Finding Your Fitness Groove


Tina Anderson

LP TrendsBodyTina Anderson – Tips for living healthy, fit and in your groove.

If you’re looking for up-to-the-minute information, tips and inspiration to get your healthy groove on, Tina Anderson’s got it all and she’s eager to share it with you.

Tina’s philosophy is that we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to live healthy, strong, productive and positive lives. She believes that “laughter is medicine to our souls and empathy can heal broken spirits.” We think you’ll love her practical, efficient and sustainable approach, served up with verve, authenticity, and a sense of humor. When it comes to motivation, Tina’s got it going on!

Tina’s feature profile in our magazine: Life In the Groove: Tina Anderson

A few of her recent articles from her own blog.

My Battle with Overeating & Bulimia

You Can’t Exercise Away A Bad Diet

 

Shift Happens. Then What?

LPTrendsMind: Major life shifts, like excrement we find at our feet, happens more often than we’d like, both the literal and the metaphorical kind. LPMag explores what happens when shift happens through the practical and unique insights of resident “shift” expert Lori Anderson.

Just when you think you’re in the groove and you’ve got life figured out, something shifts and – BOING!!! – things just don’t work the same anymore. How do you handle it? After you express your inner 2-year-old by throwing a whopper of temper tantrum (when no one’s looking, of course), how do you shift your focus, your priorities, your lifestyle to incorporate changed circumstances? Do you have a support system, a toolkit, and the other resources you need to get your groove back?

Moms, you know what I’m talking about – summer vacation just started. All of a sudden we must don our Manager of Parks and Recreation hat, while keeping our Domestic CEO, Chief Bus Driver and Employee Extraordinaire hats on too! The shift happens literally overnight, usually when we’re least ready for it, often rendering us dizzy and in need of a new routine for balance.

Now, you don’t have to be a mom to feel the discomfort when shift happens. Dads, single folks, kids are not exempt from feeling the effects of a new job, a divorce, a marriage or new relationship, a move. In our gut, we know that ‘the only constant is change’ and this knowledge can make regaining equilibrium easier but it’s not enough, so we struggle through the shift, re-jiggering our lives until we achieve a new shade of ‘normal.’ For now. Until the next shift.

My recent series of shifts has arrived bearing gifts, including self-reflection and unique and new responses, and fleeting, but much needed moments of presence. After I’ve hit the wall and had an excruciating bout of analysis paralysis, I get present with the stress and fear, and dig around my heart in search of that tiny resolute feeling that will pull me through to a new perspective and hopefully a solution – at least for today.

A wise friend often reminds me that no matter what I decide, I can always change my mind, because it’s not forever. I’ve also learned that being very present to my child (or even my feline friend) for just the right amount of time can snap me into a place of gratitude for my life, the shifts and the tenacity to muddle through, sometimes quite elegantly, others not so much, but always in my own unique way.

One of my favorite sites for self-reflection and new perspectives is PositivelyPositive.com.

How do you cope when shift happens?

Article by Lori Anderson

If you liked this, you might also like:

Don’t Forget the Small Stuff

Addicted To Potential

 

Change Your Story: Change Your Life…

What if a few new strategies for thinking, and a plan were all that stood between me, or you, and something we dared not imagine? What if there were no more what ifs, only infinite possibilities? You’d want that for yourself and your family, right?

As any of us look across the communities we live in, or the lands that we own and have lost, it is easy to see how volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous our reality has become. How brittle our hope for a better future feels, met equally by the squishy nature of everything else, in that nothing, it seems, can be counted on to remain the same.

Much of what we could once looked forward to has utterly changed. Loss, anger, resentment, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, and disbelief have somehow become the mainstays of our new human experience. That, I fear, is a very bad thing indeed.

There are thousands of self-help books to tell you how to become a great leader, how to live in the now, how to communicate and tell stories to win at life and business; how to sell better, love better, feel better, be better. And many are excellent and true. But when it comes right down to it, there really are only a handful of human behaviors, abilities, skills, and operational weaponry any of us have or can develop that goes into achieving better or great in any area of our life.

The formulas—or guides for high performance, excellence, and success have a great deal to do with a few simple concepts, remembering that concepts are only that—frameworks upon which we build our lives. And like the light and dark energy of the universes, there are good things about concepts and bad things about concepts. Any new widget or idea means nothing if you don’t put it into use.

Opinions, ideas, and perspectives are like noses. Every human has one, unless it has been obliterated by either genetics, by an accident, or a benign act of a single person we didn’t see coming. What makes us unique is our capacity for seeing things a million different ways, and to change how we see things in order to change our futures. What makes us great is even if we were born without a nose for our own self, we can develop that sense of smell. We all have our stories from the past, and we can choose that they be fuel for positive change or ammunition for destruction.

Today I thought I should remind the human race: change your story and change your life. What if?

BIG PARTY 2011 – Red Carpet Cool in Artober!

Millennium Scepter, oil on canvas, Raphael Delgado, 2011. All Rights Reserved T2PS.

The Self-Aware, HIgh Performing Human Being

 

Get your tickets here (click here)  

Sacramento365.com $40 for the party in Sacramento of the year! The only red carpet event in Sacramento for Artober…

“Transforming leaders are uncommon, and yet they are the way through every challenge and toward every great possibility. They are visionary people who possess discipline, perseverance, and commitment, who have high-performing abilities to implement their visions in the spirit of teams, collaboration, independence and sustainability. Transforming leaders buck the conventional wisdom of popularity and do what is right, what is best for the “we” and not just the “I”. They are people who see what is always possible and what is extraordinary, always striving for the highest marks on the horizon. Transforming leaders leave an indelible stain on the fabric of their communities and they move their cities by their actions in ways that remark positively, creating vibrant success in their wake. You are a transformational leader. You are an inspiration and an icon for others to follow. You are a Transforming Leader of Sacramento, and we thank you for what we know are the countless, quiet hours you work to be that change agent for the present and future of our River City, for our region, for our state, and for us all.”

