Gladwell’s Fascinating Revisionist History Podcasts

I recently learned about and now have listened to a few of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcasts.  Malcolm Gladwelll is one of my favorite authors and I have learned so much from his books, David & Goliath, What the Dog Saw, Blink, Outliers, The Tipping Point, and many articles.


Like his great books, these podcasts help the listener take a second look at things that have happened.  The second look he takes provides a different, valuable and a more detailed perspective about the story.  Each have been very interesting and I encourage you to listen.  In future posts I will outline what they meant to me and how they have helped me and hopefully you better understand how we can take action to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.


If interested, I highlighted some episodes I thought were interesting and I thought you would like.  In “The Satire Paradox” he looks at the effect of political comedians such as Colbert and Saturday Night Live. He  provides an interesting perspective on the impact of these shows. In “The Big Man Can’t Shoot” about Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Berry, he looks at what could have dramatically impacted Chamberlain’s career.
I also liked the informative perspective  he provides about what happened with desegregation after Brown vs. Topeka Kansas in Miss Buchanan’s Period Of Adjustment. If you are interested in higher education and how well it capitalizes talent in America, as he puts it, he has a 3 episode series – Carlos Doesn’t Remember, Food Fight, and My Little Hundred Million.  It provided food for thought.
Overall, these podcasts shed light on what we are doing and what we could  Practice Paneugenesis so we generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.  Next week I hope to post about how one of these stories may help explain how we can more often experience wellness, or progress.

 If you listen, please share what you got from them, I am interested in your thoughts.

Energy Summit Reveals Sustainability Contradiction

Last week, July 10-12, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the amazing Appalachian Energy Summit: Perspectives, Policy & Practice.  As with previous summits, we learned incredible information from Amory Lovins co-founder of Rocky Mountain Institute and David Orr, Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College on Sustainability and the Environment.

Beyond their great contributions, the summit had other powerful speakers.  The summit’s opening Keynote was by Gina McCarthy, former head of the EPA under President Obama and now at Harvard’s Kennedy School.  She provided common sense strategies and information about how to create a better world for all.  She also reminded us of the importance of using science because, “…it provides facts and discovers the truth, regardless of personal beliefs.”

Later Leith Sharp, Director of Executive Education for Sustainability at Harvard helped us understand the difference between reality and what we are told.  She demonstrated how the process is messy, takes many turns, squiggles she called it, and then in hindsight seems logical and straightforward.  This relates to Kahneman and Tversky’s classic work. They called hindsight a type of mental illusion because what was confusing in real-time, seems to appear logical and straightforward in hindsight. I also understood her to say that despite the confusing and sometimes overwhelming process, it was important to keep moving forward because setbacks are part of the process.

The last Keynote by Majora Carter was powerful.  She not only demonstrated how to create a sustainable environment, she explained how to turn a neighborhood, the South Bronx, into a place people want to live, work and  play.  For me, and I think for most, that is what sustainability should be about, creating a better world. It also needs to be a world that has the potential for an even brighter future, not just one that can exist. She explained how, with her team, they worked to create something of pride so community members want to contribute to making it even better.

It seems Marjora Carter is helping to create what we all should be contributing to creating in our shared community – the earth.  Much can be learned from her explanations in clips below about how she has led and continues to lead a team in the transformation of the South Bronx.

After her presentation and in our working groups, a contradiction seemed to emerge. During the conference, we break into working groups to develop action plans.  These working groups included Campus Based Energy Efficiency, Academic Integration, High Performance Campus Design, Transportation – Oriented Opportunities, Finance, Regulatory and Energy Generation, and Zero Waste/Waste Reduction.

The contradiction or what seemed inconsistent was the discussion about sustainability and how sustainability has been defined.  Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from the UN Bruntland’s Commission report, “Our Common Future”, that suggested “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The contradiction was that we were not working to just meet needs but in how to make things better.  Better is needed, not just maintenance of the status quo.

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

We must create better because according to science, we have passed several tipping points related to climate change.  According to Will Steffan, as published in Science February 3, 2015, we have passed these tipping points:

  1. More than 350PPM CO2 so we will likely breach a 2°C rise
  2. Biodiversity should be at 90% preindustrial levels but instead is at 84%
  3. Deforestation should be at 75% of original forests but is now at 62%
  4. Overuse of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides should be at 25% of current use.

