Architecture Creating All Good

On Halloween, October 31, 2021 60 minutes shared an amazing story about MASS, Model of Architecture Serving Society, a non-profit architecture firm. Using the best designs, they developed hospitals that were amazing. Please watch the 60 minutes story below to learn more. However the most amazing part of this story is how they built on their initial success.

Building on Fantastic

After creating hospitals for Rwanda that better serve their communities by using locals sources for labor and material, they have now created a regenerative university in Rwanda. The story is linked to the headline below

MASS Design Group Establishes a Model for Regenerative Construction in Rwanda

The development is expected to be the world’s first carbon-positive university

More about MASS

On 60 Minutes Overtime it shared this story about why they use a film maker to share their story.

You can see the full 60 minutes session here.

Below is also a TED talk by Michael Murphy, “Architecture that’s Built to Heal”, shares more about how this amazing story started. He says we are designing hospitals to make people healthier as it reduces its environmental footprint.

Most important to me is how MASS demonstrated how their architecture techniques can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I am sure many more are doing this, please learn from these fantastic people at MASS and share how we can build on their successes!

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

Becoming our Best Is Best

I was honored that Sydnii Robinson Co-authored this post with me. Thank you Sydnii.

Complaining begets more complaints. Anger begets more anger. And optimism begets more optimism.

Simon Sinek

As Simon Sinek suggests, what we do creates more of what we have done. In other words, “Good begets Good”. Evidence suggests that if we work to become the best version of ourselves possible, this will generate good for all. This runs counter to many of our efforts. It seems we are always trying to solve problems. For instance we want to “End violence”; “Stop Inactivity”; or “Stop eating Fat”. While these actions may be morally correct, they do not create what we want.

Ending violence cannot give us what we want, love and caring. Love and caring however has the potential to “crowd out” violence as it creates the reality we desire. Stopping what shouldn’t be done, does not and cannot cause what can be done. It may provide room to do the right thing, but doing the right things takes courageous effort and action. For example, we cannot end procrastination unless we do something.

As a personal example, I have had back trouble every 6 months or so. Then we finally realized my legs are different sizes, only a 1 cm difference. This small difference altered my walk and caused severe back and hip pain. It is all connected.

When I first got the small lift for my shoe it felt like I had someone elses legs – they felt very strange and uncoordinated. Not doing anything of course would mean it would continue to feel strange, however with walking and attempts at running my legs are beginning to feel normal again. As noted by Deming’s Appreciation for a System, General Equilibrium Theory, Risk Homeostasis Theory, Zoobiquity and so much more, when we change anything, we change everything. As John Muir, founder of Sierra Club noted:

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world.

John Muir. All things in the universe are interrelated.

An Exception?

I believed ending bad cannot cause good. However after I saw Seaspiracy I thought there was an exception. The recommendation in Seaspiracy is “…to stop eating fish” to end ocean fishing. The logic seems sound, if we stop eating fish, demand for fish will stop. After demand decreases, because it is a connected system, the lack of demand will end ocean animal agriculture. However, upon reflection, that was too simple. Either way, I strongly recommend you watch Seaspiracy if you have not seen it yet (the trailer is below – it is on Netflix).

To me, one of the most fascinating and enlightening facts in the movie was the role fish and their excrement play in managing both carbon and the health of coral reefs. We have heard warming is hurting the coral, but we haven’t heard that healthy coral reefs require more fish and the bonus that more fish also will capture and store more carbon as they enhance the health of coral reefs. Please share what you find most fascinating in the movie.

Another impactful take away from Seaspiracy was that deep-sea fishing, called bottom trawling, causes an estimated 3.9 BILLION acres of seafloor deforestation per year. This means sea floor trawling is way more destructive than land deforestation which is estimated to be 25 million acres per year. Despite its immense damage, it is not seen by satellite or people living near because it is underwater. It is alarming and certainly justifies the “stop eating fish” recommendation. Can some experts share their knowledge about this information and data to confirm these concerns?

Linked Facts from Seaspiracy

Deprivation Never Works

It seems obvious, however the recommendation to “stop eating fish” is too simple. As the Losada LineKahenman & Tversky’s Loss Aversion, and Gottmans work with marriages documents, we need more good, not just less bad to ignite action. Not only will people feel deprived, making it unlikely for the action to continue, research demonstrates that unless we are providing people with a better alternative, doing without, such as doing without seafood, will not take hold. On top of that, the proclamation that we should not eat fish will add guilt when seafood is eaten and this will lower life quality.

What do we do?