For Art: Raphael Delgado – Artist of the Year; Michelle Alexander – Cultural Economy Champion; Deborah Edward – New Local Champion; Nicholas Wray – Photographer Visionary; Lily Moon – Emerging Social Artist; Christina Marie – Indie Film Visionary

For Culture & Business: Sister Libby Fernandez (Activist, Loves and Fishes-Perseverance & Discipline); Michael Heller, Jr. (Heller Pacific-Urban Sustainable Visionary); Gordon Fowler & Kim Tucker 3Fold Communications-The New Model of Social Business Engineering); Shawn Harrison (Soil Born Farms-Sustainable Business Leadership); Bill Mueller (Valley Vision-The Man Behind the Curtain); Tim Jordan & Jason Griest (Old Soul – Breathing Life Into Communities of Possibility); Liv Moe & Tim Foster (Verge & Midtown Monthly-Cultural Leadership & Voice to the People and Artist); Ben Ilfeld & Geoff Sameck (Sacramento Press-Bringing Back the Power of Local Journalism); Alex Origoni, Jason Boggs, & Garrett Van Vleck (Shady Lady-Re-Creating the Social Evening Culture ); Bobbin Cherrington & Patrick Mulvaney (Social and Cultural and Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Motion)

For Civic Leadership: Mayor Kevin Johnson (For Doing What’s Right and Not Always Popular); Funders of the Sacramento Regional Foundation (For the Generosity Project); Lial A. Jones (Crocker’s Quiet Leader- for Transforming Our Cultural Experience)

For Music: Larisa Bryski & Skip Maggiora (Skip’s Music for Changing Youth’s Lives via Stairway to Stardom); SN&R for the Jammies and for Youth Cultural Leadership

Event details: at the Next Door Space, 19th and L Mulvaney’s B&L, Midtown Sacramento; 6-11 pm. Cost Incl: Light food, champagne, live music, special LA guests, rock journalist Lonn Friend from LA (signing his new book Sweet Demotions), local musician Larisa Bryski and invited musicians from TESLA w/music by Clemon Charles and Mike Wilson trio rock remix. Theme is red carpet red/white/black tie remix (your urban flair)

Sacramento 100 Urban Portrait Project by Nicholas Wray
Sacramento Just Made the International Cultural Map

Special:  Nicholas Wray SN&R’s Top 25 Photographer is unveiling his Sacramento 100 Urban Portrait Project, profiling in documentary, an epic book project and more – Sacramento’s 100 most culturally influencing people. Get your photo taken by Nick w/celebs or others for $20 raffle, which also enters you to win $250 in cash – half that if you win plus your raffle proceeds goes to support this Kickstarter project (which in turn supports the Sacramento Art & Business Council), Crayons for Kids, and Skip’s Music Stairway to Stardom music program for youth. You can always give more but get your pic by a serious talent for what others pay $250 for…and all for great causes!

The Art and Science of Exraordinary
September ‘leadingpossibilities” Cover Feature Artist Raphael Delgado

More Special! Raphael Delgado Sacramento’s Prelude to the Season Artist of the Year 2011 and this Year’s Transforming Artist of the Year will be signing limited edition signed lithographs of our Millennium Scepter print (see www.t2ps.com for animated version and our new magazine leadingpossibilities for design inspiration). Portions of proceeds here also go to Raphael’s children’s art program plus you get exclusive collector-valued artwork before anyone else!

Wait..there’s still more! Infamous rock journalist Lonn Friend is coming from LA to sign his new book Sweet Demotions and to tell tall LA Sunset strip tales, get your pic with a legend and hear about things others only dream…he is a man who has transformed his life and a special friend. Don’t miss this!

Or Brian Diamond Humorist/Comedian, or emerging artists and writers, and the coolest, most bold and courageous people in Sacramento.

FOR MORE INFORMATION About 2012 – or EVENT SPONSOR:   T2 PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS, Tracy Saville 916-717-3250 or Tracy@t2ps.com

Media/PR:    Vera Icon PR, Veronica Delgado at 916-792-4947

reinvention: Apple’s Steve Jobs did it…

Blow Everything Up and Start Over? by Tracy Saville

Reinvention is your best new old friend:  reset, re-charge, renew. That is according to Hollywood director Steven Soderbergh (just three years younger than moi), who directed such blockbusters and award-winning features as Erin Brokovich, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, Che, and Sex, Lies and Videotape. He gave this advice to Charlie Rose, me, and many millions of viewers on PBS recently as he discussed his new film, Contagion, starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law.

Soderbergh proclaimed he’d hit his own proverbial glass ceiling of creativity, that he’d done all he could do as an artist director, and so he was going on a sabbatical, a walk-about, “maybe to paint,” he mused. He talked of finding new inspiration, a way to start anew and do something, to be or become something he had never been before.

It got me thinking: why do we assume someone as iconically successful and known as Steven Soderbergh should have to blow everything up and start over? Then I remembered: because he can. He does because he knows he must, and that is the lesson we must all learn to stop denying if we want to live a high-powered, mastered life. Like an addict, Soderbergh is going in search of that great next fix, that first taste of new inspirational passion, and yet he is not some fiend seeking relief from himself or some aspect of life’s bastardly, occasional excrement dumps. He, like us all, seeks an existence where he is living into his full potential. And when we achieve the outer edge of any of our abilities, we do what comes naturally: we keep moving into the next.

