Category Archives: Smooth-Life*Clinic*
This is the LIFE!
Skipping Rocks Lab is a seaweed-tech start-up based in London. That has created “Ooho!” the edible water. It’s a spherical packaging made of seaweed, entirely natural and biodegradable. Obviously their goal is to create a waste-free alternative to plastic bottles and cups. The proprietary material is actually cheaper than plastic and can encapsulate any beverage including water, soft drinks, spirits and cosmetics. The consumption of non-renewable resources for single use bottles and the amount of waste generated is profoundly unsustainable. The aim of Ooho is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact. Read the rest of this entry
Often times, people confuse being clever and being wise when in actual fact, there is a clear distinct difference. In order to survive the times you need to know the difference and how to spot it in people. Your ability to discern a wise man from a clever man would help you in your dealings and relations with people.
You see, if you want to KNOW a CLEVER MAN, you just need to check what he SAYS and if you want to KNOW a WISE MAN, check what he PRACTICES. Wisdom is taking the words of a clever man and putting them into action and then some… Please note that these words we refer to here are not just any kind of talk. For the purpose of this article, we are going to assume that words and talk being referred to have passed the test of intelligence, morality and sensibility.
Now, while it is important to know and be in the know, it is never enough to just know. You need to know and do as well! Just like reading isn’t enough without the understanding or comprehension of what has been read, so is mere determination without discipline and so is saying the words without practising them. We have got to embrace a new way of doing things. People have got to be able to connect our words with our actions. The time has come for us to move beyond mere intelligent words to intelligent words coupled with equal intelligent, deliberate and intentional actions.
We have remained where we are today as a people because we have lived and built our world around empty words. As another election season draws closer for the Nation, we are daily pumped with lots of talk and promises from aspirants. We therefore owe it to ourselves and our generation to be able to spot clever men/women from the wise ones. As a nation, and after 54 years of independence, we should and must be tired of empty talk. We need wise people who would back their words with actions.
This principle also would help us in our dealings with people around us and will give us the leverage we need to guard against ‘strangers’ in our lives; as well as the access level we give them.
This also goes for us in our individual lives. As we try to spot people for their actions, we also need to be people who are not governed by just talk but actions. We’ve got to take action NOW! Enough of empty words! It’s time to GET WISE! I leave you today with this charge: Put your good and intelligent words to action. Let people around you be able to tie your words and actions together and name you for who you really are by your actions not what your words say.
Enough talk! Stay sharp!
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The goal of punishment is to acknowledge your hurt and to share the pain of your hurt with the offender. It does not by any means transform behavior. On the other hand, the goal of correction is to bring the offender to a human state of acknowledgement of error, remorse, and to govern behaviour in a way that transforms the offender and blesses both his immediate environment and society at large. Studies have shown that over 90% of parents never correct in their lifetime, they only punish. Correction is about using positive reinforcement to govern behaviour. But without knowledge, the tendency of parents is to use negative, coercive, punitive means of stopping or eliminating behavior rather than positive, pleasant, reinforcing means of strengthening behavior. I mean, a child misbehaves, the parent immediately scolds, spanks, or screams at the child, and the inappropriate behavior stops. The immediate consequence of the scolding, spanking, or screaming was exactly what the parents wanted: the child immediately quit misbehaving. The parent has successfully acknowledged his or her hurt and has swiftly shared the pain of the hurt with the child. Correction has not taken place. The child has not learnt anything. Furthermore, the parents’ behavior (that is, scolding, spanking or screaming) is also strengthened in the parent because it seems to be effective; hence it will certainly reoccur in the future when the child misbehaves again. And the child will misbehave again because the scolding, spanking, or screaming will have only a short-term effect on the child’s behavior.