To do something that can make a difference in this interconnected world, take actions to become the best version of yourself by eating whole plant foods. As noted in the movie by James Cameron, Game Changers, plant based nutrition is the necessary ingredient for athletes and people to perform and think their best.  The action recommended to be our best in Game Changes also means we don’t eat fish.

In other words, eating plant based nutrition to become the best version of ourselves is also what will be best for the world and will also help solve the problem of animal agriculture.

Wonderful Example

Brad Lancaster provides a great example of how to do good, that begets more good as a “Water Harvester”. I encourage you to watch as he shows how doing good, begets more good.

Eating Our Way to Extinction

I also recommend you watch Eating Our Way to Extinction, it does a good job documenting our situation and supports actions we can take to help us become the best version of ourselves. The actions recommended in this movie will also benefit everyone and everything.

I live to make my life as good as it can be and doing so helps me become a better version of myself. What I find rewarding is that the actions I take to improve myself generate comprehensive improvements. These improvements also lead to net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits, which is paneugenesis or creating all good. This post shares more ways to become a better version of yourself that will also make a positive contribution. What more could we ask for?

Please share how you make your contribution so we can learn from your actions and also share how you integrate these idea into your life. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker & Sydnii Robinson

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Prevention can Be Harmful

As noted in the Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! post, a prevention and problem focus is not a path to improvement. I only noted that prevention and problem elimination does not improve, however some research has now demonstrated that prevention efforts can be harmful. In other words, prevention effors can actually makes things worse than if nothing was done at all. The Scared Straight! program provides an example.

Scared Straight!.jpg

Studies of results from a number of Scared Straight programs showed that those in the program had increased crime rates and higher re-offense rates than those in control groups. Though they are unsure why, this peer reviewed research suggests that a focus on prevention caused more harm than doing nothing. This example suggests a need to focus on causing more good, not just less bad.

“Field of Dreams Illusion”

It is as if we have fall under a spell and believe the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” when they said, “If you build it, they will come”. That is a dream, it takes more to create a new reality, specifically it takes action to create a desired reality.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

Thinking too Small

Focusing on problems or prevention is “thinking too small” and it is easier. Deciding what you don’t want is simple, putting in place what you do want is harder and takes more effort. As an example, it is easier to not like where we live, however as Melody Warnick and other demonstrate, creating attachment to place and having a higher quality of life takes action.

As noted in the Become by Doing post and by Andrew Huberman, PhD:

Beliefs do not change our actions, Actions change our beliefs.

Andrew Huberman, PhD – Stanford

Supporting Podcast

Simon Sinek has offered and provided many valuable resources including his excellent book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. I highlighted some of his work in this post, Talk without Your Phone – Everything can Benefit. Besides all that, he also has a good podcast called “A Bit of Optimism…” I listened to episode #57 when he talks with Pat Berges and he explains how he took action to cause what he wanted. Throughout the episode he discusses how his actions are what created the reality he desired so it I am adding it to this post because it seemed relevant.

The podcast webpages describe the episode this way:

Don’t you hate it when you’re coasting along — not a care in the world — and then it feels like life comes out of nowhere and hits you like a car, almost paralyzing you? Well, for Pat Berges, that wasn’t just a feeling…that actually happened.

Like many of us, Pat is not a natural optimist. He had to learn how to find optimism during this dark period. Not only did it help him recover, but what he learned continues to help him be, well, optimistic.

I encourage you to listen to this good podcast with Simon Sinek and Pat Berges.

Doing Good Better

The answer seems to be Doing Good Better, which is the title of an excellent book by William MacAskill. In this book he promotes methods for effective altruism. In the book he cites multiple data sets and empirical evidence to document that taking better actions to do good is necessary to cause or enable more good.

Doing Good Better book cover

As another example, developing attachment to place has been shown to improve well-being as it improves the place, reciprocal determinism. Specifically Melody Warnick in her 2 books, If You Could Live Anywhere and This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, discusses 10 actions to use to develop attachment to place. More information about here work can be seen here (posted July 2022). You an also listen to this podcast with Melody here (also posted below). The methods proposed by Ms. Warnick which I strongly endorse will simultaneously improve a persons quality of life as it improves ones attachment to their place.

