Reflections on Dr. Deming and the Deming Institute (April 2022). Andrew Stotz hosted. Andrew Stotz is an awarded, successful financial analyst.

Mr. Stotz indicated how Deming’s work had impacted his thinking and career. Deming also provides a solid basis for all I do with health. His ideas about continual improvement of the process so the product takes care of itself and systems appreciation are at the basis of all I have done. Personal and planetary health are interconnected and as we continually improve the lifestyle process with an understanding of how it impacts everyone and everything – we can achieve the desirable aim of regenerative communities by living regenerative lifestyles. You will see Dr. Deming mentioned often in multiple posts on this blog and he has also been a basis for many of my peer reviewed published articles.

The part that caught my attention in the recent Deming institute podcast was when Andrew Stotz, despite being a financial analyst, said, “Finance adds no value” He went on to explian:

“Finance adds no value….Ultimately it’s the products and the service, and finance is a support function just as human resources… it’s when finance starts being the head of the business that you get into trouble…Never make the right finance decision over the right business decision.”

Andrew Stotz

This may be a stretch, however, to me his statement that finances cannot provide value is similar to how I have adopted what I learned from Dr. Deming. As I have noted, Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! if improvement is the goal. He even states, good finances are a by-product, and cannot be the aim, just as research has shown prevention is the by-product of good health, not its aim. Prevention and problem solving only stop bad things from happening but do not make things better than where we were before the problem occurred. We could not get healthy after COVID occurred, we had to create a better life first and the protection against COVID from good health was a beneficial by-product. Those without co-morbidities have done better.

Mr. Stotz comments about finances by explaining that money desires should not drive actions, because earning money is the necessary result or by-product. These ideas were outlined in this post, Money Is a Lagging Not a Leading Indicator which demonstrated that

Money must follow, it cannot lead.

Businesses, as Kevin Cahill explains, often want to just seem to be keeping up so they go with the new management fads or “the flavor of the month” rather than maintaining a constant aim. As he notes, this does not work out well, especially over the long term. This linked 4/24/2022 Close to Home comic humorously captures this idea about just doing something because it is a current idea.

Mr. Cahill then provides a great example of the outcomes from a focus on value or money when he contrasts Apple and Enron. One company was guided by financial statements while the other was guided by providing value. Apple, which he cites from Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs, says Apple had the aim or mission to create “insanely great products”. In contrast, the now defunct Enron’s mission was to make more money. The result: Apple is worth a trillion dollars and Enron went bankrupt.

In looking back, I realized I have cited Steve Jobs and things he has done almost as often as I have cited Dr. Deming. To me both provide great examples of how we can help generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

I hope you listen to the Deming podcast and that it motivates you to study Deming’s methods. Deming was my inspiration and it has helped me a lot in my career. Please share what you learn and how you implement his ideas to benefit everyone and everything so “everybody wins” as Dr. Deming used to say!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Is this Why Some Phrases Stick?

For the millions (well not yet) of you that follow me, you know I often use this blog as a scratchboard. I post these ideas hoping some of my unfinished thoughts will aid you in your thinking process. I recently realized that certain phrases seem to keep coming back to me and seem relevant. SInce I am a professor I a proposing a hypothesis about why they have stuck and I would appreciate your thoughts on accuracy of these thoughts. Can you do that by leaving a comment at the end?

One of the phrases that has stuck was in my thesis that I completed for my MS in Wellness Management at Ball State University. My thesis study focused on lifestyle behaviors. Throughout the paper I continued to emphasize that lifestyl behaviors were necessary, but alone they were insufficient. That phrase…

“…necessary but insufficient“

…has come back to me again and again. Most recently I heard it when I listened to Freakonomics episode #498. In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric. In the episode they discuss how after a huge false start, electric cars are finally about to flourish. However in the episode, they emphasize that while moving to electric cars is necessary, it is insufficient to solve our climate crisis due to the many other damaging environmental factors from agriculture, cement and steel making and other processes.

An important aspect with this idea seems to be consistency. By that I mean that, it seems waht a person considers necessary actions are are also probably consistent with your values and therefore beneficial to your well-being. What are things you do that are necessary, but insufficient? Please share and also let us know how and if it helps.

