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Choosing Influence: Liberate Self-Direction

May 1, 2013

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”

~ Eric Hoffer

We learn from each other, but are you always aware of the extent to which you’re influenced? Do you consciously choose who and what you imitate, or find yourself influenced on random whims? Knowing yourself is the number one requisite for leading a self-directed life liberated from haphazard, potentially dangerous influence.

Winning multiple best book of the year awards, Nudge, written by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, explores how we make decisions and how we can make better ones. Through the concept of ‘choice architecture,’ authors nudge people toward best decisions.

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Unified Progression: Beyond Fragmentation

April 30, 2013

“When we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

~ Wendell Berry

In Sustainable Thoughts Part I: Reconstructing The 3 Pillars and Part II: Globally Fragmented Solutions, we ended with the potential solution of a globally fragmented conglomerate of local initiatives. What’s necessary among the fragments, however, is a sense of unification. Now we will address the shortcomings of improper fragmentation and how to overcome them.

Like to Problem Solve?

Nobody said solving problems was easy. Many enjoy the difficulty. Problems challenge our intellect and taunt our ability to devise and implement solutions. As humans, we naturally love this. Being able to conquer an issue is quite satisfying.

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Sustainable Thoughts Part II: Globally Fragmented Solutions

April 23, 2013

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.”

~ Arnold J. Toynbee, Author of 12-volume analysis of rise and fall of civilizations

In Part I, Reconstructing The 3 Pillars, we examined the energy, climate and food crises through their origins, modern affects on society and potential solutions. In Part II, Globally Fragmented Solutions, we’ll explore a pragmatic vision of worldwide sustainable futures.

As was Part I, this article is also derived from a lost piece I wrote in 2010 that remains potent today, if not more so, as academics, policy makers and the general public find themselves increasingly struggling with environmental issues of sustainability.

There is no question the current economy is unstable during its post-crash recovery and that finite resources will only continue to be depleted and exacerbate hardship. The solution to turning a potential hardship into potential resiliency and wellness comes with preventive action. For example, we cannot wait for oil to run out or become outrageously expensive to adapt – the sooner we adjust, the smoother the transition.

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Sustainable Thoughts Part I: Reconstructing The 3 Pillars

April 16, 2013

The ideas represented in this piece formed text in 2010. Restructured and here to share in a 2-part series. Enjoy.

Tri-Pillar Debilitation

It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re coming from. The foundation we face is the mechanization of society that arose with industrialization to create a structured system of development dominated by developed countries. It requires machines and many external inputs to run these machines and create profits. As a result, energy, climate and food are 3 decaying life-support pillars of the world.

In response to energy, we can start with a focus on natural, human empowering, human operated systems that are self-regenerative and autopoetic. Read more…

Sustainably Combatting Climate Change: Humility Vs. Power

April 9, 2013

What if I told you combating climate change is worthless? Worse, in fact, that it’s draining–of time, money, brainpower, innovation, energy, resources? Would you agree?

Are we taking action, or procrastinating? As it states in Oxfam’s photo above, many are “hungry for climate action,” but is there more static analysis than actual change?

What can we do to get on track? What can you do to help? There are pertinent issues to explore and relevant actions to take. Let’s have a look.

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Living in The Present: Creatively Cultured Sustainability

April 2, 2013

“All there, totally immersed, fascinated and absorbed in the present, in the here-now, with the matter-in-hand.”

~ Abraham Maslow about creative people

Think about the last time you were so engaged in a task time was nowhere to be noticed, where whatever you were doing consumed your mind and warped time into a nonexistent externality.

Chances are, you were engaged in a form of creativity. These states of “flow” or “time-free tasks” aren’t random phenomenon we’ve come to love and seek ways of becoming Flow-State All Stars.

Although seemingly shifty, as the mind often is, a simple understanding of hemispherical brain function matched with raised consciousness will help you find more peace in the present, lose track of time and engage fully in life more frequently.

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Ecological Succession: Mimicking Life to Live

March 26, 2013

    “In the coming decades, the survival of humanity will depend on our ecological literacy — our ability to understand the basic principles of ecology and to live accordingly.”

~ Fritjof Capra, PhD

Life breeds life. Naturally. Ecological succession presents a suiting example of complex interdependent species living with a purpose for the betterment, longevity and ultimate resiliency of their community.

Ecological communities revolve around a structure that evolves and matures through extremely complex and organized systems. So organized its easily mistaken as simple processes.

Growth expands patiently, starting with pioneering species that create proper conditions for proceeding life, with a sequential purpose of their own until a thriving climax community is reached, where physical and biotic equilibrium produces a self-perpetuating habitat.

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Sustainable Civilization: Integrated Individual and Societal Health

March 19, 2013

“Before it’s too late, we need to make courageous choices that will recreate a strong alliance between man and Earth. We need a decisive “yes” to care for creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI

What is societal change? We often think of it as something outside ourselves, as society itself exists outside our being. How we function, however, creates society.

Our views, values and behaviors create society. When we change these, we change society. Our internal psychology corresponds to our external social behaviors individually, as our internal culture corresponds to external social institutions societally.

Exploring this interaction offers innovative insight into the current state of affairs and the evolutionary path to a robust, dynamic and diverse sustainable civilization.

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Over Consumption and Under Response: Crisis – Now What?

March 12, 2013

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”


Sometimes we see it coming, sometimes we don’t–no matter what, crisis strikes at some point.

Who’s responsible? How did it happen? What are the repercussions? How do we clean up the mess? When will it be cleaned up?

Whenever there is a major mishap, say the economic crisis in 2008, these questions get a lot of attention. They are justified and answers are necessary, but the most important question is missing.

We could forget all these questions and replace it with one inquiry to render the most significant effect.

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