Positive Adds Good

We need to reinvigorate what it means to have something positive happen. Having something positive happen means something good happens that would not be present otherwise. A good feeling, a good deed, making others happy, developing new skills and abilities. Making new connections to others with similar interests or better yet with people that have different interests. Learning something new, and so much more.

Unfortunately, many now associate positive to mean something bad does not happen. It can’t just mean something bad does not happen. That sets the bar way too low. We must do better and we should strive to do and be better.

This idea was captured by Patrick McDonnell’s May 18, 2022 Mutts comic here. Please take a look. For me a positive means to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you generate something positive.

Lets reinvigorate what positive means by causing things to be better for everyone and everything than they could be otherwise.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Accelerating Forward Faster

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

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

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

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

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

Exponential growth

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

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

Exponential Growth:

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

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Is this Why Some Phrases Stick?

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

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

“…necessary but insufficient“

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

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

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

“… latent underlying constructs“

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Why bother?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I look forward to hearing why & how you bother.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Oceans Generate More Good

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

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

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

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

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

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Ethics are a Minimum

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

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

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

Are ethics Yes or No?

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

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

Ethic WERE complicated

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

How can we improve?

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

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

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

What goes down, must go up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Put a Cork in It

My wife an I attended a presentation by Frank Hyman, the Liberated Gardner that was sponsored by the Pitt County Agriculture Center in Greenville, NC. It was very good. He had many helpful ideas about how to garden for good, organically and by using what you have. He discussed ideas about how to collect water in barrels to use, even how to collect extra water from your air conditioner, the benefits of using soaker hoses, and how to get better use of mulch.

An interesting mulching idea we learned was that growing herbs, such as rosemary, from the Mediterranean should not use normal compost, as we had, but gravel compost because they evolved in a dry environment. Normal compost keeps them too damp and explains why we had not been able to grow herbs very well. Gravel compost keeps the herbs from being moist or being overwatered. Using gravel compost also means watering can be done monthly.

He also explained how to use 2 inches of mulch from leftover leaves and other materials we normally send the landfill. This saves us money and improves the planet by not sending excess garbage to the landfill where it will rot and produce methane, besides the fossil fuels burned to transport to the landfill.

All of his ideas were ways to generate comprehensive improvements because they created net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions with the environment from which everyone and everything will benefit.

One of his most interesting ideas was how he used leftover wine corks as a compost (as explained in the video and picture below.

Wine cork compost for tree

His presentation beneficial things that are easy to do and good for everyone and everything. He said he was a “lazy” gardener, but not really lazy it was his way of describing that he did not want to spend too much time working and more time enjoying his garden and the food it produces. I encourage you to review his material and attend one of his sessions if you can, it was very helpful.

Please share any gardening tips you have so we all can benefit! Thank you.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

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

Short SWPS Article Published in American Journal of Health Education

One of my main professional accomplishments has been the development, validation and use of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). I developed this tool to measure the presence of health and its active creation. As has been shown in this research, those who are doing the most to actively promote their health in multiple dimensions, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, physical, and environmental on this scale, score highest. Results document that those doing the most to promote health, have the highest health and higher life satisfaction.

I developed the SWPS because my review and that of many professionals agreed that health measurements were inaccurate because they were measuring and assessing for the absence of disease and risk factors, rather than the presence of health. This scale measures actions to promote health, which also can be referred to as salutogenic, or health causing actions.

The research with this scale also supported the idea that health was multidimensional, that is, many factors cumulatively contribute to an overall status of health rather than the traditional unidimensional attempt to measure health. The traditional measurement of health is unidimensional because it measures if people are engaging in risky behaviors or actions that cause disease. Traditional scales assume if you are not engaging in risky actions, you are healthy. As most of us know, just because we are not doing a specific wrong thing, does not mean we are doing the right things.

The SWPS uses the salutogenic or health origins paradigm rather than the traditional pathogenic, or disease causing paradigm. The video below explains more about pathogenesis and salutogenesis, specifically how pathogenesis is designed for acute, or short-term care, while salutogenesis focuses on regular lifestyle actions.

The scale I developed, tested, and validated with many helpful colleagues beaome the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). The SWPS assessed for health promoting actions in the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental areas. The research has shown that the more people engage in the health promoting actions measured, the better their health and the higher their life satisfaction. I also validated it for young adults, working adults and with an Arabic population. An older adult version has shown to be helpful but has not been validated yet.

