Tag Archive: personal growth


Air Force veteran Tim Goodrich understands better than almost anyone else the perils of a policy of endless wars to secure precious resources. After his three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s come home to a new start and a new perspective on how to achieve the oft discussed “National Security”.

He loves his new Nissan Leaf, the latest electric vehicle to hit the consumer market and the first one to be widely available since the oil and auto makers vanquished the very promising EV1 back in the late ’90’s, not just because his days of $100 tanks of gas are over, but because electric vehicles and any other path toward decreasing our dependence on oil make us safer globally and environmentally.

Goodrich says the military is even looking into using electric vehicles in combat since they have lower heat signatures making them harder to track, and they are obviously not an explosion risk since there is no combustion taking place.

As for common complaints about the 100 mile range and availability of charging stations, Goodrich has an app for that.

Ninety percent of Americans drive less than 100 miles a day, and to me it just means doing a bit more planning before I set out. I was recently concerned about the amount of driving I had to do, so I consulted the map on my Leaf iPhone app and found a station right near the UCS campus. When I pulled up there, they were just dedicating the station, and I became the first customer.

From a soldier on the field of battle to a soldier for a sustainable future, it looks like Tim Goodrich won’t be giving up the fight any time soon.

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A phoenix from the ashes.

Habits

This interesting article by Johnathan Rowson at the RSA caught my eye. Those of us who are awake in the world are often frustrated when we encounter people who aren’t and desperately search for ways to influence the behavior and choices of those who seem to be oblivious to their effect on the world. Understanding a little bit more about behavior in the macro sense, as well as perfecting our ability to master our own behavior are important first steps in the crusade to inspire better choices and behaviors in others.

Our actions define our character. Habits make up a large part of our actions. From the obvious physical ones we do all day (breathing) to the judgements, reactions, and other mental positions we rarely examine but are heavily invested in, our habits can be beneficial or destructive. Being vigilant about the habits you form and the ones you shake is a great way to become more mindful in your life. As Rowsen points out:

Habits are important because they define who we are, but also because they can be changed. You breathe automatically, you see automatically, but you think, decide and act habitually. Confucius captures the point nicely when he says:  ’Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.’ But habits are acquired and conditioned behaviours rather than strictly automatic. They are second nature rather than first, and therefore amenable to the influence of deliberation and reflection.

To bring changes to our behaviors, our perspectives, our lives and our world, sometimes the path is deceptively simple. Just start small. Shake up your routine in easy and non-threatening areas. Rituals can be comforting and even productive, but they can also discourage growth and evolution. Take a different path to work, drink out of a different cup, sit in a different chair, or go so far as to brush your teeth with the other hand.

These little blips on your comfort radar can help wake your senses and shake the auto-pilot coma we call living.

No matter how much knowledge, reflection, and deliberation you bring to bare, you need behavior to change behavior.  Thought alone will rarely change a habit, because willpower is scarce and depletable, and rarely sufficient to turn the thought into action on an ongoing basis.

Dwelling on breaking the bad habits can be a drag and put you off the whole exercise. In the Net Positive spirit, we need to focus as much (if not more) attention on creating the habits we’d like to have. Rowsen suggests that there is a threshold of 66 days to form a new habit. Which means a behavior that is automatic and no longer needs to be consciously chosen, in short it’s a part of your character. This article he sites from Psyblog is an expansion on the concept of time frames for behavior modification.

For laughs. And a reminder to be thankful it’s not the ’50’s!


An incredible analysis of the macro issues in human behavior and influences can be found in a new documentary called Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. It’s a far-reaching documentary that covers so many of the topics critical to a Net Positive awareness and deserves to be watched in its entirety (despite the epic length of 2h40). The first hour or so focuses exclusively on human behavior and presents a comprehensive analysis delivered by compelling experts. If you’re at all interested in why we are the way we are, view this as the foundation to your quest.

Severn Suzuki stunned the Climate Summit in Rio de Janeiro almost 20 years ago with her candor, her clarity and her determination to show the adults around her how to stand up for the future. Today, still an activist on behalf of the planet and the future, she marvels that this same speech could be spoken by any child today.

