Posts Tagged ‘change’

innocence, resistance, and responsibility – 3 ways of relating to change

May 29, 2012
Behavioral Economics: How to Make the Right Bu...

Behavioral Economics: How to Make the Right Buying Decisions (Photo credit: BankSimple)

Have you been surprised in recent years at changing patterns of economic behavior that have influenced your business and finances? If you were surprised, then how well did you really know the market for your business?

Have you been merely curious about what is changing or confused and anxious? Have you been frustrated and bitter- not just disappointed and humble- but even resistant and resentful?

Many people may dismiss or even ridicule information that frightens them. It may be rare for someone to have the courage to face (or even to proactively seek) information that might lead them to change their thinking and behavior to promote their well-being.

What I just said may seem a little strange. People may resist being attentive to their well-being. People may be attentive to conforming to a familiar group instead of being attentive to what actually works well for them personally. In other words, they may value familiarity over functionality and prosperity.

So, if you thought you knew your market well, but soon you were surprised by what actually happened (which was different from your thoughts and presumptions), then you may have been confused. Confusion is quite distinct from mere ignorance. Confusion means that a presumption has been made which is false, but there is still a confusion or lack of recognition about which presumption is the false one. There has been a confusing of one thing for another, a mistaking of one thing for another.

Once the false presumption is recognized as false, confusion ends. Clarity and openness lead naturally to curiosity.

I just presented three ways of relating to change. First is innocence: a change is new and curious- a new opportunity to learn. Second is resistance: change is unfamiliar and troubling and shameful- something to resist and avoid and deny and ridicule. Third is responsibility: change is constant and eventually some change will probably be confusing, but confusion is just an indicator of a mistaken presumption and the responsible person knows that it is functional to admit ignorance with an interest in correcting any inaccurate presumptions. Confusion is not shameful. Admitting confusion and ignorance is an important step in maturing in to courage and responsibility.

 

J.R. to Rob Godwin: “[Would you] write me a brief testimonial indicating a spontaneous recollection of what you recall me saying when- even if vague?”

Rob: “I just remember the last time we hung out, at a Mexican restaurant in downtown Glendale, and you suggested that I not buy a house, because it was a bubble that was going to burst soon. That was probably mid 2004, and it did peak about 1.5 years later….

I remember thinking at the time, that things were going so well here, how could they stop? I bet a lot of people who lived through the Roaring’ 20’s thought the same thing, LOL. I think the 90’s and early 00’s were like that, where everyone kept saying that things were different, that the old economic models didn’t apply, that they’d been figured out by “experts”. But things did crash just the same, so I guess we weren’t immune to it afterall. I guess the larger the peak, the deeper the recession.”

2 things crucial to the future of your business: the local economy and what you value most

May 24, 2012
English: Filling station at Childerley Gate. T...

“Petrol (gasoline) prices per liter in Euro at Childerley Gate (UK). A historical record of fuel prices in mid-2005!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What you value most could include valuing a particular kind of customer (or any order for a particular service that provides an excellent profit margin). What you value most could also include valuing a particular amount of customers (or a specific increase of profit). Of course, what an individual values most can change as they change, as their household changes, and as the community around them changes, like as gasoline prices quickly double or drop by a dollar or two.
What the people around us value can be labeled “the local economy.” What people value includes how they choose their priorities of what to spend money on, how to select which businesses to use, and every part of the process of choosing to either do business with you or do business with someone else instead.
“Business development” is a broad term that includes planning, marketing, generating leads, and converting leads in to transactions. Many small businesses are generally familiar with the basic idea of business development. Realistically, most small business owners are very familiar from personal experience with converting leads in to transactions, yet they are just as surprised as the general population by major economic changes.
Certainly, many businesses have major increases in their profits by reviewing and refining the process used for converting leads to transactions. Some business owners recognize that as an issue in which a major improvement is possible. However, in the 13 years that I have been consulting with business owners, the vast majority have, in my opinion, vastly underestimated the value of competent economic forecasting.
Phoenix Arizona 24th Street & Camelback Road f...

Phoenix Arizona 24th Street & Camelback Road from the Phoenix Mountain Preserve (Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ)

In the area of Phoenix (Arizona), the economic shifts of the last decade have substantially altered almost every local business. As energy prices rose (including for gasoline), two factors made Phoenix more sensitive to that change: the heat of the desert (which creates extremely high electricity bills in the summer for cooling) and the sprawl of the suburbs (which creates unusually high costs for commuting across long distances, including when the auto’s AC is constantly on high to keep the inside of the vehicle cool when it is well over 100 degrees outside).
I published forecasts in 2004 alerting my readers to the issue of gasoline prices rising so much that it would effect the budgets and spending patterns (including investing patterns) of businesses and consumers within the US in particular, but also in places even more dependent on importing fuel, such as Greece, Italy, the UK, and Japan (which has been in a “recession” for the last 23 years). I published warnings in 2003 of the emerging instability in real estate and stock markets, but it was not until 2004 that I recognized rising fuel costs as the underlying issue. In mid-2005, when the real estate market in Phoenix shifted (as well as in another sprawling desert suburbia, Las Vegas), I had already been watching for the shift and published my recognition of the first stages of the shift that eventually spread to the rest of the US real estate market and then the financial stocks (companies that had been gambling on extreme concentrations of risk exposure in real estate, such as AIG, FNMA, FDMC, Countrywide, Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and then even Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and so on).
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America recently acquired Merrill Lynch, saving Merrill Lynch from going out of business (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Washington Mutual logo prior to its acquis...

