Making a Better Tomorrow

Yovai Harari (in TED Presentation below) explains that humans became the dominant creature on the planet because of our ability to imagine and collaborate about a better tomorrow. Through the presentation he also helps us understand that our world was first just a fictional creation toward which we all agreed to work. After all, simple green pieces of paper (American) or what we call money is only worth something because we agree. In most ways, agreeing that money has value has enabled us to enjoy a significantly higher quality of life than would be possible otherwise.

I bring your attention to this topic because to me this means we must imagine and dream up and “Operationalize our Idealized World” and then work to promote this picture. For a better world to become a reality we will have to engage in massive collaboration. While this seems daunting, it is possible and to make it possible if all can see how they will be better. This means we will need to imagine a better reality that encourages, nurtures, supports and reinforces interactions from which everyone and everything benefits. Creating this world will mean we must build in ways to continually reinforce or recognize these actions. When actions that help others are reinforced it gives meaning to actions, we feel good. When we see we help, we have a purpose and impact on creating a desired world – Purpose is Powerful and this will encourage us to do more. If you are interested, throughout this post I have linked related past posts on related ideas.

I look forward to collaborating with you to generating comprehensive benefits by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

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Scaring Doesn’t Work – Focus on Better! 👍🏻

Energy and Environment
James Hansen’s controversial sea level rise paper has now been published online

For years I have been hearing about problems associated with sea level rise. It seems they are trying to scare us into action. Scaring however has been shown time and time again when removed by time, it doesn’t work. Scaring may create an immediate reaction but it does not lead to the long-term change and dedication needed. Movement toward a better outcome and a better world – something everyone desires – does manifest commitment, adherence, and better performance.

Of course a sea level rise would be a problem, however, instead of focusing on what to do make a better world, most of these articles, including one linked above, focuses on who agrees or does not agree this will happen. Who cares? If it happens we all lose, nobody benefits. Instead why don’t we think about how to make things better in ways that are helpful to enabling everyone and everything to benefit.

As I learned last week and posted here, we have the technology and know how to have a better world without reliance on fossil fuels, what many say is the main culprit  in global warming.  My point, however is that even if all the experts are wrong and it is not fossil fuels that are causing the problem, the solution toward a more democratized, stable, fulfilling world is more likely if we decarbonize our economy. Why shouldn’t we move in that direction to make things better.

In other words, lets stop arguing about what is the cause and instead just focus our efforts on how to generate comprehensive benefits by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. This means creating all good or the practice of paneugenesis with selfish, selfless, synergy (described in video below). I look forward to how we can create more good, not just less bad – also in previous post. Make it a great day, year, life! If you want to learn more, you can review this longer presentation.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

A Fantastic New State of Energy Summit

Energy Summitt

This past week I attended the 2015 Appalachian Energy Summit for the UNC System. It was amazing, educational, inspiring and scary. Not only was it highly educational, it also had integrity because it practiced what it preached, it was a zero waste event. What was fantastic was that even without generating waste, it was an even higher quality event than most. At the summit Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute, environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr. of RiverKeeper and other organizations, and author and presenter David Orr of Oberlin College provided stunning and valuable information. The presentations from the conference supposedly will be available soon however even without those available I am providing a link to other presentations they gave and I encourage you to go these or search youtube and listen to some of the presentations by Amory Lovins, Robert Kennedy Jr. and David Orr.

To me the most important message I heard over and over was that the time is now, thus the title of the summit – “A New State of Energy”. What they were explaining by saying the time now was that it is time to decarbonize our economy, that is we are ready to stop using fossil fuels. The time is now because not only are renewables more cost effective than fossil fuels and the technology makes it more reliable when we consider our reliance on importation of oil from unstable countries. They also documented how decarbonizing our world would not be an economic detriment but an economic boon. When other countries such as Iceland, Sweden, and Portugal decarbonized innovation and their economy boomed.