To me this means we must restore, not just sustain to have a better life and the potential for a better future.  Ironically, despite being about creating a future that would enable future generations to survive, The Brundtland Commission officially dissolved in December 1987 after releasing “Our Common Future”, a document which coined, and defined the meaning of the term “Sustainable Development”

Evidence indicates sustainability is not enough, we must seek to create not just less bad ways, but better ways.  With this view our efforts should be to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Please share how you are helping everyone and everything benefit!

Choose to Be Well’r,
Craig Becker









An Inconvenient Truth Sequel


Some considered his first movie, An Inconvenient Truth, controversial, however it seemed to have moved the environmental movement forward.  Something I believe important and vital.  This week, as I attend the UNC Energy Summit at Appalachian State University, nothing seems more important.  I look forward to the release of the “an inconvenient sequel: Truth to Power“.

Initial release for this movie is Friday, July 28th and nationwide release is August 4th.  I encourage all to see this movie. We ALL are dependent on an environment that nurtures, supports and enables us to have a good life.  We all must work to make it so by generating not just sustainable solutions but improvement solutions.  We need to restore what we have done by generating comprehensive improvements from pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic, interactions so everyone and everyTHING benefits.  Everything thing because we are all connected.

Focusing on creating more good is necessary because time and again we learn that creating more good is more effective than working to lessen bad. Precautionary theory or harm mitigation may lesson a current problem, however to have a better tomorrow we must redesign reality for that Idealized Outcome.

Research also has now documented that not only is this possible, but that doing so is more fruitful economically.  See postsGreat Read: Climate of Hope by Bloomberg & PopeMichael Bloomberg’s Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic ActionsUpdated: Hope for a Way forward so Everyone & Everything Benefits – John Oliver Agrees, and others posted.

Not only is the environmental appropriate choice the most important choice, it is the best choice.  I look forward to learning more about the upcoming movie.

Share your thoughts after you see it…Thank you.

Choose to Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

NWC 2017: Great Conference, Great Experience!

As always, I had a great time and learned a lot at the 2017 National Wellness Conference.  It was in St. Paul Minnesota at the River Center.  It is a good conference, different than when it was in Stevens Point Wisconsin, but still amazing.  Amazing because of the people.

This year we saw great presentations and I met amazing people.   Sunny Grosso of Delivering Happiness opened the conference powerfully with her keynote, “Cultures that Flourish: Applying the Science of Happiness and Human Sense”.  In her presentation she  confirmed the benefits of doing more good.  Paul Scalia, of International Well Building Institute, provided a keynote that outlined the value of creating built spaces to enhance our well-being.

Both demonstrated the benefits these efforts have on personal, economic and planetary well-being.  Beyond the presentations and catching up with friends and colleagues, I especially had great interactions with the international group. The international group has become great because of the amazing work Bob Boyd and Thomas Cuddihy do to bring these people together.  Their efforts have enabled all who attend the conference an opportunity to learn about wellness efforts in the Phillipines, France, India, Israel, England, and many more places and provides people from these countries opportunities to learn from us.

It is exciting for me to learn about wellness around the world and to talk with them about how we can all move forward together so everyone and everything benefits.  I look forward to learning more from them and possibly doing some work together.  With technology, we are all staying in touch through a WhatsApp group.

I did a presentationA Wellness Cultivating Culture Does More than Reduce Risk, which seemed to be a summary of my career and ends by using the Paneugenesis Process as a method to create a culture that creates more good, not just less bad. (it is linked)  Some of this work and the model will be shared in an upcoming issue in The Art of Health Promotion section focused on “New Measures for New Directions” of the Sept/October issue in American Journal of Health Promotion.   I will post about it when it is released and will also provide a video.

Lets all learn from each other as we do at the National Wellness Conference.  Share your efforts about how you are generating comprehensive benefits by creating selfish, selfless, synergistic, pervasive, reciprocal, interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Choose to Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

How to Make Accurate Judgements about our Self-Worth

I recently heard a great TED presentation by Anne Lamott (see below).  She shares a great deal of wisdom, my favorite was:

  Never compare your insides to other people’s outsides.

