James Lovelock is Amazing

James Lovelock is over 100 years old now and wrote this book at 100. As I posted on Google Books and Good reads for a review, I was fascinated by the fresh ideas and the overwhelming logic and science provided in this book.

Lovelocks book, Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence, provided a fresh look at everything. While I already had agreed with his Gaia Hypothesis, that earth is a self-regulating organism, he provided more evidence about the Gaia Hypothesis and also what comes next. The book helped me rethink many things, including what I assumed was an accepted fact, that the anthropocene period, where man is the driving force, was bad. He instead helped me think that his may be the stumbling steps of evolution. He also introduced what should seem like a crazy idea, that we can evolve to cyborgs, as a non-controversial logical next step. This book is more hopeful than most and helped me see his hypothesized future as not just logical, but exciting.

While this book supported ideas of how we can move forward, it also supported the ideas espoused by Jane Benyus that we should live in ways that make life more livable for everyone and everything. James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis proponents of the Gaia Hypothesis explained the conditions necessary for life are created and maintained by life itself in a self-sustaining process of dynamical feedback. We do this and improve our living conditions by living in ways that make life more livable for everyone and everything.

We are part of the natural system and as a part, it is imperative we live in ways that improve the system, rather than destroy it from our use. This was also was promoted by Russell Ackoff who I highlighted in my Moving Toward Better in 2022 post.

As posted previously, this 10 minute presentation , “Beyond Continual Improvement” was posted as, ‘If Russ Ackoff had given a TED Talk. In thishe clearly explains why we should only build better parts if those parts also improve the whole.

Please share how you improve parts that can help generate comprehensive improvements through the creation of net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, which means the whole system benefits. Thank you.

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

Wellness Days Generate More Good

My former Ph.D.mentor and and dissertation chair at Arizona State, Dr. Bill Arnold, recently sent me this NBC News article, “Employees are tired, stressed and burned out. That’s why I give mine ‘wellness days” with the header, “Your Point”. The article makes the point I promote that employers should treat employees as adults and give them freedom to use their days as desired. If employees are misusing the policy, attention should be directed toward a better culture. Work should be rewarding, as Dr. W. Edwards Deming often explained:

image of quote by Dr. Deming: People are entitled to joy in work.

To enable people to have a better work experience, to enable joy, employees should be provided “general leave” days, rather than sick days, to use. If people are sick, then those general leave days are used for sickness and cannot be used for desired activities. This policy therefore rewards people who are healthy by giving them the opportunity to have days off with pay to use as desired. This type of “Wellness Day” Policy can generate more good, not just less bad or fewer sick days (see Beyond Order and Status Quo). This policy will also encourage people to strive for higher levels of health, which will also benefit productivity and research shows also results in less sick days, as a by-product.

In other words, give employees wellness days so they can use those days to fulfill their potential. After all:

Are we living in Orwellian’s world? Why should we only paid for a day off if we are sick? Doesn’t this policy reward sickness?

Of course providing for sick days is important, which a General Leave Policy also accomplishes, but more is needed. People need days outside of work for importantthings in life such as attending a child’s performance, a child’s graduation (personal experience), or going to see a fantastic exhibit. All these things are important to help the employees have a better life. Keeping employees from doing what they want will negatively impact their productivity and attitude about work. This policy also means when they will miss work, it won’t be a surprise. With his policy employees will plan for the days missed which will also boost productivity when they miss without preparation. The policy highlighted in the article described their wellness days as:

With our five annual wellness days, we encourage people to stay out long before they become ill, no questions asked. If they do decide to share what they did, we love hearing how the concert, bike ride or time with their kids helped them recharge and feel even better.

The idea of Wellness Days is similar to the famed Google 20% time rule that encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on whatever they want. They trust the employees to do the right things and the payoff has been powerful (as noted in the linked article below).

Google Says It Still Uses the ’20-Percent Rule,’ and You Should Totally Copy It: Do they still really do this at Google? In a way, it doesn’t matter. You should copy it regardless

The idea is pretty simple: It’s that you, or a team, or a company–anyone, really–should divide your time working, so that at least 20 percent is spent exploring or working on projects that show no promise of paying immediate dividends but that might reveal big opportunities down the road. 