The Washington Mutual logo prior to its acquisition by JPMorgan Chase. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(In the late 1920s, Charles Merrill, the co-founder of Merrill Lynch, repeatedly warned his clients in advance of the emerging risk in the US stock market. In recent years, apparently the company was not so committed to competence analysis of emerging trends.)
Merrill Lynch & Co.

Merrill Lynch & Co. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many local small businesses have been challenged by the decreasing tide of people moving to the sprawling desert suburbs. New construction in the Phoenix area is a small fraction of what it was in 2004. New people moving to the area had been so high that many local businesses had been extremely successful without ever advertising. However, cultivating customer loyalty is a huge issue now for many businesses. Further, even with word-of-mouth, there is a transition away from spoken recommendations toward the broadcasting of typed electronic messages like “can any of you recommend a really good ____?”
Since I have been in the advertising field for 13 years, my work history shows that I have been part of the shift away from print and radio toward the internet. Obviously, the shift toward the internet is far better known by most people than the causes of the economic shift that has slowed the economies of Greece, Phoenix, Japan, and other areas most sensitive to rising fuel prices. (In fact, in this piece, I am not even addressing WHY global fuel prices reversed a long-term trend in 1999, but that has been the main focus of my forecasting publications since my 2004 use of the term www.TheDominOILeffect.com.)
So, almost everyone who has studied business trends at all in the last 10 or 15 years knows about the huge shift toward the internet and growing electronic resources like google, facebook, blogs, and things like verified reviews and ratings. The shift of business toward the internet is almost as obvious as how computers altered how business is conducted or how the telephone altered how business is conducted or even calculators and adding machines and credit cards and checkbooks and currency.
Next year, the most popular currency in the world, the Federal Reserve’s “US Dollar” note will be 100 years old. It simply did not exist in 1912.
100 years ago, the technologies altering the world of business were things like the use of residential phones (“landlines” were still replacing telegraphs in remote parts of the US). Automobiles were still extremely rare, kind of like owning a private jet is very rare today. There was no such thing as TV advertising or cable TV or even television sets.
Now, millions of people are walking around with new mobile phones that have computing power that might have cost a million dollars in 1999. Most business owners are only vaguely aware of the growing waves of business flowing in to the internet.
As fuel prices continue to rise relative to most other items such as real estate and computers, people are going to value their time newly. As technology allows growing numbers of people an extremely fast access to extremely relevant information, people are not going to drive around all day shopping for deals to save $20 or even $50. People will save time and money by using the internet.
Imagine businesses that clung to using a telegraph instead of getting a telephone. Imagine businesses that favored typewriters over word processors. What happened to those businesses? They mostly disappeared, right?
I know some farmers who only recently bought a telephone and do not own a computer. They are Amish. I do business with them regularly.
However, they are farmers. They may not use automobiles personally, but they sure appreciate that UPS and Federal Express will deliver their products for them.
Image representing UPS  as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Is your business ready for the future today? How would you be sure?
In 2004, were you planning for the coming economic changes like rising fuel prices and a huge decrease in borrowing and lending? Most business owners may have no idea how far they are from the reality of the business trends that are coming to their industry and their local economy (as in the changing values of their customer base).
I have talked to many confident millionaires in the last 10 years. A lot of confidence was not enough to keep them out of foreclosure and bankruptcy.
Government committees across the world have also been profoundly confident in their projections of tax revenues. Myself and others have warned them that their projections were “approaching the ridiculous.” They sometimes called us ridiculous.
There may have been some excessive pessimism as well as some excessive optimism. Consider that there is no such thing as an excess of realism.
English: Damage to the JP Morgan Chase Tower a...

English: Damage to the JP Morgan Chase Tower after Hurricane Ike, Houston, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are open to a realistic assessment of what are the most valuable refinements that you can make to the way you conduct business, then you may realize that sometimes a single change can make a huge difference, though a series of small changes is often what leads to the most historic breakthroughs. Those who are willing to benefit from changing economies and changing technologies are welcome to contact me now. From realism about the changing economic trends to realism about the changing technology of how your future customers are selecting which business to use, how much realism are you willing to value?

http://www.inc.com/articles/201103/businesses-hit-by-rising-gas-prices.html

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G70lBEAFl8

www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/gasprices/faq.shtml
gaspricesexplained.org/
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/business-brains/rising-fuel-prices-push-businesses-to-reconsider-fleet-options/23998
http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/news/2012/05/24/delta-cutting-flight-between-phoenix.html

How much is your business benefiting from economic change?

May 2, 2012

How much is your business benefiting from economic change?

