It’s Your Health, You Decide

Most of us give over the decisions about our health to someone else. Decisions about what we should eat, what exercise we should do, and how we should respond to getting sick. Essentially, what to put in our bodies, how to move our bodies, and how to fix our bodies when they are not working right. It is a lot to understand, and there are experts who have studied all of this, so we should just do what they say. Right?

Maybe. Partially. As famed physician and author Atul Gawande asks in his book Being Mortal, why are we asking technicians to decide moral questions for us? While they are very highly trained technicians, medical professionals can help us get to the state we want for our bodies, but that requires that somebody decide what that desired state is, and Dr. Gawande suggests that we are the ones to decide that for ourselves.

What are we supposed to decide for ourselves and where might we depend on experts? Easy. If we understand that we are assessing 4 different things. 3 of these are ours to decide, for ourselves. Experts can help guide us with 1 of them. We need to know (1) our actual state, how we are actually doing, (2) our desired state, what we want our health to look like, (3) the gap–the difference–between the actual and desired states, and (4) what to do to close the gap. We have to understand our actual health, in comparison with the health we actually want for ourselves, and what we can do to move towards the health we choose.

There are infinite suggestions about the life you should lead. Most of us don’t follow most of these suggestions. Someone out there tells us not to, but some people like to eat meat or carbs, walk on busy streets or late at night, eat from street vendors or in local dives, smoke, complain, jump out of airplanes and off of cliffs, swim with sharks, drink sweet soda drinks or alcohol, or sit on the couch all day. These are all things that some expert says is bad for us. And, lots of us like to do some of these things. That might be what leads to a life well lived. The problem then might not be what we choose to do or how we choose to live our lives, rather in what we do about what happens along the way.

To know what to do, to maintain our health or strengthen it, we need to know the standard of health we want, where we are right now, and what we can do to close the gap between the two. Information from technology and experts can support us in understanding what our desired state of health looks like and how to measure it (e.g., pulse rate, muscle strength, clean thoughts, no headaches), how to assess our current level of health with similar measures, and what we can do to alter our current state. If you want to be able to have stronger legs, these different forms of exercise might work for you, depending on what you like to do. Swimming, walking, lifting weights, squats. Here are the measures, the possible actions, and now you can assess and decide. It’s your choice–what you want, where you are, and what you can do to get where you want. If this is what you want to do (see the long list above), these are the consequences that you live with, and what you can do to ameliorate the impacts.

To be able to make this shift in mindset, from leaving it to others to decide to deciding for yourself, it is helpful to clarify how you think about your health. To you, what is your “original state” and what is “normal”? Let’s look at this question for your physical health and then your mental and social health.

YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH

There exist 2 very different perspectives on your physical health. Where you start from will greatly determine what you do and what you achieve. One perspective is that you start with your “original state.” The other perspective is that you start from a “normal state.”

Your original state. The body you were given is a miracle. While it has been studied forever, we still have very little understanding of how it does what it does. It is born, with you in it. It grows. For half of us, it makes babies and milk for babies. For the other half, it makes seeds for babies. It grows older. It grows stronger. It fights diseases and fixes wounds. It dies. That’s a lot. In your original state, you have a very high functioning physical state, doing a huge amount in every single instant, over a whole lifetime, and this is normal. Lower than this is pathological. For some reason, in this whole universe of infinite energy, we exist as Homo lumens, as natural beings. Our body is created, grows, strengthens, and procreates, without our conscious awareness or design. And, our awareness and design influence what we do with this energy-flowing structure-energy-field we are given. It is a very complex system that is made to work at a high level of performance (efficiency and effectiveness, leveraging small inputs into sustainable, resilient outputs for all systems, in all parts of the body, at all times). This is our given state, a state that our lack of understanding and awareness “normally” degrades. This is our “original state.”