It is no mistake that one of the shared human traits we were gifted with (if we choose to wield it) is the gift of change. And like the theory of chaos, the butterfly effect, which suggests when one thing happens repeatedly and then changes, it creates a string of unexpected results. Guaranteed chaos is the thing we seek, the mixing up of our bag of tricks so as to find a new shiny possibility among the known.

We are not alone. We are in good company; those who seek to blow it all up and start over. Sometimes through sheer will, through event or circumstance, or through no fault or action of our own, we find we must start over, build anew, to begin again. We go in search of a do-over to right a failure, to see if we can do what we could not do the first time, or perhaps just try on something so new as to change our entire perspective. Those who do as a way of being are the healthiest, wealthiest, most joyful and high performing among us, and demonstrate failure is not the end: failure is only the beginning.

And this is the simplest secret of all: we can rest, we can lay down our efforts for a time, we can do over, start over—again and again it seems—and we can re-charge our batteries using a different fuel source than before. We can because we must. This is how we find the courage and inspiration to move forward. The discipline it takes to be comfortable with a life spent in constant change and evolution is the discipline hallmark of every great leader and great achiever.

Consider the people of New York or New Orleans faced with giving up or beginning again. Think of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, whose mother gave him away for adoption, who’s first few big computer company efforts failed miserably, who went on to become one of the most successful corporate leaders of our time, most notably pioneering Pixar. Retiring August 26th of this year as Apples Chief Executive, it is widely reported he is dying from pancreatic cancer, and yet still he lived eight years and counting after his first diagnosis, which predicted his demise much earlier. It was during this period of time he negotiated the merger deal with Disney.

How about American two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, and author and successful entrepreneur—now father of a product dynasty that began with the Foreman Grill? George Foreman went from a young boy in Texas who never knew his biological father in the late 1940’s and self-admittedly surviving a troubled youth, to being not only one of boxing’s top 25 greatest fighters of all time, but one of the most financially and culturally successful entrepreneurs and business leaders ever. Many lives. Many do-overs.

Finally, consider former comedian Al Franken of famed Saturday Night Live lore, who went on to fight one of the most infamous Senate races for a Democratic Minnesota seat and win, who by all counts is one of the most effective federal legislators we have, and in this day and age, that’s saying something. Or last but not least, consider Colonel Sanders, who according to Success In Life.com didn’t start his chicken empire until he was 65.

The ‘how to” nugget here is how do any of us begin again, or for some, the first time finally after many years? We accept that change or reinvention or even invention late in life does not go against any rule, because the only rule we have when it comes to living fully is: live in disciplined, committed pursuit of renewal, re-charging, re-starts and re-invention experiences.

 

 

 

ask tracy (just about anything)…

Featured

Friends and fellow travelers,

Tracy Saville "The Humansolutionist"

We laugh because we can.

Got a burning question about your life, something not quite working like you want it to? I can help….ask me anything.

I will answer your questions or help you with direction on any aspect of mind, body, spirit, career, purpose, or or family – related to personal mastery or leadership development.

Translated: If you want to know how to really talk to your 17 year-old son to create a trusting, valuable relationship, or maybe you need to compete for a job but don’t know why you aren’t even being considered? Break the questions down to what you want, can’t get, need, can’t find, hate and can’t get rid of…shoot!

Transformational Leadership


Millennium Scepter, oil on canvas, Raphael Delgado, 2011. All Rights Reserved T2PS.

The Self-Aware, High Performing Human Being

This is material developed for a workshop on Transformational Leadership delivered in August of 2011.

“Reengineering and other prevailing management fads that urge dramatic change and fundamental transformation on all fronts are not only wrong, they are dangerous. Any great and enduring human institution must have an underpinning of core values and a sense of timeless purpose that should never change. Give up the bedrock principles—the “what we stand for” and “why we exist”—of a great nation, and it will eventually cease to be great.” Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last on wholesale change.

 Change is not about dramatic swings. Change is not a fad. Change is a status quo of the environment which demands that we get very clear about bedrock principles so that when the world or our organization erupts against us, we are prepared come what may – as individuals, families, companies, organizations, cities, nations and as a global society – all the why’s that cement our commitment to the cause and underpin our discipline for the vision we hold – this is what we must learn to do, and to build our mechanisms with this kind of commitment to our core principle – personally and professionally – to withstand the forces of change without altering the foundation of purpose beneath.

Why is Transformational Leadership Necessary? 

Humanity in Chaos

In Case of Emergency: Run to High Ground

“For every new human mastery ability or perspective you cultivate, you will drive powerful actions toward not just a better individual life; the changes you make for yourself will also enable the same for others. Cycles can be broken. New generations of possibility can be born.” Tracy Saville

Transformational Leadership is the leadership ability that will re-engineer human institutions to be aligned with new core values and visions, adopted because of what we have experienced in the new reality of the world we live in. It will be the skill set that Gen-Y (or Millenniums) must have to sustain our families against the volatile uncertainty of average everyday existence, and it will be used to create and drive the massive changes we must make in systems that are dangerously operating at the expense of the people the systems serve. Remember that systems are people. Revolutions are never necessary wherever leaders lead from authentic service and a bedrock principle of integrity.

Transformative leading is more than just the basic idea that we need great leaders, which we have always known; it is a matter of how leaders are trained to do what the new world requires, and whether or not they are self-aware, authentic, humble, disciplined, self-actualized, emotionally intelligent, transformative human engineers capable of creating visions, enrolling others in those visions, AND building organizational systems at every level of every society in every culture everywhere that is equal to the tasks needed to make the changes we actually desire.

Transformational leaders must know how to sustain the new way of doing things until tomorrow comes, unexpectedly, and be ready to shift and make new changes to accommodate what might come next in a world defined by chaos and uncertainty.