Sadly, parents don’t see the reoccurrence of the child’s behavior as being a function of the scolding, spanking, or screaming. Rather, they will recall only that the scolding, spanking, or screaming stopped the behavior before and it will stop it again … and again and again and again and again and again. The point is that the more parents scold, spank, and scream to control their children’s behavior, the worse the children behave. You can be certain of it! The more parents scold, spank and scream to control their children’s behavior, the more their children’s behavior will invite scolding, spanking, and screaming because negative consequences are ineffective ways of controlling children’s behavior. Similar studies in classrooms have revealed exactly the same thing. The more teachers scold and scream at students to sit down and be quiet, the more the students will be out of their seats and rowdy. It is predictable. It’s science. It works even between adults. Even between husband and wife; between a senior colleague and a junior colleague at work. It is everywhere. And it is a scientific and automated behaviour in most people. The victims also learn that behaviour and use it within their own area of influence.
Now, correction is the better way. It delivers a far more positive result. Correction is to take advantage of the many opportunities that occur every day to attach a positive consequence to an appropriate behavior. That positive consequence can come in the form of a hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, a word of encouragement and praise, a smile, a wink, a token in a jar or a point on a good behavior record, and the list goes on. But what is really wonderful about this approach is that when used appropriately and consistently, the incidence of inappropriate behavior goes down dramatically while the incidence of appropriate behavior increases dramatically and is sustained. It is also predictable, and is also science. You can bet on it. It is lawful. It is a well established matter of fact that in homes where parents smile at their children, laugh with their children, have lots of positive and appropriate physical interactions with their children (hugging and kissing and patting), and talk to their children a lot in pleasant, supportive, nonjudgmental ways, the frequency of problem behaviors in those families goes down, down, down, and the frequency of pleasant parent-child relationships goes up, up, up!
As parents, we must not be seduced into believing that because we get immediate results from scolding, spankings, and screaming, that these are appropriate ways to respond to inappropriate behavior. They are not. In the long run, behavior responds better to positive than to negative consequences. Don’t be blinded by immediate, short-lived results, or by immediate, short-lived gains. There is an economy in child rearing, a price we must pay. If negative, aversive, coercive methods of control are not working (and they never do for long!), try a better way. Behavior seldom improves with harsh and negative consequences. Rather, plans to escape, despite the risks, are continually being devised. And so it is with children and coercion: they desire to escape, which they do joining gangs, cults, embracing substance abuse, jumping on any opportunity to leave home, dropping out of school, and just giving up! Parents tell me repeatedly, “I punish the child for that rotten behavior time and time again everyday and the kid continues to do it!” But in the light of this principle of human behavior, what is the matter with that analysis of the child’s behavior? The answer is simple and clear: The parent isn’t correcting the child at all. Rather, the child’s behavior is being reinforced. What the parent thinks he or she is doing is one thing but what the parent is really doing is another. The only way one can know what the parent is really doing to the behavior is by observing what happens to the behavior subsequently. If the behavior persists, no matter what the parent thinks he or she has done to it, the behavior has been reinforced. Punishment has taken place but correction has not occurred in the least. Rather, the behavior has been strengthened, and a behavior that has been strengthened is a behavior that will probably reoccur. Conversely, if the behavior gets weaker, or stops, then it has been corrected.
“When used effectively, positive reinforcement is the most powerful teaching tool we have.” Great parenting is possible. But on this altar of punishment, families have been ruined, children wrongly programmed to become malfunctioning adults and society is always the victim. I hope i’ve helped a bit? Let me get your feedbacks here. Stay sharp!
I had mentioned in the first part that I believe our desire to see change and renaissance all over Africa may continue to be a mirage until we are able to make the kind of investments through self-improvements that can make a critical mass of our people to be the kind of person I want to talk about today. I want to introduce you to who you must be if you have to be a critical part of the change we seek. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to do. Whether you an entrepreneur, politician, career mogul, actor, police officer, military personnel, medical practitioner or social worker, no matter what you do, you must be this kind of individual or you will be part of those just mouthing change. Our situation as a people requires another kind of way we must apply ourselves to be able to see the solutions with the bearing to lift our societies and our people. The government can help here by making the right policy investments to ensure our educational system for example is churning out individuals in the 3D-EPSP bracket; but beyond the government, this is one thing that waiting for the government or anyone to do for you is a sincere crime against your personal development, effectiveness and relevance. To pass this buck or discount this responsibility is a self-defining-mediocre effort to keep yourself small and average. Nigeria needs you to be 3D-EPSP. Africa needs you to be 3D-EPSP. 3D-EPSP is an acronym for three dimensional effective problem solving people.