Your normal state. From a “normal state” view of the world, we look at what is normal for people, what the standard distribution of people do. From this perspective, low levels of health are fine. Higher is nicer. We expect people to be in poor health, because that is what we find, normally. We make conscious choices and accept unconscious conditions that work against our body instead of with it. Just think of the obesity epidemic, chronic disease years-of-life lost, and the high levels of malnutrition we accept around the globe. With a world of water and plants, we allow vast amounts of people to die from dehydration and malnutrition. With easily-scalable high technology, we allow many people to die early from easily avoidable conditions (dirty air, dirty water, contaminated food, communicable disease). After all, this low state of health is what we see in lots of people, so it is “normal.” Better than normal is nice. This is our “normal state.”

YOUR MENTAL, SOCIAL HEALTH

We see the same for your mental and social health. The World Health Organization suggests that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. As with our physical health, the same two perspectives apply to our mental and social health—and “original state“ and a “normal state“ view. Which do you choose? Your original, given state or what is normal amongst others? Your “original,” given state of intense creativity, passion, and will to engage in creating a future to which you give your love, in your own, unique ways, every day? Or your “normal state” of being disengaged and apathetic about what actually happens?

You decide and you assess. Here are a few quick, easy tools for measuring your own state of health, using instruments my colleagues and I have developed and tested over the past two decades in over 125 countries. All of these well-tested, validated measures are available for free online—I provide the link to them. You can use them as you wish for yourself. If you would like help in understanding or applying these tools to your own health, feel free to contact me.

The “You Choose” Plan.

  1. You choose your standard of physical, mental, and social health
  2. You asses your actual levels
  3. You determine the gap
  4. You choose the actions to take

Experts and expert tools can help you assess these, and they can help you setup a continuous monitoring scorecard system, to bring you greater resilience for when things happen. It is a choice. Your choice.

It’s Perfect. Whose Perfection?

Your perfection. It turns out that when each of us says something is perfect, we might mean completely different things.

Perfect. From the Latin perfectus “completed, excellent, accomplished, exquisite,” from per “completely” + combining form of facere “to make, to do.” To make complete. Complete what? That depends on how you define the “what” that you are completing.

From an ecosynomic perspective, we observe three levels of perceived reality (nouns, verbs, possibility). Depending on the levels of perceived reality you are working with, you will define perfection differently.

  • Noun-only Reality. When you consider only the observable facts right in front of you right now–the nouns you have–perfection means that what is already known and already here is complete. You know what completeness looks like, because it is given to you in the book. Whatever book contains the received wisdom you prefer. You can assess, from that received wisdom, the current state of something, whether it is complete or not, whether it is perfect or not. If it is, you are right.
  • Verb-and-noun Reality. When you consider what is observable right now, as well as the ebb and flow of inputs and outputs over time, perfection is measured against the standard of the living nature of the thing, of the stability of the net dynamics of its state over time. You set this standard based on what you have learned from received wisdom, as well as from what is happening in the context you are in right now. If it is on the right course, you are correct.
  • Possibility-and-verb-and-noun Reality. When you consider what is observable right now, the ebb and flow, and the potential you can access, your standard for perfection is in your capacity to close the gap between your actual state and the state that you are here to see realized, the desired level that aligns your efforts with your deeper purpose. You set this standard based on received wisdom and what you are learning and in the potential you can see, accessing all of the creativity you can perceive. If it is aligning with purpose, you are in service.

Perfection. Making complete. It all depends on the standard you are perfecting towards. It all depends on how you define your reality. On the dimensions of reality you choose to include. Perfect.

What Is Tangible?

We usually say that some things are tangible, and others are intangible. This means that some are touchable, and others are not touchable. Literally, we can perceive them through our senses, or we cannot. Maybe that is not so useful.

Maybe it is more useful to think of two kinds of tangible—outerTangible (oT) and innerTangible (iT). Things that we sense through our outward-oriented senses are outerTangible. Things that we sense through our inward-oriented senses are innerTangible. My biological senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing gather information about what is happening in the biophysical realms of reality. My body takes that information and transforms it into a form my body can use to do something. That is the outerTangible world.