Change is the new normal. And this is where your ability to be a transforming leader with vision AND grounded, real leader builder/sustainer skills comes in.

What is Transformational Leadership?

  1. Values/Intention/Authenticity/Service: James McGregor Burns (although there are other researchers who tell us more about this) defines transformational leadership as a process where leaders and subordinates engage in a mutual process of lifting each other to higher levels of motivation.
  2. Transformational leaders raise the bar by appealing to higher ideals and values of their people. As a result, they model the values themselves and use charismatic methods to attract others.
  3. Bernard Bass’ defines transformational leadership in terms of how the leader affects their people. He identifies three ways in which leaders transform followers:
  • Increasing their awareness of task importance and value.
  • Getting them to focus first on team/organizational goals, not own interests.
  • Activating follower’s higher-order needs.
Gen-Y Mastering Up

Mike Wilson, percussionist-musician/personal mastery devotee

Transformational leaders are also:

Innovators/creative problem solvers: They possess skills that go beyond one primary skill set, allowing them to question, observe, associate, network, and experiment. These skills are what are needed to respond to the inevitable problems we’ll face throughout the 21st century.

As the world becomes narrower, flatter, more fragmented, appealing to an ever -increasing amount of niches, the rich network of connections from one field to the next gets lost.

The need for people who can connect the dots will only grow in importance, people who can connect dots AND inspire people through higher ideals and a willingness to work from a framework of possibility.

Problems with Transformational Leadership?

  • Complacency driven by achievement and discipline (or lack thereof)
  • Vision isn’t realistic or attainable and somehow the relevant and critical skills/abilities of the team members do not match what the vision requires
  • Holding a vision not supported by the tier above them in influence or power within a structure
  • Change scares people and can shut down performance

James MacGregor Burns: Model of Moral, Transaction & Transformational Leaders 

(Burns’ Model of Transaction and Transformation Leadership Authority[1]

THREE FRAMES FOR THE Capitalist Entrepreneur 2. Bureaucratic (Transactional)Bureaucracy is “the exercise of control on the basis of knowledge: (p. 339). It is the stuff of rational legal hierarchical power, the Bureaucratic leader.
1. Charistmatic/ Hero (Transformer)An individual personality set apart form ordinary people and endowed with supernatural, superhaman powers, and heroic Charismatic leadership qualities. In short part Hero, and part Superman/ Superwoman. 3. Traditional (Feudal/ Prince) Traditional is an arbitrary exercise of Sultan power bound to loyalty, favoritism, and politics. It is stuff of Princely leadership


Possibility Frameworks Are Cornerstone Tools for Transformational Leaders

Shifting our perspectives from ‘I’ to ‘we’; seeking possible alternatives and never blame; thinking strategically and synthetically – both from a systems perspective where we look at all the pieces of the game board and the game board itself and from a systems and human behavioral perspective where we add the people to the equation, but place them at the center of the target, where they stand on the vision, enrolled in the bedrock principle.

BATNA: Harvard-style Negotiation Techniques

BATNA is a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In. It stands for “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” BATNAs are critical to negotiation because you cannot make a wise decision about whether to accept a negotiated agreement unless you know what your alternatives are. Your BATNA is the only standard which can protect you both from accepting terms that are too unfavorable and from rejecting terms it would be in your interest to accept. In the simplest terms, if the proposed agreement is better than your BATNA, then you should accept it. If the agreement is not better than your BATNA, then you should reopen negotiations. If you cannot improve the agreement, then you should at least consider withdrawing from the negotiations and pursuing your alternative (though the costs of doing that must be considered as well).

Having a good BATNA increases your negotiating power. Therefore, it is important to improve your BATNA whenever possible. Good negotiators know when their opponent is desperate for an agreement. When that occurs, they will demand much more, knowing their opponent will have to give in. If the opponent apparently has many options outside of negotiation, however, they are likely to get many more concessions, in an effort to keep them at the negotiating table. Thus making your BATNA as strong as possible before negotiating, and then making that BATNA known to your opponent will strengthen your negotiating position.

Tim Saville

Tim Saville, A Transformational Leader

TRANSACTIONAL CATEGORIES OF LEADERSHIP (thanks to Tim Saville for gathering the following…)

Transactional leadership “requires a shrewd eye for opportunity, a good hand at bargaining, persuading, reciprocating”.

    Opinion Leaders and Spectacle – In public opinion leadership, the transactions are less tangible, like the exchange of a political office for electoral support.

Group Leaders  – the bargainers and bureaucrats. Leaders can use charisma and transaction to enhance cohesion, solidarity, and conformity, as the situation demands. Leaders are at the center of the groups’ communications. The overt exercise of leader power in a group promotes group conflict, heightens competing group claims, and thereby weakens solidarity.

Bureaucracy favors consensus and discredits clash and controversy, as a threat to its stability. Bureaucracy discourages charismatic personalities, favoring a depersonalized hierarchy, with rules, norms, paperwork, and standards, a leadership vested in offices not in persons. Bureaucracy is anti-heroic. The most disciplined, impersonal, and rigid bureaucracy is, however, full of Princely power, the jockeying for personal power and competitive advantage of one fiefdom group over another. In the end the groups and divisions of a bureaucracy become political interest groups.

Leaders of bureaucratic groups and organizations can change social norms by adjusting transactions, conform, be deviate and divisive until a new bargain is struck, or just leave.