The other phrase that keeps coming back that I used in my dissertation when I got my PhD from Arizona State and have also used in many articles is…

“… latent underlying constructs“

Latent means hidden or concealed. However it is not really hidden, it is just not prominent or noticeable right away. I have used this phrase to document the importance of health and or the environment. Health is something that enables all else, but is hidden or latent because without it, everything else is problematic. Of course when we don’t have health, it is prominent, but the lack of ill health is latent or hidden yet it is still necessary.

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity: Earth's Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity

I also read a lot of James Lovelock and in all his books, especially in The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity, he emphasizes the necessity but insufficiency or our current environmental actions. He suggests, “…We are like a revolting teenager, intelligent, with great potential, but far too greedy, and selfish for our own good” and that “…We must stop acting as if human welfare is all that matters”. He says this due to the interconnectedness of all living things, most especially the living Earth, or Gaia as he explains. As we all know, without a habitable earth, nothing else is possible. In this way, Earth is the “latent underlying construct” that is “necessary”.

In writing this I am just realizing these phrases are related. Latent underlying constructs are necessary, but insufficient. To me this means we must build on our good actions to enable continual and never ending improvement. In my teaching, I emphasize the ripple effect or the fact that it is not just what happens right away from that transaction, it is also about what happens down the line because that transaction that really matters. For instance, we can get car to go using fossil fuels, but the leftover CO2 from burning this fossil fuel is rushing climate change. This means the ripple of climate change, not the transaction of driving is most relevant.

This idea then brings us back to the start of this post about electric cars. Electric cars are necessary and can help, especially if we power them with clean renewable energy, but they are insufficient. They will not repair what we damaged, their use will just not add more, or as much damage. For these reasons and many more, my focus has been to attempt to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits – which is the practice of paneugenesis.

As a professor, I write and publish articles in journals. These articles allow us to share our inferences, which means we use our expertise to share what we think the data for findings from a study or experiment mean. This also means inferences are not always accurate, they are initial understanding of phenomena.

Overall, this means my inference is that those phrases have stuck and keep coming back to me do so because they are relevant and important. What do you think? Do the reasons stated accurately explain why those phrases seem important and relevant and have therefore stuck with me and keep coming back?

Please share the thoughts and also actions you take to help even though we must all contribute because alone our actions may be necessary, but insufficient. Thank you – I look forward to reading your thoughts!

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Why bother?

Prevention is taking effort to do things so something that doesn’t exist now, may not exist in the future. Why bother? How do we know it might happen in the first place? This happens when people attempt to prevent diseases such as diabetes. Why bother to only prevent? If we bother to cause more good by generating more physical, social and mental well-being, we get more good while also simultaneously making it more like we prevent the bad outcome.

In a similar way, my smart neighbor has a great perspective. He is confused about why people bother to spend energy to fight things that don’t exist, such as fighting to outlaw Critical Race Theory from the curriculum when it is not being taught. Why bother?

I thought about this idea and why people bother to use unneeded effort when I watched John Stewart‘s good Climate Change The Problem episode on Apple TV .

The issue that caught my attention on this episode was when they said recycling was created by fossil fuel companies to put the blame on us. They also said that we cannot fix the problem of climate change by recycling more. Why bother? to bring this up.

Of course recycling cannot fix problems created, but doing so means we do not cause more bad and add to the issue. Recycling is also the minimum of what we should be doing. We are nature and nature produces no waste, why should we? (see: Standing on Natures Shoulders and Did we give up? Hospice for Earth? We Need Better! and many more)

Recycling, actually upcycling, as developed by McDonough and Braungart for their book Upcycle is what we should do (see: Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad).

That is we should not use things once and leave them worse but leave them better after getting good use. This way we generate more good, not just less bad. Ideas for upcycling are provided at Upcycling: 20 of The Best Examples We’ve Seen, Top 10 Upcycling Ideas, and many more internet sites including in the video below, 35 Ways to Upcycle Everything Around You.

Why bother? Bother because doing things this way means we can feel good for doing good as we help generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish selfless, synergistic interactions that benefit everyone and everything. Nature does this, see Oceans Generate More Good, Deserts to Garden – Helping Nature Generate All Good,What goes down, must go up? and more.