My body also processes a lot of information that my body is perceiving about my inner state. How am I feeling about my physical state? What do I think and feel about the thoughts, feelings, and intentions I am experiencing? How do I want to respond to the affect I am experiencing from another person, independent or consonant with their words and actions? Do I love this possibility, hate it, or am I indifferent to it? Do I find this scenery to be beautiful? All of these perception signals are also real and quite touchable. I can literally feel them. They are innerTangibles. My body takes that information and transforms it into a form my body can use to do something.

Both the outerTangible and the innerTangible affect me. They are real stimuli to which I respond. Thinking of them as tangible or intangible leads me to think that one is more real than the other, which does not help much. Some of the things that most impact my life and the decisions I make are things like love, hope, and trust. InnerTangibles. Just as real as the outerTangibles. Both critical to perceiving what is happening in my life.

Ecologies of Sacred Hospitality – Massively-Leveraged, Scalable Impact

Braden, G. (2007). The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief. New York, Hay House.

Chopra, D. (2019). Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential. New York, Harmony Books.

Clouse, C. (2016). Making It Home: Finding Your Power and Purpose. Bloomington, AuthorHouse.

Dispenza, J. (2017). Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon. New York, Hay House.

Downes, K. (2000). Sacred Spaces: Restoring Harmony. Melbourne, Lifetime Publications.

McTaggart, L. (2008). The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. New York, Harper.

Are very high-performing individuals and groups supernatural or normal?  Are they doing what very few of us can do or not doing what most of us do?  The authors of the books listed above describe a way of understanding our common experience about what our reality looks like.  What’s new isn’t their description of our experience, rather what they describe of what we can see once we acknowledge this experience.  They begin to integrate into one experience many different aspects of our experience.

An Ecology of Nature. What is nature, how are we part of it, and how do we relate to it? In The Divine Matrix, Gregg Braden brings in physics to show that our daily experience might be a “Projection of things happening in another realm that we cannot observe..from a higher vantage point” (p.xii).   He reminds us of Nobel laureate Max Planck’s 1944 observation, “There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together” (p56). In The Field, Lynne McTaggart brings together a wide variety of rigorous disciplines robustly describing the energetic field that manifests reality, whether we experience this as matter or as energy. Bringing in research by the biophysicist Popp, “all living things—from the most basic of plants or animals, to human beings in all their sophisticated complexity—emitted a permanent current of photons, from only a few to hundreds” (p49). Literally beings of light. The universe of mass is a universe of of energy, of light, of an energy field. In Sacred Spaces, Karen Downes gives daily practices that help us remember this relationship we have with and as nature.  We can set up the conditions to support our continuous remembering of this.

An Ecology of Consciousness.  What is a human, what is our potential, and how do we participate in our humanness? In Metahuman, Deepak Chopra interweaves cosmology and medicine to explore the greater potential of what humans are.  “There are ways in which outer reality is much more malleable through consciousness than anyone supposes. Since consciousness is the foundation of reality, we shouldn’t set down any absolute limits… in the inner domain of consciousness, the possibilities for new thoughts, insights, and discoveries is already unlimited…infinite possibilities are part of our makeup.  But something inside us resists believing in infinity as a human quality. Edited reality feels more comfortable” (p77).  “To take advantage of infinite potential, you must accept that reality is open-ended, capable of taking subtle, invisible impulses and turning them into mind and matter” (p79).  In Becoming Supernatural, Joe Dispenza shows us that everybody is nature and above nature, natural and supernatural.  Everyone, by definition.  We are energy, “all energy is frequency and all frequency carries information…The only way we can change our lives is to change our energy–to change the electromagnetic field we are constantly broadcasting” (p 34).  When looking at the full spectrum of electromagnetic frequencies, “The majority of frequencies are beyond our perception, and therefore most of our non-reality in this universe cannot be experienced by our senses. So aside from our ability to perceive light being absorbed or reflected off objects and things, the truth is that we are able to perceive only a very small spectrum of reality. There’s a lot of other information available to us besides what we can see with our physical eyes” (p86). In Making It Home, Chris Clouse brings practices to strengthen our ability to work with our different nerve-ganglia-brains throughout the human body as a geometry of energy wave patterns that we call awareness.

