Exciting: Cheerleading Worlds Finals & AJHP Conference

I have an exciting week. Today – Monday, I get to watch my daughters Cheerleading team compete for the World Title after 2 days of preliminaries.

Tuesday – Friday I present and attend The Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference: What is the Purpose of Health Promotion. I present, Health Promotion is the Purpose: Money & More Follow  Thursday 3:15-4:20 and Friday 1:45-2:50.

I look forward to learning a lot and seeing you there. Please stop by and say Hi!
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Urban Farmer Puts Selfish, Selfless, Synergy in Action

This “Gangsta Gardener” TED Talk by Ron Finley shows how  to redesign reality by putting Selfish, Selfless, Synergy in action. Ron Finley, for selfish reasons, started growing his own food so he could nourish himself. He was Selfless by making this healthy food free and on the street so more would eat healthy food because Drive-Thru’s were killing more in his neighborhoods than drive by’s.

This idea is synergistic because they are working to turn 26 square miles, or the equivalent of 20 Central Parks, of vacant lots in Los Angeles into gardens and Farmers Markets to supply good food to many. He describes how planting food is like printing money because these lots provide enough area to grow 724,838,400 Tomato Plants.

AMAZING! Ron Finley shows us how he is generating comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits by using Selfish, Selfless, Synergy! I hope you are as inspired as I was by this TED Talk, Enjoy!

Wellness is the “Opposite of Loneliness”

I was moved by Marina Keegan’s amazing final essay at Yale. Tragically she was killed in a car crash a week after graduating, she was 22. She created the essay below for a special edition of the Yale Daily News edition that was distributed at the class of 2012’s commencement.

I inspired because I realized this is what our world should be and what we all want. It is like how I feel when I attend the National Wellness Conference every year. This means making the world a place where we become the best versions of ourselves.

As she shares, it is not about just being comfortable but about progress, as shared in a previous essay, Is Wellness Progress?  My push is that we all need to enlarge our circle include all living things in creating progress so we generate improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Enjoy…

Marina’s essay

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We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.

Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.

This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse — I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.

But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”

Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.

But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.

We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.

When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.

For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…

What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.

In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.

We’re in this together. Let’s make something happen to this world.

Hard to say it better than that. Lets work together for progress by generating comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

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Making a Symphony with Selfish, Selfless, Synergy

We are more similar than different. We are all traveling on spaceship earth together. Doesn’t it make sense for all to contribute toward making it the best trip it can be? Whatever we choose, we will come to realize that we are all connected and we influence one another.

Jonathan Haidt, who wrote The Happiness Hypothesis and others does research related to the concept of Elevation. This concept suggests that by engaging in acts that make us feel good, these same acts effect and inspire others to also do good.

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Pride is an enjoyable positive emotion that results by accomplishing cooperative acts. The video below inspires me to help others by working to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Enjoy this example of Selfish, Selfless, Synergy or the practice of paneugenesis.

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Connectivity Clarifies Perceived Contradictions

A powerful hidden message  demonstrates connections in this Nutrition Fact video that reveals connections and perceived contradictions. While it provides a possible reason white rice has been wrongly implicated for a rise in diabetes, to me it has a more important latent or hidden message.

To me the most important fact we must understand is that everything is connected. Quality management guru W. Edwards Deming accounted for this in his Profound Knowledge with Systems Appreciation (also discussed here), Libertarian Paternalism accounts for it in the book Nudge by explaining how certain factors affect our actions and how those actions impact society, and Colin Campbell explained it in detail in his book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (discussed here). Stewart Brand explains this concept in detail in his book, Whole Earth Discipline (discussed here).This Nutrition Facts video demonstrates how as we change one thing, everything else adapts, often in  unanticipated ways if we do not think about actions from a systems perspective.

It is for this reason I promote actions to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions that benefit everyone and everything. These actions are Selfish, Selfless, and Synergistic which is the practice of paneugenesis. Paneugenesis, or creating all good, generates comprehensive benefits because comprehensive means using systems thinking to create pervasive effects and benefits are proactively generated improvements that are better than what could be now, even if work harder. These concepts are explained more in my Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant Post.

I look forward to a better world from our actions that generate comprehensive improvements from interactions that benefit everyone and everything. This happens when actions start from a systems perspective with an aim to generate comprehensive benefits.

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