I look forward to hearing why & how you bother.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

What We Do Without Thinking

Wendy Wood, PhD wrote a fantastic book, Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick that can help us live a better life. I strongly encourage you read this book. If you do, please share your thoughts.

As listed on Goodreads and Google books, I posted this review.

We all now live in what seems like a very busy time. More than ever before, we are constantly bombarded with more information on a regular basis through our phones, TVs, and other media platforms. The constant onslaught of information causes us to be distracted or not fully focused on what we are doing. It is when we are not consciously determining what we are doing that habits seem to play their biggest role. Habits, according to Dr. Woods book, are what happens, or what we do when we are not thinking, distracted and or otherwise occupied. They are what we do automatically.

She documents that much of our life, upwards of 50% or more comes automatically, or are habits we can do without thinking consciously about the act. These are the things we have done over and over, and because we have done them over and over we have come to favor these acts. These acts are ones we will now defend and use because they are familiar and easier to do than to consciously think about what should be done. As she continually documents, we rely on habits because consciously thinking or developing new behaviors is exhausting.

The book especially resonated with me because my work focuses on health and or working on lifestyle behavior changes. While doing healthy actions once is not hard, it is difficult to regularly engage in healthy behavior. It is hard because society often encourages us to make less than optimistic choices. For these reasons and many more, this emphasized to me why it is vital to have healthy habits so we can be healthier from good life behaviors we automatically choose.

While that sounds simple, she did not sugar coat the idea and lead us to believe it would be easy to create habits. She explained habits take a lot of time and effort before they become automatic. According the research, on average it would take 66 days of repeated behaviors to make actions automatic. That means 2 months and 1 week is the needed time to create habits and will be needed for our actions to become automatic.

Although it takes time an effort, she provided a strong argument for why making the effort to create good habits would be worth the effort. At the end she says we should create habit because, 1. It helps people get more done and 2. It creates a more integrated and simple way to live. I think these are things we all want and are why I strongly recommend this book

Overall, Dr. Wood helps understand how can AUTOMATICALLY take actions that can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I look forward to hearing how habits improve your life – please share.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Updated: Push we needed?!?

Can any good come from the unprovoked war by Russia on Ukraine? If we take the big view, maybe it is the push we needed to do what we should have done years ago. We should have transitioned to clean energy over the last 40 years, rather than stay dependent on fascist regimes that sell us oil. As Thomas Friedman suggested in his April 10, 2022 article, How Do We Deal With a Superpower Led by a War Criminal? he recommended we should “…double down on ending our addiction to oil, Putin’s main source of income…”

Many other recent articles also seem to agree we should move to clean energy, see: NYTimes: What the Ukraine War Means for the Future of Climate Change, LA Times: One way to combat Russia? Move faster on clean energy, NYTimes: What Putin’s war could mean for fossil fuels, the Guardian: Could Ukraine war help end west’s reliance on hydrocarbons? and many more good articles. At the end of your post, I linked quoted and linkedThomas Friedman’s March 29, 2022 NYTimes article, “How to Defeat Putin and Save the Planet emphasizing our need to follow this push to generate comprehensive benefits. I encourage you to read his article.

Another article on the topic was published in The New Yorker by Bill McKibben, This Earth Day, We Could Be Helping the Environment—and Ukraine. As he explains,

“…It is, for instance, widely acknowledged at this point that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is financed by fossil fuel, and that Putin is exploiting his control of Europe’s oil and gas to wage it. … Electrifying your home one machine at a time is today’s Victory Garden—a thing you can do to fight tyranny, inflation, and runaway emissions…Yet we’ve been asked to do none of these things. ”

Moving to clean energy will be better for the people, workers, animals, plants and the environment. It will mean more jobs, cleaner air, and less sickness. It will also enable people to engage in actions that will be selfish, selfless or synergistic. Will we finally speed toward a new, clean energy system? Should this new system include nuclear energy>?

Nuclear Energy

I was a no to nuclear energy prior to learning more. James Lovelock, the father of Gaia, which evolved into Earth Systems Science, strongly endorses the use of nuclear energy. He explains that it has gotten bad press due to the development of super powerful, life ending, nuclear weapons. As he notes, the power of these weapons alone should document the potential or nuclear power.

