31 Interesting Quotes

I received these quotes and found them thought provoking – I hope you enjoy and it provokes good thoughts about how to generate comprehensive benefits from interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. —Benjamin Franklin

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions. Their lives a mimicry. Their passions a quotation. — Oscar Wilde

Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. —Arthur C. Clark

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.             — Albert Einstein

Of all sad words of mouth or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.                   — John Greenleaf Whittier

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. — Bruce Lee

And when you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.        — Friedrich Nietzsche

Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.  — Mark Twain

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.                                             — John F. Kennedy

It is no measure of health to be well—adjusted to a profoundly sick society.                            — Jiddu Krisnamurti

Every man dies, but not every man truly lives. — William Wallace

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. — Plato

Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go. ― Oscar Wilde

Have I not destroyed my enemy when I have made him into my friend?                          — Abraham Lincoln

To love is to recognize yourself in another. – Eckhart Tolle

Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic. — Tryon Edwards

Create Want: If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.                              —Antoine de Saint—Exupery

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. — Indian Proverb

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. –Kahlil Gibran

Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. – William Saroyan

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ― John Lennon

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ― Albert Einstein

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. ― Mahatma Gandhi

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed. — Ernest Hemingway

In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity. ― Hunter S. Thompson

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. – Lao Tzu

Dalai Llama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, said: “ Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off ― Chuck Palahniuk

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are. ― HL Mencken

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Fantastic 40th National Wellness Conference!

I attended and presented at the 40th National Wellness Conference in Minnesota June 15-18 20015. It was great as they all have been. I learned a lot at the many sessions and wonderful keynotes and thought it was great to catch up with my yearly friends. Once again, it was a “once in a lifetime experience”.

My presentations seemed to go well. I was honored that an organizer informed me that half of  “aha” moment sheets turned in from the whole conference were from people who attended my session. I was also honored that Don Ardell posted this in his #702 Ardell Wellness Report:

Postscript Two: I also found time at the NWC to attend several excellent breakout sessions, the most memorable being a comprehensive presentation on the nature of health and well being by Dr. Craig Becker entitled, Prevention Cannot Create Wellness: Here Is What Does! Becker’s artful use of media (music, video clips, nature sounds and all manner of special effects were Disney-worthy and always added, never detracted, from the substantive evidence cited to support an impassioned call for REAL wellness programming. The latter was described by Becker as salutogenesis or paneugenesis, as opposed to the pathogenesis in which the wellness movement is currently stuck.

The keynotes were great. Todd Kashdan’s information about the value of embracing our dark side and how we can grow from this was enlightening. I look forward to learning and reading more about his work. Michele Segar gave me great language to look at how to move toward creating well-being and how to sustain motivation.  I look forward to learning more about her work. I also learned much from Thomas LaVeist‘s information that explained health disparities. He did a great job of clarifying it is about the situation not the person that creates differences. His great analogy was to those who survived the Titanic.  He showed that 97% of first class survived on the titanic and less that 20% of 3rd class survived. This of course is just like society today, those that were able to survive did so because of how it was designed. M

My point however is we need to design to help people THRIVE, not just survive and that is the focus of my work. If we help more survive, disparities will have to dissipate.

As always, I learn a great deal preparing and making presentation. The Prevention Cannot Create Wellness presentation has helped clarify pieces for the creating all good model article that I will be submitting soon.

If you are interested, here are PDF’s of both presentations:

1.  Serendipitous Wellness: Can we cause it to happen? – at 1:00pm on 6/15/2015

Presentation PDF

Brief Description

Serendipity, a word coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, is the occurrence of chance beneficial events. Serendipity is associated with the surprising discovery of penicillin and also can be applied to wellness. At this presentation you will learn strategies like those used by late Steve Jobs to organize your work environments, develop communication styles, and lead a life that makes serendipity more likely. Even if you don’t create serendipitous wellness, you will learn how to build a better life.

2. Prevention Can Never Create Wellness: Here is What Does! at 2:30pm 6/16/2015

Presentation PDF

Brief Description

By definition, prevention is the action of stopping something from happening.  Therefore, if prevention works, nothing happens.  Although, prevention is important, it cannot create positive health or wellness. Even without a prevention focus, multiple fields create better outcomes that also prevent without focusing on what to avoid. This presentation will review the evidence of these effective positive strategies and provide you with an idea of how to use these ideas in practice.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

National Wellness Conference – Amazing!