An Ecology of Consciousness and Nature.  Putting these two together, what are we, as simultaneously nature and consciousness?  Our research explores what an ecology of nature might look like, what you see as your basic nature, and how that combines with an ecology of consciousness. Basically, we are energy. All of it. And, the energy field that is each one of us exists within a field of energy. Understanding this gives us access to great amounts of power. Not understanding this blocks much of the energy already available for us, both as individuals and as groups. Accessing it is a matter of understanding it and working with it, a gift these authors give us.

Talent Management or Talent Witnessing?

What do you observe? Do people have talent because an organization gave it to them? Or, do people have talent, and they develop it? Talent is defined in the OED as a natural ability. It comes from PIE *tele– “to lift, support, weigh. It might derive from the value you bring, the wealth you have in what you can contribute.

If talent is a natural ability, is talent something for an organization to manage, to control, or is talent something to invite and witness? Do only a few, special people have talent, or is talent something that everyone has? In an interview with Claudia Tate, Maya Angelou observed:

I believe talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it. Electricity makes no judgment. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it. Electricity will do all that. It makes no judgment. I think talent is like that. I believe every person is born with talent.

Tate, C. (1985). Black Women Writers at Work. England, Oldcastle Books, p.7.

In our ecosynomic research, in 125 countries over the past 16 years, we find many descriptions of people with a very wide variety of talents, unique gifts they have developed. The highest performing groups we have found, large to small, are clear on the purpose they are serving and how to invite and deeply engage the many talents they need to achieve that purpose, in a collaborative way.

In many languages, people around the world describe the experience of these talents in terms of brilliance, of shining examples. Expressions of a person’s inner light, shining out. The term Homo lumens has emerged from this observation to describe a being of light, expressing itself through talents.

If everyone has innate talents, and everyone’s efforts need multiple talents of different types, maybe the task is to find out how to discover the treasures everyone has. That probably starts with asking and listening, with authentic curiosity and respect–the key that unlocks the code of the talent map, showing you where the treasures are. The treasures you seek, and maybe already have in front of you. Just ask.

What Work You Agree to Do: Recommended Reading

Suzman, J. (2021). Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots. New York, Penguin Press.

You can hear a sample from the book (here).

Why do you work? Who are you working for? What, even, is work? In the book Work, anthropologist James Suzman takes us through a deep history, back to the early days as hunter-gatherers, looking at how what we consider to be work has shaped what we think it is today and how that determines, in great part, what we agree to do. Maybe it is all a choice. A choice that different peoples across the globe make differently, based on different assumptions that evolved from different circumstances.

The work we do also defines who we are; determines our future prospects; dictates where and with whom we spend most of our time; mediates our sense of self-worth; molds many of our values; and orients our political loyalties.

Work, p2

From an ecosynomic perspective, Suzman’s simple observation, from scanning anthropology’s observations of thousands of groups over the history of humanity, includes the 4 big questions of how much resource we have (the economic lens), who decides and enforces the allocation of resources (the political lens), the criteria used to decide what is valued (the cultural lens), and the rules of the game of how we interact (the social lens). How we understand what work is and what we agree to with work influences all of that. That seems like a significant choice: one we seldom are aware we are making.

One of the key factors in determining what we seem to accept in the definition of our work, through these 4 lenses (economic, political, cultural, social), is the underlying economic assumption of scarcity. Suzman points out that, according to the economist Keynes, the most pressing problem of the human race is the economic problem of scarcity–“there are simply not enough resources to satisfy everybody’s wants, everything is scarce” (p4).

