More than a “Whack a Mole” Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Build a Net Positive Life for ALL

Life is full of positive and negative events. Both are necessary. The goal is to end up with more good than bad. Evolutionarily speaking we are more reactive to negative events, possibly because avoidance of those events was necessary or survival. The preference for negative events was documented by many researchers. These researchers also identified the need for positive interactions in our life to outnumber our negative events by about 3. The 3 to 1 ratio of positive to negative events was necessary to have net positive life according to Barbara Fredrickson’s and the Losada line, Corey Keyes with the Mental Health Continuum and many more. These findings replicated and documented the the original findings by Kahneman and Tversky that showed our innate tendency to be risk averse and to have what they termed loss aversion because negatives, or losing something, was more impactful and meaningful than the positives of a possible gain. 

This means to create a Net Positive Life, we must cause good, do good and help many. To have a net positive life, we must consistently work at better ourselves, as we help others and our environment. In other words, the +3 life I discuss from selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions relates to how we can have a net positive life and exceed expectations:

These points were driven home again from my reading of the fantastic work by Bradley and Taylor in “The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Use Less”. A book I strongly recommend you read. In the book they use powerful data to document how we are all in this together, and we do best when we help each other. With powerful clarity, they document something we all already innately know, better health cannot be achieved through medical means. They end the book with:

To that end, an ever-growing body of literature suggests that broadening Americans’ historically narrow focus on medicine in pursuit of improved national health may ultimately hold the key to unraveling the spend more, get less paradox.

While medicine is good at medical care, America does have the best emergency care, our lives and health are not linear, they have multiple causes. These multiple causes mean we need to also, if not primarily, focus on the social, behavioral and environmental non-medical determinants of health because it is more effective at improving quality of life as it also decreases the need for medical care.

Throughout history, America has made an attempt to support and improve non-medical care with community health centers, HMOs, and now ACO’s. Unfortunately, the power of the medical lobby and their concern over losing paying patients caused these efforts to be watered down to a focus on medical care. Without question, medical care is crucial for specific illnesses. Medical care is vital for acute, short term care, I am alive because of it. However a larger content is more predictive and necessary to improve public health. Bradley and Taylor also show us many successful efforts in America that resulted in better health. These attempts also were significantly less expensive and better for all involved. 

America Actually Spends Less On Healthcare

With clarity, they demonstrate America does NOT spend the most on healthcare if you account for all the factors associated with health, not just medical care. Medical care and social services are interrelated. Nations that spend more on social services enjoy a higher quality of life and better health and spend much less on medical care – because it is not needed. America spends the most on treatment and rescue care because America’s system neglects the social, behavior and environmental determinants of health.

America’s neglect of social, behavioral and environmental determinants of health has resulted in very bad outcomes. Despite spending so much on medical treatment, America lags other peer nations in 

  • Life expectancy
  • Infant mortality
  • Low birth weight
  • Injuries and homicides
  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),
  • HIV Aids
  • Drug related deaths
  • Obesity, diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Chronic lung disease, and
  • Disability rates

Quite an indictment of our current system. Medical care is good at treating disease, what it is designed to do, it is not good at creating health, it is not designed to do that, medicine is about eliminating disease. We must remember health is the PRESENCE of physical, mental and social well-being and NOT MERELY the absence of disease and infirmity. The movie, “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” by Shannon Brownlee demonstrates this in stunning clarity.

To build a net positive life for ourselves and our nation, we must generate comprehensive improvements by engaging in more social, behavioral and environmental interactions that facilitate health for all. I look forward to hearing about your selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Make 2019 Great! For Everyone & Everything!

We are all in this together.  As you begin 2019, I encourage you to take Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic actions that result in pervasive, reciprocal interactions from which everyone and everything benefits.  As Frank Borman quoted when he saw our blue planet:

To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold — brothers who know now that they are truly brothers. – Archibald MacLeish

Keep in mind, when you are helping others you are helping yourself and this ripples out for and to everyone and everything.  As Charles Schulz showed us in Peanuts:

 

 

 

 

 

Make it a beneficial ripple. Choose to be the hero:

   A way to make 2019 better, will be to join “Team Human” as media theorist Douglas Rushkoff discusses in his TED Talk, ” How to be ‘Team Human’ in the Digital Future.  Enjoy.

