How to “MacGyver” and Lifehack Worst Case Scenarios – 7 Tools Every Person Needs to Have in Their Glovebox

A worst-case scenario is a concept in risk management wherein the planner, in planning for potential disasters, considers the most severe possible outcome that can reasonably be projected to occur in a given situation. Conceiving of worst-case scenarios is a common form of strategic planning, specifically scenario planning, to prepare for and minimize contingencies that could result in accidentsquality problems, or other issues. In essence, it can seem like a big jigsaw puzzle.

The worst-case scenario is “[o]ne of the most commonly used alternative scenarios”.

A number of criticisms have been leveled against the use of worst-case scenarios. In some cases, a conceivable worst-case scenario within a field may be so far beyond the capacity of participants to deal with that it is not worth the effort to develop or explore such a scenario; where this is possible, it is “important to evaluate whether the development of a worst-case scenario is reasonable and desirable”. Entities that rely on such scenarios in planning may  plan too conservatively to take advantage of the usual absence of such scenarios and may waste resources preparing for highly unlikely contingencies.  At the extreme, it has been argued that the use of worst-case scenarios in disaster preparedness and training causes people to become conditioned to set aside ethical concerns and to over-react to lesser disasters.

Ultimately dealing with the potential of a worst case scenario arising requires that one understand game theory and game thinking and have simple tools to solve these challenges when they arise.

I found a great “survival list” of tools in an article by in an article by Graham Hiemstra in the April  27, 2017 issue of Esquire magazine.  I have fleshed it out a bit and added some items from my own experiences.

You never know when you will be stranded in a broken down car, on an old country road, in the middle of nowhere.

1.      Compact Jumper Cables: The Esquire article recommends JumPack by Cobra, $130 from cobra.com

Jumper cables should be in the trunk of every car. That’s a given. But what happens when your battery needs a jump and there’s no other car in sight? For precisely this scenario, there’s the JumPack from Cobra, which, despite its size, packs enough juice to jump most cars—as well as motorcycles, snowmobiles, and boats—multiple times on a single charge. In addition to the obvious jumping capabilities, the palm-sized gadget features a built-in LED flashlight with strobe and S.O.S. functions,and a powerful USB charger for mobile devices.

2.      A Hand Crank Flashlight and Phone Charger: The Esquire article recommends Torch 250 Flashlight by Goal Zero, $80 from goalzero.com. A serious issue with most emergency kits is the lengths of time that often pass between uses. Though this is, of course, a good thing, the downside is batteries often drain during such periods of inactivity, and that’s the last thing you want to encounter when grabbing a flashlight in a pinch. To remedy this—in more ways than one—Goal Zero designed their Torch 250 LED Flashlight to be capable of drawing a charge from a built-in solar panel and a hand crank. Plus, it packs a USB outlet for charging mobile devices and a red light for emergency situations. In short, this flashlight/power bank is a literal life saver.

3.      A Survival Manual: The Esquire article recommends US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76, $9 from amazon.com. You might more than capable of catching a fish with a proper rod, or making a roaring fire with kindling and some newspaper, but can you build a lasting shelter with twigs, identify edible plants in the wild, or set a snare trap with a sapling? To claim insane survival skills with little effort—and as a hedge for when small emergencies get big—keep the FM21-76 Survival Manual in your glove box. Originally published in 1970 by the US Army, the field manual offers nearly 300 pages of detailed instructions and illustrations on the finer points of survival. Stuff it under your car manual, then hope it never comes in handy.

4.  A 3-in-1 Cutlery Set: The Esquire article recommends Hobo Knife by KA-BAR, $26 from bestmadeco.com

   There are a thousand uses for a sturdy pocket knife. Now add a folding fork and spoon to that knife and you’ve got the classic Hobo Knife. The time-tested three-in-one cutlery set breaks down into individual components capable of tackling everything from takeout to filleting a fish. Though this tool may not be Bond’s first choice in gadgetry, it might very well be the most practical item on the list.