I first attended the NWC in 1998 and have attended ever year since. They have been amazing, life altering events. I have met friends and always meet new amazing people that I continue to talk with and interact with all year long and enjoy getting to see each year at the conference. I originally attended while earning my PhD and went the first 3 years to the conference as a Work-Study participant. This was a great experience because I had to work as a presider and I got an opportunity to meet many of the presenters on a level I never could have if I was only a  participant. It also gave me good experience and exposure to so much in the field. Since then I have attended and presented each year. My presentations always help me learn and crystallize my thinking about the findings from my articles and studies as it relates to the years topical focus (to learn about what I am presenting this year: Serendipitous Wellness: Can We Cause it to Happen? and Prevention Can Never Create Wellness: Here is What Does! see this post). This year it is, “Learn, Connect and Celebrate Wellness” a perfect way to describe the experience. I at first thought my experience was a fluke because it was so amazing – I have since learned it is a “once in a lifetime experience” that happens every year. I am glad I have had these opportunities.

The week of the conference was and has been so amazing to me that I have now dedicated my career to making the world like the week I spend at the NWC. During that week all people are polite, giving and forgiving, curious, intellectual, fun, adventurous and are operating at what can only be termed a high level of wellness. It is amazing because it seems everybody is practicing what I now call “paneugenesis” (see previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, hereherehere, here, here to learn about paneugenesis) Paneugenesis literally means creating all good, Pan- = all, eu- = good, -genesis = creating and describes what I believe happens each week at the NWC. During this week everyone is looking to generate comprehensive benefits by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. My career goal is to make this a more regular experience by everyone, everywhere. After all, if it is – everyone & everything benefits – why wouldn’t we do this?

I started to write this post last year after the National Wellness Conference (NWC), but never posted it. I am now posting it as I look forward to attending this years conference starting June 15th, I hope you will join me for an exciting, education and life enhancing experience.

Last year many of us who had been coming regularly were concerned when the location changed from Stevens Point Wisconsin to Minneapolis MN. We were concerned it would lose its amazing feel. Fortunately, we were wrong, the conference was great, I think even better because while keeping its wellness feel, it was more professional. We learned it is not about the location but about the people and the intent of the conference. Once again, at last years conference in Minnesota at the 39th NWC, this year is the 40th, I learned so much and it helped me in my desire that most at the NWC share – to develop and become better versions of ourselves so we can have a positive affect on the world. I look forward to seeing you at this years conference (see previous post here)

Promotions about NWC:

I look forward to seeing you there or wherever. Make it a great day, week, year, life.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Looking forward to 2015 National Wellness Conference in MN

The National Wellness Conference is an anomaly. I have been attending since 1998 and each year it is an amazing experience. I learn a great deal and come away with many new ideas – I hope  you will join us this year in Minnesota.

For the last several years I have had the opportunity to present. Each year my presentations are a learning experience for me because I always propose ideas related to what I am learning about in books I am reading or studies I am conducting that could contribute to wellness. I must do this because submissions are due almost a year before the conference. If they are accepted I then figure out how to make what I learned into a good presentation. This  has helped me learn so much. For example, this year I am presenting: Serendipitous Wellness: Can We Cause it to Happen? and Prevention Can Never Create Wellness: Here is what does.

With regard to the Serendipitous Wellness presentation I was reading about luck, serendipity, Steve Jobs and of course wellness and thought they must be related. I learned a tremendous amount and believe the evidence is clear – we can cause serendipity as it relates to wellness if we are prepared. In this presentation, I will share what I have learned. With regard to the Prevention Can Never Create Wellness presentation, this is similar to many other presentation proposals I have submitted over the years about the need to cause and create wellness by focusing on more then prevention. Previously those presentation had been rejected – this year it was accepted. I had thought it would be a very easy presentation to prepare since it is the focus on my entire career, however, I found it far more difficult than anticipated. In developing this presentation, I learned a tremendous amount about what can possibly create wellness and how it can and should be measured. I will be sharing what I learned in this presentation. Below I have shared the write up of what I am presenting for each, if you are interested.

I hope to see you in Minnesota at the NWC, if you there please stop me and say hi. I am also going to make one more post about what the NWC has meant to me and my career. Make it a great summer!