With every economic change, some businesses benefit more than others. For instance, the stock price of McDonald’s rose by more than 500% from 2003 to 2011. Do you know how rare that big of a gain has been in recent years? The earlier that you recognize a new reality that is changing the future of your business, then the better you can change your business to benefit most from that changing reality.

While McDonald’s has performed well in recent years, it has not performed nearly as well as the following sector of 15 US companies (shown below). I wrote about this sector in 2003. If you were to ask most investment professionals which US stock sector did the best last decade, MOST OF THEM STILL DO NOT KNOW!

Now, in recent years, what economic changes have made the biggest difference for the profits of your business? Changing competition within your industry? Changing fuel prices? The changing rate of new arrivals to your area? The shift toward more prospects shopping online, including using reviews and ratings?

Which is an easier prospect to sell: one that knows nothing about you and your business or one who already trusts you because of personal recommendations including recommendations found online? What if you were hiring a new employee and one applicant stood out from the others because of a personal recommendation from someone you know and trust? Who would you schedule first for an interview?

Consider that if you were planning to make a major purchase, wouldn’t you value knowing which alternatives got the best rating from people like you? What if you could quickly access free reviews from people that you personally know and respect and trust? Some of the best marketing campaigns in recent years have featured detailed reviews and real-time public ratings, which are simply not possible through regular commercial advertisements, like in phone books, radio and TV.

If prospective customers are not already familiar with your business, isn’t it predictable that they would value ways of finding which businesses that they can trust most? Wouldn’t they stop using something like the phone book (which just lists businesses in alphabetical order) in favor of searching online where they can see the results in order of systematic rankings, ratings, and reviews?

As people increasingly use online reviews and referrals through their online contact network (“social media”), that can result in the number of online searches for companies in your industry to decline. Are you updated yet about the latest trends in online searches for your industry? Are you updated yet about all of the trends that will determine the future of your industry in general and your business in particular?

In recent years, how early were you alert to the changes in your market that have most effected your sales and your profits so far? Did you benefit more than your competitors by adapting earlier to emerging changes or were you surprised and unprepared?

Over 400 years ago, William Shakespeare wrote:

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009. The portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait‘ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune….
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”

Of course I’m interested in steering my business toward results that are far above average, yes, but why talk to you in particular?”

In a moment, I’ll show you some evidence that will help you to identify who you can trust to make accurate analysis of the market for your business. The best credibility comes from bold forecasts that have accurately fit an unusual reality that has developed exactly as forecast. If one forecasting analyst says things that contrast with what most analysts say, would you rather go with the majority or with the reality?

Now, what were some of the most shocking economic developments of recent years? Think back to some of the big changes that influenced your business and when you first began adjusting to each of those changes: rising fuel prices, the declining popularity of suburban living and suburban real estate markets, and declining overall consumer spending. What year did you begin adjusting your behavior because of any of those trends?

In 2003, you could have read an online report that I wrote about an emerging global shift in patterns of lending and borrowing behavior as well as the increasing risks for the markets most sensitive to borrowing trends, such as US real estate. In 2004, you could have read an online report that I wrote about the risk of a fuel prices (like gasoline) rising so high that it would effect the economies of the regions most dependent on the importing of fuel, such as Japan, Greece, and Italy.

(See the highlight from my 2004 publication below: “how many dollars will it cost to buy a gallon of gasoline next year?” By 2007, you were probably asking questions like that which I was asking (and answering) in 2004.)

In 2005, when housing prices in desert areas like Phoenix and Las Vegas began to decline, you could have read an online report that I wrote within a few months of the peak. Why was it so easy to know that sprawling desert metros like Phoenix and Las Vegas would have such unusual declines in real estate?

There were two issues that made the real estate shift easy to recognize in advance. The most obvious issue was a declining number of applications for mortgages in those areas. The root issue that caused the decline in suburban desert mortgage lending was rising fuel costs, which I stated in 2004 before the decline started.

Here’s the obvious logic as to how fuel prices impact different regions (markets) differently, even though not everyone has the courage to face the simplicity of the issue. Note first that when oil prices doubled in less than 12 months starting in 1999, stocks prices of the US airline sector plummeted 40%. Could that be because of their sensitivity to fuel prices as a major cost of their business?


Now let’s review oil prices for a longer period of time, up well over 1000%. Oil prices then reversed in 2008.

Below that is a longer-term chart of the stock sector of airlines in the US, which fell by over 90%. When did prices of the airline sector reverse? When oil prices dropped?

Could rising fuel costs effect the profits of airlines? Could rising fuel costs increase the operating costs of airlines? Could declining fuel costs decrease the operating costs of airlines?

Next, what does any of that have to do with the decline in mortgage lending for desert suburbs? First, let’s consider what produced the boom of suburban desert mortgage lending of the prior two decades.

In the 80s and 90s, fuel prices were declining (relative to inflation). As fuel prices declined, sprawling desert metros benefited more than other regions. As late as the end of the 1990s, the costs of summer cooling bills were dropping and the cost of gasoline for the long suburban commute were was so low that growing herds of people were buying big vehicles like SUVs that got less than 20 miles per gallon.