5.      A Waterproof Notebook: The Esquire article recommends:  FNC-17 Waterproof Notebook by Field Notes, $10 from fieldnotesbrand.com

   Sure, your phone does everything an ordinary old notebook can—and a hell of a lot more—but what happens when the battery dies? Lucky for you, the hi-vis FNC-17 notebook from Field Notes is anything but ordinary, thanks to American-made synthetic paper pages that are both water- and tear-proof. Pair it with the water and gravity defying FN-19 Space Pen from Field Notes for a solid weatherproof emergency package.

6.      A Thin light blanket insulating blanket: Known as heatsheets these are the metallic looking “wraps” given to runners at the end of marathons. A similar product is known as a “space blanket” (depending on the function, also known as a Mylar blanket, first aid blanket, safety blanket, thermal blanket, weather blanket, or heat sheet). This is an especially low-weight, low-bulk blanket made of heat-reflective thin plastic sheeting. They are used on the exterior surfaces of spacecraft for thermal control as well as by people. Their design reduces the heat loss in a person’s body which would otherwise occur due to thermal radiation, water evaporation, or convection. Their compact size before unfurling and light weight makes them ideal when space is at a premium. They may be included in first aid kits and also in camping equipment. Lost campers and hikers have an additional possible benefit: the metallic surface appearance flashes in the sun, allowing use as an improvised distress beacon for searchers.

7 . Keep a small and reasonable collection of food and spices: This can include nuts, seeds and other dried fruit;  ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and mayonnaise packets; A gallon of bottle watered;  Ester-C – packets and powdered vitamin/mineral supplement powder;  Packets of Ramon Noodles and Tofu in Aseptic packages.

 

8. What to Eat when you run out of food: Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steven Brill  shows readers how to find and prepare more than five hundred different plants for nutrition and better health, including such common plants as mullein (a tea made from the leaves and flowers suppresses a cough), stinging nettle (steam the leaves and you have a tasty dish rich in iron), cattail (cooked stalks taste similar to corn and are rich in protein), and wild apricots (an infusion made with the leaves is good for stomach aches and digestive disorders). The author is was a student of mine and a friend. I am mentioned in the acknowledgments of the book. The book contains more than 260 detailed line drawings help readers identify a wide range of plants — many of which are suited for cooking by following the more than thirty recipes included in this book. There are literally hundreds of plants readily available underfoot waiting to be harvested and used either as food or as a potential therapeutic. This book is both a field guide to nature’s bounty and a source of intriguing information about the plants that surround us.

 

Lifehack!  In the end, you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

 

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This was an extract from my notes on lifehacking. For a book on the subject I suggest:

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

 

– Available as an ebook at:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

The Softcover version is available at:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking-softcover-edition/

Learn more about all of Lewis Harrison’s educational materials at: www.RealUGuru.com

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Lewis Harrison – The RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc….

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

http://www.realuguru.com/mentoring/

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

This blog is supported by a grant from Events Chair Massage (www.eventschairmassage.com). This is a company offering Anti-Stress hacks.  This NYC Chair massage company offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC at trade shows, and  at the Javits Convention Center,  Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

 

 

 

What is Murphy’s Law and How Can You Lifehack It?

 

What is Murphy’s Law and How Can You Lifehack It?

In my corporate stress management business  – www.EventsChairMassage.com – We are always dealing with small challenges that can grown into big problems. This is what Murphy’s law means to us.

 

People often use the term “Murphy’s Law” someone flippantly. More often than not it is an excuse for someone who is a lazy thinker or who is in the clutches of some form of cognitive bias.

To be specific, Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

It is a way of describing the perceived perversity of the universe.

The concept is as old as humanity and can be used specifically to increase or decrease effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity depending on the view and perspective of the individual applying the concept.

 

Before the term “Murphy’s Law even came into usage there was a version of the law, not yet generalized or bearing that name, in a report by Alfred Holt at an 1877 meeting of an engineering society.