In simple terms, these are the actions she suggests:

  1. Buy and shop local
  2. Walk & Bike
  3. Get to know your neighbors
  4. Enjoy assets – spend time in area
  5. Experience nature
  6. Volunteer
  7. Eat local food
  8. Be civically engaged
  9. Create something
  10. Build residence

Developing Attachment = Paneugenesis or All Good

Melody Warnick provides a fantastic example of how to practice paneugenesis to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. The 10 actions espoused by Ms. Warnick, which I strongly support, will create attachment to place as it yields selfish, selfless synergistic benefits from which everyone and everything benefits. Please get Melody Warnick’s books to learn how to improve your life and share the benefits you experience as you take action to gain “attachment to place” by practicing paneugensis.

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

Creating a Better Tomorrow

I talk and post often about designing for MORE GOOD, not just a less bad. To enable this I use and require my students to use the Paneugenesis Process. As noted in many posts, including Less Bad ≠ More Good – We Must Create Good, Make 2020 Your Best Decade Yet… and many other posts, I describe the 4 step Panueugenesis Process this way:

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Operationalize 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

Experience has documented that hardest part is also the most important. This is step 1 which requires Creating and Operationalizing an Idealized Outcome. To operationalize means all parties understand the goals and aims.

People often avoid generating an idealized outcome and fall back on the default of noting problems that explain why things are not ideal. That is easier and most importantly, if improvement beyond the status quo is desired, doesn’t actually make things better. It can’t be better than the status quo because Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant!

I noted all this because Damon Gameau’s and his team appear to have created 2 films that Operationalize Idealized outcomes. These 2 movies are 2040 (I ordered and plan to watch)

And Regenerating Austraila. Right now information suggest this movie is not available in the US yet, but I am trying to get a copy. Please advise if you know how I can get a copy.

I encourage you to learn more about his work so you also can be inspired to use the Paneugenesis Process to generate and create idealized outcomes. I look forward to learning about how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Hearing a Repeated Message

Be a Good Listener

Over and over it seems I have heard that the smartest person in the room is the best listener and they say you can’t learn anything from others while talking, etc. In a recent post, Trust but Verify, I noted that sometimes the universe seems to be sending messages. The message last week that the universe kept sending, but it took time for me to hear, was that I should Trust but Verify. This week I am finally hearing another message the universe continues to share over and over, but for some reason I was hearing it without fully internalizing it.

This idea focuses on what seems to be captured by, “nature knows best”. Although humans are clever, we generally learn our methods are not as good as we think and nature is smarter. Nature obtained its genius from its 3.8 billion years of development and testing, see post Standing on Natures Shoulders. This idea was captured and has been discussed many times in my posts when I discuss “Undoing”. Undoing was how Michael Lewis captured the works of Kahneman and Taversky in his book, “The Undoing Project“. I shared more about this book in my post, Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us. Some of the other related posts include: To Improve: “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!, More Undoing: A Beneficial Drug Policy, Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us.

Michael Lewis also documented and demonstrated this idea in his book,  Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game (also a Movie of the same name) . In that book Lewis highlights undoing of what were thought to be good methods in baseball and many other fields.

Soft Versus Hard Path

This idea that “nature knows best” was also captured by Amory Lovins in the 1976 article, An Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken. The article described the options as a soft versus hard path, see post: Policy for Comprehensive Improvements. The soft path worked with and facilitated what would happen and did not force outcomes as was done in the “Heat, Beat, Treat” traditional method. As he demonstrated, the soft path was a better path economically, environmentally and with regard to quality of life.

The Soft Path by Amory Lovins, The Gaia Hypothesis and Deming’s System Appreciation and System of Profound Knowledge all replicate natures methods and call for engaging in net positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic actions so everyone and everything benefits. It is what I call the Paneugenesis Process.

 As we build a better system, this new system must build a green economy that works with our environment not against it by using the soft not the hard path. Our traditional, thought to be clever method of “Heat Beat Treat’, or forcing nature to comply was not as good as we thought. A better way works with nature as Janine Benyus, of  Biomimicry fame, made these methods much more popular. This is a link to article that describes how she is Inventing the Eco-Industrial Age .

A better system has been shown over and over to us by the universe as one that works with nature to generate comprehensive benefits. Better listening skills would have helped me hear this message more clearly. Listening has helped me understand that pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions, a soft path, will also benefit the environment and enable us to thrive from our actions.

Act Now – Act to Think

Although these actions seem obvious in retrospect, my slow understanding means we must Act to think and not wait to believe it before we act. Huberman’s research supports this approach.

Beliefs do not change our actions, Actions change our beliefs.

Andrew Huberman, PhD – Stanford

Other benefits follow, as noted by Dr. James Lovelock and his Gaia Hypothesis:

…if the Earth improves because of our presence, then we will flourish.