 

Please share your thoughts on how you will take action to help create a better tomorrow. Lets make  2019 Great, I will do what I can!  Let me know if how I can help you…

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Contact me at:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Great Holiday Present for Self

Happy Holidays!  I hope all are making it a great holiday season.  If you are interested in getting yourself a holiday present, I recommend the book I just finished, Recovery Break Through!: Using muscle testing for accelerated recovery and increased performance. I see the Kindle Edition is only $2.99. Either way, I look forward to all of us working together to make 2019 a Great Year.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Here is the review I posted on GoodReads:

Great book. Not sure I would have believed most of what was written had I not experienced this helpful and valuable therapy. Myself, my wife and kids all have had therapy and it is as good as advertised. To me this is a much more appropriate way of care, being proactive to be better, or well’R as I promote. Approaches, as originally termed by Amory Lovins in 1975 can take a “soft path” or a “hard path”. Lovins explained the “soft path” would be with the natural rhythms of the world, like with renewable energy, and this would not have many detrimental side effects because of its compatibility with nature and our socio-political values. The “hard path”, on the other hand, for energy requires digging ancient sunshine from fossil fuels and burning it with factories and excavation, which we all know has multiple negative impacts on society. His words are prescient and this idea of a soft or hard path can be applied to most issues. In health the “soft path” is called salutogenesis or a health creation and or a health origins approach and the “hard path” is the pathogenesis approach or disease origins, fix the problem approach. The KORE “soft path” approach is important and valuable because despite doing all everything we can to be well, things still happen or as explained by this book, imbalances, and using KORE helps without causing other damaging problems or side-effects. It would be helpful to get this approach more common in America. I encourage all to learn about Dr. Brazier’s KORE Therapy.

For me this is another way to go on offense to create health promotion gains as I discussed in this interviewAdvancing Wellness Interview about Causing Health, and in this articleArticle: Going on Offense to Enable Health Gains Published.

Please share your thoughts on how you will take action to help create a better tomorrow. Lets make it a Great Holiday Season and Make 2019 Great!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Contact me at:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Great Documentary to Watch: “Food Choices”

I watched “Food Choices” on Netflix (it is available through many sources). I thought it was a great documentary about how to make good choices and the impact of food choices on personal and planetary well-being.

I liked it because it was not heavy handed. I posted two trailers below. I encourage you to watch it and share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Wellness is the “Opposite of Loneliness”

I was moved by Marina Keegan’s amazing final essay at Yale. Tragically she was killed in a car crash a week after graduating, she was 22. She created the essay below for a special edition of the Yale Daily News edition that was distributed at the class of 2012’s commencement.

I inspired because I realized this is what our world should be and what we all want. It is like how I feel when I attend the National Wellness Conference every year. This means making the world a place where we become the best versions of ourselves.

As she shares, it is not about just being comfortable but about progress, as shared in a previous essay, Is Wellness Progress?  My push is that we all need to enlarge our circle include all living things in creating progress so we generate improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Enjoy…

Marina’s essay

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We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.

Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.

This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse — I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.

But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”

Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.

But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.

We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.

When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.

For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…

What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.

In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.

We’re in this together. Let’s make something happen to this world.

Hard to say it better than that. Lets work together for progress by generating comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

 –

🌏🚀🚀We Can Have Both!🚀🚀🌏

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Having just read The Martian and the recent Matt Damon hit, The Martian, this TED presentation is interesting. Stellar astronomer and TED Senior Fellow Lucian Walkowicz works with NASA’s Kepler’s mission and provides a useful perspective. To me she is saying, if we have a backup plan, we often do not take care of what we have as we should. The issue with life and earth is that there is no backup. This also relates to Risk Homeostasis Theory (see previous posts) that shows when we feel safer, we act more dangerously. Most advantageous would be to think how can we act to benefit today AND tomorrow!