Government Political - Party Leadership - Parties contend and conflict in the struggle for power. Leaders face a perpetual battle of combative parties seeking power. Leaders discover their own interests and activate interests, wants, needs, and expectations of followers, and then promise to meet them, resulting in mobilized demands for economic, social and psychological resources. Power is channeled and distributed, creating the basis of transactional structures of political and party leadership. The tendency in such transaction structures is towards oligarchy, as leaders of fighting groups are pitted against one another. In any organization the leader competes and bargains and compromises with competing parties of conflicting group interests.

There is a basic conflict between transactional and transformational forces that is being worked out and sorted out in complex organizations.

Legislative Leadership: The Price of Consensus – Bargaining, reciprocity, and payoff is the transactional trading system of legislative leadership. None did legislative leadership better than Lyndon B. Johnson. His transactional leadership exploited channels of obligation, expectation, awarding and denying prize committee assignments and chairmanships, allotting congressional funds, amassing and distributing credits, and hinting at threat through scorn and accusation to get his way. Huey Long was also a legislative leader, able to throw up roadblocks, politicize the environment, and organize the rank-and-file. Burns did not remark at all on the relationship between legislative leadership and corporate power. Today’s behind the scenes backbenchers are political action committees, where to finance legislative campaigns, legislators trade their allegiance from constituency to corporate interests.

Executive Leadership - The distinguishing characteristics of executive leaders, in contrast with party or parliamentary leaders, are their lack of reliable political and institutional support, their dependence on bureaucratic resources such as staff and budget, and most of all their use of themselves – their own talent and character, prestige and popularity, in the clash of political interests and values. Spectacle is a powerful arbitrator to concentrate power. In such a polity, some executives cultivate conflict among their staff to better control them. Others look to available penalties, rewords and inducements to influence their staff (promotions, work assignments, appreciation, etc.). And some set up their own intelligence apparatus for their own unique purposes. The accumulation of such power is necessary to overcome resistance to executive plans and techniques.

Versus Transformational CATEGORIES OF LEADERSHIP – 3 Burns categories

Intellectual - An intellectual leader is devoted to seeing ideas and values that transcend immediate practical needs and still change and transform their social milieu. The intellectual leader is out of step with their own time, in conflict with the status quo. The intellectual leader is a person with a vision that can transform society by raising social consciousness.

Reform – leadership of reform movements requires participation of a large number of allies with various reform and non-reform goals of their own, which means dealing with endless divisions in the ranks, and a collective that is anti-leadership. Reform leadership by definition implies moral leadership, which means an attention to matching the means to the ends. Reform leaders transform parts of society to realize moral principles.

Revolutionary – where the reformer operated on the parts, the revolutionary operates on the whole. The analysis of revolution always seems to begin with the storming of the Bastille, an event that transformed the French monarchy. Then there is the Bolshevik revolution, a game conducted by elites over the heads of the masses. Then there are the coups d’états of banana republics. In its broadest meaning revolution is a complete and pervasive transformation of an entire social system.

[1] file:///Users/TKSaville/Documents/T2%20Curriculum/chaos/TRANSFORMATIONAL%20LEADERSHIP.webarchive

Albert Rodda – The Great Historian

Senator Albert Rodda, who served with extraordinary integrity

Albert Rodda, California State Senator who passed away in 2011, wrote a series of extraordinary works. This one on history and the import of it is something you should read if you are a person on the path of understanding yourself in this chaotic world:

Course Syllabus Supplement – Western Civilization
Sacramento Community College
1966

History: Does It Have Meaning?

By Albert S. Rodda

Asiatic nationalism, the population explosion, the demand for immediate democracy and freedom, the urgent need to industrialize the backward nations, relative scarcity of natural resources, and the fragile nature of the earth’s environment create today world conditions which might well drive the course of world events toward a third world war. Since this would be disastrous to world civilization, we are justified in making it, the possibility of world war, the number one world problem confronting mankind.

In a world situation such a ours, characterized by a peaceful coexistence resting on a delicate balance of terror, any number of conditions can serve as destabilizing factors and bring the world to the threshold of war.

We are compelled, therefore, to raise several questions: Is there anything that can be done to establish peace? Has mankind the freedom of will to do what is necessary? Has he the social intelligence?

On this point Arthur T. Hadley comments most interestingly as follows in “The Nation’s Safety and Arms Control:”

“…necessity has never been a particularly impressive argument to mankind. Nor is there any guarantee that the skills necessary to handle the nuclear world lies within human capacity.”

He observed, also, that in Scottish law there is a verdict of “not proven” – not innocent and set free; not guilty and condemned, simply not proven. This would seem, he said, to be the only verdict on mankind’s ability to survive in the nuclear age: “not proven.”

Emery Reves in The Anatomy of Peace rejects the contention of many that war cannot be abolished. War, in his view is neither “inexplicable” nor “inevitable.” It is the consequence of clearly definable conditions; and occurs with the “mathematical regularity of natural laws…..”

Reves predicates his argument upon two verities of history: (1) that war between groups of men organized into social units always occur when such groups exercise sovereign power and (2) that wars between social groups cease immediately upon the transference of sovereign power to a larger or higher unit of social organization.

It is the contact between “non-integrate social units of equal sovereignty,” he reasons, that produces the juxtaposition of conflicting social forces which inevitably lead to war, or organized destruction engaged in by mutually incompatible sovereign entities.

History, in Reves’ view, consists of recurring periods of armed truce or peace interrupted by recurring periods of conflict or war. The period of a power balance is better understood, therefore, not as a condition of peace but a pre-condition to war. In seeking to organize rationally the conditions of peace, Reves suggests, therefore, that it cannot be accomplished by the device of a power balance.

History provides ample evidence of the futility of such endeavor. On this point he wryly comments that “technical equipment, and arms, has as much to do with peace as frogs with the weather” and that “conscription and large armies are just as incapable of maintaining peace as no conscription and disarmament.”