“We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20 percent of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google,” co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote in 2004, before the company’s IPO. “This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”

A Wellness Day policy that provides paid time off work for general leave, rather than sick days, is a way practice paneugenesis because it is likely to generate more good, not JUST less bad. Wellness Days are more likely to enable employees and their organizations to generate comprehensive improvements because they will now have the capacity to create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share wellness days policies that work and also let us know how they have helped. Thank you.

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

A Part to Improve the Whole

Last week I posted about the need to improve individual parts in ways that benefit the whole (see Moving Toward Better in 2022). I provided the example of composting as a way to do this because it grows healthy soil, eliminates waste, benefits future plants, can provide jobs and healthy food while also providing other ecological benefits.

In all I do, I try to improve the whole, or generate comprehensive improvements by creating parts or interactions that are net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless and synergistic so everyone and everything, the system, benefits.

A Simple Example

As an example, my wife purchased a water bottle that is carbon negative in production. It works great. I have attached pictures. I like this example because it shows how we can contribute to a better system by how we live daily, not by doing something extra. Engaging this in acts like this is a way to practice paneugenesis because it can benefit everyone and everything as we can feel good for being part of the solution. Please share how you improve the system with your parts.

SmartShake Eco-Bottle

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

Architecture that Causes All Good

My posts and my work, promotes the generation of all good or the practice of paneugenesis (pan=all, eu=good, genesis=creating). On October 31, 2021, 60 Minutes highlighted a fantastic architecture firm, MASS, Model of Architecture Serving Society, that was practicing paneugenesis. The linked full segment, Architects create new model designed to better serve communities, explains how they are causing all good, below is the trailer.

I am also reading Paul Hawken’s excellent 2021 book,  “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis on One Generation“, which makes clear we must be a part of nature, rather than our current practice of mainly extracting from it. The saying,

Is showing to be even more powerful than we had thought with climate change. A more enlightened perspective would enable us to get more by giving more. MASS is selfishly doing good, that selflessly helps others so we all will synergistically have a better opportunity to flourish #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

I continue to learn about how I can work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. MASS provides a great learning example, please share your thoughts about their wonderful work and how we can get more by giving more . They are a good example of how giving more means getting more.

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

Standing on Natures Shoulders

Jane Goodall, in the forward to Paul Hawken’s 2021 book, “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis on One Generation“, said we are homosapien’s, or the “wise” ape. That not only means that we part of nature, it also means we should be smart enough to learn from nature. I also recommend you look at the accompanying Regeneration website here. Regeneration will benefit everyone and everything.

We live life to make it more livable.

Paraphrase of Jane Benyus

The idea that we can learn from nature was best explained and brought to light most clearly by Jane Benyus with Biomimicry (see Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative and many other posts). She explained how nature works and all we ever wanted to know can be discovered in nature. Nature evolved over the last 3.8billion years by learning how to make life more livable. While some things in nature go extinct, it is generally because it evolved into a more effective entity that worked better with the system. Everything is connected, which means it is vital we get along. It would be to our benefit to get along, or live in a way that helps the whole system do and be better. A concept I am attempting to promote and make more likely.

Promoting Selfish, Selfless, Synergy is how it seems to work and has been the focus of my work. This means I try to empower all to be their best (see Paneugenesis or creating all good here). In all I learn, I see others that were successful by using this concept. I therefore have built my career by standing on the shoulders of others who have done great work. Upon further reflection, I see that those that were successful used the genius of nature meaning they stood on natures shoulders. I hope my work expands the work of those I promote and that others will build on my efforts and work. Thomas Johnson is another example who was able to help organizations know how to do better by treating organizations as living systems in his book, “Profit Beyond Measure” (reviewed here at Deming.org).

Using what Benyus learned from nature, it suggests positive contributions must also improve the whole system. Therefore, the leaders I am attempting to build upon did not just shift a problem, which would mean they could cause a gain for one group and hurt another or the environment, they helped all advance. An example where we learned we did not really advance, but just shifted problems, can be seen with CFC’s. While CFC’s enabled refrigeration, a big benefit, it also put a whole in the ozone layer and its continued use would have been damaging. We have to do better than that.

The work I try to build upon didn’t just fix what was wrong, it gave us a whole new ways to do things. Nature helps us learn how we can do better. My mentors have done this. Dr. W. Edwards Deming generated what came to be called Total Quality Management. His aim was to help all win – the organization, the workers, the customers and the community. It was from this idea the #SelfishSelflessSynergy way that is also referred to as practicing paneugenesis evolved. To practice paneugenesis means to create all good.