James Lovelock

What is the Moral?

Messages are out there, we must listen by seeing what works without forcing it to happen. The soft path, not the hard path as described by Amory Lovins will help. It is not about forcing an outcome, it is about not getting in the way and helping it happen. If we listen and work with nature, thus making life more livable, amazing things are possible for everyone and everything because of it.

What is the universe telling us that you have not internalized? Please share what you have learned and also how you worked with nature to generate comprehensive improvements.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Trust but Verify

Hurricane “Ian” ravaged Florida and the east coast in September, 2022. Some were fatally trapped because they stayed in their houses when the storm hit land. Although most would “trust” weather forecasts, they could not “verify” it would be that bad until it was too late. That is often the issue, timing delays our ability to “verify”.

“Trust but verify” became famous, according to Wikipedia, when Ronald Reagan used it during nuclear disarmament talks with the Soviet Union. Ironically, at least according to Wikipedia, it is a Russian Proverb. This saying has become relevant in my life, can be related to actions with hurricane Ian, and may be beneficial to your life.

At least for me, it seems the universe can talk to me. This time it was about the Russian proverb, “Trust but verify”. Of course it only became relevant because I also had read Malcom Gladwell’s provocative 2019 book, “Talking to Strangers“.

Talking to Strangers

Transparency, Understanding

Gladwell’s book was very enlightening (I recommend the book and summary). WIth research, “Talking to Strangers“, in Gladwell’s trademark neutral method, documents how we are good at understanding others when they act as expected, but bad at discerning the truth when they do not act as we think they should. He even suggests it could be because of the “Friends” effect. In the sitcom “Friends”, the actors emotions, expressions and actions are all consistent and support what they will do.

In “Friends”, if they are smiling, they are happy, if they are trying to cheat or trick someone, they act suspicious. In real life, that is not always the case, only sometimes are we transparent such that our actions match our intentions. Gladwell explains the “Friend’s” effect to Jimmy Kimmel at about 2 minutes in the interview below. He also summarizes so much more. I strongly encourage you to listen to this 8 minute interview and read his book.

To demonstrate this conundrum, Gladwell documents other experiences in the book. One story discusses how Penn State’s University President, Graham B. Spanier, was fired for endangering children when Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of child abuse. He contrasts this to parents who were in the room when Larry Nassar abused their kids and yet they were not thought to be negligent. Life is ambiguous…

Default to Truth

Gladwell suggests and suspects this happens because people will automatically default to truth, or believe what is best, when people are acting as expected. In other words, we default to “Trust”. It is hard not to and it takes extreme risk and difficulty to go against the tide when others trust. The second part of the proverb, “Verify”, is what we should do but it is complicated by timing and effort.

This is a proverb because we want colleagues and supervisors to think the best of us, or to Trust us. Think how horrible it would be if people automatically assumed the worst in each situation. In other words we should “Trust”. If we didn’t trust, Gladwell seems to justifiably suggests without implicit trust the world would be a less desirable place for us all.

Verification takes extra effort and those steps may also cause us to find out things we do not want to know. This happened in the pandemic when people stole funds as highlighted in this NYTimes Daily Podcast, Why Was Pandemic Fraud So Easy?

During the pandemic, an enormous amount of money — about $5 trillion in total — was spent to help support the newly unemployed and to prop up the U.S. economy while it was forced into suspension. But the funds came with few strings and minimal oversight. The result: one of the largest frauds in American history, with billions of dollars stolen by thousands of people. Guest: David A. Fahrenthold, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, focused on nonprofits.

Summary of 9/27/2022 NYTimes Daily Podcast

It got Personal…

Recently, I did not adequately “Verify”. The “Friends” effect impacted me. I didn’t adequately verify people because I could not imagine why a group I was working with would not be telling the truth. Unfortunately my “default to truth” and failure to adequately “verify” has slowed and damaged progress on plans I had to Practice Paneugenesis on a much bigger level.

Though this this attempt to “Optimize the process” did not work, I am finding a better way to reach my idealized outcome so we can generate comprehensive improvements by being nudged to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefit.

We want to provide people with a GPS for life that will nudge them to efficiently use resources such that they lead a fulfilling, regenerative life that will also create regenerative communities. This BeWell’r Web will work like a forests mycelium in roots of plants and trees that enables plants to be healthier through efficient use of the forests resources.