Relating the concept to engineering the report promoted the concept that anything that can go wrong at sea generally does go wrong sooner or later, so it is not to be wondered that owners prefer the safe to the scientific …. Sufficient stress can hardly be laid on the advantages of simplicity. The human factor cannot be safely neglected in planning machinery. If attention is to be obtained, the engine must be such that the engineer will be disposed to attend to it.

Mathematician Augustus De Morgan wrote on June 23, 1866:  “The first experiment already illustrates a truth of the theory, well confirmed by practice, what-ever can happen will happen if we make trials enough.

 

This concept appears in many different areas of life. For example, the British stage magician Nevil Maskelyne wrote in 1908:

“It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains.

In 1948, humorist Paul Jennings coined the term resistentialism, a jocular play on resistance and existentialism, to describe “seemingly spiteful behavior manifested by inanimate objects”, where objects that cause problems (like lost keys or a runaway bouncy ball) are said to exhibit a high degree of malice toward humans.

The contemporary form of Murphy’s law goes back as far as 1952, as an epigraph to a mountaineering book by John Sack, who described it as an “ancient mountaineering adage”:

Anything that can possibly go wrong, does.

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, has shown that in 1952 the adage was called “Murphy’s law” in a book by Anne Roe, quoting an unnamed physicist: he described [it] as “Murphy’s law or the fourth law of thermodynamics” (actually there were only three last I heard) which states: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Ultimately, the person with an interest in becoming more effective, efficient and productive and who know how to use game Theory and game based models can both reduce the likelihood Murphy’s Law taking place sooner rather than later and may even predict when it is likely to take place.

 

This fine article explores how to use Murphy’s Law to prosper in all areas of your life.

 

https://qz.com/984181/murphys-law-is-totally-misunderstood-and-is-in-fact-a-call-to-excellence/

Always Lifehack!  In the end you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

 

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This was an extract from my notes on lifehacking. For a book on the subject I suggest:

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book  contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

 

 

 

 

– Available as an ebook at:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

The Softcover version is available at:

How To Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking Softcover Edition

Learn more about all of lewis harrison’s educational materials at: www.RealUGuru.com

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Lewis Harrison – The RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc….

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

http://www.realuguru.com/mentoring/

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

This blog is supported by a grant from Events Chair Massage (www.eventschairmassage.com). This is a company offering Anti-Stress hacks through his company which offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

 

What Does KISS – “Keep it Simple, Stupid” Mean?

The Man Who Created KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid” Kelly Johnson’s. His  14 Rules of Management

Kelly Johnson was one of the greatest aeronautical engineers of the 20th century. Johnson is sometimes cited as the originator of the KISS principle, and his famed “down-to-brass-tacks” management style was summed up by his motto, “Be quick, be quiet, and be on time” and “KISSS – Keep it simple Stupid”.He ran Skunk Works by “Kelly’s 14 Rules”: I often use his ideas in many of my businesses and it is because of his that my stress management company inclidng the Corporate Chair Massage Company  – www.eventschairmassage has been so successful.

Here are his 14 Rules:

  1. The Skunk Works manager must be delegated practically complete control of his program in all aspects. He should report to a division president or higher.
  2. Strong but small project offices must be provided both by the military and industry.
  3. The number of people having any connection with the project must be restricted in an almost vicious manner. Use a small number of good people (10% to 25% compared to the so-called normal systems).
  4. A very simple drawing and drawing release system with great flexibility for making changes must be provided.
  5. There must be a minimum number of reports required, but important work must be recorded thoroughly.
  6. There must be a monthly cost review covering not only what has been spent and committed but also projected costs to the conclusion of the program. Don’t have the books 90 days late, and don’t surprise the customer with sudden overruns.
  7. The contractor must be delegated and must assume more than normal responsibility to get good vendor bids for subcontract on the project. Commercial bid procedures are very often better than military ones.
  8. The inspection system as currently used by the Skunk Works, which has been approved by both the Air Force and Navy, meets the intent of existing military requirements and should be used on new projects. Push more basic inspection responsibility back to subcontractors and vendors. Don’t duplicate so much inspection.
  9. The contractor must be delegated the authority to test his final product in flight. He can and must test it in the initial stages. If he doesn’t, he rapidly loses his competency to design other vehicles.
  10. The specifications applying to the hardware must be agreed to well in advance of contracting. The Skunk Works practice of having a specification section stating clearly which important military specification items will not knowingly be complied with and reasons therefore is highly recommended.
  11. Funding a program must be timely so that the contractor doesn’t have to keep running to the bank to support government projects.
  12. There must be mutual trust between the military project organization and the contractor with very close cooperation and liaison on a day-to-day basis. This cuts down misunderstanding and correspondence to an absolute minimum.
  13. Access by outsiders to the project and its personnel must be strictly controlled by appropriate security measures.
  14. Because only a few people will be used in engineering and most other areas, ways must be provided to reward good performance by pay not based on the number of personnel supervised.

Kelly had a 15th rule that he passed on by word of mouth. According to the book “Skunk Works” the 15th rule is: “Starve before doing business with the damned Navy. They don’t know what the hell they want and will drive you up a wall before they break either your heart or a more exposed part of your anatomy.”

 

All of lewis Harrison’s Books are available at www.RealUGuru.com

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Lewis Harrison – RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the RealUGuru Radio show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

Today’s management tips blog is supported by a grant from Events  Chair Massage –www.EventschairMasssage.com –  a company that offers Corporate Chair Massage and Stress Management Services to meeting planners, event planners, party planners and HR for Trade show booths throughout the United States.

 

 

Effective Lifehacking

If you are looking for shortcuts to getting things done, this is the blog for you!

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There is a saying that the truth you ignore will come back to bite you on the butt! As you address specific obstacles, bottlenecks or constraints, be prepared to subordinate any further steps you plan to take in your lifehacking process until the issue or any other bottleneck is resolved.

 

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Discovering obstacles, bottlenecks or constraints (OB and C) that are slowing down your lifehack is an important skill to develop. This basic skill can be developed through the use of what are called assessment tools. The most popular low tech approach to assessments is the questionnaire.  Questionnaires, can help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses as well as previously unknown and unrecognized “OB and Cs”. Once these have been isolated they can be eliminated or compensated for.  This will  result in a shifting of the bottleneck. Without the obstacle and the bottleneck to slow the process, the lifehack will be completed successfully.

In previous Hacks on bottlenecks, we learned that a lifehacker needs to understand cause and effect and have the ability to recognize and isolate an obstacle or bottleneck when it appears. There are five key steps for eliminating obstacles, bottlenecks or constraints. These are to:

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  • Identify the obstacles and bottleneck by evaluating all ELRs.
  • Identify obstacles, and constraint to increase efficiency.
  • Minimize all other resources that are connected to the obstacle and the bottleneck.
  • Expand the useful properties of the obstacle as a way of eliminating the bottleneck or at the very least increasing the capacity of the bottleneck.
  • Regularly repeat the process since a new obstacle may arise to create a new bottleneck that may require further action.

Through assessing, isolating and removing “OB and Cs” you are isolating the root factor for the problem.

 

 Lifehack!  In the end you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

This was an extract from the book

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book  contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

– Available as an Ebook at RealUGuru.com

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Lewis Harrison – The Lifehack Guru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

Coaching and Studying with Lewis

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

 

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http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;facebook-959060__340

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

 

Lewis offers corporation Anti-Stress hacks through his company www.eventschairmassage.com which offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

How We Negatively Life Hack Ourselves

Emotional Self sabotage is one of the greatest obstacles for the budding lifehacker.

 

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An old cartoon called Pogo once had a character saying, “We have discovered the enemy and it is us!” How true that is!

Following is a simple assessment exercise to help isolate obstacles that can lead to ibstacles, challenges, problems bottlenecks in your lifehack  Game Theory system.