Ray Anderson, another mentor, is someone who decided he must work in a whole new way with his company “Interface”. He changed his company to work in ways that benefitted nature. It also enabled the company to earn more profits and not make a living by “…stealing my grandchildren’s future” as he indicated. His company now works to regenerate rather than damage the environment upon which all depends.

A simple example of creating an entirely new way do do things, rather than just fixing what we have, can be seen in how Al Vernacchio suggests we teach sex education. I shared his work before here A Better Way to Talk about Sex?. Rather than adjusting the prevailing or existing baseball model often used as an analogy for sex, he offered a better model. As he explains, the existing Baseball model cannot or at least is highly unlikely to generate healthy relationships, and relationships are everything. He therefore suggests a new way to do things and explains why it is better for everyone and everything. If you have not heard this before, encourage you to listen and share your thoughts.

Al provides just one example. There are many others beyond what I shared that have provided a better ways to do things. We can all do this and must do this if we want a better tomorrow. I am working to do this and I strongly encourage you to do the same. Please tell us about your mentors who have benefited everyone and everything.

I will be learning from Paul Hawken how we can live in ways to regenerate life. I am trying to live a regenerative life by generating comprehensive improvements through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits = the Practice of Paneugenesis. Please share how you are living a regeneratively to make it a great day, week, year, and life.

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

Repeated Message: Need More Good

It seems every day I get hit with more messages telling me the same thing, we need more good, not just less bad. We can do things that not only benefit ourselves, but also leave everyone and everything else better. Transactions where each side just trades goods, is not enough, our transactions must have positive ripples. Even President Biden’s plans seek to “Build Back Better”.

Overall, I am continually learning we can be better when doing good. For example, last week I saw, “Kiss the Ground“, a movie that demonstrated how farmers, food, nourishment and society can be better through better methods. My wife shared something that makes her life better and also improves our world. I also read an excellent journal article by Ilona Kickbusch, PhD, Visioning the future of health promotion , that explained there are better methods needed for the future and was how she was visioning this for the future. I keep hearing we can do more good, not just less bad.

When I say it must be more good, not just less bad I mean the more sustainable, selfish, selfless, synergistic way of doing. For example, my wife changed from dairy creamer to almond milk creamer and she prefers the almond creamer, its better – selfish. Choosing almond rather than a dairy based creamer is good for the environment and animals – Selfless. My wife, getting a better morning brew and the opportunity to feel good about herself in a better environment means she can have a better day and help more kids – she teaches – synergy. Only when it is more good, will we stick with changes and only then will we want to look for more ways to be more good, not just less bad.

Kiss the Ground” is a movie about better soil, which makes better food, enables farmers to earn more money, can capture more carbon and makes better food. The food nourishes us more, which means we want more of this food that the farmer feels good about selling, because he knows it also benefits the environment, so he wants to make more of, etc. etc. it goes round and round of more good, not just less bad.

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Halbert Dunn devised of the concept of Wellness. He explained wellness must be:

Strong enough to activate devotion of time, resources, and energies toward understanding and culturing health in a positive sense

Halbert Dunn (1959, High Level Wellness for Man & Society)

As he stated, Wellness, which I define as progress, (See Experiencing Wellness = Progress Toward Desired) must be strong enough to devote time, resources and energies toward it development. I think he meant that its achievements should mean enough to us that we want to work toward its achievement.

For example, the 2021 JAMA article, Association Between Structural Housing Repairs for Low-Income Homeowners and Neighborhood Crime by Eugenia C. South, MD; John MacDonald, PhD; Vincent Reina, PhD, showed fixing up house, not only gave people a better place to live and a better life – the better community also had less crime. Could it be because people watched out for their neighbors, had more pride of ownership, or other reasons. Yes! More good, is has more of an impact than less bad.

In my own way, it has been my focus to Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad as I explained in this 17 minute presentation I made to my university’s sustainability committee.

Creating more good was also what McDonough and Braungart highlighted in their book Upcycle (see Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad). Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollander also emphasized less bad is not enough to generate more good.