But the problem of scarcity offers a bleak assessment of our species. It insists that evolution has molded us into selfish creatures, cursed to be forever burdened by desires that we can never satisfy.

Work, p5

While mainstream thinking suggests this scarcity-based view is the only one, Suzman observes that anthropologoical studies now show that “hunter-gatherers had few material desires, which could be satisfied with a few hours of effort. Their economic life was organized around the presumption of abundance rather than a preoccupation with scarcity. And this being so, there is good reason to believe that because our ancestors hunted and gathered for well over 95 percent of Homo sapiens’ 300,000-year-old history, the assumptions of human nature in the problem of scarcity and our attitudes of work have their roots in farming. Acknowledging that for most of human history our ancestors were not as preoccupied with scarcity as we are now reminds us that there is far more to work than our efforts to solve the economic problem” (pp6-7).

When economists define work as the time and effort we spend meeting our needs and wants, they dodge two obvious problems. The first is that often the only thing that differentiates work from leisure is context and whether we are being paid to do something or are paying to do it [for example, painting, gardening, writing]…The second problem is that beyond the energy we expend to secure our most basic needs–food, water, air, warmth, companionship, and safety–there is very little that is universal about what constitutes a necessity.

Work, p7

Suzman then defines work, “the closest thing to a universal definition of ‘work’–one that hunter-gatherers, pinstriped derivatives traders, calloused subsistence farmers, and anyone else would agree on–is that it involves purposefully expending energy or effort on a task to achieve a goal or end” (p8). This gets us to the choice of who is engaging your will, your purposeful energy, towards what purpose.

To understand how we got here, Suzman then takes us on the long journey of two pathways. “When it comes to charting the history of our relationship with work, there are two intersecting pathways that are the most obvious to follow. The first maps the story of our relationship with energy. At its most fundamental, work is always an energy transaction and the capacity to do certain kinds of work is what distinguishes living organisms from dead, inanimate matter. For only living things actively seek out and capture energy specifically to live, to grow, and to reproduce…The second pathway follows the human evolutionary and cultural journey… The journey down this pathway reveals how, as our ancestors developed the capacity to master many new different skills, our remarkable purposefulness was honed to the point that we re now capable of finding meaning, joy, and deep satisfaction in activities like building pyramids, digging holes, and doodling…But it is the points where these two pathways converge that are most important in terms of making sense of our contemporary relationships with work” (pp9-10). Suzman identifies four such convergences: when humans mastered fire; started storing food and farming; gathered in cities; and industrialized work in factories and mills.

In trying “to describe, measure, and compare accurately the capabilities of things like water wheels, cart horses, steam engines, and human beings” (p26), Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis coined the term “work,” and developed equations to describe it, basically as the transfer of energy. This solved the hard problem of being able to characterize and compare different forms of transferring energy, whether people, horses, or machines. This form of work is measured in joules or calories. And we see another form of energy, in our minds. The mind uses a different form of energy, according to George Armitage Miller. “‘Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy [free energy].., so the mind survives by ingesting information…(It) is now clear that all living things, from prokaryotes to plants, are informavores…Much of the energy captured by complex organisms with brains and nervous systems is used to filter, process, and respond to information acquired through their senses…With our super-plastic neocortices and well-organized senses, Homo sapiens are the gluttons of the informavore world…Our brains only constitute 2 percent of our total body weight but they consume around 20 percent of our energy resources…for most other mammals it is between 5 and 10 percent” (pp87-88, 104).

As you can tell, from the extensive quoting from this book, I found this to be a fascinating look at why we see work the way we do, how there are currently on the planet many different, evolved forms of how people see work, and this gives us the chance to choose how we engage with work. There is not one right answer for everyone. That would be a law of physics. Suzman shows anthropologically that there are many different answers, depending on your context, and what you choose to include in your context. Your choice.