He concludes and I quote:

“Logical thinking and historical empiricism agree that there is a way to solve this problem…once and for all. But with equal clarity they that there is one way and one way alone:…The integration of the scattered conflicting national sovereignties into one unified, higher sovereignty, capable of creating a legal order within which all peoples may enjoy equal security, equal obligation and equal rights under the law.”

Assuming the correctness of Reves’ analysis, the question remains: Does mankind have the freedom to structure a world in which peace can survive? Admittedly, human beings are, in a sense, victims of the social, economic, and political context in which they are born and live. If the structure of society possesses an inherent orientation toward social conflict, can man change it? Is there reason to believe, or even hope, that some latitude exists for man to create an environment in which peace, and not war, is the reasonable probability?

In his War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy comments significantly in describing the Napoleonic invasion of Russia as follows:

“We are forced to fall back upon fatalism in history to explain irrational events…The more we try to explain events in history rationally, the more irrational and incomprehensible they seem to us:”

“The higher a man’s place in the social scale, the more conspicuous is the inevitability and predestination of every act he commits.”

“The King,” says Tolstoy “is the slave of history.” “Every action that seems…an act of (individual) freewill, is in an historical sense not free at all, but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity.”

The question might very well be asked: Is Tolstoy right? Does history reveal that man is helplessly swinging upon the hinge of fate?

Definition of History

We might very well, in exploring this question, begin by defining what history is.

History is not the event itself – not the deeds of yesterday themselves–it is the written record of the significant events of the past which is developed from surviving evidence, written and unwritten. It is each generation’s interpretation of what happened.

A good definition of history is that of John Huizinga: “History is the intellectual form in which a civilization renders account to itself of its past.”

It is not “bunk” as observed by Henry Ford and it is not, as described by Napoleon Bonaparte, the number of lies that men will agree to believe.

History is as close to the truth as historical method can attain. Even so it has its limitations. Anatole Mazour, professor of history at Stanford University, described them when he wryly observed that “History is complicated truth transformed into simplified falsehood.” Here he was simply trying to emphasize that the truth about a thing suffers as a result of the process of generalization or abstraction. This observation should not encourage the view that generalization should not be attempted since it tends to distort the truth; since generalization and abstraction are the result of intellectualizing about something, the statement should serve only to caution us about hasty and reckless generalization.

Historical Method

During the 19th century, German historians made an effort to place historical research upon a scientific or empirical basis. They contributed substantially to the development, therefore, of modern historical method–a method for determining and presenting the record of the past and scientifically as possible.

The historical method involves the utilization of deductive and inductive reasoning, the development of hypothesis, the careful and objective organization and examination of historical data, and, whenever and to the extent possible, the verification of hypothesis and interpretation.

Essential to sound historical scholarship are the following:

(1) a rational interpretation of the data
(2) an objective attitude toward historical evidence and fact
(3) careful and comprehensive research in order to uncover as fully as possible the relevant historical evidence
(4) establishment of the validity and meaning of the evidence–and internal criticism–establishing the real meaning of the historical record
(5) utilization of auxiliary aids: such as the sister disciplines of anthropology, sociology, economics, statistics and technology, for example, aerial photography, computers, the chemical laboratory, etc. (carbon-14 time dating and x-ray)

Today historians are troubled about their discipline. They recognize that history can provide only limited and not absolute truth and they are afraid that it has only limited usefulness.

Modern scholars are, therefore, less optimistic and certain than were the 19th century German, scientific historians. These men, confident in their methodology, believed that history could determine the past as it actually happened–“Wie es eigentlich gewesen”–both the facts and the casual relationships.

Historians today, influenced by Freudian and behaviorist psychology, philosophical pragmatism, existentialism, and scientific indeterminism are most modest. They are aware of the tendency of man toward irrationalism; they are aware of his non-objectivity, and they recognize the danger in intellectual generalization or simplification.

Historians, therefore, tend to regard historical truth as tentative, not permanent; relative, not absolute; and subjective, not objective. They believe that each generation must write its own history, reach its own idea of truth, and give to history its own meaning–if it has meaning.

Does History Have Meaning

In this respect there are different approaches to the study and interpretation of history. And one’s approach to history will depend upon whether one assumes or believes that history is determinant, non-determinant, or whether it does or does not have meaning, purpose, or ends.

There is an approach called historicism. When used in the Popperian sense, it is a belief in determinism or law in history. The historian who accepts this view of the meaning of history regards historical truth as the unfolding of historical law. History becomes revelation. Marxists are determinists—economic determinists. They hold to the belief that economic institutions and forces govern the historical process, and they view historical development, therefore, as a movement toward a classless, socialistic society–the certain outcome of natural law.

In this, the determinists view, man possesses both the freedom and the power of mind and will to put history to work, to make it a tool for his own self-chosen purpose through knowledge of the laws and principles to which it responds.

Edward P. Cheney stated this point of view in 1927 in an essay on Law in History as follows:

“May I repeat that I do not conceive of these generalizations as principles which it would be well for us to accept, or as ideals which we may hope to attain; but as natural laws, which we must accept whether we want to or not; whose workings we cannot obviate, however much we may thwart them to our own failure and disadvantage; laws to be reckoned with, much as are the laws of gravitation, or of the chemical affinity, or of organic evolution, or of human psychology.”

“Man historically has been in much the same position as men individually. He has been able to deflect slightly to one side or another, the law-controlled course of events. He has been able to give social shape to general movements. If his action has been conformable to law it has been effective; when he has worked along with the great forces of history he has influenced constructively the course of events; when his action has violated historic law the results have been destructive, momentary, subject to reversal. Men always have been free to act; the results of their actions will depend on the conformity or nonconformity of these actions to law.”