This function of nature through the root network in a forest was dubbed to be the “Wood Wide Web” by “Nature”(August, 1997). The “Wood Wide Web” is a communication network that shares information through its fungi with all in the forest about how to best use its resources so the forest can thrive. The video below shares the vision for our BeWell’r Web that will help create healthier people and thriving communities:

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Amazing People, 2nd edition

In 2014 I wrote this post, Dad Our House is on Fire!…People are Amazing! I wrote this because I was in awe of the amazing generosity we experienced after our house burned down and we lost most of our belongings. As I noted in that post, despite the awful news we hear 24/7, I believe most people are good. I also believe people want to help others. Scientifically this makes sense because it makes us feel good.

To my delight, I once again was in awe of amazing generosity of others. As I noted in 2014,

“… my belief that people are amazing has been confirmed.” Again!

My belief that people are good has been confirmed again – people are amazing! This time it was confirmed when my wife and I went Lowes to pick up some lattice for our yard.

Lattice punchased at Lowes

I have a Prius which has a hatchback and almost everything fits. This time however we were about 2 inches shy of being able to get the lattice into the hatch. As we picked up the lattice to return it to the store. a gentleman, with broken English gets our attention and says, “do you need help?” We explained we did and he then offered to carry the lattice pieces in his truck to our house. People are amazing!

We loaded the lattice in the back of his truck and asked him to follow us. Of course, if you believe the news, he would have driven away with the material. He did not. He kindly brought the material to our house, helped us unload it and said he was glad to help. We offered to pay him, but he refused. People are amazing!

Overall, it was a nice, net-positive pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction. This is a way to practice paneugenesis because it helped generate more good, not just less bad. That act encouraged me and my wife to pay it forward, thus causing a positive pervasive ripple, as it also reinforced our belief that most people are good and kind. People are amazing!

Make it a great week by being the amazing person you know you can be. Also please share your stories of yourself or others paying it forward!

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

Salutogenic Bacteria

Most times we hear about pathogenic or disease causing bacteria. There is however many wonderful Salutogenic or health causing bacteria. It is another example of our amazing body. I learned about his amazing process when reading the advice column, “Ask the Doctors”, Eve Glazier, M.D. and Elizabeth Ko, M.D. In their 8/23 column. They informed us:

..nitric oxide…is produced by cells throughout the body and plays a crucial role in promoting blood flow….nitric oxide helps keep blood vessels relaxed and pliable. This lowers the pressure that circulating blood exerts on the walls of the veins, arteries and capillaries.

Their response was to a reader that heard brushing your tongue can be harmful. The doctors explained the research (some of which you can see here) found that brushing your tongue and using antiseptic mouthwash can damage the tongues microbiome and inhibit its ability to regulate blood pressure. Yes, the tongue also has a microbiome. Its amazing, they now even know the mechanisms of how plant strong nutrition, specifically green leafy vegetables, helps us:

…The nutrient that the tongue bacteria convert is called dietary nitrate. It’s found primarily in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and bok choy, and in root vegetables such as carrots and beets.

Of course these helpful benefits course through our body and plant strong nutrition helps them work better. You may remember, (see Stress can Improve Your Health) Kelly McGonigal explains in her upside of stress book and TED talk (below), stress hormones actually help heal the heart.

Evidence supports that we can generate comprehensive benefits by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless interactions by eating plant strong. From these interactions everyone and everything benefits as we help our bodies be health causing machines (see also Healthier’s By-Product is Comprehensive Improvements. Please share how you help your body be a health causing machine so everyone and everything benefits. Make it Great Week.

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

Going in Circles is Better?

We often think that going in circles means we are not making progress, however, although it is not perfect, going in circles around roundabouts is a better solution. Like the idea of a circular economy, these circles provide personal and planetary benefits: How roundabouts improve traffic safety and lower carbon emissions

Although roundabouts only mean less pollution, less gas burned, and less accidents – the more good about roundabouts is that they enable faster transportation as they completely eliminate the need for traffic lights. Here is the story about roundabouts in Carmel, Indiana:

While my goal is to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive reciprocal selfish selfless synergistic interactions – roundabouts seem like a move in the right direction. What do you think? Please share your thoughts

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Article Published – Short SWPS

With the help of my talented colleagues, our article about the 7-item Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS-SF) was published in Global Health Promotion.