The scale is a 25 item 7 dimension measurement. To make it more usable, with my GA, Austin Odom and talented colleagues, Hui Bia, PhD, Ryan Martin, PhD and Kerry Sewell, we developed and tested a short 7-item version of the scale. This test indicated it was a good test and we published the article in the American Journal of Health Education in 2021. The article, Initial Assessment of a 7-Item Well-being Scale (SWPS-SF) among a Sample of College Students was published online in June, 2021 here. https://doi.org/10.1080/19325037.2021.1930611 . Here is the abstract:

ABSTRACT

Background: Shorter validated health assessment tools are needed. The validated 25-item Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS) measures health status through assessment of engagement in multidimensional health behaviors.

Purpose: To do an initial assessment of the Short Form Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS-SF).

Methods: A convenience sample of 91 college students completed an online survey that included, the SWPS, the SWLS (Satisfaction with Life Survey) and the PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire 9). Correlation analyses among these scales were completed. In addition, a chi-square test was performed to examine the characteristics of SWPS-SF including sensitivity and specificity in predicting GPA.

Results: There were significant relationships between SWPS-SF and the SWPS and the SWLS. The association between the SWPS-SF and PHQ-9 was not significant (r = −.20, p = .052). Analysis indicated that participants scoring over the 20.5 cutoff on the SWPS-SF were four times more likely to have GPAs of 3.0 or greater.

Discussion: The SWPS-SF is reasonably representative of the full SWPS, suggesting it offers a helpful method to do quick, accurate assessments of health behavior engagement and health status, more research is recommended.

Translation to Health Education Practice: The SWPS-SF enables employers, universities, hospitals and schools to perform quick, accurate complementary health status assessments.

Overall, the SWPS measures engagement in net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that generate comprehensive improvements for everyone and everything. I look forward to hearing how you engage in interactions to generate comprehensive improvements for everyone and everything.

If you are interested, below are a few of the articles related to some of the research related to the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS).

  • Becker, C. M., Glascoff, M. A., Mitchell, T., Durham, T., & Arnold, W. (2007). Assessing Perceived Health and Associated Health Promoting Behaviors: An Investigation of Methods used to Assess Health Status. Journal of Applied Social Psychology37(2), 227–242.
  • Becker, C. M., Dolbier, C. L., Durham, T., Glascoff, M. A., & Adams, T. B. (2008). Development and Preliminary Evaluation of the Validity and Reliability of a Positive Health Scale. American Journal of Health Education39(1), 34–41.
  • Becker, C. M., Whetstone, L., Glasscoff, M., & Moore, J. (2008). Evaluation of the Reliability and Validity of an Adult Version of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Education39(6), 322–328.
  • Becker, C. M., Cooper, N., Atkins, K., & Martin, S. (2009). What Helps Students Thrive? An Investigation of Student Engagement and Student Performance. Recreational Sports Journal33, 139–149.
  • Becker, C. M., Moore, J., Whetstone, L., Glascoff, M., & Chaney, E. (2009). Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Behavior33(4), 455–465.
  • Al, H., Becker, C. M., Mansour-Hamdan, A., Al-Shuaibi, J., & Tharwat, H. (2013). Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale: Validation of the Arabic Version. American Journal of Health Education44(4), 229–234.
  • Anderson, L. M., Moore, J. B., Hayden, B. M., & Becker, C. M. (2014). Test-retest reliability of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). Health Education Research73(1), 101–108.
  • Becker, C. M., Chaney, E., Shores, K., & Glascoff, M. (2015). The Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale for Older Adults (SWPS-OA). American Journal of Health Education46, 293–300.

BeWell’r,

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

Reasons to Create More Good

A recent post by Doc Siedman at the How Institute (see “HOW” Leadership Findings for Universal Benefits) highlighted the value of giving people a positive goal. This also supports why we enable the paneugensis process with an Idealized Outcome, or a positive goal. To clarify the point, in a “How” institute, “How” Conversation Admiral James Stavridis shared why he believes people need to be for something and how positive goals help.

As a guide, I recommend using the Paneugenesis Process to identify a positive goal and to move toward its achievement.