Over and over evidence continues to document that we should focus on how to create more good, not just less bad. To make things better, we have to also fix what we broke. Either way, it is the best thing we can do because we will be making a contribution, Selfish, that others will benefit from, Selfless, and then there will be a better world, Synergy. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

I continue to work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits because it makes my dash – , valuable. The Dash is the poem written by Linda Ellis where the dash represents the time you were alive (i.e. like for my dad, 1932-2019) He made his dash valuable.

I am hoping these posts will inspire you to make your Dash even better by engaging in selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that help everyone and everything. Please share how you generate #SelfishSelflessSynergy!

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

National Parks: Great Tax$ Use!

As the Family Circus comic explains, National Parks are a hard act to follow. I had the good fortune of visiting many national and state parks this summer. My wife is Swedish and now that she is a citizen and living in America – she wants to see it all. I am glad she has pushed us to make these trips, on the way to a family wedding. I am better for it. We visited these state and national parks (I added a few pictures):

  • White Sands, the gypsum is interesting
  • Zion – the Narrows were an amazing hike
  • Coral reef
  • Arches,wow
  • Grand Canyon – North Ridge
  • Canyon lands 
  • Yellowstone 
  • Grand Tetons
  • Glacier 
  • Red canyon
  • Golden Gate Bridge 
  • Redwoods 
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • and so much more…

What a wonderful benefit provided by our tax dollars for all to enjoy. The parks were and are awesome. They were clean, well run, educational, and overall better than I had anticipated. The staff was friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. I strongly encourage all to enjoy any state and or national park you can.

I believe I am using awesome as it was meant to be used. I was awed by the grandeur and wonders of nature at the parks. It was amazing how the earth is able to adapt to what happens and the beauty created in the process. It could an earthquake, volcano or even change in temperature, everything else then adapts. The results are interesting and often beautiful. We usually miss amazing changes in nature because nature works on slower time frame than humans. Of course the earth will always be fine, however it may not be as hospitable to humans as is predicted from our burning of ancient sunlight. We must keep this in mind and listen to the experts with regard to climate change (see Stop the Death of Expertise)

Technology, however, made our visit to these parks even better, MUCH BETTER than expected:

The amazing technology that enhanced out trip was the Gypsyguide App. A person we met one of the camp sites we stayed it recommended it. The GyPSy Guide app was beneficial and educational. There are many downloadable programs for must part and they cost between $8-$20. If you are interested, you can learn more about it here at the GyPSy Guide website.

As we toured the parks, the GyPSy Guide app would provide interesting information about the site. Even though we did not have wifi all the time, it knew where we were and it provided a guided tour at Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and as we drove the Pacific Coast Highway along the pacific ocean.

We learned so much. It made the sites more interesting. As we were driving it told us about the history many interesting facts I would not have known otherwise. For instance, we learned that most of these national parks were run by volunteer directors when they were created at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.

The app was helpful because it would tell us to stop at MUST SEE sites and explain about each of those sites. It would mention all sites but only said some were MUST SEE. I am sure we would not have stopped at many of those sites and been asamazed as we were if we did not have the GyPSy Guide.

Although technology is sometimes frustrating, on the whole it can be quite helpful and it can be wonderful. The GyPSy App is an example of how technology has enhanced our lives. Interestingly, Dan Brown addressed the intersection of humans with technology in his book, “Origin“ (see post: The Multiple Perspectives of Dan Brown’s “Origin”).

I would say our visits to these parks created interactions that made our lives better and helped me appreciate nature. It motivated me to want to generate comprehensive benefits by creating regenerative, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I encourage all of you to go and enjoy a state and or national park when you can. Plan for it now, don’t just put it on a list to do someday, go as soon as you can to enjoy our wonderful parks!

Seth Godin, on Seth’s Blog, offers some interesting thoughts about technological change here, Cyber Realists.

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

The Incredible, Edible Straw

Believe or not, we can generate all good by using a creative and innovative spirit with straws, as started by Asava. As most of us know, the problematic impact of plastic straws has been in the news. Straws, however, are only a small part of the problem and may cause others as noted by Stanford.

Banning straws may confer ‘moral license’ – allowing companies and their customers to feel they have done their part. The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step.