Ask yourself which of these descriptions applies to you. Write down how frequently one of these sentences describes you, ranging from “not at all” to “always.”

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  • Procrastination
  • Disorganization
  • Misplaced items
  • Interruptions
  • Lack of information
  • Incorrect information
  • Too many commitments
  • Unnecessary correspondence
  • Inability to say “No”
  • Dysfunctional need to please others
  • Poor listening skills
  • Confusing socializing with networking
  • Excessive socializing
  • Unwillingness to be accountable for errors you’ve committed
  • Other people’s mistakes
  • Excess Micromanaging
  • Poor delegation skills
  • Weak support systems
  • Understaffing on projects
  • Lack of feedback
  • Changing of external factors
  • Changing of internal priorities
  • No goals or misdirected goals and objectives

The more of these that you can master the greater your effectiveness, efficiency and productivity will be as a lifehacker and your ability to win at the game of life.

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Winning the Game of Life: A Primer to Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

Winning The Game Of Life: A Primer On Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

Here is a simple Lifehack you can use while you figure out how you have been sabotaging yourself:

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A Chef’s Kitchen Hack: Save Money on Expensive Bread Crumbs:

  • When you buy a loaf of whole grain bread (the best kind nutritionally), or bake your own bread, take few slices, let them get dried out until they are hard.
  • Put in a blender or food processor (or pulverize with a hammer if you are that low-tech).
  • Add garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt or low sodium Vegit powder.

 

Cost about about 50 cents versus commercial breadcrumbs about $2.50

A Quick dish – Stuffed peppers: The picture below says it all

 

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Lewis Harrison – The Life Hack Guru (www.TheLifehackGuru.com, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

 

He owns the chair massage company in NYC – www,eventschairmassage.com

He is the author of over twenty-two books on Life Hacking  published in five languages.

  Ask Lewis

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

 

WIOX Radio

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory, Life Hacking,  and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

My  course on Life hacking Tips and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. 

Here is a short interview with Lewis Harrison – The LifeHack Guru

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

Zen, Business Success and Stress Management

 Zen is a practice that deals with the concept of deep awareness and wisdom  through intuition during meditation, and the application of all this in daily life including in business success

Zen defies definition. It is a philosophy of non-philosophy, an intellectually guided practice of anti-intellectualism, and the un-measurable science of non-being. The practice of Zen is the pursuit of various techniques, chiefly Zazen meditation and the study of kōan, which are designed to confound the logical, rational mind in order to trigger or shock the mind into experiencing states of enlightened awareness.

 

It is rooted in the most profound elements of intuition and life itself, and the facts of unfettered experience. It transcends the dogmas of traditional religious rites and rituals and focuses on cutting through the veil of the unfocused mind to the core, inherent nature of man.

 

Many Westerners are confused by Zen for they assume it is a religion but this is not so. According to the greatly respected Zen Master D.T. Suzuki “It is not a religion in the sense that the term is popularly understood; for Zen has no God to worship, no ceremonial rites to observe, no future abode to which the dead are destined, and, last of all, Zen has no soul whose welfare is to be looked after by somebody else…

 

The attraction of Zen to the spiritual seeker is because it is chiefly concerned with the concept of ‘being’. In the West “Being” has usually been the concern of science, mathematics, and  defining and measuring the tangible world around us in order to create a universal model of reality.  Zen is born out the eastern idea of ‘non- being’, which is best understood as the negation of absolute definitions, and eschews attachment to the world of measurement and form in favor of a practice of non-attachment. It is a pure experience of the world than is expressed often through different systems of philosophy, ethics and esthetics in the eastern world.

 

We were recently offering a seminar on stress management at the Catskills Bed and Breakfast  – www.TheCatskillsbedandBreakfast.com – in Stamford NY. During the breakout sessions we offered stress management seminars that including creative visualization, spirituality in business and onsite chair massage

The question came up. What is Zen?