Title: Development and field test of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale – short form (SWPS-SF) in U.S. college students, (PMID: 35897155 DOI: 10.1177/17579759221102193) by Craig M. Becker1 , Hui Bian1, Ryan J. Martin1, Kerry Sewell1, Michael Stellefson2 and Beth Chaney2

Abstract: Survey research is important for understanding health and improving practice among health professions. However, survey research can have drawbacks, such as overuse and excessively lengthy questionnaires that burden respondents. These issues lead to poor response rates and incomplete questionnaires. Low and incomplete response rates result in missing data and reduced sample size, damaging the value, usability and generalizability of the information collected. To address issues related to response rates and improve health research, shorter surveys are recommended because they impose less of a burden on respondents and are useful with larger populations. Health- related surveys also often focus on the factors leading to ill health without dedicating equal attention to factors supporting positive health. This study developed and tested a short form (SF) of the validated Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS), which measures causes of health (rather than causes of disease), using responses from 2052 college students. The participants answered questions about their demographics and completed the SWPS and a perceived health assessment. Statistical tests demonstrated the SWPS-SF had significant relationships with the full SWPS, health status, and Grade Point Average (GPA). Statistical tests were also used to establish cutoff scores that had a high true positive and low false negative rate. These cutoff scores demonstrated a relationship of higher performance and better health. These promising results suggest this short test can provide valid information without burdening the respondents. Authors recommend additional tests be completed to validate the SWPS-SF.

This scale provides a helpful screen tool that can accurately assess health, that is well-being not just the absence of disease. While more testing is needed, the article noted, “This study developed a short form of the SWPS, and initial evidence suggests it can provide valuable data for participants, health professionals, and health researchers. This short, complementary tool will provide data about health-causing actions, address the pathogenic bias, and improve response rates due to its short format.” The full article can be accessed on PubMed here.

The SWPS-SF provides a quick way to screen for peoples behaviors that indicate health improvement from beneficial, physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental actions. Feedback, as can be provided to professionals and individuals, has been shown to help people improve behaviors and it provides professionals with information about how to nudge them toward better actions. The data can also be used to help design a health promoting environment.

The SWPS-SF is a tool that when used should help generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to talking with you.

BeWellr,

Craig M. Becker, PhD

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Contact me: BeWellr@bewellr

Science Simplified but Confused?

I talk about science often in these posts (see Science is Our Only Way Forward, Science, Beauty, Evolution, and Progress, Updated: “The Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”, and many others.) Although I mention it, I need to let you know how I understand science.

Findings from science should be objective, that is they can be replicated by others and they represent reality. While earning my PhD I remember a simple and powerful statement that described the scientific process that helped me and I thought it could help others.

Science DESCRIBEs, so it can PREDICT, which means you can then IMPROVE and then based on what you learn, you can EXPLAIN phenomena. Each level forward builds on the previous.

DESCRIBE: Tell us what happened based on influencing interactions

PREDICT: Be able to say what will happen when variables interact

IMPROVE: After understanding the situation, or being able to describe the phenomena based on related interactions – then it can be predicted what will happen. This knowledge enables the future to be altered or improved. Improvement can happen by manipulating some of the variable interactions described.

EXPLAIN: Knowing what did or did not improve the outcome enables an explanation of our reality. For example, I ate excess calories than I used so I gained weight.

Improvement CONFUSION????

The confusion I see is in the area of improvement. While correcting a problem such as putting out a fire, curing a disease, or even stitching a cut, it is not true improvement because it does not improve beyond our starting point or reference. These actions end a bad with treatment but do not cause a good beyond where we were before. See Resilience is Not Always a Virtue, If that is all it is for…, Best Practices are Contraindicated for Improvement and others.

Kahneman and Tversky explained this by suggesting giving money to poor people was not seen as help, but just a chance to catch up. This then was not improvement but helping level the playing field so improvements could be made.

For instance, my organization is BeWell’r, LLC and our work focuses on helping people(college students right now), organizations and society not just be well, but to be Well’R. This means better than they could have been before. We help people make better choices by efficiently nudging them, via the BeWell’r Web, to use community resources such that they can lead a regenerative lifestyle that helps them become better as they simultaneously also build a stronger, regenerative community, meaning everyone and everything benefits. The BeWell’r Web works like a forest which uses the “Wood-Wide Web” as discovered and explained by Dr. Suzanne Simard. (see Strategic Alliances are Powerful)

Stability then Improvement

As Dr. W. Edwards Deming explained in his quality management seminars. The first goal is to lessen the variance so stable outcomes can be produced. Once a consistent process produces a similar outcome again and again over time, then improvement can be made. If improvement attempts are made prior to stability, it is hard to know if the improvement can last or if it was a real improvement and not just chance. He used simple process behavior charts to document stable processes.