Are We A System Or A Network? A Hat Tip to Russell Ackoff, Again

Almost everything these days is a network (5B Google hits). Or a system (10B Google hits). Are systems and networks the same thing? Are they very different?

A very brief side trip into definitions and etymology might answer this for us, definitively. Network is defined by OED as “a group or system of interconnected people or things.” Network comes from the Proto-Germanic *natjo, perhaps originally “something knotted,” from PIE root *ned– “to bind, tie” and *werka– “work,” from PIE *werg– “to do.” So, from the Proto-Germanic for bound-together work or interconnected people or things. System is defined by OED as “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole.”  System comes from the Greek systema “organized whole, a whole compounded of parts,” from syn– “together,” from PIE root *sta– “to stand, make or be firm.” So, from the Greek for interconnected parts. OED seems to partially define a network as a system and a network as a system. So, the definitions and etymology do not seem to clarify much.

Then, there is Russell Ackoff. For me it is always worth it to go back to Russell Ackoff, especially for clarity around seemingly complex themes. In his 2010 book Differences That Make a Difference: An Annotated Glossary of Distinctions Important in Management, Ackoff distinguishes networks from systems, clarifying their distinct power and purpose.

A system is a whole that is defined by its function in a larger system of which it is a part. (An automobile, for example, is defined for its role in the transportation system: a university by its role in the educational system.) It has at least two essential parts–parts without which it could not perform its defining function. For example, an automobile cannot function without a motor, fuel, pump, or battery. A person cannot function without a brain, lungs, and a heart. The essential parts have five essential characteristics: (1) Each can affect the behavior or properties of the whole; (2) The way an essential part affects the whole depends on what at least one other part is doing. The effects of the parts are interdependent; (3) Every two essential parts are connected, directly or indirectly; (4) Subsets of essential parts (subsystems) also can affect the properties or behavior of the whole, and the way they affect the whole depends on at least one other subsystem; (5) There is a direct or indirect connection between every pair of subsystems. It follows that a system is a whole that cannot be divided into independent parts. Its properties and behavior derive from the interactions of its parts, not their actions considered separately.

A network is a whole whose function is to enable communication between its parts. In a well-designed network, there is a connection between every possible pair of parts. But in a network, unlike a system, there are no essential parts. If any part is removed, there are alternative ways to connect the parts affected.

The parts of a system many form a network, but not every network is a system. The so-called “telephone system” is not a system but a network. It has no essential parts. However, a telephone company is a system. If a collection of parts is neither a system nor a network, it is an aggregation, like a crowd or inventory of parts. For example, consider the wired telephone network. If the connection between Philadelphia and New York is broken, one can still reach New York from Philadelphia by going through any number of cities: for example, Trenton, New Brunswick, and Newark. But, if an essential part of a system–for example, the motor from an automobile–is broken the automobile cannot perform its function.

Ackoff, R. L. (2010). Differences That Make a Difference: An Annotated Glossary of Distinctions Important in Management. Devon, UK, Triarchy Press, pp. 119-120.

Thank you, once again, Russell Ackoff for this clarity. A system is a set of interrelated parts, where the contribution of each is essential to the purpose and behavior of the whole. A network is a set of interrelated parts, providing robust communication among its parts. An aggregation is a pile of parts. Clear. So, are you a system, a network, or an aggregation?

Living Everyday from Abundance, for Everyone Everywhere, in Our Neighborhood: Recommended Reading

Mather, M. (2018). Having Nothing, Possessing Everything: Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Is living in abundance-based agreements only for the rich and the educated, a luxury? Or is it a way of living available to all human beings who choose to say Yes! to human creativity, to seeing and supporting each other, to a healthy, vibrant community?

In Having Nothing, Possessing Everything, the Rev. Michael Mather describes the experience of his community, at the time in Indianapolis, and how they found the abundance in their community. He describes the individuals who brought this awareness to him. How he said Yes! to their gift, their unique contribution in their way of seeing abundance in the eyes of their neighbors, one at a time. The journey of how the community evolved to embrace more and more of these gifts, in a place many would have described as economically poor, where many would not expect to find abundance in their agreements.