The most stunning change they explained must happen relates to the democratization of energy. Right now we are dependent on utility companies for energy andwhen we all become energy generators with solar panels at our house – they lose that power. When we all have a reliable clean source of energy, everything changes. Most importantly we all get to live in a cleaner and healthier world that is not governed and controlled by what keeps us dependent on them.

I only had 2 sources of concern related to the conference.

1. Their continual referral to costs avoided or money saved through these efforts. As readers of my work know, if we are going to have an effective message it must be based  on what we get, not what may not happen. This understanding is supported by Risk Homeostasis that create compensatory behaviors and Feature Positive Effect. This means it is necessary for us to demonstrate how we make it better, not just less bad.

Briefly, the reasons I emphasize why we need to focus on more good, not just less bad are because saving money is possible by just not doing things. We can use less energy if we cut classes or attempt to read in the dark. Also because seeing these savings can be understood as simply correcting past mistakes, thus not justifying finding a better way. If past mistakes are corrected, the status quo can remain. Also, savings seems to infer we must give up things to save which is not true, actually we should be able to get and do more.

I outline some of these ideas in a short 17 minute presentation I gave to our Sustainability Committee that you can view here or below if you are interested.

My second concern was their lack of recognition of the impact made from animal agriculture. Unless all the information I have reviewed and are being presented by many researchers including Ornish, Robbins, Esseltyn, Campbell, Barnard and many others is wrong – this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

This important issue of the impact of animal agriculture is captured very effectively in the new documentary “Cowspiracy“. Below are a few clips from Cowspiracy and the movie trailer. These clips are related to the overwhelming environmental impact of animal agriculture. I encourage you to review this issue and decide for yourself. Data I see says that 50% of GHG emissions can be attributed to animal agriculture and this does not get into the terrible health consequences related to an animal based food system. As noted in these previous posts – I encourage you to see the movie.

Here are some summary’s of implications outlined in the movie:

 

Here is the trailer:

http://sustain.appstate.edu/energy-summit

Make it a Great Weekend.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Purpose & Connection are Vital

Throughout all I have written, the overriding message is to be better. My continuing contention is that to be better, our focus must be on Creating More Good, Not Just Less Bad(See linked presentation). This enlightening TED presentation by Johann Hari documents how what we thought we knew about addiction is wrong. This presentation with significant documented research to support his presentation helps clarify the importance and value of purpose and connection. To me this says we need to focus on how to create more possible opportunities to develop purpose and connections and by doing this, the product of a better life will take care of itself. In other words, once again, to Generate Comprehensive Benefits we should focus on Creating Interactions so Everyone and Everything Benefits!

Information about the research discussed by Johani Hari in this presentation by Bruce Alexander related to the Rat Park Can be accessed Here. Enjoy!

Here is a YouTube presentation about this work:

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Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Being More than Just Humane – Create Better

In a powerful TED presentation, “The World Becomes What You Teach” Zoe Weil talks about how schooling is needed to fix problems.

I thank Chris Hirschler for recommending her presentation, especially her idea of changing debates from being about a problem where sides argue about who is right or wrong to being about developing a solution. To me we should take her idea one step further by changing the starting point from a problem to solve to a vision to create. As described in previous posts (here, here and others), we must start by operationalizing an idealized outcome. Operationalize means to make it so we are all seeing it clearly and idealized outcome means something better than could be now.

My other contention with her presentation is outcome of being humane. Humane is great and expected – it is a 0 or status quo, we can be better. As the late Steve Jobs used to say, “I want to make a dent in the universe”. We all want to do that, we all want to make the world better because then we all get to enjoy a better existence and feel good for having contributed to that better world – which of course makes us feel better. With this in mind, Fixing problems is not enough, we must make it better, or +3 as outlined in this video.

I look forward to hearing about how you make YOUR dent in the universe that generates comprehensive benefits by helping creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

Pursue What Could Be To Create Idealized Outcomes

This is a presentation I gave at a Toastmasters meeting in the early 90’s that seems highly relevant. I have updated it with recent findings. I am interested in your thoughts – please share you comments below. To document I am following the advice below, I will be making many posts, please share your thoughts.