Eventually, that began to change. Commuters quickly went from paying around $1 per gallon of gas to over $4 by 2008. In dense urban areas with short commutes, that was not a big increase in total spending on gasoline. However, in sprawling desert metros, long commutes from distant suburbs use a lot of gallons of gasoline, especially when the vehicle’s air conditioning is running for the whole trip during the 110 degree heat of the desert summers.

That means that when fuel prices rise, certain regions and climates will predictably be effected most. Again, when fuel prices were declining (relative to inflation) in the 80s and 90s, sprawling desert metros benefited more than other regions from fuel prices that were declining relative to inflation, so why wouldn’t the same areas be hurt the most as fuel prices eventually surged?

In 1999, a barrel of oil was $11. By 2008, the same barrel cost over 1200% more: $148.

Back to the sprawling desert suburbs, some of the most spacious suburban homes were also getting very expensive to cool in the summers, with rising energy costs sending monthly utility bills past $300, $400, and even $500 per month- nearly as much as some mortgage payments. Rising fuels costs in the form of cooling costs and rising commuting costs ended the desert suburban housing boom in 2005. I have been publishing that assertion since the fall of 2005.

I’ve been saying the real-estate boom ended around August 1- based on stock
charts of real estate sectors [HGX, DJR, EQR, EOP]. Now that the September “lagging indicator” data
is in, how long before people say “maybe it is ending soon?”

Oct 26, 2005: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/redpill_info/message/34

In 2004, I published an explanation of exactly why that was coming. In 2002, I identified some of the first signs of the shift, and then in 2003 I published projections of a global credit crisis and resulting effects, but I did not identify the source of those symptoms until 2004, when I published this:

Are You Affected By The Real US Deficit: Oil

www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_04/fibonacci110704.html

I followed that in 2005 with this:

321energy :: Worth its Weight in OIL : J.R. Fibonacci

www.financialsensearchive.com/fsu/editorials/2005/0906.html

www.321energy.com/editorials/fibonacci/fibonacci090705.html

and that article was also cited in this 2006 MBA thesis at Columbia University:

Strategic Choices for Managing the Transition from Peak Oil to a Reduced Petroleum Economy

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~odland/Odland_PeakOilMgt_Dissertation.pdf

by S.K. ODLAND – 2006 – Cited by 4 – Related articles
13 J.R. Fibonacci, 
Navigating the New Economy, Lesson 1: Worth Its Weight in Oil. (Published online at http://www.321energy.com, Sept. 9, 2005); 

How much would you value the insight of someone who forecast the rise of fuel prices and the effects on the economies of sprawling desert metros like Phoenix and Las Vegas? As economic changes come, will you be shocked or prepared? How much is your business benefiting from economic change?

For a limited time, I will offer a free 15-minute consultation assessing the future of the market for your business. Contact me now to get insight in to the single most important reality for you business, which most analyst do not have the insight to recognize or the courage to admit:

  • competent (realistic) forecast of the future trends of things like consumer activity and gas prices

You will also get the benefit of the following standard data that any market analyst could give you:

  • current growth rate (indicates number of recent arrivals that are valued prospects because they are least likely to already be loyal to a competitor of yours)
  • current market size (number of prospective customers, grouped by income level & any other relevant demographic data)
  • profitability by service: buying demand vs cost to provide incl. competitiveness/market saturation (often, business owners already have excellent sense of this)
  • trends of how consumers are shopping for the specific service you offer (rate of change for online searches)


www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~odland/Shifting_the_PO_Debate.pdf

www.aspo-usa.com/2009denver/confirmedspeakers.cfm?bid=742

http://rei.rutgers.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=39&Itemid=54

www.aspousa.org/conference/2011/speakers.cfm

http://law.utoledo.edu/students/lawreview/volumes/v40n2/Lynn_RevFinal.pdf

www.greatdreams.com/oil/peak_oil_consequences.htm


iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/1/1/014004/pdf/erl6_1_014004.pdf

benefit by accepting change

March 27, 2012
A boy riding a bicycle with training wheels

A boy riding a bicycle with training wheels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you accept change, benefiting from changing developments in economics and society?


by Cal Euphoria,
of the Accepting Beneficiaries of a Changing World

Conditions are always changing- even while we sleep. We may notice some changes very suddenly- and those we may call “surprises” (and then we may look back and call some of the surprises pleasant or exciting and call others unpleasant, disappointing, or frustrating). We may notice many changes very slowly, calling them developments or trends. We may even notice changes just as they begin- long before others may notice them or may even be willing to accept them. We may call them intuitions or forecasts or prophecies or revelations or even revolutions emerging.

Any change- even just a possible change- may also be rejected, denied, and resisted. We could judge against a certain possible change as personally threatening or repulsive and then complain about it, protest against it, protect against it, campaign to reverse or “fix” it, or just try and try to prevent it simply by sustaining something else. Plus, we may just focus compulsively on what we hope may still be true.

Two men riding one bicycle in Paris, France.