JIM LEAPECo-director, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions

There are better options. For instance I learned of an option when I was traveling through Utah; Kanab Utah to be exact. When I was there, we stopped at the Asava Juice shop to get a healthy smoothy. When we stopped there, they provided a an edible straw rather than a paper straw or a recyclable straw, or even a straw made from recycled material.

From my perspective, this is a step in the right direction. It was a good straw with regard to functionality. While the straw was made from Agave or sugar, not the healthiest alternative, there was no plastic waste. To instill continual improvement, the next step would be to make the straw from a healthy ingredient grown from regenerative agriculture.

To me an edible straw represents progress, thank you Asava for making me aware of this creative and innovative alternative! Now we must ask, what can be done to make those straws more beneficial to person and planet? Asava helped me discovered the start of a way to generate comprehensive benefits with straws.

The next step should be to develop an edible straw that provides good nutrition and comes from regenerative agriculture. Incredible, edible straws would provide a pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interaction from which everyone and everything would benefit.

Please share other solutions that generate comprehensive benefits and your ideas for the next step to create incredible edible straws that generate comprehensive benefits.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

More Trees, More Benefits

Related to last weeks post, Reparations Mean Benefits for All, Scientific American’s June 22, 2021 article explains how we can do more. The article, “Trees Are Missing in Low-Income Neighborhoods:More tree cover would lower disproportionately high levels of heat and pollution” explains how we can all benefit by planting trees in poor neighborhoods that do not have a good tree canopy cover.

Trees cool climates and also help with climate change. Planting trees in neighborhoods that do not have many trees would be another example of generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Plant trees, generate oxygen

As reported in Scientific American,

…communities of color have 33% less tree canopy on average than majority white communities, the analysis revealed. And neighborhoods with 90% or more of their residents living in poverty have 41% less tree canopy than communities with only 10% or less of the population in poverty. (Greenwire, Sept. 16, 2020).

Although the Nature Conservancy explains, To Protect Vulnerable Populations, Plant More TreesIn rapidly heating cities, climate change is an environmental justice challenge, it does so much more. It does not just protect them, it creates a better environment and enables them to do and be more while it also helps all.

As summer 2021 has demonstrated, heat waves have become more common. Trees are nature’s way to cool the planet. So simple, more tree planting helps the environment by trapping more carbon, provides more home for animals, cools the neighborhood, and therefore benefits everyone an everything. Please share plans that we can participate in to help plant trees.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Get in the box

I noticed I had several drafts about the same theme. In all these drafts I was wondering, why do people believe I think outside the box?

Out of the Box thinking is described to be when people think in an original or creative way.

I had always assumed that thinking outside the box meant you were being creative and finding better solutions. I assumed it meant you did not accept traditional norms and that a person thinking outside the box was not doing things the way they were always done. This is accurate, in a sense, however there is more to “Outside the Box Thinking”, at least according to Wikipedia, and it all started with 9-Dot Puzzle.

What Would be “Thinking Outside the Box?

I work in the health field and my focus is on what creates, generates or causes better physical, mental and social well-being. How is that original or out of the box thinking? Couldn’t that represent in the box thinking, just from a different angle? While I don’t go directly at well-being, I focus obliquely on factors associated with improved well-being such as relationships, personal and group development, physical activity and food selection. Although the goal is not specifically well-being, it is pretty direct. We also know that John Kay explained to us why, For Complex, Oblique(Obliquity) is More Effective.

Well-being, life, health and society are about as complex as it gets. This then suggests that traditional and prevailing approaches may not be as effective as they could be. This may also may explain why traditional approaches in health, business and the environment could benefit from a different perspective. From an outsiders view, it seems they started by thinking outside the box and need a better perspective. Lets review:

For Business: thinking generally focuses around how to decrease costs and avoid problems…Instead of thinking how can we serve customers better while we also, simultaneously, clean the air, land and water from their uses. In other words how can we be multipliers of our time (see: Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…) For many, and based on how society has progressed, it appeared our “Take, Make, Waste” system was effective. However, if we take a different perspective in the box, as Ray Anderson did with “Interface”, that takes into account that everyone and everything is connected. Using this approach, Ray demonstrated how we can be even more effective, efficient, profitable as we also improve everyone and everything. (see We Must Make It Better – Saving the Planet not Enough!)