Presentation: Sitting quietly in room I listen to the desperate sounds of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away. A small fly is burning out the last of its short life’s energies in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of the windowpane. The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly’s strategy – try harder, but its not working.

It is impossible for the fly to succeed, yet this insect has staked it life on reaching its goal through raw effort and determination, this fly is doomed. Across the room, just a feet away, the door is open. Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could get outside with only a small amount of effort.

Why doesn’t the fly try another approach, something dramatically different? What logic is there in continuing to seek a breakthrough with more of the same? “Trying harder” isn’t necessarily the solution to achieving more, in fact it may even kill your chances for success.

Right now we can do exponentially better and we can multiply our personal effectiveness. We don’t have to settle for things as they are no, our situation can dramatically change and we can help create idealized outcomes.

None of us are content with incremental or gradual change, we can make a quantum leap. A quantum leap is a strategy term taken from the vocabulary of quantum physics – the science behind many breakthrough technology’s. Upon inspection, it becomes clear that these breakthrough’s are from major rethinking that was a break from tradition. Quantum physics has staggering implications regarding our potential, and the power of our mind. Fred Alan Wolf, in his award winning book,”Taking the Quantum Leap“, describes the term as…”The explosive jump that a particle of matter undergoes in moving from one place to another…in a figurative sense.” Taking a quantum leap means taking a risk, going off into uncharted territory with no guide to follow. Physicists studying quantum mechanics note that particles make these ‘jumps” without apparent effort and without covering all the bases between the starting and ending points.

Most people operate with the mindset that assumes success comes one step at a time. This is a “traditional” misconception that exists because advancing at a measured pace ordinarily feels easier, more natural, and as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs would suggest “safer” and indicates why we are afraid to take that jump.

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg

Quantum movements imply an “explosive jump” in your personal performance that puts you far beyond the next logical step. The concept is about exponential, rather than incremental progress. While this is exciting, it gets better. Remember quantum leaps can come without seeming effort it instead comes from all the existing skills, knowledge and capacity you developed in your past hard work – in other words, it is kind of like a reward for your past work. This also clarifies that it is not magic because if you have never put in the effort, quantum growth is unlikely. Quantum leaps violate common sense until after the fact when these leaps are viewed as practical, sensible, even obvious moves. As Daniel Kahneman clarifies in his amazing book “Thinking Fast & Slow“, we are backward thinking people. At the moment however, these moves are not obvious, even though in retrospect they will seem obvious. To make these breakthroughs, a shift from old habits is necessary.

Unconventional success calls for unconventional approaches. Quantum leaps require paradoxical behavior. Actions that on the surface often appear to contradict common sense. Ordinarily we tend to rely on behaviors that have worked for us in the past. Over time we become attached to these behaviors because new strategies feel clumsy or awkward – so effort is needed.

Quantum leaps cannot be achieved through incremental steps or through “more of the same.” Sometimes in fact, intensifying efforts produces only bigger problems. Go back to the story of the fly. If the fly radically changed its approach, ten seconds of effortless flying, in a totally different direction would have allowed it to reach its goal.

This is not an argument against self-discipline or persistence, but trying harder produces only incremental gains, not quantum leaps. Ordinarily we achieve conventional growth because that is our intention. Quantum leaps require leaving the status quo. Break out of your rut, second guess your routines. Quantum leaps are elegant solutions that allow you to do more with less. To start the process, Imagine what could be…

Focusing on possibilities rather than limits or obstacles is enabling. Quantum leaps mean violating the boundary of the probable, it means visualizing an idealized outcome from which everyone and everything will benefit. Only false limits can create self-imposed prisons. Act as if success is certain, what is your bold idea, you can make a quantum leap.