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Operationalize a Desired Idealized Outcome
    • Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
    • Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
  2. Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
    • Research to discover what must come before idealized outcome, what must be true for desired outcome to occur
    • Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
    • These Precursors are goals that must be achieve before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, its designing a process to help grass grow)
    • Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
    • Update unneeded, outdated or inappropriate actions to ones that created idealized vision,
    • Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
    • Measure and document progress forward toward idealized outcome
    • Plan and develop next steps to enable continual improvement

Please share your positive goals and how they help. Make it a great day by generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic, net-positive, interactions so everyone and everything can benefit from this positive goal achievement.

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

Making Sense of Chaos, Meaninglessness, Disorientation

The question of what our lives mean causes us all to pause. In my continuing quest to understand, besides my work and talking with colleagues, I read Chaos: Making a New Science ©2008 by James Gleick.

by James Gleick

I thought understanding more about Chaos would help because it espouses to make universal laws about complex behavior. It also helped me understand that many things we take as fact, such as when the comet will next pass or the when the next eclipse will occur, is only a prediction, not statements of fact. It also explained, research scientist are not innovators but problem solvers under NORMAL conditions. These solutions do not account for outcomes when things are not as expected.

Chaos is a new way of seeing that requires one to renounce much of the past. This was refreshing, since many things we used to believe were wrong. (See Undoing Project book by Michael Lewis and related posts Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us, More Undoing: A Beneficial Drug Policy, To Improve: “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!) Overall, Chaos is in search for understanding deterministic disorder. Yes, the whole idea is disorienting.

Chaos is about dynamical or changing nonlinear systems which are counterintuitive. It is said to have developed because more and more scientists felt reductionism, which is the compartmentalization of science, or the studying of isolated parts rather than the whole, was an impediment to their work.

The book explains that work in chaos has changed our view. While we had thought simple systems behave in simple ways, and complex behavior implied complex causes; now scientists know simple systems give rise to complex behavior and complex systems give rise to simple behavior. Thus counterintuitive. They also explain, “Life sucks order our of a sea of disorder”. In other words, we make life work by causing order, for the short term. Reading this Chaos book answered many questions, however, like when I got my PhD, it ended up raising many more questions then it answered.

We all want life to mean something, however that depends on the time and scale we consider. If consideration is for 1 day or 100,000 years, that means our actions have meaning or they do not. This conversation about meaning and life is one I have had with many colleagues I respect, such as Don Ardell. In our discussion of his new proposed Law of Wellness, he shared this good 5 minute presentation he did for Ignite Tampa 2015 about Life, Meaning and Meaninglessness:

While I agree with all he says, I thought the emphasis should be adjusted toward what we can do to make meaning and purpose now, in the short term to give our lives direction and purpose. Recently I also watched/listened to a TED conversation with astrophysicist Katie Mack about the origins of the universe that turned out to be relevant but caused even more disorientation. If you are interested, you can see/listen to it at TED: The Mind-Bending Reality of the Universe.

She also shared a poem she wrote in 2019, Disorientation: A Science Poem by Katie Mack. I found this counterintuitive stanza relevant:

…I want you to believe that the universe is a vast, random, uncaring place, in which our species, our world, has absolutely no significance. And I want you to believe that the only response is to make our own beauty and meaning and to share it while we can…

Katie Mack

I personally want to have a positive impact on the world, which can be seen as selfless. However I want to do that so I can feel good about myself, which is selfish. I also aim to create positive pervasive and reciprocal interactions so they are synergistic.

My reasoning suggests to me, we should all attempt to engage in Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic interactions (#SelfishSelflessSynergy) to generate comprehensive improvements that benefit everyone and everything. What do you think? Please share…

PS – I also came across this note by 9/11/2021 note by Seth Godin that I think captures these ideals:

Seth’s Blog: From Seth Godin

We are not astronomers

Unlike most of the sciences, astronomy is always done at a distance. You can see the stars, but you can’t do anything about them. Sometimes the media would like us to believe that we’re all astronomers, simply passive witnesses in a world out of our control. Sometimes the media would like us to believe that we’re all astronomers, simply passive witnesses in a world out of our control. But the world is never out of our influence. Remembrance, connection, possibility, invention, empathy, insight, correction, care and justice are all up to us. We not only observe, but we make changes happen. Our participation (or apathy) leads to a different future. The ocean is made of drops. And the drops are up to us. Who else is going to care enough to make an impact?

SEPTEMBER 11, 2021

Please share your thoughts, and most importantly, please engage in #SelfishSelfessSynergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Trees & Forests Can Help Us!?

