I Voted Today & Every Day

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Great Video

I went to the polls today to do early voting. I encourage you to do the same. Actually we vote everyday by what we choose to do and how we choose to act because “Economics is a value system masquerading as mathematics.”

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This saying is a guiding light to me because it reminds me that every time I choose to buy or do something that requires use of my resource, I am voting. These actions demonstrate to others what I value because those choices are my vote on how I use my limited resources. This choice sends the message that more of the same should be provided.

All off our choices send a vote of what we say is important. I try only choose to  spend my resources on what I want more of, not less in the world. Don’t we all want more of what makes us stronger, healthier and more resilient so we can have a better life? I try to keep this in mind with all the choices I make by think of the impact this choice has on the others and the world. Plant based foods for instance are good for me and the planet while animal agriculture has been shown to do damage to personal and planetary health.

As an example, today I voted for candidates that support sustainability and other helpful issues. I also voted for more greenways. After voting day I will continue to vote for the same  by using the Greenways and encouraging others to do the same.

I encourage you to vote today and everyday on what will generate comprehensive improvements because it creates interactions so everyone and everything benefits. The Ivoted sight video site shares a great video that makes this point. I encourage you to watch the short video and vote today and everyday in ways that help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Progress is a Helpful Aim & Focus

Progress is something we all desire and something worth our effort. As described hereprogress is what I call the experience of wellness. There are many reasons related to the value of progress.

  1. Most importantly making progress give us hope and optimism because it is a small achievement.
  2. Generating progress is self-satisfying when we move toward a valued achievement.
  3. Progress benefits us because it means we have accepted and met a Challenge by demonstrating Courage that leads to increased Competency, demonstrates Commitment, improves Connections,  makes a Contribution, and provides Consequences to build upon. To learn more about a way to C these 7C’s see this post.

Progress also relates to benefits Jane McGonigal describes in both Reality is Broken and her new book SuperBetter. As a gamer she explains that progress is necessary in games which are video quests for the player and she extrapolates to life for motivation. She explains that progress creates the secret sauce of hope, optimism and self-efficacy and that these feelings result from completed quests in games. A by-product of progress from well designed quests to complete in games and life is increased competence that can then be used in life to achieve and accomplish more.

As we all know from life, the size of an accomplishment is good but what is more important is the experience of any progress. Research documents that it is the frequency of progress that is more important than its size. To know we have made progress it is best to make goals measurable, Jane McGonigal calls these Quests. She also explains, for us to know if we are making progress, we must have a number attached to what we want to achieve.

Great examples she provides to differentiate good goals from bad goals are these. A good goal is to aim to put away $250 this month for a dream trip rather than just say you will save money. This way there is a number attached to what you say you will do and it will be easy to determine if the goal was achieved. A simple goal is to say you will get 8 hours of sleep each night for a week, easily measurable, rather than say you will get more sleep. A way to know you have made progress in being grateful is to set the goal of sending a thank note to a different friend for 21 days rather than just deciding you will feel more gratitude. For myself I have set the goal to submit 3 articles before the end of the semester rather than say I will work to publish more. Think, what measurable goal will you set yourself up to make progress?

The idea of seeking progress also relates to many other truisms of life. We never know what exactly the future holds so any breakthrough may be huge. In other words, each step forward or progress has the possibility of great possible consequences. Nassim Taleb explains this concept at length in his book, Black Swan, and is also how he created wealth for himself – see this post.

These ideas also relate to a previous presentation I made, Serendipitous Wellness: Can we cause it to happen?. The answer is yes, we can cause wellness to happen, and that was the focus of that presentation. I explain we can cause wellness because as we engage in efforts to create progress we increase our chances for serendipitous breakthroughs. Focusing on and making progress is a way to create luck and is how we can make luck work for us.

I look forward to hearing about the progress you make and the benefits we all enjoy from the serendipitous wellness that results.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

A Problem Focus Creates Mediocrity…Not Greatness

If we want to be better, I mean really better, SUPERBETTER, we must focus on what we want to create instead of what we want to avoid. I discuss this with the paneugenesis process:

1. Operationalize an Idealized Outcome – make sure all involved parties know what is to be created and be sure that it is better than what can be now. The outcome should have pervasive and reciprocal effects that carry meaning and impact to and beyond the individual.

2. Discover Precursors – what must exist now to make the idealized outcome a reality. Discover what skills, abilities, traits, environments are necessary and or must exist to realize the idealized outcome. These precursors are conditions that must be created and not currently present.

3. Optimize the Process – what must be done to create those precursors that will enable the idealized outcome to be realized – go do that now! Do what must be done to create and put in place the necessary precursors discovered.

4. Plot Progress – find measures that document and demonstrate progress is being made toward the creation of discovered precursors and or idealized outcomes. Progress measures that indicate movement is being made toward the creation of the new, desired reality are necessary to give meaning and purpose to the process and to help participants maintain motivation.

I am currently reading SuperBetter: A revolutionary approach to getting stronger, happier, braver, and more resilient by Jane McGonigal and  related TED Presentation. Jane also wrote the great book, Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world and related TED Presentation.

I relate to her approach because she explains in the beginning of the book, she didn’t want to just be better or not bad, she wanted to be SuperBetter and explains how to make this happen with extensive support. I am still reading SuperBetter and got a lot out of Reality is Broken which I presented about several years ago.

Link to Play SuperBetter – Enjoy!

I look forward to hearing how you get not just better, but SuperBetter!