There is a view that history is pure description–another approach which is also referred to as historicism. It is, of course, non-Popperian. Such historians see no relationship, no pattern in history. They are romanticists; they see only separate, disconnected, discrete historical events. History has no end, no purpose–no meaning. Their study of history is justified solely by an antiquarian interest in the past for information about the past and for information only.

Another, perhaps, the oldest concept of history is the teleological or providential concept in which history is seen as the development of God’s purpose or plan. It reflects a theistic faith and perspective and tends toward fatalism and the denial of freedom for the individual to give to life’s existence a human meaning or purpose–since man’s fate is the fulfillment of God’s will. It is God directed.

Sometimes referred to as the Augustinian approach to historical meaning, the teleological approach is encountered in the reflections on history of St. Augustine, and, at least inferentially, in the “The Second Inaugural of Abraham Lincoln,” when he said:

“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it–all sought to avert it. All parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came. The Almighty has His own purpose. Woe unto the world because of offenses: For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.”

The Germans, in applying the methodology of science to historical study, did not view history as determinant, yet they did not regard it as meaningless. German scholars interpreted the historian’s task to be the discovery of the facts of history and their true casual relations. And they did not visualize history as determinant in the natural of theistic way, nor did they regard it as a pragmatic study. They saw historical study and analysis primarily as a scientific endeavor to understand, for its own sake, what happened and why.

These are the principal views of history as having meaning. How can they answer, one might ask, the question: Can man influence his fate and, thus, avoid world war?
Obviously, several of the views of the historical process are fatalistic, since they regard historical processes as beyond human influence or determination. This is especially true of those who accept the providential concept of historic meaning and, to a less extent, the non-determinist historicists and the adherents to the German ort scientific school of historiography.

The determinists, whether Marxian, Hegelian, economic, geographical, or morphological, interpret history as having an end and as moving under the influence of natural law toward that end. They allow a slight area of human freedom–the liberty to act within the limits of natural law–a circumscribed freedom.

Two contemporary historians assign greater freedom to man than do the traditional determinists. They can be thought of as historical pragmatists. They are Carl Popper and Arnold Toynbee.

In “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” Popper categorically states that history has no meaning in the philosophical or metaphysical sense and joins those who see history as leading no where and being without sense or meaning. And yet, he does not capitulate completely to historical nihilism; for he assigns to history a meaning in a pragmatic or existentialist sense. In his words: “Although history has no meaning, we can give it meaning.”

“…there can be no history of the past as it actually did happen; there can only be historical interpretations and none of them final.”

And so it follows that every generation must write its own history. To Popper, it is not only the right of each generation to rewrite history, but to do so is its duty, since it must discover for itself the historical direction it wishes to take.

The conclusion must not be inferred that history, because it has no meaning, is therefore to Popper a huge joke. He is not saying that; he is merely saying that the purpose of history is not external to man, and that it will baffle us if we seek to find in it the purposes of a divine providence, or the laws of nature which usher man from one stage of development to another–from cocoon to larva, from larva to moth.

History must be of man’s own making; for example, he can strive to make institutions more rational; he can fight for the open society against its enemies; and he can make the rule of reason, justice, equality, freedom and world peace his goals.

But history cannot dictate such a role for him; it must be of his own choosing. The facts of history have in themselves no meaning; they gain meaning only through human evaluation. In other words, meaning is not discovered in history; it is imparted to it. People who study history cannot become prophets; but they may become the makers of their fate. This is Popper’s offering to those seeking meaning in history.

Upon us, then, depends whether there will be historical progress, since history itself is not self-directing, not moving with purpose, but inert. Man’s destination on earth is not then predestined; man is left with the freedom to choose the end and the way.
Popper leaves unanswered whether man has the intelligence to choose rightly, but he more than infers that he will choose rightly, if he chooses righteously–if he chooses human freedoms, social justice, individual equality–and world peace.

Popper hurls a challenge, not a promise.

So does Arnold Toynbee in “A Study of History” in which he develops the challenge-response interpretation of history. Briefly Toynbee contends that civilizations usually die by war and that the historical record is reasonably explicit on this point. Toynbee believes, however, that man himself is responsible for the tragic historical fate which befalls him, since civilization takes direction from human response to historical confrontation. Death comes to civilization because human beings, when challenged by crises, react unrealistically and irrationally. In the past they have borne the consequences of their ways, and they must and will continue to, today and in the future. Toynbee also hurls a challenge and makes no promises.

HISTORY 4A

Lecture–I

The Definition and Purpose of History

Before commencing the course an attempt should be made to explain what is meant by history. Unless we can arrive at a reasonably satisfactory definition of the term, we can hardly succeed in our study.

There have been many definitions of history. Napoleon, for example, called it the “number of lies that men agree to believe.” The English historian, Freeman, defined it as the study of politics. Professor Edward Hulme of Stanford University defined it as the study of the best men have thought and done. Other writers have had different conceptions of the meaning of history. To Allan Nevins of Yale University it means the “study of the development of the national character.”

A number of historians have argued that history is a science and that its study makes possible the discovery of the laws which govern the development of civilization and the prediction of the future of civilization. I regard history as the systematic study of the past behavior and thought of man. Its purpose is better to explain why man behaves and thinks as he does today. I believe that history can do this. However, I believe, also, that history is not governed by law and that it cannot, therefore, be predicted. At best, the historian can suggest probabilities for future historical development. Despite this confessed limitation upon the power of history, its significance must not be underestimated. Historical study is tremendously important; it can be of great practical value to mankind.

The purpose of history is to explain how and why human beings respond as they do to their environment.