I recently read and reviewed a very interesting book, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World. It amazed and inspired me. The wisdom in the trees is amazing, we can learn so much about how we can make our lives better for everyone and everything by learning how trees manage their lives. As Peter Wohllenben documents, with clarity and support, forests practice Paneugenesis because they generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Below is the review I posted on Goodreads and Google books.

Wow – what different thoughts I have after reading this book. I was surprised at how much this book impacted my thoughts. Understand I also have an informed bias. I am an environmentalist and believe we not only must live sustainably, but we also have to fix all we have broken. My reading indicates this book supported that belief while also helping me gain an even better and deeper understanding of the innate interconnections of all living beings on earth.

The book nudged me to see trees, and plants for that matter, as living beings, but on a different time scale than us. Trees live 500 to 1000 years so they change slowly. This slow rate of change has caused us to see trees as things, rather than living beings. Wohlleben makes a strong case for how and why trees are living beings. He even got me to understand how trees may have emotions and feelings. As he states and makes clear, “… Trees are not competitive crusaders but members of a connected, related community system.”

I was amazed over and over again by the hidden capabilities of trees and forests. Trees also form a community and are connected. They also help each other, even other plants thought to be competitors because it is the whole, the forest, that takes priority. I was continually awed. For instance, I was amazed to learn about all the natural defenses trees and forests develop to use for floods, heat and cold that are lost when trees are moved from the forest to a city.  

I was also amazed to learn how trees clean the air. Trees also react to their surroundings. Trees send out scents to attract predators or push away greedy plants or animals when needed. I was also amazed to learn if trees don’t have time to rest due to lights in a city or are not able to experience the coolness of the winter, they die earlier. It was also interesting to learn how helpful it is for the well-being of trees to have relatives, such as mother and father trees, close by. The mother trees nurture their babies, just like us. I was amazed to learn that trees also suffer from loneliness and die early when they are removed from a forest.

In other words, trees practice paneugenesis and therefore generate comprehensive improvements by making life more livable. They are act selfishly to keep a forest abundant because it provides their greatest chance for a good life, it acts selflessly by helping others when they need it, and these selfish, selfless, symbiotic actions cause synergistic benefits from which everyone and everything benefits.

Near the end of the book, he stated: “Forests are not first and foremost lumber factories and warehouses for raw materials, and only secondarily complex habitats for thousands of species, which is the way modern forestry treats them. Completely the opposite, in fact.” In a similar way, this is the point I try to make with my work focused on health. We do not first and foremost take actions and do things to prevent bad consequences from happening, and only secondarily improve well-being, which is how our “health” care system and society works now. Results document the complete opposite is the more beneficial path.

We should engage in actions that enhance our society with a systems appreciation so our actions generate comprehensive improvements that benefit everyone and everything. This is the system of the forest that Peter Wohlleben explained in his book, “The Hidden Life of Trees: what they feel, how they communicate: discoveries from a secret world”. Nature can teach us so much…

I was inspired to learn more about what the trees and forests can teach us so I am now enjoying Suzanne Simard’s book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest.

Please enjoy this short introductory video by Dr. Simard:

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Reparations Mean Benefits for All

A recent July 12, 2021 New York Times Daily Podcast, “A City’s Steps Toward Reparations” helped me better understand how wonderful and needed reparations are for society. When I first heard about reparations I, I had many questions and doubts. While I thought it was a good way that we could possibly makeup for some of the horrible ways African American’s were treated, I was unsure how reparations would help. However after learning about how the reparations were done in Evanston Illinois, to subsidize housing, I realized it was much better than I had thought.

During our history, African American’s had difficulty getting and owning property, not because of what they had done, but because of redlining laws, prejudice, and as we learned, because it was stolen. I encourage you to listen to the linked wonderful NYTimes Daily podcast so you also can understand how helping others helps move society forward for everyone and everything.

A City’s Steps Toward Reparations

Success breeds success, good begets good (See Good Begets Good and Bad Begets Bad: Green Grass Theory). We must do all we can to enable people to be the best version of themselves. Helping African Americans get what was previously withheld from them will enable them to meet at least their basic needs so they can move toward self- actualization. This therefore is an example of not only how to practice paneugenesis, but how to enable Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

This would be an example of how society can’t generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless interactions from which everyone and everything will benefit and while all improve, we can fix some things we had done wrong.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.