Doubts are not the product of accurate thinking, but of habitual thinking. You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there, only where you want to go. Visualize a crystal clear picture of the outcome you seek. Focus on ends rather than means, only then can a path be designed. A quantum leap is something you’ve been keeping from happening, you don’t have to struggle to make it happen, just let it occur. The key is not to get in the way!

If you have the answers and structure first, its not a quantum leap. You must be willing to tolerate ambiguity, confusion, and even chaos while you shape your game plan as you go. For now all you need is an aiming point and action.

“Trying as hard as you can” will fall far short of taking you as far as you are capable of going. You must take advantage of the support systems you can’t see. Paint a vivid picture in your mind for these forces to know precisely what you want. In one way or another, the unseen forces will dazzle you with their impact. Count on it. Focus constantly on a picture of what you want to accomplish, and move toward it confidently, the unseen forces will rally to your support.

Going for a quantum leap feels chancey, if it doesn’t it is not a quantum leap opportunity. Ask yourself about the risk of not going for the quantum leap. The risk is that you won’t get what you really want. You can never escape risk. Don’t kid yourself, “playing it safe” by living with the status quo may be the surest way of losing. As we know, happiness takes work, unhappiness results from doing nothing. Risk believing in yourself. Risk acting on the assumption of a strategy’s possibilities, embrace ambiguity while confidently believing you will succeed. This isn’t a case of taking a big chance, its a matter of giving yourself a big chance.

The simple secret is the seeking. Dreams begin to crystallize into reality when they are pursued. The world behaves differently when you actually take action after what you want. The dreams you have realized in life are those which you have in someway actively sought – and if you think about, is the only way dreams can be realized, they must be pursued. Most people confuse wishing and wanting with pursuing. Pursuit is what makes the difference, it alters the odds immediately and drastically of getting your dream.

Quantum leaps demand a willingness to make mistakes. If you’re experiencing no difficulties, problems, or pain, you probably have aimed too low. Performance lags usually occurs at the very outset,its the pause during which you poise for the jump.

Don’t give up! Problems and failures belong in the process, they are signs of progress. Prepare yourself for a pretty wild ride. The normal reaction is to hold on tightly. To succeed you’re going to have to learn to let go and don’t be surprised if you grow uneasy – see all problems as opportunities to grow. The only way you can control it is by (1) knowing where you’re going, (2) continuing your pursuit, and (3) learning from others, the process, and your mistakes.

Make you uncomfortable? Good. If you’re not experiencing anxiety or discomfort, the risk you’re taking probably isn’t worthy of you. A high comfort level provides solid evidence you’re “playing it safe,” not really testing your limits at all and not in the process of a quantum leap. If you do the thing you fear, death of fear is certain. Courage is not the absence of fear and anxiety, its proceeding in spite of those things.

Winners have more gifts because they have claimed them by taking them out of the wrapping and using them. Passion is very important part of the process. Your emotional intensity must burn hot enough to protect you against the chilling effects of doubt, uncertainty, criticism, and failure. Only deep desire can generate such heat. The power of purpose is profound only if you have a desire that stirs your heart. The inner drive must carry you past the point of wishful thinking. Quantum leaps are an act of love. If you have a magnificent obsession, you are poised for a quantum leap.

Don’t bog down in getting prepared for this. A person could make a career out of laying the groundwork – you don’t prepare for a quantum leap. You make it. “Getting ready” is a stalling tactic because people are scared. Move on your dream…start…and let what happens help develop a coherent game plan. Mobility is the crucial element. You’ll discover, once underway, that you know more than you think you know. Trust your instincts to direct you towards what you need to do to learn and understand.

The opportunity, the timing, the power to perform – these are in you, not in the situation. Now you must listen to yourself – take action and believing in your the purpose of what your doing improves your odds. I look forward to learning about your successes from your pursuit and creation of idealized outcomes from which everyone and everything benefits. If you click on the link below and here you will see a short video about Paneugenesis – an idea about how to generate comprehensive benefits by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

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