There is no simple answer to what Zen is? What is known is that its practice leads to a state of knowing that is authentic, unfettered, and expresses one’s actualization. In this state of awareness one has less stress, less anxiety, less greed, and less concern for the mistakes of the past or expectations for the future.

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Click below to observe a nine minute video interview Lewis  did with the Award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes on why  people suffer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

 

Lewis Harrison is the author of sixteen books including

 

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“Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times” a book of  concerned with personal development, human potential, stress reduction and business excellence.

 

 

 

 

Order his book by clicking below:

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Not-Religious-Sacred-AskLewis-com/dp/1499150547

 

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Or type these words on you search engine subject line “spiritual not religious Harrison amazon”

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You can reach him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com

Lewis offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

 

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If you are a social networker please “Friend” me, Lewis Harrison on face book “Like”  my page at “https://www.facebook.com/AskLewis/” and invite others who might benefit.

 

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Lewis Harrison speaks to organizations and businesses of all types and offers seminars throughout the world on his work on the art and science of decision making through spiritually motivated  “Game Based Thinking”

 

He also offers private fee based coaching programs. 

Call him at 212-724-8782 for more information.

 

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A Problem Related to Spirituality: Understanding the Concept of Free Will

Until the End of May these blogs will focus on problems related to creating a spiritual life.

Lewis Answers: One of the most commonly discussed ideas among thinkers great and small is whether human have freedom of choice or is everything we do predestined? Historically, there have been two schools of thought concerning whether or not we have free choice. 1. Determinism: This is the idea that for everything that happens there are conditions that dictate that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. 2: Metaphysical libertarianism: Implies that though there are many factors, variables and events that cross our paths the individual may be able to take more than one possible course of action even under this set of circumstances. Metaphysical libertarianism is concerned with how something is known rather than what is known.

The principle of free will has religious, ethical, and scientific implications especially for a student of the Wisdom Path. Recent  neuroscientific findings regarding free will may suggest different ways of predicting human behavior, which is an essential factor in the creation of life strategies.

Even if free will exists there are always going to be constraints that define how we are able to make choices such as physical constraints (e.g. chains or imprisonment), social constraints (e.g. threat of punishment or censure), or psychological constraints (e.g. compulsions or phobias). In fact, some important thinkers concerning this discussion (compatibilists) will often assert that determinism is not just compatible with free will, but actually necessary for it.

In the end there is actually no way to know if there is or not free will. The illusion of ordinary life convinces us that we are free to choose but there is much evidence that could prove that this is not the case. The best one can do is live daily applying the four pillars that define the Wisdom Practice – Meditation, the study of koans, chop would and carry water, laugh sing, dance and be silent.

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Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker, life coach and contemporary spiritual teacher and mentor. He is the creator of www.AskLewis.com. Lewis specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen, many of the great thinkers and from his personal life experiences.

Lewis will be teaching a weekend program “Make, Choices, Not Excuses” in Oneonta, New York May 3-4

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

“Like” us on Face book at “facebook.com/AskLewis”

Q & A on Synergy, Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language and Problem Solving

Foundational principle of this Conversation: To explore how the recognition of subtle patterns can help one to solve complex problems.

Pattern: A pattern is a type of theme of recurring events or objects, sometimes referred to as elements of a set of objects. The elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner. Patterns can be based on a template or model which generates pattern elements,

Pattern language: a term coined by architect Christopher Alexander, is a structured method of describing good design practices within a field of expertise. .

Q. Is all synergy positive?

LEWIS: Usually is but there might be times where two different groups come together and create a new factor that is detrimental to both.

Q. And where does pattern language fit in here?

LEWIS: When a person reverses a synergistic process they actually observe what might be called “a process of decomposition.”  Alexander generally speaks of designers but that term can be applied to anyone creating or “designing” a system with many components. What happens is that a creator of systems, often a designer observes a problem, selects a solution, then discovers new, smaller problems resulting from the larger solution. Occasionally, the smaller problems have no solution, and a different larger solution must be selected by recognizing a pattern that leads to the solution.. Eventually all of the remaining design problems are small enough or routine enough to be solved by improvisation by the builders as they clearly understand the pattern involved. Now the “design” is done – the system is created.