While I am certainly not an expert, I trust James Lovelock. He also recommends, in his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate in Crisis and the Fate of Humanity to read Nuclear Renaissance: Technologies and Policies for the Future of Nuclear Power (c) 2005 by William Nuttall and the 1999 book, Transforming Electricity: The Coming Generation of Change by Walt Patterson to learn more about nuclear energy.

Overall he recommends nuclear energy for these simple reasons, and more:

  1. Nuclear energy from fission or fusion is significantly more dense and more powerful than fossil fuels as is demonstrated by the power of nuclear bombs.
  2. Waste from nuclear energy is two million times less than what is generated by burning fossil fuels, for the same quantity of energy.
  3. Nuclear waste can be buried in forests, where it will HELP, not hurt trees or animals. Nuclear energy is, after all, what powers the sun.
  4. Although we cannot see carbon dioxide, fossil fuel waste causes incalculable problems sickness and climate change

These facts suggest nuclear energy at least needs another look. We should think again (see “Think Again” Very Helpful Book) Might the quick transition to clean energy be a possible benefit from this horrible war being perpetrated by Putin? Should Nuclear power, as recommended by James Lovelock, be part of the mix?

Along with many throughout the world, we are emphasizing that moving toward clean energy should be a way to move forward to generate comprehensive benefits by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Right now Russia helps power Europe.

This may be our best hope and opportunity to practice paneugenesis so we generate all good as we experience #SelfishSelflessSynergy benefits. I look forward to hearing your thoughts…what do you think? Did this help you “think again”?

March 29, 2022 NYTimes Thomas Friedman’s column suggests this must PUSH US and it can be “How to Defeat Putin and Save the Planet

As he explains, we can do many things to reduce our use of fossil fuels such as speeding the transition to renewables with legislation and even reducing the speed limit. He emphasizes that we must do this because….

“As long as we’re addicted to oil, we are always going to be begging someone, usually a bad guy, to move the price up or down, because we alone are not masters of our own fate….This has got to stop. Yes, there needs to be a transition phase, during which we will continue to use oil, gas and coal. We can’t go cold turkey. But let’s vow to double the pace of that transition — not double down on fossil fuels.

Thomas Friedman – NYTimes, March 29, 2022

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Its Go Time: The Meteors Coming

As made clear in “Don’t Look Up“, the recent Netflix movie, we do not have time to debate, It is Go Time. The movie is a great analogy of current times and a cry for critical thinking and action.

It requires reflection and optimism that we can make a difference. We also must believe our action can make a difference. As Israel Zangwill reflected:

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

Israel Zangwill, English dramatist (1864-1926).

Daily news seems to express concerns that it could be too late, including in this recent Washington Post article:

Satellite images show the Amazon rainforest is hurtling toward a ‘tipping point’

Of course, what option is there? The ONLY option is to do good, feel good for doing good and be regenerative, not just sustainable. Review of the interconnected world clearly demonstrates, the world wants to regenerate. The awesome thing is that the only way we can save ourselves is also the best way to create the best life for everyone and everything. We all benefit from generating comprehensive improvements when we are creating net positive, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Nature does this, in all ways, including with the “Wood Wide Web”, where roots distribute resources most efficiently so trees make up a healthy and vibrant interdependent forest. The trees don’t fight for survival, they share to create overall success. That is how nature works.

We are nature, we can do this. We want to do this, well most of us, look at how the world is helping the Ukrainians and sharing resources. For more examples of how this works, see What goes down, must go up?, Survival of the Fittest Misleading, Strategic Alliances are Powerful, Trees & Forests Can Help Us!?, Tree’s to Nuts to People – ALL Connected SuperCooperators and many more. Please share how you are creating comprehensive benefits.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Oceans Generate More Good

It seems like we are waiting and then trying to fix things after we broke them. Of course this is important, such as “KEEPING HEARTS HEALTHY: Study of radiation exposure during cancer treatment may mitigate subsequent heart disease”. However this focus may cause us to miss or overlook solutions right in front of us that make things better today AND prevent problems tomorrow. See Turn the F%@#ing Ship Around!

Our oceans are amazing and we can help them generate more good, not just less bad. Helping oceans generate more good is a way to Practice Paneugenesis by generating comprehensive improvements. We can do better than just rid the ocean of plastic and or oil or stop overfishing.