Presentation Descriptions for June 15-18 National Wellness Conference

1.  Serendipitous Wellness: Can we cause it to happen? – at 1:00pm on 6/15/2015

Presentation PDF

Brief Description

Serendipity, a word coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, is the occurrence of chance beneficial events. Serendipity is associated with the surprising discovery of penicillin and also can be applied to wellness. At this presentation you will learn strategies like those used by late Steve Jobs to organize your work environments, develop communication styles, and lead a life that makes serendipity more likely. Even if you don’t create serendipitous wellness, you will learn how to build a better life.

Long Description 

Serendipity, a word coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, is the occurrence of chance beneficial events, or fortunate happenstance. Serendipity is associated with the surprising discovery of penicillin and other discoveries and it can also be applied to wellness. Wellness is progress toward a desired life, and this presentation will discuss how to cause serendipitous wellness or chance good things to happen. The current understanding of serendipity and the title of this presentation are purposely misleading and incomplete. Serendipity is misleading and incomplete, because the full definition explains how good events, such as discoveries, occur by accident AND sound judgement and perception. The presentation title is misleading, because if serendipity is luck or happenstance, how can it be caused to happen? In a similar way, some believe Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink” misled readers by encouraging the reader to trust their gut without first developing the requisite expertise. Of course there is no way to guarantee a desired serendipitous outcome, but evidence suggests the probability of it occurring can be increased just as we can make it more likely someone can become a high performing “Outlier”.  In other words, luck plays a role, but serendipity is not entirely reliant on luck. This presentation will explain how to influence what and when the unexpected happens by choosing how we develop ourselves. Serendipity, after all, is the interaction between chance and the prepared, which means serendipitous wellness becomes more likely when we are ready and able for it to happen. While being prepared cannot guarantee serendipitous wellness, without preparation, it is unlikely. This presentation will outline strategies like those used by late Steve Jobs to organize your work environments, develop communication styles, and lead a life to make serendipity more likely. Of course, even if you don’t create serendipitous wellness, these ideas will help you will build a better life.

2. Prevention Can Never Create Wellness: Here is What Does! at 2:30pm 6/16/2015

Presentation PDF

Brief Description

By definition, prevention is the action of stopping something from happening.  Therefore, if prevention works, nothing happens.  Although, prevention is important, it cannot create positive health or wellness. Even without a prevention focus, multiple fields create better outcomes that also prevent without focusing on what to avoid. This presentation will review the evidence of these effective positive strategies and provide you with an idea of how to use these ideas in practice.

Long Description
By definition, prevention is the action of stopping something from happening or arising.  Therefore, if prevention works, the anticipatory actions result in complete avoidance of the undesired event; or, simply put, nothing happens.  Although, prevention is important for stopping the bad, it cannot create the good – positive health or wellness. While it is morally imperative to stop bad things, such as disease, depression, infirmity etc. from happening, doing so, does not directly result in good things happening. Wellness is a positive outcome, and research has demonstrated in fields such as education, business, and health that by working to create positive outcomes better than previously experienced, a more effective way to create desired outcomes and prevent  is used than one that focuses on what to avoid (i.e. prevention). In the field of business, W. Edwards Deming demonstrated that creating the positive of higher quality was not only the most profitable way to conduct business, it was also the most effective way to avoid and prevent waste, problems and costs. Cass Sustein and Richard Thaler demonstrated that public policy that “Nudges” people toward making better choices for themselves and society not only helps them and society function better, it also prevents and avoids many difficulties. In health, Aaron Antonovsky demonstrated that moving toward health with salutogenesis, or the study of the origins of health, not only creates better health or wellness, it also helps prevent or avoid diseases and infirmity. While prevention cannot create wellness, multiple fields have demonstrated that using strategies to develop and create positives better than current experiences is effective, and a byproduct of these positive strategies is prevention. This presentation will review evidence documenting the effectiveness of positive strategies and the outcomes generated that do more than just prevent. You will leave with an idea of how to use these ideas in practice.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Updated: Food industry’s Use of Tobacco Industry’s Deceitful Methods

Court Ruling

On May 22, 2015 the court made this linked decision related to the long-running RICO case against the nations’s cigarette manufacturers. Decisions

1. With regard to “Adverse Health Effects of Smoking”, they ruled that the tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking.