To me what is important in this message is we can have both, it is not should we take care of the planet or plan to live in the stars – we should do both. This has been what I promote for health, it is not should we prevent disease or promote health but promote health for a better life and prevention happens because of the better life created! From this example, we should be working to make life sustainable, exciting and better on earth while we also look for possibilities in the stars – the best of both!

The message I walk away with from this short (5:50) presentation, “Let’s Not Use Mars as a Backup Planet” is we should be consistently and consciously working to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits! I look forward to hearing how you Practice Paneugenesis and hearing about the resulting benefits we all get to enjoy.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

💤😴Wonderful Sleep😴💤

😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤


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😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤😴💤 😴💤

My daughter came home from college and my other daughter is a senior in High School. With their academic and social pressures I notice that they seem to act as if sleep as an unimportant luxury they will indulge in if they have time. As I am learning, sleep is a valuable and important NECESSITY, not a luxury.

Many of us have heard about general benefits such as sleep fights off colds, improves exercise, keeps appetite hormones in check, helps prevent migraines, helps blood sugar balance, and even fights obesity. I am now learning there is so much more. In essence, what we generally had known seems to be common sense, that is when we are better rested, we function better and are less likely to do harmful impulse acts.

If you are interested, I made this post so you can learn a little more about the value of sleep. It is what I will use for our family education night. What I learned is that sleep can give me a better chance of creating the the life I desire, not just avoid what I don’t want. The life I desire is one where my actions demonstrate my values and my actions leave me feeling good, which you know if you follow my posts means practicing paneugenesis so everyone and everything benefits.

To have a desirable life, sleep is essential. After all, only when we rest can we hope to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. In other words we need to be rested to Practice Paneugenesis and create the life we want.

To clarify and learn about many wonderful benefits associated with sleep, below I  posted 3 excellent TED Presentations. The first by Russell Foster explains why we need sleep and its importance. The second presentation by Jeff Iliff explains a great reason to get sleep by explaining how sleep helps us think well. The final presentation by Arianna Huffington gives a good short summary about the benefits of sleep.

After seeing these 3 presentations, only 36 minutes total, I was much more able to understand the value and importance of sleep. Knowing and understanding the value of sleep has helped me make sleep a priority. Enjoy and happy slumbers!😴💤

💤😴Russell Foster (21:46) explains, “Why do we sleep?”😴💤

💤😴Jeff Iliff (11:41) discusses “One More Reason to Get a Good Night’s Sleep”.😴💤

💤😴Arianna Huffington (4:01) explains how to succeed by getting more sleep.😴💤

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

I Voted Today & Every Day

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Great Video

I went to the polls today to do early voting. I encourage you to do the same. Actually we vote everyday by what we choose to do and how we choose to act because “Economics is a value system masquerading as mathematics.”

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

All off our choices send a vote of what we say is important. I try only choose to  spend my resources on what I want more of, not less in the world. Don’t we all want more of what makes us stronger, healthier and more resilient so we can have a better life? I try to keep this in mind with all the choices I make by think of the impact this choice has on the others and the world. Plant based foods for instance are good for me and the planet while animal agriculture has been shown to do damage to personal and planetary health.

As an example, today I voted for candidates that support sustainability and other helpful issues. I also voted for more greenways. After voting day I will continue to vote for the same  by using the Greenways and encouraging others to do the same.

I encourage you to vote today and everyday on what will generate comprehensive improvements because it creates interactions so everyone and everything benefits. The Ivoted sight video site shares a great video that makes this point. I encourage you to watch the short video and vote today and everyday in ways that help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

A Problem Focus Creates Mediocrity…Not Greatness

If we want to be better, I mean really better, SUPERBETTER, we must focus on what we want to create instead of what we want to avoid. I discuss this with the paneugenesis process:

1. Operationalize an Idealized Outcome – make sure all involved parties know what is to be created and be sure that it is better than what can be now. The outcome should have pervasive and reciprocal effects that carry meaning and impact to and beyond the individual.