Two men riding one bicycle in Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All of that can be quite exhausting, plus eventually it just does not work. Whatever we do or do not do, life always changes anyway- breathing in only for a while, then breathing out only for a while, and so on.

However, accepting change is essential to responsibility, functionality, and leadership. Rejecting anything is a symptom of dis-ease, or a lack of adaptability… in that one can be so attached to a certain possibility that the absence of that possibility would result in the experience of distress or suffering. If we focus on anything that we believe would or could result in distress, that is already distressing or agonizing.

Mental dis-ease or distress or suffering or agonizing (which, by the way, always has physical consequences) is not the inherent result of any particular external change or development. (Note: I am not talking here about a lack of physical development due to undernourishment- such as the “modern epidemic” of undersized jaws and crowded teeth due to diets of refined, processed,
“convenience” foods. See http://www.ppnf.org or http://www.westonaprice.org) In contrast to organic nutritional deficiencies (or physical injury- which is highly correlated to undernourishment), mental dis-ease or “disorder” is always an interactive response in which some possible development may be filtered through some neuro-linguistic patterns and then those patterns (or beliefs) may delete, distort, or otherwise decode the particular possible development, then – in the case of a responding of dis-ease – interpret that development or perception as “a threat, a problem, or a worry.”

However, what exactly is threatened? If the development is not inherently threatening, but only perceived as a threat from the context of a certain specific belief system, then perhaps it is only the belief system itself (the neuro-linguistic pattern) that is threatened by a particular development.

For those who are not familiar with the term neuro-linguistic pattern, consider that all beliefs are made up of words (language). Beliefs are inherently linguistic. Life (and experience) is not inherently linguistic, except for language itself.

Using language is like trying to describe a dream- the words are always related to the dream, but never replicating the actual experience of the dream for another. For instance, if two people both have direct experience with riding a bicycle, then they can linguistically refer to the direct experience of riding a bicycle and no beliefs need be involved.

Because their neurology has direct experience with bicycle-riding, the words about bicycle riding simply prompt a triggering of the associated neurology. The bicycle riders have direct experience patterned in to their neurology, and are not especially prone to argue with other people about any particular beliefs about bicycle-riding. Bicycle riders know bicycle-riding, and they know when other people know from personal experience or when other people merely are operating or talking from presumptions or concepts or beliefs or theories about riding a bicycle.

Any particular concept may be instantly recognized as a misconception, at least, by an experienced bicycle rider. Only for those that are not experienced bicycle riders, theories and arguments may be very interesting about what bicycle riding would be like, could be like or should be like. All of those intellectual conversations may lead someone to eventually experience bicycle riding- or may primarily have a social value, as in when people go on for years or decades about something and how it may be attractive or repulsive- yet never experience it directly. Notice that while bicycle riders may reminisce and discuss bicycle riding, they are not likely to argue about it, especially not arguing about how it should or should not be done.

They may share their experiences of how they did it as distinct anything else that they may have also explored. They may offer instructions or guiding questions, but would an experienced bicycle rider ever argue about what bicycle riding would be like?

Now, I did not select the analogy of bicycle riding because it is particularly important. However, it is common. Most children I know have seen bicycle riding and will eventually do it.

Further, there are many different variations of riding a bicycle. There is riding a bicycle up a mountain… or for hours in a highway

An ordinary bicycle. Man riding the bicycle in...

An ordinary bicycle. Man riding the bicycle in the centre of Kraków, Poland Polski: Bicykl. Mężczyzna jadący na bicyklu po krakowskim rynku, Polska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

race… or in very different weather conditions- like during a snowstorm, hailstorm or on a muddy dirt road. I am clear between which types of bicycle riding are personally familiar to me from direct experience, and which ones I could imagine with my neurology and describe with words speculatively, but that I do not actually know.

However, some people may not be so clear about their own direct experience and what may ultimately be merely their opinions. Anyone who argues about politics or religion or economics… or human relationships or ANYTHING at all may be quite confused about language itself, that is, about the social function of arguing.

What do I mean by the social function of arguing? Arguing about bicycle riding is never really about bicycle riding. Arguing about bicycle riding is really always about the personalities doing the arguing. The social function of arguing is for people to test who actually knows what they are talking about from direct experience and who is just exploring concepts and theories and beliefs and words.

People who know the social function of arguing do not argue about arguing- nor about anything else, at least not other than in humor. People who argue do not know about the social function of arguing are the ones who argue RELIGIOUSLY. Arguing may be the central quality of their personality. They may argue about certain things in particular or about anything in general.

Arguing is always supposing as in speculating- and supposing or speculating certainly can have value. However, arguing is merely supposing or speculating WITHOUT recognizing that whatever is supposed to be is merely whatever is speculated to be.

Anything is possible- but supposing without knowing that one is merely speculating: that just may not work well, if at all. So, the social function of arguing is to identify – for all the rest of us – those of us who do not know that they are merely speculating about what is supposed by them personally to in fact be, but actually may not be… or even may be.