For the Environment: thinking generally focuses on how to clean up problems, using the “Take, Make, Waste” to bend nature to our will….Instead of thinking how an we work with nature as all other creatures on earth has done to live in a way that makes life more livable. The idea of living in ways that generate a “Net Positive” has been outlined by Jane Benyus, Kate Raworth and many others (see: Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative, Aim to Thrive, Not Just Grow for a Better Tomorrow)These ideas have also been operationalized by McDonough and Braungart in Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle.

In Health: thinking generally focuses on how to treat diseases and or avoid risk factors…Instead of thinking how can we increase physical, mental and social well-being. The majority of the focus and effort being used by health is how to find disease and treat it. It is as if we are trying to be a day late and a dollar short with regard to improved well-being by “Thinking Outside the Box”. We could be in the box using Antonovsky’s salutogenesis and focusing on what causes health. Many of these ideas are capture here: We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative

As I reviewed this information about “Thinking Outside the Box”, a proverb came to mind:

“To change and to improve are two different things.”

German proverb

Time for a Reboot

Sometimes we need a new start, a reboot. We need a reboot because now some things are backward, upside down and confused. Let’s get in box and use a better perspective. Life is all about probabilities. It is time to turn the tables in our favor by getting “In the Box” and using a better, “Net Positive” focus and perspective that uses oblique factors related to helping everyone and everything.

A “Net Positive” results from using a Selfish, Selfless, Synergy focus. Selfish, Selfless, Synergy efforts help generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or the practice of paneugenesis. Please share you engage in #SelfishSelflessSynergy 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.

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.

Updated: Achieving Big Goals Requires a Team Effort

A Team Effort…Also One More Thing at the End

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

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

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

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

Leadership Sets the Pace

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

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

The government is creating a path to follow.

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

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

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

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

Idealized Outcomes Visualize a Better Future

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

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

In the tradition of Steve Jobs, One More Thing…

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

Be Well’r, 

Craig Becker

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Healthier’s By-Product is Comprehensive Improvements

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

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

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

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

“Smarter Taxes” Can Help Build our Ideal World

I have been reading Kate Raworth’s “Doughnut economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist” and it is fantastic. She indicates more “Undoing” of what seemed correct is needed (see Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us and To Improve: “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!).

This book has captured my attention and it is keeping it because there are so many wonderful detailed plans about how to do things in a better way. Instead of just saying why things are wrong, she provides an explanation about better ways and then how and why they are better…with examples. It appears her aim is more good, not just less bad. She provides multiple examples of #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

If you follow me, you know I have been suggesting we should “Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad”. I also suggest we can do this if we “Exceed Expectations” or what I call  +3. I detail this in my YouTube Video’s and my articles. I specifically address this in the “Exceed Expectations” video.


As noted in the title, she also explains how this can be true for taxes. While the idea of “Tax Relief” seems desirable, we need to remember that taxes are great because they enable us to fulfill the desires and needs of our society. Libraries, schools, parks, roads, green areas and all the things that make life better exist because of taxes. These government developed projects are public goods that enhance the well-being of everyone.

We also need to remember that those fantastic innovators at Google and Apple and others were only possible because of the public internet infrastructure built from taxes. From this perspective, taxes are a form of selfish, selfless, synergy or a way to practice paneugenesis and create all good. In other words, taxes can be a way to generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone an everything benefits. Well at least they could be, let me explain.

Kate Raworth’s book helped me see taxes from an even more beneficial perspective. As she explains, taxes change behaviors. By that she means what is taxed causes people to adjust what they do. For example, in the past when they taxed windows, people built houses without windows. Now, because they tax labor with payroll taxes, insurance, etc., corporations work to find ways to eliminate the expense of labor. These efforts have generated the wonderfully innovative invention of artificial intelligence (AI). AI, sometimes as robots, can now perform the actions of humans at a lower cost. In this way, taxes adjusted behaviors.

Behaviors demonstrate that taxes adjust behaviors so less use of what is taxed is substituted for things that are not taxed. Knowing this suggests we must update the tax code so we tax what we want less of and subsidize things we want to increase. Succinctly, she explains we should switch from taxing labor to taxing capital. Right now the taxing system encourages us to be creative to find ways for machines do the work instead of humans. For example:

main image

Autonomous Forklifts Replace Manned Forklifts, One Unit at a Time

The code will subsidize these forklifts, the capital, because their purchase costs will be used to decrease income and related taxes. However, if more employees were hired, this would increase costs and related taxes. To create more good we need to switch from focusing on increasing labor productivity to increasing resource productivity. Doing this means we will tax what we want to get rid of and subsidize what we want to increase and creativity will be used to create better working conditions for humans. The result of this should increase jobs and decrease resource use.