While these issues are important, it may be even more valuable to help the ocean be more good. Oceans can grow food, such as from fast growing kelp, it can also provide parks. It also can provide energy from wind and waves. At the same time, underwater mangroves, oysters and other underwater vegetation buffer storms, generate more air to breathe, provide underwater homes for creatures that also clean the ocean as it captures and buries carbon – all to make life more livable.

Overall, nature, of which we are a part, functions to make life more livable. As James Lovelock explains with Gaia, our living earth works hard to allow life to prosper. Our oceans provide a powerful example of the important role all life plays on earth. Our oceans can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. To help improve life, our motivation can be to make life better – now and in the future, not just to prevent problems .

Our oceans enable every other breath we take as it also helps regulate our temperature so we can live comfortably. For a more clear understanding how we can help the ocean Practice Paneugenesis and help it create all good, I recommend you listen to Susan Ruffo’s powerful 9 minute TED presentation, “The Oceans’s Ingenious Climate Solutions” .

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Do people want to be healthy?

A recent discussion with a respected colleague brought this, “Do people want to be healthy?”, question to mind. We then realized it was a complicated question. Of course people do not want to be sick, mainly because it means they cannot accomplish anything they desire, but this doesn’t mean they want to be healthy. Health is not an end goal, as the World Health Organization and most acknowledge, health is an enabling resource, not an end result.

From an employer perspective it seems pretty clear. Of course they want healthy employees, but not for health reasons, they desire healthy employees because they want dedicated, passionate, creative, and productive employees. Without health, none of those outcomes are likely. Health makes desired goals possible, but it does not achieve those goals. Health is the latent or hidden, underlying construct of all we want in life. Without health, very little is possible.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Peoples conscious actions also seem to suggest they do not want health – or at least health is not what they prioritize. People will stay up late, eat unhealthy foods, skip exercise, or resort to other substances they know are not health enhancing to accomplish other goals. Even so, people will almost always say their health is important and they want to be healthy. Why then do our actions and the goal of health not match? Could the prioritization of other things be why people often give up their goals shortly after New Years?

According to Dr. Wendy Wood’s convincing scientific work, much of this can be explained by habits. As she explains, habits are what people do when they are not thinking, so they are not conscious actions. As most of us know, intentions help us feel good but don’t allow much to be accomplished.

She outlines these important findings in her work and in her book, Good Habits, Bad Habits. As she documents, habits are the actions we take when not thinking. Therefore when we are rushed late or thinking of other things, we resort to our usual, not desired or intended behaviors.

Hardcover Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick Book
by Wendy Wood, PhD ©2019

How Can Health Be a Priority?

For health to be a priority, we probably should focus on what people want to achieve more so than health. Most people want to thrive. Does that mean we should focus on thriving? Probably not, thriving cannot be achieved directly, it is the result of meaningful work, fulfilling relationships, meaning, belonging, purpose and much more. The focus therefore, to achieve thriving, has to be on generating meaningful work, building stronger relationships, finding common purpose, and contributing to meaningful goals.

Health, therefore, is not achieved directly, it is the by-product of a good life. Wait, isn’t that backward? It is like Shawn Achor explains in the THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE: THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY THAT FUEL SUCCESS AND PERFORMANCE AT WORK. I also recommend you watch Achor’s wonderful 10 minute TED Presentation: “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance

Maybe this means Obliquity is how we get health. Obliquity suggests complex goals, such as health, are best achieved indirectly. In other words, indirect methods provide a better chance for health and also for reaching achieving what is desired.

Quality Management

Quality management endorses similar ideas. They note you cannot create quality with inspection at the end, quality must be created by continually by improving the processes. Inspection can’t create quality anymore then scales manage our weights or checkups produce health. Desired outcomes must be caused to happen through processes that lead to the precursors of those desired outcomes.

As noted previously, James Clear supports this idea when he explains…

“Friendship happens on the way to something else If you “try to meet new people” it feels weird and forced. The more you aim for friendship, the more it eludes you. But if you aim to learn or achieve something with others, friendship happens naturally during the shared pursuit.”