2. Discover Precursors – what must exist now to make the idealized outcome a reality. Discover what skills, abilities, traits, environments are necessary and or must exist to realize the idealized outcome. These precursors are conditions that must be created and not currently present.

3. Optimize the Process – what must be done to create those precursors that will enable the idealized outcome to be realized – go do that now! Do what must be done to create and put in place the necessary precursors discovered.

4. Plot Progress – find measures that document and demonstrate progress is being made toward the creation of discovered precursors and or idealized outcomes. Progress measures that indicate movement is being made toward the creation of the new, desired reality are necessary to give meaning and purpose to the process and to help participants maintain motivation.

I am currently reading SuperBetter: A revolutionary approach to getting stronger, happier, braver, and more resilient by Jane McGonigal and  related TED Presentation. Jane also wrote the great book, Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world and related TED Presentation.

I relate to her approach because she explains in the beginning of the book, she didn’t want to just be better or not bad, she wanted to be SuperBetter and explains how to make this happen with extensive support. I am still reading SuperBetter and got a lot out of Reality is Broken which I presented about several years ago.

Link to Play SuperBetter – Enjoy!

I look forward to hearing how you get not just better, but SuperBetter!

 –
Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

How Medicine Create’s More Good, Not Just Less Bad

My posts have consistently been focused on how can we create more good, with the recognition that this makes the world better because we can never rid the world of all bad. The other benefit from a focus on creating more good over a focus on less bad is the increased capacity, potential, resilience and ability that enables a person, community or city to overcome something bad when it does happen, which it will. To me our focus has to be on how we can generate or create the precursors that make possible a good outcome.

This idea is shared by Siddhartha Muckherjee in his TED Presentation, “Soon we’ll cure diseases with a cell, not a pill.” Throughout the presentation he explains how medicine must move past the pill to kill a disease paradigm to one where we will grow and create more good from what we have. In many ways this reminds me of Mother Teresa’s comment when she refused to march against the war. She explained she would march FOR peace because what you are FOR is empowering but what you are against is disempowering. To me we need to be FOR MORE GOOD, not against bad.

I encourage you to enjoy D. Muchherjee’s presentation about how medicine can create more good with cell’s. Below his presentation is the short presentation I made, “Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad” to the sustainability committee at my university.

I did this presentation to a sustainability committee to help them focus on the good that can be created, not just the bad avoided.
 –
Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Valuable Skills of Multipotentialites & Steve Jobs

Did you ever think that you might have been better at something else? Do you have multiple interests? In Emilie Wapnick’s interesting TED Presentation about her many interests she makes a persuasive presentation about the value of having multiple interests. In this presentation, those with multiple interests are called Multipotentialites.

In a very convincing way she points out that being multipotentialite leads to the development of super powers. The specific super powers developed include:

  1. Idea Synthesis – the ability to synthesize multiple concepts and ideas from different areas
  2. Rapid Learning – as noted in previous posts, being able to learn fast is a sign of high intelligence (See here). Rapid learning becomes a super power because of how many times multipotentialites are beginners and endeavor to learn something new. These repeated learning experiences help multipotentialites become rapid learners as repeated exercises become habitual.
  3. Adaptability – ability to morph into what is needed because of the ability to take on different roles as needed for each endeavor. Of course new skills are needed for these roles and this enhances ones capacity and potential.

Interestingly, it is the3 skills developed by multipotentialites that  can help us be successful in the 21st century thus validating pursuing and developing multiple interests and related skills. These skills are valuable because today we need innovators and creative thinkers to make tomorrow better. Being able to use idea synthesis, becoing a rapid learner and being adaptable means we can more quickly generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits (which is the practice of paneugenesis).

I encourage you to watch her TED Presentation:

As I listened to EmilieWapnick’s presentation it kept reminding me of Steve Jobs amazing Stanford Commencement speech. In this speech he shared 3 stories, one was about the ability to connect the dots. He related this to when he went to Reed College and took a calligraphy class because he found it interesting, beautiful and amazing. He then related it to how that then later led to the Mac having multiple fonts and beautiful typography (which Windows and the whole computing world copied) highlighting the value of following his interest and being a multipotentialite.