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Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

How Medicine Create’s More Good, Not Just Less Bad

My posts have consistently been focused on how can we create more good, with the recognition that this makes the world better because we can never rid the world of all bad. The other benefit from a focus on creating more good over a focus on less bad is the increased capacity, potential, resilience and ability that enables a person, community or city to overcome something bad when it does happen, which it will. To me our focus has to be on how we can generate or create the precursors that make possible a good outcome.

This idea is shared by Siddhartha Muckherjee in his TED Presentation, “Soon we’ll cure diseases with a cell, not a pill.” Throughout the presentation he explains how medicine must move past the pill to kill a disease paradigm to one where we will grow and create more good from what we have. In many ways this reminds me of Mother Teresa’s comment when she refused to march against the war. She explained she would march FOR peace because what you are FOR is empowering but what you are against is disempowering. To me we need to be FOR MORE GOOD, not against bad.

I encourage you to enjoy D. Muchherjee’s presentation about how medicine can create more good with cell’s. Below his presentation is the short presentation I made, “Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad” to the sustainability committee at my university.

I did this presentation to a sustainability committee to help them focus on the good that can be created, not just the bad avoided.
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Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Valuable Skills of Multipotentialites & Steve Jobs

Did you ever think that you might have been better at something else? Do you have multiple interests? In Emilie Wapnick’s interesting TED Presentation about her many interests she makes a persuasive presentation about the value of having multiple interests. In this presentation, those with multiple interests are called Multipotentialites.

In a very convincing way she points out that being multipotentialite leads to the development of super powers. The specific super powers developed include:

  1. Idea Synthesis – the ability to synthesize multiple concepts and ideas from different areas
  2. Rapid Learning – as noted in previous posts, being able to learn fast is a sign of high intelligence (See here). Rapid learning becomes a super power because of how many times multipotentialites are beginners and endeavor to learn something new. These repeated learning experiences help multipotentialites become rapid learners as repeated exercises become habitual.
  3. Adaptability – ability to morph into what is needed because of the ability to take on different roles as needed for each endeavor. Of course new skills are needed for these roles and this enhances ones capacity and potential.

Interestingly, it is the3 skills developed by multipotentialites that  can help us be successful in the 21st century thus validating pursuing and developing multiple interests and related skills. These skills are valuable because today we need innovators and creative thinkers to make tomorrow better. Being able to use idea synthesis, becoing a rapid learner and being adaptable means we can more quickly generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits (which is the practice of paneugenesis).

I encourage you to watch her TED Presentation:

As I listened to EmilieWapnick’s presentation it kept reminding me of Steve Jobs amazing Stanford Commencement speech. In this speech he shared 3 stories, one was about the ability to connect the dots. He related this to when he went to Reed College and took a calligraphy class because he found it interesting, beautiful and amazing. He then related it to how that then later led to the Mac having multiple fonts and beautiful typography (which Windows and the whole computing world copied) highlighting the value of following his interest and being a multipotentialite.

After all, it was the ability of pulling together multiple interests that made the modern computing world and most advanced living ideas possible. Below is his Stanford presentation. If you have never seen it or even if you have I encourage you to watch it and share the overlap you see or don’t see. I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy.

Today’s Pascal’s Wager, One We Must Make!

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In the 1660’s mathematician Blaise Pascal created a logic puzzle about a wager related to the question of whether or not to believe in God. He used it as a logic exercise because there is no reason or science that can provide a definitive answer. Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly media, described Pascal’s original Wager in John Brockton’s book, “This Explains Everything: Deep Beautiful and Elegant Theories of How the World Works”, in this way:

You must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then?…You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances.  If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation that He is.

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It should be understood that Pascal’s argument for faith rested on self-interest. In describing the wager, it was explained that today’s wager we must make or face dire consequences relates to climate change. It also needs to be understood that in reality we have caused climate destabilization, not just warming. The warming triggers a devastating cascade of issues related to survival of humans.

Climate Change, unlike with God’s existence, does provide some reason and science which to many if not most scientists provides a definitive answer. As outlined, the author explains that if we wager that climate change is real we will then:

  1. Develop renewable energy sources
  2. Create an industry and jobs to support and supply clean energy
  3. Direct tax dollars from highways/car to support of clean public transportation
  4. etc…

RESULT: More robust economy!

These actions would also increase national security by lessening our reliance on hostile nations for oil. Also as described by Patrick Kennedy, (see here and here for presentations) a move to clean energy would democratize energy because it would mean we all could all have power, roof solar panels, and then people would not be reliant on energy companies. If people provide their own power this would extinguish much of the influence power companies now exert and have.

Making the wager that climate change is happening, despite some debatable proof, means we will be practicing paneugenesis. To practice paneugenesis means we will be moved to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. What is the downside to not making this wager? We must remember, certainty about the consequences of Climate Change will only come after all the bets are called in.

Of course thinking about this from the other perspective, what are the benefits of not believing in climate change? Not believing would move us to take actions to protect and maintain the status quo. While this can be done, what happens if we are wrong? Pascal’s wager rests on self-interest.

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

Alice Bows-Larkin, in her TED Presentation, “Climate Changes is happening. Here’s how we adapt,” makes a case for why this is a wager we have to make now, and we cannot wait.

Logic and facts suggest it is a Wager we Cannot Afford to Not Make. To support making this wager, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland  (1990-1997),  provides a great  supporting perspective. In her TED Presentation, “Why Climate Change is a Threat to Human Rights”, she talks about these issues based on her experiences as a leader. I encourage you to watch:

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