Today, I am dealing with these as thoroughly as I can and show how it works for our socio-economic and political realities both as a continent and as a people. If we can have a little less than 1% of our population across the nation and the larger continent to be able to function in the mold I described on in the first part of this piece, as well as the kind of posture I will describe today, it will not be very long before our genius and transformation will emerge.
See, our country and our continent is filled will problems of all kinds, known and unknown. As much as we think our known problems are, they are extremely few compared to our unknown problems. We cannot adequately cater for the masses of our people if a significant number of our population cannot provide solution to our known and most critically unknown problems, yet prevailing. We need people to function perpetually and simultaneously in three dimensions. In their first dimension, our people must be the kind of persons who through experience, training or talents have a very strong underlining psyche of perpetually expecting to identify loopholes in every existing structure, system, style, project, idea, etc, no matter how successful. No system can exist in its perfect state of existence. There is an incompleteness about everything existing today that allows those coming after to have something to do. The perfection of existence today will eliminate meaning, relevance and continuity tomorrow. If things can be perfect today, tomorrow’s people are unnecessary and the world will end now. It is our imperfections that drive our continuity. Since that is true, what is incomplete should not shock anyone. What is incomplete is a tool that must be engaged to create value about all things that define continuity for those coming after.
Anyone existing in the 1st dimension is the one who through experience, training or talents have a very strong underlining psyche of perpetually expecting to identify loopholes in every existing structure, system, style, project, idea, or what have you. That person will spot the incompleteness in everything. That person will spot the loophole and vacuum in everything. That person will somehow always be the one to spot the next level of everything. We need a significant number of our people in this dimension. Then, in the 2nd dimension, people will be able to function in the 1st dimension spotting loopholes, imperfections and problems both known and unknown, but are also then, by reason of use, sustain a RAPID RESPONSE MENTAL POSTURE (RRMP©) elastic enough to not only understand the problem they find in their 1st dimension but also design, build, and sustain solutions-blue prints to solve those problems. Also, with the RAPID RESPONSE MENTAL POSTURE (RRMP©) of their 2nd dimension, they are also able to solve problems they never saw before or and those never envisaged.
Then, in the third dimension, people have enough talent, skill sets or experience to dwarf problems of the type they have seen and consistently conquered before, between their 1st and 2nd dimensions; and to create templates for those coming after to be able to do the same. That’s legacy. 3D-EPSP will help Nigeria and the continent as a whole to produce the kind of people with the competency to bring to the market and to the world in general, a stream of new and improved, value added solutions, products and services that enable the institutions and organizations achieve higher margins and profits to re-invest in the system. 3D-EPSP is the strength of innovation. Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. Incorporating new technologies, design and best practice is the key nation-building process that enables Asian, American and European organizations and institutions to compete effectively in the global environment. Modernization will require that you initiate methods in contrast to traditional, conventional, customary and established ones.
Our people will have to be believers and promoters of critical advancement and progress. We have to develop the propensity to keep changing something so that it is consistently suitable for modern needs or habits. We will have to learn to adopt and surpass modern ways or ideas. There will have to be a modernization program or culture in our individual and collective operations. This is 3D-EPSP—The ability to try new things, do new things, and find new needs, new knowledge, new solutions…new things! Newness is the strength of innovation and that’s what 3D-EPSP delivers. It helps you to expect, seek embrace and initiate change. It helps you to Alter, Modify, Transform, Revolutionize, Amend, See and Seize opportunities, Experiment. Do something. If one fails, try another. Adjust. Move. Act. A spirited, vigorous, forceful, energetic and hearty response to unexpected opportunities or specific customer problems creates variation and consequently, innovation. That’s 3D-EPSP. And that who you must be. That’s who your family members must be. That’s the people your organization must hire. That’s those we need all over the continent. May our people see. God bless Nigeria. God bless Africa.