So, this article is not particularly about arguing (or bicycle riding). However, distinguishing what arguing is may be essential to what this article is particularly about. This article is about accepting the changing world- as distinct from arguing about it. In accepting the changing world, one may personally adjust to any changes such that one benefits from those changes.

It is possible for someone to benefit from changes that they argue against, but that benefit may be quite temporary. To reliably benefit from however the world is changing, one MUST accept however the world is changing- like not accept a certain set of changes, but accept any possible change- absolutely ANYTHING! If one is attached to arguing against (or for) ANYTHING, than one rejects what is already possible now as the world. If one rejects the world now for one’s personal attachments and opinions, the world may reject that one.

That is, the benefits of this changing world- benefits that I could otherwise be experiencing now- may instead just flow through my hands as I may try to grab the flowing water. I cannot grab the water- though I can exhaust myself trying- but I can cup my hands and allow the water to collect in my hands and to benefit me, to quench my thirst.

A famous man once said that one can drink from a well and remedy one’s thirst temporarily- but that there is also a drink that will cure one’s thirst forever- removing all possibility of the dis-ease of agonizing over the changing world, cleansing one of the rusty accumulations of obsolete belief systems, giving one a direct experience of something profound and unspeakable, something beyond the reasoning or speculative mind, something that the famous man called the peace beyond understanding, the peace of God. Another famous proverb says that the meek shall inherit the earth.

The vain may argue over what they suppose to be more important than what actually is. They may seek approval and glory.

The meek or humble recognize the glory of God in all of God’s works, that is, in everything and everyone. Because of their accepting the changing world just as it is, rather than exhausting themselves by condemning how the world may or may not be and should or should not be, struggling against the changing world, rejecting it and rejecting God, those who accept the changing world just as it is naturally and automatically go with the flow and adjust themselves into positions and relationships and patterns that bring to them benefit from the changes of the world. In other words, the humble inherit the changing world while the vain or arrogant reject and argue about it.

Notice
Notice (Photo credit: Squirmelia)

So, I have been accurately forecasting various major global changes for the last 7 or so years. Many of those changes have manifested since then, surprising much of humanity, such as the rise and then fall of commodity prices, especially fuel and oil, as well as the changes in lending markets, real estate markets, financial institutions, stock prices, and rates of unemployment, delinquency, foreclosure, and bankruptcy. However, the changes that I began publicly forecasting 7 years ago have not competed, and with each new development, I can update my forecasts to be more specific about the near future. Knowing how to recognize changes before most others even have a chance to reject and argue about them, I can adjust to benefit from them. I can also help you to do the same.

What I did not know 7 years ago is the extent to which not only other people but the extent to which I had learned to reject the changing world, condemning it and many of the people within it, most particularly, myself. Those who reject themselves and the changing world seek to prove themselves, to enter and win arguments, and to earn approval and love and rescue or salvation. Those who accept the changing world and themselves AUTOMATICALLY align and attune and adjust, thus benefiting from the changing world, inheriting the future.

I invite you to contact me for either or both of the following explorations: not only how to adjust economically and financially to accept the benefits offered by the changing world, but also how to open one’s heart to accepting all that is possible for this changing world and for each of us. I look forward to hearing from you and from benefiting along with you.

“Lest ye humble yourselves like children, ye shall not enter….” Seek first to accept this world as already heaven now, be redeemed from judgment against it… into innocence, and then all else shall be added unto you- fountains of blessings that will overflow like a gushing spring or geyser.

Receive the spirit and character of the Holy One as your own, and accept that you are made in the image of the Holy One, exactly according to God’s will, as an expression or form of God- just as is everyone else. So, if the beam in your own eye offends thee, cast it out! If you judge another as wrong, just forgive them and the error shall be corrected. However, if you are unwilling to forgive, error shall persist- within you as resentment and perhaps even within them as guilt.

You who have known what it is like to wallow in guilt and resentment and dis-ease and generally to make life hell, how dare you allow others to suffer when you could end the suffering now just by your blessing the changing world and everyone of us here, including yourself…. How dare you arrogantly reject the benefits that the changing world is offering you? Would you rather complain and protest and struggle against the changing world- condemning God indirectly- or accept the blessings which God offers generously, reliably, predictably, faithfully?

First published: October 3, 2009

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the wisdom of “Do something else”

March 23, 2012

“If my experience is that something is not working, do something else.”

originally titled: adapting to experiencing someone’s attention as being “unavailable”


First, consider how much of a priority it is for me to have that person’s attention be however available- like if life is giving me the feedback that “this one’s attention may not be very available for that,” so what?

Second, relax my attention from them in particular. Or maybe that comes first. Whatever.

Next, consider what could be a priority that IS available? Note: when I experience something as seeming “available” – as in accessible or practically relevant – that may be… practically relevant!

attention

attention (Photo credit: gordonr)

Now, with attention to what seems available (as in seems practically relevant), does any particular possibility “stand out” as an obvious focus for my time and attention? Here is an example.

Let’s imagine that I happen to have a certain job. Within that job, there are certain things that I value, such as the paycheck and producing commissions that show up on the next paycheck. There are certain things that are very much within my direct influence, though other people may have some influence as well, of course.