What Does this mean? Scientifically

This means science should first provide a DESCRIPTION of an occurrence or a phenomenon by understanding how it happened. The description should describe the interactions that created that occurrence. Based on that understanding of the situation, a PREDICTION about what will happen can be made. If one does not like the prediction, an IMPROVEMENT can be made by altering some of the interactions described.

As an example my daughter wants to run a marathon. She first had to be able to describe her current state and ability by reviewing the interactions that led to her current reality. Knowing she wants to have more endurance she studied training methods and changed her workouts to hopefully improve her running ability. If she is able to complete a marathon she will be able to explain by saying doing these type of workouts and having good nutrition improved my ability beyond what it was before, even in the best circumstances. In other words, this improvement would be better than she would have been even on her best day – that is true IMPROVEMENT.

I use science to generate comprehensive improvements by discovering and engaging in net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. When I discover these interactions that generate comprehensive improvements such as An All Good Simple Clean Up,A Way to Practice Paneugenesis, and others I share.

Please share how you use science to generate true comprehensive IMPROVEMENTS. I look forward to hearing from you.

BeWellr,

Craig M. Becker, PhD

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Contact me: BeWellr@bewellr

Humans are Part of the Zoo

I recently read the excellent book, Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD, & Kathryn Bowers.

by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD, & Kathryn Bowers

The book was fascinating to me because it highlighted and made clear why We are Just Talking Apes and how There is Only US, There is no Them as I attempted to suggest previously. I loved Zoobiquity because it documented how similar all living things are on earth and that “we should be looking at the overlap rather than the differences” between species due to our shared ancestry.

I was fascinated as they demonstrated how other animals also have foresight, regret, shame guilt, love and revenge. These are things I thought I saw in our dogs, but I thought I was anthropomorphizing their behaviors. I guess I was not.

Similarities

Examples of similarities in the book included how all animals, like humans can Faint when scared. This led to a better explanation of our instincts that are generally only described as Fight or Flight. A true description of our reactions is “Fight, Flight, or Faint” when startled. As they documented, faking death, like when we Faint, had survival benefits and may be why it lasted through our evolution.

I thought most interesting was how they showed some behaviors that many attribute to bad character, also exist in the animal kingdom. For instance, there is a section that describes eating disorders in the animal kingdom that mirror humans eating disorders. (see Intriguing links between animal behavior and anorexia nervosa by Treasure, Janet & Owen, John) Other behaviors such as homosexuality, trans sex and even sex between species exists in other animals meaning it evolved for a survival reason and is still in our DNA.

In other examples they document the proliferation of STDs in the animal kingdom. After all, they don’t have antibiotics or any type of protection. In another similarity, they document how teenage animals act similar to human teenagers. The similarity relates to their behaviors. As explained, teenage brains don’t register danger as adults do and this may be why they take what seems to be “stupid” or unwise actions. They however explain, “These risky behaviors can encourage encounters with threats and competitions that may hurt them but actually end up being helpful for success later in life.” They even suggest that it may be more dangerous when adolescents don’t take risks than if they do. If risks are avoided, they are not prepared for life.

Overall, these many comparisons and similarities indicate that what happens are not necessarily flaws or problems of humans, it is hard wired into us. These actions are just part of our shared DNA, those actions however can also be influenced by our environment.

Sex, Drugs, &…

They also showed how animals in the wild sometimes get hooked on drugs, who knew? They also explained that animals have varied sex drives, high or low, and some animals even use some of the same techniques to attract mates as can be seen in humans. It was amazing to learn. They even suggest that an “Orgasm is not the byproduct of sex, it is the bait from erotic ancestry” that enables, or supports reproduction.

There were some unpleasant things in the book. A disturbing section explained humans believed animals did not feel. This existed until fairly recently — though some still believe this, especially about fish. Humans had the false belief that animals could not feel because we could not understand how they thought. Animals react differently to pain, some withdraw rather than vocalize it, at least that we can hear. They relate this to how many thought even babies did not feel pain up until the 1980s.

The authors discussion of pleasure and then drugs was also enlightening. They explained how pleasure and rewards initiated behaviors that helped us survive and negative emotions altered behaviors when survival was threatened. They then relate this to drugs by explaining people become addicted because drugs can falsely signal we are doing something beneficial to our fitness that helps our survival. They also provide an enlightening discussion about how this relates to and feeds addictions.

Nature or Nurture??