James Clear 9-9-2021 Newsletter

The idea of Paneugenesis, or the generation of comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits may be an effective way to get what we desire as it also produces benefits for others and our environment. Please share your thoughts….

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Ethics are a Minimum

This post is a thought exercise that I hope encourages you to think about how to build better processes. In other words, it is also how we can spread more love and caring this Valentines Day.

As I taught about ethics in class I realized we can’t have low or high ethics, either we have ethics or we don’t. Actions are either ethical, or they are illegal, inappropriate or not desired. Ethics are not a high bar, they are the minimum. Ethics are a low bar for a civilized society.

We need ethics codes because it shows the users, customers and professionals that there are expectations. There is an ethical code in Health Education, however the ethical code not only sets up expectations, it also provides a framework on how to improve. The ethics code requires health educators to continually get more education and to use that knowledge to improve methods used in the profession.

Are ethics Yes or No?

Even though ethics seem to be black and white, either we have them or we don’t. It also seems ethics are a low bar, however I am continually reminded that being ethical can get complicated. Workers who must keep a job to support their families may be required to sell a number of drinks or tanning sessions for example to keep their job even if they know it is wrong. This situation makes it difficult to do what they know is right.

The difficulty of doing what is right was demonstrated by Stanley Milgram’s experiments that were used to try to understand how good people could have participated in the Holocaust. This video explains how and why people may sometimes not do what they know is right…

Ethic WERE complicated

I was reminded again that ethics can be complicated when I listened to the NYTimes Daily Podcast: Who Else Its Culpable int eh George Floyd’s Death? In this podcast it explains that although the fellow officers wanted to do what was right, the situation made it very hard.

How can we improve?

What do you think? It seems there are rarely bad people, but bad systems. Continually improving processes can help generate comprehensive benefits by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits so everyone and everything benefits.

What system or process improvement could help make life better for all while it also prevents another George Floyd like experience? I am interested in hearing your ideas, please share.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

What goes down, must go up?

Suzanne Simard amazed the world when she revealed the Wood Wide Web, which is the interconnected web of roots under the forest that nourishes, shares, and makes possible a healthy forest ( see Strategic Alliances are Powerful and Trees & Forests Can Help Us!?) in her book  “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest“. I was reminded of the miracles performed down below a forest by mother nature when I learned about what is up in a forest. This Radiolab podcast, Forests on Forests, explains about Tree Canopies and their life building, supporting and enabling properties.

Radiolab is fantastic. In this podcast, From Tree to Shining Tree, they explain that previously tree canopies were pretty much completely ignored by science. Mother Nature continues to amaze. As they described, “It was as if researchers said collectively, ‘It’s just going to be empty up there, and we’ve got our hands full studying the trees down here! So why bother?!’ But then, around the mid-1980s, a few ecologists around the world got curious and started making their way up into the treetops using any means necessary (ropes, cranes, hot air dirigibles) to document all they could find. It didn’t take long for them to realize not only was the forest canopy not empty, it was absolutely filled to the brim with life. You’ve heard of treehouses? How about tree gardens?!” In other words, all of life on earth exists to make life more livable. 

This RadioLab podcast explains about the secret powers of these sky gardens from ecologist Korena Mafune, and we follow Nalini Nadkarni as she makes a ground-breaking discovery that changes how we understand not just what is below in the forest, but also what is up. 

They acknowledge that they learned about the magical world of the canopy from this beautiful video from Michael Werner, Joe Hanson, and the PBS Overview team. It features Korena Mafune’s research up in the treetops, as well as the people who have dedicated their lives to saving what’s left of the old growth forests. I highly recommend checking it out! 

Thoughout the podcast they referred to Dr. Simard’s wonderful work and the previous podcast they had done about her work, From Tree to Shining Tree. I strongly encourage you listen to their podcast done with Dr. Simard in 2016. Their Radiolab podcast was before her 2021 book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest and it is a great stand alone presentation and also an excellent complement to her book because it seemed to hightlight additional areas of information that were not stressed in her book.

Overall, I continue to be amazed at how well nature, by default, generates comprehensive improvements to make life more livable for all by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. We are part of nature, meaning we should have living styles that also make life more livable for everyone and everything. Please share how you create all good by practicing paneugenesis with selfish, selfless, synergy.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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