Scientifically, man is regarded as an anthropoid–a higher animal form, certainly possessed of intelligence, and thought by some to posses a human soul. Sociologically, man is regarded as a social animal existing in both a natural and an artificial environment. Scientifically and sociologically, human behavior, therefore, can be regarded as either an instinctive, emotional, or rational response to the stimuli provided by the environment.

If the historian can contribute to our understanding of this behavior, he may assist the human race to behave in a fashion which is in true harmony with the best interest of mankind. A better understanding of history as a basis of action might, for example, have made possible the avoidance of the awful dilemma of in which human society finds it’s self today.

In studying the history of particular periods and societies, it must be kept constantly in mind that the purpose of the study is the explanation of human behavior during those periods. This is the first purpose of history–the explanation of historic behavior. Its final end purpose is completely dependent upon the success with which this is done. This final purpose, as you have undoubtedly concluded, is the understanding of the behavior of living man and the improvement of that behavior.

An analysis of human action reveals that much of it is essentially animalistic. It is simple, instinctive, and automatic response to environmental stimuli. It is, therefore, very often extremely irrational, being impulsive, emotional, and involuntary. As such, it is frequently the outcome of the natural compulsion of all life toward self-preservation ands self-perpetuation. It is this basic fact with which all students of individual and social behavior have to deal if their work is to be meaningful.

Much human activity is what may be termed conditioned behavior. It, too, is automatic, irrational, impulsive and involuntary. Such behavior results from the development of unconscious human response to environmental conditions, artificial and natural. This fact explains why human types which are essentially similar in physiological characteristics exhibit such wide variations in behavior. Only a moment of reflection on this will show how much of this type of activity in the human being is undesirable and not in the true interests of humanity.

A third type of behavior is that which is directed by the human intellect. This directive force produces conscious, responsible conduct in mankind. They produce responses in human beings which may be highly ethical, moral, and social. This is behavior which is essentially humanistic and not animalistic; it is this type of behavior which distinguishes Homo sapiens from the lesser animals.

Human progress, if we may be optimistic enough to accept the idea of progress, will depend upon the capacity of the human race to achieve a more human behavior–that is–to bring individual and social behavior more fully under the direction of the conscience, the intellect, the beneficent environmental conditions, and at the same time to free it from the influence of pure animalistic promptings and undesirable social surroundings.

The ultimate purpose of history, therefore, is to help the human race in its creeping progress toward moral, spiritual, and ethical living, or the fulfillment of his innate capacity. It is not exclusively the responsibility of history to give this direction to mankind. It is the joint responsibility of all fields of knowledge; it is also the most important function of education. The success of humanity in this endeavor is of vital significance. Socially and individually we must become superior moral men, or we will cease to exist as all.

If there is any one lesson in history, it is a moral and spiritual one.

The New Economy: Your World & Family

A VUCA World: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous: Ain’t Life Grand?

by tracy saville

 

As American society increases in complexity and the value of everything becomes harder to pin down (increase of choices and what is seen as valuable, important, or successful across a widening set of possibilities) – we feel constantly challenged about who we really are and whether or not that “us” has meaning.

More and more I see people looking inward, even living inwardly under constant intention to produce the best “good” they can be. But what does all this thinking about one’s true self do to our balance, or our sense of self-acceptance? Unlike new age waves of the past where people went off on Zen pursuits of great inner knowing, today we understand so much more about the significance of traits and behaviors driven by things like emotional intelligence, mindfulness, self-actualization, self-perception, humility, discipline, values of distinction, relatability…all the good stuff our inner “us” is churning out, or at least trying to.

For some the search of self means discomfort, which is why it is so hard for many people to go “there” – to go inward in search of their “truth”. For in the process of self-development we do become uncomfortable because out of our comfort zone is where change lives. Every time we choose or are forced to let go of anything, our defense mechanism (whatever that is – is different in behavior for all of us) kicks in. People in highly unconscious states of being, who are out of touch with even the simplest idea that there is any other way of being, will hold on to things that will literally kill them.

Today so many are bombarded by the message to change, or the need to change, or having no choice but to change, and no real sense of what all the change is really asking from them, they feel a kind of uncomfortable stasis. Discomfort becomes the norm for those in search of the great authentic self.

For those who work toward aligning the who, what, when, where, how and why – all the great questions of our human experience –uncomfortable is where they live as they strive towards that hinky feeling of unsettledness as they spin forward from change. And yet this is now a truth for us all – for those who say they’d like their old lives or world back, that day is done. Our time is different than any time in the past, for change is no longer a phase, a thing to survive until everything goes back to normal.

In an Internet-fed, socially media framed world, where human crisis after environmental crisis pushes an incessant onslaught of images, messages, and opinions at us, our consciousness is invaded minute by minute; our perceptions of our true self is in a constant state of check and balance, buffeted against a moving target of value and ideology.

To be focused on the self-mastery plan –where we strive for extraordinary, we first have to define what we really think is valuable and meaningful; a hard task to accomplish when the possible options expand exponentially on a daily basis before we even brush our teeth.

We need to get our priorities in order and in order to do that we have to first do the work of distinctions: separating out what we want, like, value, need, and most importantly know we don’t want, like, value, or need. This is the boundary setting stage of self-development and many don’t complete it. They wind up feeling like change isn’t possible. They dive in without a proper weeding out of life factors that won’t fit the objective and wonder how come they didn’t end up where their pointer was pointing?

Change is always possible, but you have to be willing up to give up and give in to the possibility that even if you can’t see what’s on the other side, you trust the process and yourself enough to know that when you remove a factor of your life, a new one exposes itself. Factors of the equation that make up you: change the parts and the sum shifts, too.

What’s your experience in life these days?