An insightful point they demonstrated was that it is not a Nature or Nurture answer, but a dance between each. As was explained, Nature & Nurture are not a divide but rather an endless feedback loop of information that enables adaptation. For example, they document that animals, like humans, can get fat when there is an abundance of food and no predators. They also document animals, like humans, will consume processed foods to their detriment because of the false signals created by these ultra-processed foods.

Overall, again and again, from drugs, to sex, to relationships, they document how these are issues for all in the animal kingdom, not just for humans. It had a copyright of 2012 however it is very current. The most current part was how it seems to have led to the development of the new World Health Organizations initiative, “One Health”.

WHO One Health

According to the WHO Website:

What is ‘One Health’?

‘One Health’ is an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.

The areas of work in which a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley Fever), and combatting antibiotic resistance (when bacteria change after being exposed to antibiotics and become more difficult to treat)..

Why do we need a One Health approach?

Many of the same microbes infect animals and humans, as they share the eco-systems they live in. Efforts by just one sector cannot prevent or eliminate the problem. For instance, rabies in humans is effectively prevented only by targeting the animal source of the virus (for example, by vaccinating dogs).

Information on influenza viruses circulating in animals is crucial to the selection of viruses for human vaccines for potential influenza pandemics. Drug-resistant microbes can be transmitted between animals and humans through direct contact between animals and humans or through contaminated food, so to effectively contain it, a well-coordinated approach in humans and in animals is required.

We can Do More

One Health is a great start, however it seems to only focus on how we can better avoid, treat and or prevent problems. In my view it does not put enough emphasis on how health is created and improved.

From my reading it became even more vital to work towards generating comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and EVERYTHING benefits. All living things are connected and the aim of all living things must be to live in a way that makes life more livable.

Natterson-Horowitz & Bowers seem to agree, at the end, they explain:

The fate of our world health doesn’t depend solely on how we humans fare, rather it will be determined by how ALL patients  on the planet live, grow, get sick and heal.

Natterson-Horowitz & Bowers in “Zoobiquity”

Let’s create all good, we can’t wait for people or animals to become patients, we must proactively work to make life more livable and better for all.

BeWellr,

Craig M. Becker, PhD

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Multiple Green$ Benefits

More green is usually good.

  • Greens in the form of vegetables are good for our health
  • Green behavior is regenerative or at least better and can help everyone and everything
  • Green in form of money can be good and helpful

This post is about how all 3 of these benefits will accrue from this simple action.

Many of us eat greens as spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard greens etc. While these greens are good for us, taste good and are delicious, they do not stay fresh long. Composting old greens is better because in time they turn into useful soil, but it still wastes money.

A Better Idea

We found a more useful solution. When our greens start to go bad, we put them into the blender and then freeze them. As frozen small pieces of greens, they are easy to add to a smoothy.

My bag of chopped greens and a scooper to add to a smoothie

We keep freezing old greens simple. When ours greens start to go bad we put the old greens in the blender with a little bit of water, if necessary, and mix. After the leaves are chopped, we place those leaves in a bag and put them in the freezer. I also put a scooper in that bag so I can easily scoop out a helping for my smoothie.

I really like doing this in the summer because I find Smoothies to be great summer snacks They are refreshing, cool and also provide a healthy serving of vegetables. If you are interested in more techniques, this page, How to Freeze Spinach, shares more options.

Multiple Benefits

This simple technique provides multiple benefits:

  • We eat more greens by including them in our now tastier and more filling smoothies
  • Environmental benefits are less trips to the store and less food waste
  • We save money by not having to buy greens or other ingredients for smoothies

Overall, chopping and freezing greens is a great, all good way to generate comprehensive improvements. Freezing older greens creates a net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits from which everyone and everything benefits.

Please share how you generate comprehensive improvements so everyone and everything can benefit.

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

Tear Jerking Fathers Day Present

My daughter sent me this TikTok video on Fathers Day in 2022.

I guess this means being a “Dorky Dad” is ok?!?!

And YES, both of my girls make me VERY PROUD to be there father!

PS – To help you understand why the album was so meaningful to me, it was of all my kids artwork from when they were little. That artwork had been on my office walls floor to ceiling. I covered every bit of my walls with just their artwork, that’s all that was on my office walls. I had that office before there were cell phones with cameras in everybody’s pocket. I never took a picture and thought I had lost all that art. My wife saved it and they turned it into that album. It was very touching.

BeWellr,

Craig M. Becker, PhD

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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

Its the Environment Stu*?#!

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

book by Paul Begala

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

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

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

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

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

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

Albert Einstein

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

Creating an Environment to Get Desired Outcomes

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

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

Behaviors Become Habits

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

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

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

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