What a difference a day can make

We don’t get to decide if we get cancer. We don’t get to decide if we get heart disease. But we can decide what kind of diet we have or if we exercise or if we choose to smoke.

However, it was only 80 years ago that doctors were prescribing cigarettes to their patients. For a long time, many of us were fooled into believing that smoking was good for you.

People began to change their minds. We saw it the late 60’s with the ban of cigarettes in the media and warning labels. People saw that smoking wasn’t something for everybody. No product is.

Yet, too many of us have bought into what the culture is selling. We buy into this idea that we can’t change. “It’s just the way I am.” By doing this we can excuse our behavior. We can put the blame on biology or psychology. Telling ourselves we have no control. (It’s hard. And I really don’t want to quit.)

We are being led to believe things that are not true all the time. That debt is something we need to survive. Or that vaccinations aren’t necessary. That pornography doesn’t affect your family.

It’s like we are being led to believe that smoking is good for you all over again.

We are also led to believe that change is slow and arduous. But it doesn’t have to be.

Change can be as fast as we want it to be. We can make things right. We can change our minds. We can be the person we always wanted to be. Just start acting like it.

All we have to do is decide.

The culture of assumptions and presumptions

We have built a culture of assumptions and presumptions.

An assumption is taking something for granted without proof. While a presumption is likely to be more true.

The danger with assumptions is that it leads us down a road of pick your own truth. We ignore the history, the science, the religion, the circumstances. Pretty soon we don’t know what is actually going on. We are trapped in our own fantasy land.

How easy we forget that the world wasn’t always the way it is. We end up taking for granted the access we have: clean water, food, a roof over our head, electricity, education.

The culture needs to find a way to bridge this gap of assumptions to presumptions. Presumptions are on the basis of probability. Which bring us to more interesting questions and discovery.

And I worry that we are going down a road that takes for granted the safest and richest civilization in the history of mankind. We will have squandered this opportunity we have.

It makes it difficult to build a culture we can be proud of when we build it on assumptions.

Why do we want to make more money?

One common answer you may hear is that we want to give it away.

That isn’t enough of a reason why we should be blessed with more money. We can already give away our money now, just less of it.

Making money is proof that we are being a generous giver. You are providing (giving) a service or product in exchange for a certificate of performance (money).

We are built to be givers, not takers. Give all that you can. Make all that you can. Prosper and continue to bless the lives of others. The simplest way to do is to put your focus on what others want, not what you want.

Share the bench

It’s really easy for a person to feel like the world would be better off without them.

And they are wrong. Because we need their contribution. Everyone soul matters.

Social media can be a trap. Where the overwhelming amount of the posts are about how good everything is. No one is evil for doing this. But it paints a picture of our friends that isn’t true. In reality no one can be that happy all the time. We feel love, and joy, and flow. And we experience loss, and defeat, and stress. When we are having a down day social media can easily amplify this poisonous thought that there is something wrong with us.

Sometimes, the most powerful tool to help someone is to simply reach out with real friendship.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

So share the bench with someone.

(I see you.)

Because we are all human. We all can use the power of a friend. We are put here for a purpose. We begin to fulfill that purpose when we, as Zig Ziglar used to say, “love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, friendship to the friendless and encouragement to the discouraged.”

In return you may just save yourself.

Change begins with generosity

Sasha Dichter has a message. He wants to change the world. And he is doing it through the Acumen Fund. At Acumen, they are tackling world poverty through patient capital. The idea of making long-term investments in businesses with no expectations of when they will turn a profit. Using an entrepreneur approach to solve the problem of poverty they are changing the landscape of philanthropy while improving the lives of locals in areas that are making three or four dollars a day.

Dichter has an exercise where for thirty days he would give money to anyone that asked him. The amount of money didn’t matter.

The point of the exercise is to start giving something away. What I love about this is the fact that we can learn to let go and loosen our grip we have with money. Money becomes toxic when we can’t let it go. The process of always accumulating poisons the soul. But when we can learn to let go of money, we are now saying we have enough. (I love what I have.) Which changes the story we tell ourselves about money. We can’t say anymore that we don’t have enough money when we are giving away $5 and $10 and $20 bills to complete strangers. And when we have enough. When we are sufficient. It frees ourselves to seek the change we want to make in the world.