Here’s Severn today, hoping that people realize their own power for change before it’s too late.

photo: earthy finds - eco blog

The Economics of Happiness

A new documentary called The Economics of Happiness connects the dots between our consumer culture, environmental degradation and diminishing levels of satisfaction in life. There’s no mainstream release yet, but the film is following a unique kind of self distribution with screenings popping up all over the country. Here’s a trailer and a longer clip to whet your appetite. The film carries a timely message, the importance of localization to build genuine happiness, stability and sustainability, delivered by a luminous ensemble of visionaries. If you like what you see, help the film make an impact by setting up a screening in your area. I’m sure no group is too small and it’s a great excuse to gather friends!

If you really want to be inspired: Bhutan. A tiny Himalayan kingdom, closed to visitors until the ’70’s, where the king first declared that the national priority would be Gross National Happiness and then abdicated his power to make Bhutan the world’s newest democracy.

Looks like industrialized nations might be getting curious about how a society that puts people’s happiness first would look.Yes Magazine on the evolution of the GDP toward something more accurately representative of the impacts of our economic activities and more focused on the elements that lead to greater satisfaction for people.

photo by Balance Has Sides

Be Wrong

This is an incredibly undervalued act in our culture. For many reasons, we’re all programmed to avoid being wrong at all costs. Fear and Ego are two of the biggest players, but there’s infinite subtlety to our avoidance maneuvers when it comes to admitting (even to ourselves) that we are even capable of being wrong.

And yet, it’s by being able to be wrong about something gracefully that we learn, grow and evolve by leaps and bounds. Not only is there nothing bad about being wrong, it’s actually kind of great when you think about it. Not only that but it’s completely unavoidable if you’re a human.

So when you really think about it, being wrong, admitting to it and embracing it without fear is absolutely one of the most courageous and daring things anyone can do. It truly is the opposite of how we’ve all too often come to view it.

And if all that weren’t reason enough to put a smile on your face every time you discover you were actually mistaken about something, it also has the capacity to elevate you closer to the level of master communicator faster than almost any other practice.  Being wrong is never the problem, being unable to admit/ accept it is far more damaging to constructive communication and your progress as an individual on the road of life.

Be proud of yourself anytime you realize you’ve been wrong. Do your best to remember not to fight it. Practice viewing your acceptance of being wrong as an act of bravery, a sign of the strength of your character and a unique learning opportunity that just brought you closer to the people you care about and the person you truly are.

Photo from www.dphoto.us 

Welcome

 

Hi there and Welcome to Net Positive!

This is a collaborative experiment in positive living. We’re writing this blog to share our journey toward living more consciously, more creatively, more compassionately….in other words: Net Positively!

The current paradigm we’ve all subscribed to has begun to fail as billions of our fellow humans are forced to endure abject misery while billions of others horde far more cash and resources than they need. Any paradigm will be stable until it generates problems it can not solve. Those problems then become the catalyst for a shift to a whole new paradigm. One that hopefully exemplifies the ingenuity, passion and promise of the human family.

We dream of a day when we are all partners and collaborators in the architecture of our happiness rather than rivals and adversaries competing in an endless and devastating cycle of manufactured scarcity. Opposing destructive forces through equally destructive solutions will only serve to multiply their damage.  Instead we propose a path to prosperity achievable without the frustration and rage we’ve relied on to revolutionize our world in the past.

This journey is constantly evolving and clarifying itself. The path unfolds before us as we walk it, never affording us more than a momentary glimpse of its future. We hope to be fluid enough to follow the path wherever it leads. After all, each passing moment is a chance to redefine, reinvigorate, awaken and transcend.

No one is perfect, but anyone can be net positive. The idea is to shift the balance of your interactions, ideas, contributions, choices to the positive side of the spectrum. We all have down days, and that’s OK. Our goal is simply to make the good outweigh the bad.

We’re glad you’re here and we hope you’ll share your voice and your journey with us!