After all, it was the ability of pulling together multiple interests that made the modern computing world and most advanced living ideas possible. Below is his Stanford presentation. If you have never seen it or even if you have I encourage you to watch it and share the overlap you see or don’t see. I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy.

2017 Update: Today’s Pascal’s Wager, One We Must Make!

As an update to this post, I refer you to Thomas Friedman’s September 13, 2017 NYT column, Trump’s Folly.   For me this is similar because Friedman explains, if we prepare for climate change, make the wager we are prepared if it does happen and if it does not happen, “…we will be left healthier, stronger, more productive, more resilient and more respected around the world.”

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In the 1660’s mathematician Blaise Pascal created a logic puzzle about a wager related to the question of whether or not to believe in God. He used it as a logic exercise because there is no reason or science that can provide a definitive answer. Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly media, described Pascal’s original Wager in John Brockton’s book, “This Explains Everything: Deep Beautiful and Elegant Theories of How the World Works”, in this way:

You must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then?…You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances.  If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation that He is.

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It should be understood that Pascal’s argument for faith rested on self-interest. In describing the wager, it was explained that today’s wager we must make or face dire consequences relates to climate change. It also needs to be understood that in reality we have caused climate destabilization, not just warming. The warming triggers a devastating cascade of issues related to survival of humans.

Climate Change, unlike with God’s existence, does provide some reason and science which to many if not most scientists provides a definitive answer. As outlined, the author explains that if we wager that climate change is real we will then:

  1. Develop renewable energy sources
  2. Create an industry and jobs to support and supply clean energy
  3. Direct tax dollars from highways/car to support of clean public transportation
  4. etc…

RESULT: More robust economy!

These actions would also increase national security by lessening our reliance on hostile nations for oil. Also as described by Patrick Kennedy, (see here and here for presentations) a move to clean energy would democratize energy because it would mean we all could all have power, roof solar panels, and then people would not be reliant on energy companies. If people provide their own power this would extinguish much of the influence power companies now exert and have.

Making the wager that climate change is happening, despite some debatable proof, means we will be practicing paneugenesis. To practice paneugenesis means we will be moved to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. What is the downside to not making this wager? We must remember, certainty about the consequences of Climate Change will only come after all the bets are called in.

Of course thinking about this from the other perspective, what are the benefits of not believing in climate change? Not believing would move us to take actions to protect and maintain the status quo. While this can be done, what happens if we are wrong? Pascal’s wager rests on self-interest.

“The riskiest  thing we can do is maintain the status quo.” – Bob Iger

Alice Bows-Larkin, in her TED Presentation, “Climate Changes is happening. Here’s how we adapt,” makes a case for why this is a wager we have to make now, and we cannot wait.

Logic and facts suggest it is a Wager we Cannot Afford to Not Make. To support making this wager, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland  (1990-1997),  provides a great  supporting perspective. In her TED Presentation, “Why Climate Change is a Threat to Human Rights”, she talks about these issues based on her experiences as a leader. I encourage you to watch:

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Gender Equality is about Making Things Better

If we are going to make society better for everyone, it must be better for all not just a select few in the name of equality. W. Edwards Deming, the great quality management guru explained, “Defend your rights, you lose.” His point was that changes cannot be about just individuals doing better but about helping the whole system function better. When the system work better, everyone benefits.

Another way to say this is I how I have documented  Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant and Fixing Problems is Isufficient, Ineffective, & Inefficient because eliminating problems does not mean we get what we want. To get what we want, as is made clear with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, we must cause it to happen. To cause desired outcomes we must move beyond problems to a focus on improvement for all.