Q. Is there some formal way that these problems are solved?

LEWIS: The actual organizational structure is left to the discretion of the designer, depending on the problem. This explicitly allows a designer/problem solver to explore patterns, starting from some small part. When this happens, it’s common for a designer to realize that the problem is actually part of a larger solution. At this point, the design almost always becomes a better design.

Q. I imagine this can get complex?

LEWIS: It can but then again this is an approach specifically applicable to solving complex problems. When one recognizes a pattern they will likely notice ways in which that each pattern has relationships to other patterns and to the language as a whole. This gives the designer using the language a great deal of guidance about the related problems that must be solved.

Q. Are there experts in using pattern language to solve problems?

LEWIS: Yes. It is usually for a pattern language expert to come n as an outsider and solve a problem using this approach. This is because this outside expert must get a reliable, complete list of the problems to be solved and it is the people most familiar with the problems that need understand the pattern.

Q. How would this obstacle be addressed?

LEWIS:  Alexander recommended organizing a group of concerned, empowered users to improvise in creating workable large-scale initial solutions, maximizing the utility of a design, and minimizing the design and systems rework.

 

Q. Apply pattern language to how you use applied game theory in problem solving?

LEWIS: An important aspect of design patterns is to identify and document the key ideas that make any good system different from any poor system and to assist in the design of future systems. The ideas expressed in a pattern need not be specific to architecture, computer programs, or anything else. Any pattern language should be general enough to be applied in very different systems within its context, but still specific enough to give constructive guidance.

 

Q. Is there a general term applied to the wide range of situations in which the problems and solutions addressed in a pattern apply?

LEWIS: It is called a context.  An important part in each pattern is to describe this context. One can then offer examples to further illustrate how the pattern applies to very different situation.

 

Q. So every problem has a pattern?

LEWIS: Yes. If you can even recognize and define that there is a problem then you are recognizing some pattern. Many of these problems are highly complex and the problems and solutions described in a pattern can vary in their level of abstraction and yet even a very abstract pattern will usually contain examples that are, by nature, absolutely concrete and specific.

Q. In LHAGT we are concerned with real world problems as opposed to theoretical problems. There are many theoretical problems that architects, statisticians, and physicists deal with that may not have real world applications, Here patterns can vary in how far they are proven in the real world. Christopher Alexander addresses this by giving each pattern a rating by zero, one or two stars, indicating how well they are proven in real-world examples.

 

Q. Is this work all theoretical?

LEWIS: Many experts in problem solving and decision science believe that all patterns need at least some existing real-world example. However the logician-mathematician addressed this idea philosophically in his Incompleteness Theorum and from this perspective It is conceivable to document yet unimplemented ideas in a pattern-like format.

 

The patterns in Alexander’s books focus primarily on how to build a town or neighborhood as well as the design of individual buildings and the interior of rooms. Even so his ideas to general problem solving are invaluable because he sees the low-scale artifacts as constructive elements of the large-scale world, so they can be connected to a hierarchal network, These are models that help the problem solver to reproduce the unique properties of specific patterns.

 

Q. Please explain some of the factors than enable a creative intuitive thinker to see patterns that may not be obvious to a purely logical thinker?

LEWIS: A pattern must characterize the problems that it is meant to solve, the context or situation where these problems arise, and the conditions under which the proposed solutions can be recommended.

 

Q. This seems basic. Why wouldn’t a logical thinker, especially a mathematician recognize this?

LEWIS: Often unique problems arise from a conflict of different interests or “forces”. A non-linear pattern might emerge as a dialogue between thinkers that will then help to balance these conflicting  forces, and finally allow them to make  a decision.