So, I could focus on various propsective clients- like which ones do I make a priority for my attention and why? I could focus on adhering to various guidelines (or take actions to develop new ones and explore altering old ones).

Of course, I may encounter resistance, like from another person. I may encounter any variety of boundaries- money, schedule, cell phone reception issues, objections, etc….

For instance, If I am consistently re-prioritizing what to do, then that mode of operation expects to encounter boundaries sometimes. Patterns will eventually change. Boundaries will change. If I do not ever explore the boundaries, I may miss that old boundaries may no be longer binding- or I may miss that certain boundaries are more restrictive than I previously experienced.

So, one thing to do is to create a game. My experience of existing boundaries is simply part of the rules of the game as I define them. I define my experience of the boundaries and the context in which I frame them.

With regard to a paycheck, an obvious game is to (1) keep them coming and (2) maintain or even increase the amount of the pay. However, I might also choose to revise the game in terms of changing the amount of hours that I commit to the job. I could alter my schedule, increase my schedule, or reduce my schedule.

Let’s move on to relationships. If the priority of my game is for personal well-being or for fun or for family, those are all distinct contexts.

A focus on personal well-being asks “what’s in it for me?” By the way, if there is an immediate perceived threat to personal well-being, the importance of personal well-being may be suddenly clear.

A focus on fun asks things like “is this something that I would begin doing if I hadn’t already been doing it already?” A context of fun tends to presume that personal well-being issues are already satisfied and stable. In other words, people may not focus on fun when a waterline freezes or a tree penetrates the roof and the flood waters begin to approach the height of the power outlets.

So, fun is about doing something more or doing something less- or perhaps even interrupting it. While personal well-being is essential, fun is merely favorable.

A focus on family is also distinct from either of the above. Family priorities may involve the sacrificing not only of fun, but also of personal well-being.

One can identify family as a partnership of two specific people or even a large network of loose relationships, typically involving biological similarity. People who join together in business networks which they can simply transfer by selling stock shares are not likely to intentionally sacrifice personally for the benefit of the company.

On that note, it may be surprising how much that people expect large bureaucracies (such as governments, insurance corporations, and even large church organizations) to reliably support them as individuals (and operators of business). People often complain when organizations change their internal boundaries (by making a new criminal law or shutting down one of their facilities or merging with another operation and incorporating unfamiliar rules).

So, imagine that the global economy is shifting in some noticable way. Is this the first time that a noticeable economic shift has ever happened?

One can dismiss the noticable changes (perhaps as hopefully temporary) and instead keep favoring one’s old perspective on priorities and keep investing in familiar methods. That tends to produce unfavorable results which further tend to open people to re-prioritizing (to humble them or humiliate them).

Or, perhaps the seasonal climate is shifting in some noticable way. Is this the first time that a noticable climatic shift has ever happened?

Now, what if someone’s attention is shifting in some noticable way? Is this the first time that a noticable attention shift has ever happened?

When someone’s attention is noticably shifting, I might be open to being that someone and allowing my attention to shift, to re-prioritize. When life gives feedback for re-prioritizing, my willingness to receive that feedback and my capacity to adapt to it may produce noticable shifts in my experienced results.

My experience of personal well-being may be the result of my responsiveness to life’s feedback. My experience of fun and family may also be the result of my adaptiveness to life’s feedback. My relationship to my own experienced results is my relationship to life’s feedback. What else would be life’s feedback except for my own experienced results?

How willing I am to adapt to my own experienced results could make a difference for my future. If I am willing, then even a boundary as to my current capacity to adapt simply is experienced as an opportunity to learn and to collaborate with others who might have competence in some particularly relevant form of adaptiveness. My experience of my future may be a function of my willingness to adapt to my own experienced results, that is, my experience of responsibility for my own results as personal or “systemic.”

Am I willing to define myself as “a victim of the system?” Imagine that there might be a systematic program to present people with an identity as “the responsibility of the system.” I may be taught that I am the ward of the state, or the ward of the insurance company, or the ward of a particular church or business or even individual person, such as a parent as legal guardian for a minor child.

Of course, as a child presumed to be legally incompetent, such definitions might be quite accurate. So, is it all odd that there might be systematic programming to present people with an identity as “the responsibility of the system?” Consider that it would be odd if there were not such a programming.

So, we may have all been programmed as children that other particular people and groups are responsible for us. However, as adults, we may recognize that identifying one’s self as “a victim of the system” (or even a victim of any particular other person) may not be in the best interest of one’s own personal well-being. Some other identifying might produce favorable feedback from life as in favorably experienced results. Of course, “victim of the climate” or “victim of the global economy” or “victim of my children” are all possible identifyings in language. All identifying is adaptive, just not for any particular amount of time.

Consider that life’s feedback on my self-identifying is valuable. Further, consider that both nurturing and victimization are valuable. A government or church or private corporation or individual may provide me with some valuable attention and support, then stop doing so. The organization or person may cease to function. Or, life may give me the feedback of exposing me to the question of “what if you can do it yourself?”