Although it is hard, we have to remember we never know what is going on with people.  Our best chance to feel and be good is to focus on generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

This week I am at  the 42nd National Wellness Conference in St. Paul MN. If you attend, please stop by and say hi.  At 12:15 on Tuesday June 20th, in Room 6,  I will be presenting, A Wellness Cultivating Culture Does More than Reduce Risk,  In this preservation I will be talking about how our culture can help create a progress and a more successful existence.

Amazingly, this will be my 19th time attending the National Wellness Conference. I have presented at the last 17 conferences.  I have always learned much and have a great time with  my friends I only get to see once a year.  I hope you join us.

Make it a Great Week.

Choose to Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Wise Words from my Barber

On Friday I got my haircut.  Luckily I have a wise barber and get to learn while I get my hair cut.  We were talking about relationships and he said something I hope you find as helpful as I did.  Giving his father credit, he offered advice that, for me, applies to relationships and so much more:

     Most things in life are like gardens. If you don’t tend to them, they die.                      – Rodney Bulluck, Altitude Academy of Barbering

For me this means we need to be continually tending to things by making efforts to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.  Make it a Great Week.

Choose to Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Updated: Hope for a Way forward so Everyone & Everything Benefits – John Oliver Agrees

Climate talks inspired this post.  Remember, the earth will be fine (see Did we give up? Hospice for Earth? We Need Better!), humans ability to live here however may be compromised if we do not find better ways.  While many are disappointed about the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement, there is hope.   Despite no carbon legislation in the last decade, we have dramatically reduced emissions (see Great Read: Climate of Hope by Bloomberg & Pope)

What may help increase efforts was a plan conservatives are offering a possible solution based on Carbon Dividends, “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends“.  They claim this plan should reduce carbon emissions and help us be able to live better.  This plan is authored by noted conservatives James A Baker, III, Henry Paulson, Martin Feldstein, George Schultz, Ted Halstead, Thomas Stephenson, N. Gregory Mankiw, and Rob Walton.  Authors also provided this column  in the NYT’s about the plan and TED Talk  below.

I am learning.  I am surprised Republicans offered a taxing solution. Despite flaws, at least this proposal brings republicans into the conversation about doing something about climate change. There does not seem to be a consensus about this plan so I hope you can share what you know.

There are many questions about this plan. Dave Levitan of Scientific American offered Conservative case for carbon dividends: Republicans offer to tax carbon emissions, others offered these: American Enterprise Institute offered The Deeply Flawed Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax, EconoMonitors Ed Dolan offered The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends: A Bad Marriage of Two Good Ideas? and the Atlantic’s article, The Republican Carbon Tax Is Republican, Say Republicans suggests republicans may be an obstacle here.

In a FastCompany article, they suggest Pulling Out Of The Paris Agreement, Trump Just Threw Away America’s Biggest Business Opportunity and how it is the opposite of winning.  Another FastCompany article suggests, Solar And Wind Energy Aren’t “Alternative” Any More.  And citing what people are doing, another FastCompany article, that relates to my post Great Read: Climate of Hope by Bloomberg & Pope, explains how Defiant U.S. Mayors Vow To Uphold Paris Climate Accord. Other thoughts about the decision to exit the Paris agreement include: Bill McKibben  and NYT’s columnists David Brooks and Paul Krugman on June 2, 2017.  NYT Editorial Board offers Our Disgraceful Exit From the Paris Accord.

Here is another great FastCompany article, Green Jobs Are Still The Future Of Work After Trump’s Paris Accord Pullout, about how green jobs are more dominant than fossil fuel jobs and how cities will help us meet Paris protocols.  Bloomberg even pledged money to meet our obligations on the Paris protocol.

This linked note from the mayors of Pittsburgh and Paris also pledged “…the only way to do right by Pittsburghers and Parisians is to abide by the principles of the Paris Agreement…”

In the recent episode: Paris Agreement: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver  related information is shared.

No matter the value of this proposal and the US exit from the Paris Accord, I hope these actions will inspire more to work together and develop a way forward so everyone and everything can benefit.

Choose to Be Well’r,
Craig Becker
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