Like the work of other community-based groups who find the strengths, the assets, the gifts residing everywhere in their community, in each human being, in each relationship, in each interaction, they began to learn to see the gifts, and how to say Yes! to them. In the world of complementary currencies, they call this matching unmet needs with underutilized resources. Seeing what is actually there, in great wealth, and where it could express. This book is full of practical examples of how they saw who wanted to share their mastery in cooking, in mechanics, in caretaking, in gardening, in event hosting. These are all activities they were paying for, outside of their community. They were able to see how to bring these within their community, often with far greater quality.

I highly recommend this very personal story of a leader and a community, who stepped into saying Yes! to the choices they faced, to the abundance-based agreements residing right there in their own community.

Our Mental Health and Wellbeing: Recommended Readings

How do we choose in vast swaths of uncertainty? Insights into how to choose your agreements, in any moment, for the now and for future, by our colleague Fred KrawchukNavigating Uncertainty with Strength, Focus and Agility

What are we learning about mental health, wellbeing and happiness? Here are some notes from our colleagues doing this work every day.

Mental Health for Teens — Learn about a “systems of caring” approach to teen mental health and well-being from our colleagues at the Well Being Trust, shared by Tyler Norris, Chief Executive, Well Being TrustIt’s Time To Invest In Better Health and Well-Being for Teens

Thriving Together — Our colleagues at the Well Being Trust share their findings for “Thriving Together,” as a path forward for what comes now and next. How to co-generate a more equitable recovery for all of us, as the United States — Well Being Trust Releases Thriving Together: A Springboard for Equitable Recovery and Resilience in Communities Across America

Flourishing Leaders — My colleagues Matt Lee, from Harvard’s Human Flourishing program, with Ed Brooks, Emmie Bidston and Katy Granville-Chapman cohost the eCourse Leading and Flourishing in Difficult Times with the Oxford Character Project, bringing the #ecosynomics of #abundance#sacredhospitality, and #cohosting to leadership in difficult times. I just completed the course myself–it is filled with insights, exercises, empowering interviews, useful resources. I highly recommend it to leaders who say Yes! to choice, Yes! to a future they love.

Human Flourishing — My colleague Tyler VanderWeele shares insights from research on the positive effects of volunteering on human flourishing — Volunteering and Human Flourishing

Global Happiness Movement — Our colleagues at the WOHASU Foundation hosted Richard Layard, co-editor of the UN’s World Happiness Report and LSE economist, sharing his observations on the status of the Global Happiness Movement — Status of the Global Happiness Movement featuring Richard Layard & hosted by Karen Guggenheim

We’ve Been to the Moon, Now It’s Time for an Earthshot

We have gone to the moon: now we need to take care of our earth.  This is where we live, and this is what we are made of, earth and its life forces, our biology. An earthshot is to say YES! to a future we love, here on this earth, amongst all of us that inhabit it.

The prophet of abundance-based technology and bold steps towards a far-better world, Peter Diamandis, invites us to take on a “moonshot mindset,” invoking the power of John F. Kennedy’s 1962 moon speech. Again, we need to do it, we have not done it yet, and we can. This “means applying 10X thinking (or 1,000%) to all of your efforts and challenges.” As Kennedy saw, you have the resources, you have the knowledge, you have the will, and you have the need, the love for that future. Now you need to put it all together, probably in new ways.

My colleagues and I have found that many “positive deviants” have already figured out part of the “how,” how to put it all together, and these positive deviants are everywhere, across the planet, even in your own backyard. We are now putting these pieces together into an abundance-based approach, based on the emerging science of abundanceecosynomics.

The herenow we face requires an earthshot—we need to do it, we have not done it yet, and we can, together, each bringing our best contributions.