In a related example she discussed the traditional Corporate Response for requests to go green. The first group would do nothing wondering why they should change when their job is to make profits. The second group would only do what pays back, or do what is green if it can earn them more profits. The third group she identifies would only do their fair share. This concerned her because it seemed to subliminally suggest everyone has a right to pollute. The fourth group, with what seems to be good intentions, attempts to only  do no harm or mission zero. While this is good, she cited Will McDonough, of Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle fame (please see Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad)  who said that is only about being less bad, it is not being good.

Her recommendation is that organizations should focus on being generous. That is they should design their efforts to be regenerative by design. Studies also demonstrate this is a more profitable focus from many perspectives. This means their efforts give back and is what I describe as +3. These efforts aim to be regenerative so they provide biosphere stewardship and the result will be leaving the planet better than they found it.

I look forward to hearing about your generous efforts that will help benefit everyone and everything. Please share your efforts so we can learn from your selfish, selfless, synergistic actions. Thank you.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Net Positive 2018 Appalachian Energy Summit

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Appalachian Energy Summit.  It was a “Net Positive”.  I am better, and I believe the world is better, because of this event.  To me it fulfilled its theme, “Leadership for Good”.  This was the 7th annual event, if you are interested you can see posts about previous events at the bottom of this post.

At the summit Amory Lovins and David Orr were there again and were amazing. | encourage to learn more about them and read their books.  Their names provide links to some information about them. 

I also learned there has been tremendous progress in clean energy generation with solar and wind. They explained how it is increasing fast and is currently, without even accounting for externalities, is cheaper than oil and gas. Externalities are defined as a side effect or consequence of an activity that has other impacts without being reflected in its costs. Some of this information was provided by Brian O’Hara – Sr VP Strategy and Government Affairs, at Strata Solar and many others. 

The new beneficial economics of clean energy was also explained by Mark Fleming, President & CEO of Conservatives for Clean Energy.  He said he was getting conservatives on board with clean energy using only economic reasons without even mentioning climate change.

It was also interesting to learn about efforts by Mars Incorporated from Ashely Allen, Sustainability Sr Manager for Climate & Land. I was also interested to learn about the We Are Still In Movement which is a group of companies doing what they can to support the Paris Agreement even though Trump pulled the US out.

Other things of interest to me from the energy summit included Georgia Tech’s Living Building Challenge.  They are doing what can be done to make living buildings energy producing and comfortable instead of being energy hogs.  Their message was that we can no longer be just less bad, we must cause good so we regenerate and restore our environment.  That message was echoed by Nicole Hagerman Miller from Biomimicry 3.8.  More information about their work is at www.Asknature.org 

Nicole shared some of Jane Benyus’s amazing work related to Biomimicry.  If you do not know of her fantastic work, you can see her TED Presentation and more information at Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative. I also strongly recommend her book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature..

Nicole made this message clear by reminding us that Dr. Benyus says we will be sustainable when the city and the forest are functionally indistinguishable.  My favorite part of her speech, however, was when she explained that efforts must be focused on causing a “Net Positive” instead of just working toward the uninspiring 0.  This is the message I try to promote with Exceeding Expectations.

I liked this conference because, for the most part, they did not take the typical approach of showing us or scaring us about how awful things are and that we need to fix it.   That approach, as Chris Anderson of “TED” explains, is emotionally exhausting and causes compassion fatigue.  Often that has been my experience from the many environmental messages I hear.

Overall the summit was about ideas that were interesting.  The summit also provided many possible solutions to help work on the riddle of climate change.  For me this summit was about how to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.  In other words, it provided many ways to Practice Paneugenesis.

Help make it a Great Week for everyone and everything!

***You can see previous summit posts at Energy Summit Reveals Sustainability ContradictionFantastic Energy Summit – Knowledge, Collaboration, Action;  A New State of Energy SummitPost 2 – Presentations from New State of Energy Summit; and Green events Provides Great Practices to Copy

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Contact me at:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com