2. With regard to, “Addictiveness of Smoking and Nicotine” they ruled that the tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public about the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine. They must admit that, “Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction.”

3. With regard to, “Lack of Significant Health Benefit From Smoking “Low Tar,” “Light,” “Ultra Light,” “Mild,” and “Natural” Cigarettes”  they ruled that the tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes. They must admit that, “‘Low tar’ and filtered cigarette smokers inhale essentially the same amount of tar and nicotine as they would from regular cigarettes. And that, “All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and premature death – lights, low tar, ultra lights, and naturals. There is no safe cigarette.”

4. With regard to, Manipulation of Cigarette Design and Composition to Ensure Optimum Nicotine Delivery” they ruled that the tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public  about designing cigarettes to enhance the delivery of nicotine. They must admit that, “Defendant tobacco companies intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.”

5. With regard to, “Adverse Health Effects of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke” they ruled that the tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public  about the health (illness) effects of secondhand smoke.

While the tobacco companies have been punished by law, big food is stealing their playbook and doing the same thing with food. Although it seems different because we must have food and we don’t have to have cigarettes, it appears we must be wary. Katie Couric clarifies the connection in her excellent documentary Fed Up. The story of how this evolved is outlined below.

History of Tobacco Efforts

For a long time, people had suggested that food should be regulated just as tobacco has been and is now being regulated. I used to reject his argument thinking food is necessary but tobacco is a choice. I have learned, what most assumed, and is now known as a fact, tobacco companies manipulated tobacco to make it more addictive. It was these manipulations that made tobacco even more addictive and in essence took away free will or choice to smoke or not. If you are interested in learning more about how tobacco was made addictive, part of the story is shared in the excellent documentary, Addiction Inc. with by Dr. Victor DeNoble. Below is trailer from the movie.

While Dr. DeNoble’s work is groundbreaking and amazing, the other disappointing actions taken by the tobacco industry was their attempts to create higher nicotine tobacco plants. These actions were partially revealed by a 1994 ABC Day One Special, Smoke Screen (see below).

More was revealed by a 1995 Frontline Special, Nicotine Wars. I have a copy but I no longer am able to see how another copy can be accessed. Please let me know if anyone is able to access this material. In addition to the Frontline Documentary Nicotine Wars, a second less insightful documentary was also produced. There was also, the movie, The Insider (trailer below) with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino that reviews much of what was covered in those 2 documentary’s about the deceitful ways of the tobacco industry. As most of you know, in 1997 the Tobacco Industry lost much in the Master Settlement which was to fund tobacco cessation programs. In 2006, they lost more because they were charged with racketeering.

On August 17, 2006, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler issued a final judgment (PDF) and opinion (PDF) in the U.S. government’s landmark lawsuit against the major tobacco companies that found the companies have violated civil racketeering laws and defrauded the American people by lying for decades about the health risks of smoking and their marketing to children.

So what does this have to do with food? It is now being revealed that to society’s detriment, the food industry is using strong arm tactics and manipulation of our food and the legislative process, similar to actions taken by the tobacco industry, to sell more (refer to previous Can We Make and Measure Progress? Post about GDP). The industries manipulation makes our food less nutritious, more addicting, and less filling so we buy and eat more. Of course less nutritious food also relates to poorer health outcomes. You can learn more about this from Katie Curic’s excellent new documentary Fed Up. (trailer below) Near the end of the movie they do a good job of explaining the similarity of what the food industry is doing to what was done by tobacco.

Another perspective on the similarity of the food and tobacco industry is shown in these 2 nutrition facts clip (below). The first is about how hospitals are selling sickness by selling fast food. Once again this special shows how having fast food restaurants in hospitals is just like how hospitals used to sell tobacco. The second outlines how advertising manipulated perceptions in the 1950’s and implicates the AMA.

My repeated message is how we should focus on doing more positive actions to move out damaging actions. To make this happen, our efforts need to be focused on how to make health promoting actions easier and unhealthy actions more difficult. Putting fast food restaurants in hospitals, like cigarette companies used to sell tobacco in hospitals, is there effort to make unhealthy actions easier and health promoting actions more difficult. Lets all work together to make health not only the desired choice but the easiest choice so we can all enjoy a better life.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

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