Michael Kimmel’s TED presentation provides a great example of this thinking with, “Why gender equality is good for everyone — men included“.  Although his presentation seems to be about women’s rights, really it is about a better way so everyone and everything benefits. In the presentation he uses data to describe actions taken to create a better world also lead to an end of inequality. This of course is how to Practice Paneugenesis by generating comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Enjoy:

I look forward hearing about how you make the world better as it also eliminates or makes irrelevant things that decrease our quality of life.

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Capacity Enables Creativity and Crisis Mitigation

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To me this is something powerful I learned by reading McDonough and Braungart books, Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle. In Cradle to Cradle they had a section about Ways to Improve Success. They discussed it as a way to understand and prepare for the learning curve so things would be learned more easily. In their description I understood them to say for us to develop into who we want to be, we needed extra capacity to get better at what we do.

How can we get or have extra capacity when it seems that life continues to crowd more and more information and things into every day? We had thought when cell phones and computers were just ideas that when they existed they would make our days simpler and easier. I remember when I was younger they used to talk about a 4 day work week because we will be able to get so much more done that there wouldn’t be a need to work more. Instead, although these better and more efficient ways have helped us work harder and produce more, which is good, it has seemed to squeeze out leisure and rest since we can work 24/7.

This relates to something Seligman discussed in Flourish (see this post), Kahneman discussed in Thinking Fast & Slow (see this post), and Gladwell in Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking about why it is good to have habits. Each of these respected researchers and authors thoughts related to capacity when they discussed the value of habits and how they could help us be better. Seligman even suggested that the ability to do things faster was related to higher intelligence and only when basic things are habits can we get things done more quickly. In Blink, Gladwell documents how experts are able to know in an instant complex things before they even know why or how they know. He goes on to show that these experts know because of their reserve of knowledge, skills, and wisdom which created their expertise from previous work.

Habit

As is well known, it takes 10,000 hours or ten years of work to become an expert in any area. During those 10,00 hours it is important we become knowledgable and improve our ability. It is also important that as we develop, we practice doing things well because as Aristotle observed – excellence is a habit, not an act.

aristotle-quote

So how does this relate to capacity? Habits provide and create capacity because habits are performed with less effort and require lower amounts of energy. Duhigg in The Power of Habits showed how we use less brain power when we have habits. As you can see in the visual, less brain activity is needed to do a habit than when doing something that we have to think about how it must be completed. This is important because brain activity uses more glucose than any other human activity. In other words, thinking takes a lot of energy. I guess this explains why we often get tired when we only think even if we are not physically active.

Unknown Habit Brain Rests copy

 

It takes energy to develop habits, those 10,000 hours needed to develop expertise, which means during that time we should  develop efficient, helpful habits for what we can. With habits we don’t have to expend as much effort to do things that must be done and then we have an EXTRA CAPACITY of energy to use to develop ourselves and our ideas so we can learn, develop and use new and better ways.

In other words, to have the capacity to innovate and think about better ways, we must get good, really good at what we must. During this time we when we learn we should work to make our acts habits so we have extra capacity to use to innovate. We need this capacity to adapt, improve and innovate to make things better. Beyond the energy to make things better, it also provides a clear mind to think about not just mitigating or fixing a problem but instead about how can we do things better so the problems are avoided or become irrelevant (see here). In reality, crisis mitigation or solving a problem is really a method to be at best average, not excellent (see next post) . This happens because if we are drained from continually thinking about what should be one, it will be all we can do to just mitigate a crisis. However with capacity created by developing and using habits, our efforts can be directed toward not just eliminating a problem but making it better. (See here or here or here or here or here and many more previous posts)

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How can you use this idea? For me I think about what parts of my day I can you get really good at so it becomes an almost effortless habit. This reminds me of something I read in one of the Steve Jobs books. In this section it was explained that he made a habit out of clothes he would wear. He chose to wear the same looking clothes every day so he would not have to expend energy to make that decision.

Habits are helpful because the willpower and effort needed to make most decisions are like muscles, if they are overused, they become fatigued. Habits give those thinking muscles time to rest and recover. Give yourself extra capacity and do better by making what you can a habit. To practice paneugenesis, we need to innovate to find better ways that generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I look forward to hearing about your successes.

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