Personal responsibility is not for everyone. In fact, huge numbers of people may functionally reject personal responsibility by maintaining the self-identifying of “victim.” With certain feedback from life, the adaptiveness of such self-identifying may eventually be noticed as only temporary.

Sometimes, personally experienced results may produce a new willingness to explore the language of one’s own self-defining, self-identifying, self-binding. Whose boundaries are my boundaries? When I speak of the boundaries of my own shifting attention, do I speak of those boundaries as my own, or as boundaries that a cruel and unusual life has imposed on me unjustifiably and maliciously? Do I speak of my own experienced results as life’s feedback (as in guidance or support) or as injustices and victimizations and complaints and someone else’s responsibility?

My relationship to life is my self-identifying. Does life victimize me (as life’s victim) or does life support and guide me (as life’s beneficiary)? How willing am I to be responsible for my own self-identifying? How willing am I to be responsible for my own experienced results?

 

Published on: Jul 2, 2011

 

Kara’s video response:

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change equals opportunity

June 17, 2010

Change equals opportunity

 

(2010, June 17th)

 

Virgina Satir

Virgina Satir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” Virginia Satir (1916-1988)

 

Note that the video has extensive extra content (and context!). Also, the video falls behind the audio, so you may prefer to just listen while you scroll down and read along.

 



Humanity is in the midst of immense changes. What immense changes am I thinking of? I think of the long-term advancement of technology from boats to cars and planes as well as from the telegraph to radio and satellite to the internet. However, we are also in the midst of sudden short-term change, like the destabilizing of global lending markets and even vast changes in the governing organizations that define and enforce property rights (AKA “legal” ownership). When those governing operations of organized violence clash with each other or simply dissolve, people may be reminded quickly of appreciating what they may have been taking for granted.

 

content-img-04

 

New patterns of behavior are emerging quickly, including a return to certain patterns that some people may have discounted as obsolete. New questions are being asked and explored, and that learning involves new information which informs new models.

 

There is also a huge shift in demographics worldwide. The wealth of the retiring generation of baby boomers of the industrialized nations is quickly being distributed more widely to the relatively poor and young populations of developing nations, especially in Asia, including many Muslims.

 

This is called a crisis by mainstream news and politicians, as the huge imbalance in price of real estate and businesses (stocks) in the industrialized world drop toward the average prices in the majority of the world. The disproportionate affluence of certain nations is diminishing rapidly, as 20% of the world’s population may no longer easily access 80% of the oil, as in prior decades. In particular, the disproportionate affluence of certain populations of relatively unproductive elderly people is subject to distribute more evenly to the vigorous, virile, and increasingly well-educated masses of the developing world.

 

As the technological infrastructures of the West are increasingly available worldwide, the regions of economic growth are rapidly shifting. The idea that consumption and debt equate to wealth is being challenged by the possibility that consumption and debt may actually diminish wealth.

 

Now, old patterns of investing and even old patterns of organizing one’s finances may be suddenly less popular. A decline in popularity correlates to a decline in demand and a decline in price.

 

So, it’s not that suburban retirees value their homes much less than they did years ago, but that the rest of the world is increasingly less attracted to those suburban homes. Price is a function not just of the owner’s values, but the of the entire marketplace of buyers and sellers. Further, as socialism and communism advance in many nations, the enforcement by governing operations of private property regulations is subject to shift to increasingly aggressive acquisitions of that same property by those governing operations, whether through taxes or otherwise.

 

US Treasury Building

US Treasury Building (Photo credit: Scorpions and Centaurs)

 

As certain government programs destabilize, if not the governments themselves, investors can flee to perceived safety. To date, that has been great for the US Treasury but not so good for Greece or Spain (or New Jersey). When governments have been selectively favoring a particular market with tax privileges or direct subsidies and guarantees, such as real estate in the US, an interruption of that favoritism can be financially disastrous to the baby boomers who have been disproportionately benefiting from those interventions and protections.

 

Those who have the curiosity and courage to face these obvious developments can be responsible for adapting to them prudently. Whenever something changes, some people may benefit more than others from that change. If you are interested in exploring practical personal adjustments that you can make to be among those who receive the benefits of the vast emerging changes, I request that you contact me immediately.

 

In early 2003, J.R. began publishing warnings about an emerging global credit crisis and an eventual sharp decline in US Real Estate. In 2004 and 2005, he focused his publications on the future of rising oil prices, also pinpointing the top of the stock prices of the US Housing Sector (which has since fallen nearly 70%). In 2006, he produced triple-digit gains gains by trading the waves of metals. In 2007, he re-emphasized his warnings about US Real Estate, reporting the 15% decline in Phoenix, AZ median list prices (which were down 37% as of 9/2008 and kept falling). Throughout 2008, he issued warnings about the predictable consequences of the retiring of the first wave of the baby boom, including a final spike in prices of metals and oil, and the sequence of events that could follow that, including certain political “antics.” In early 2009, he forecast a “multi-month” rebound in US stocks and most global stocks, which, as of early 2010, has completed.

 

 

 


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