 

Here is an example based on what Alexander has written.  Imagine a pattern suggesting what we now call a  “wireless smart telephone”  at a time when wireless phones had not yet been invented.. The different forces involved would be the need to communicate, while also needing to get other things done at the same time such as cooking, walking down the street, and the ability to find a good Tex-Mex restaurant in Alaska. A very specific pattern would be just “WIRELESS TELEPHONE”. More general patterns would be “WIRELESS DEVICE” or “SECONDARY ACTIVITY”, suggesting that a secondary activity (such as talking on the phone, or researching restaurants in Alaska) should not interfere with other activities.

Though unspecific to the point that a mathematician would have a hard time grouping all the variables involved in its context, the forces in the “SECONDARY ACTIVITY” pattern are very similar to those in “WIRELESS TELEPHONE”. Thus, the competing forces can be seen as part of the essence of a design concept expressed in a pattern.

 

Q. Why is it so difficult for a mathematician or an expert in logical thought to recognize a pattern?

LEWIS: Traditional mathematics is logically driven. Pattern language is not.  Pattern usually contains a rationale referring to some given values which are not absolute but which are actually defined by those individuals who are receiving the value. One might say that the content for the individual define the pattern in a particular form. It might be giving a person a great sense of love or freedom.  Christopher Alexander calls it the “quality without a name” (QWAN). This idea also reflects in certain trends of thought that might be associated with Taoism, Zen and mystic trends in other religious faiths. The best patterns and systems enrich daily life. It is the extraordinary person (see glossary) who is most likely to understand the subtleties in pattern language.

In traditional, ordinary ways of thinking the quality of a system is defined by how efficiently and effectively the system works. With pattern language the quality of any system: whether technical devices such as telephones or computers cars, to social networks, or physical teams interacting to complete a project social structures like a team working on a project, can be rated more easily. In some situations the defining factor will often be whether users spend their time enjoying or struggling with the system while in other situations the key will be to create design patterns help to create an object-oriented code that is easy to read, maintain, modify and reuse.

In this way pattern language creates a value defined in part on how it impacts on human life. From this perspective one can identify patterns that are distinct from the mapping of patterns associated with changing technology. Alexander says that having this distinction allows us to find a “timeless quality” (Alexander).

 

 

Q.Is there some connection between all patterns?

LEWIS: There are different theories on this. A pattern language, as described by Alexander, contains links from one pattern to another.

 

Q. How would this effect the ability of a group or individual to solve a problem?

LEWIS: When trying to apply one pattern in a project, a designer is directed organically to other patterns that might be helpful in its context.

According to Alexander, such links are collected in the “references” part, and echoed in the linked pattern’s “context” part – thus the overall structure is a directed graph. A pattern that is linked to in the “references” usually addresses a problem of lower scale that seems to be part of the higher-scale problem. For instance, a “Kitchen Design” might have a category for “countertop, “Utensils” “Oven” etc.

Even without the pattern description, these links, along with a “specialized  language”, what Alexander calls “meaningful names”, tell a story message: When building a place inside where food will be stored and prepared  (A Kitchen) consider to include places to store food, prepare food, utensils for the preparation and a place to cook it.

 

Alexander argues that the connections in the network, the lower scale problems, can be considered even more meaningful than the text of the patterns themselves. In other words with certain types of problems the elements in the parts are of greater importance than the sum of the parts. One might call this “reverse synergy”.

 

Q. Speak more about the patterns in pattern language and links in the solving of extreme problems?

LEWIS:  In many extreme problems the ideas of links and hierarchic networks are important, and generally accepted among experts on the subject. That being said there are some experts who are working with unique problems in design where hierarchic networks would not come into play. Situations where patterns exist but links have not been established are often known as a pattern language.

 

Q. Is there some master code of all know patterns?

LEWIS: No. Just as new dialects and new words enter an existing language so do we find that existing pattern language is constantly expanding as individuals recognize patterns in their own unique challenges.

 

Q. In LHAGT you have spoken about the importance of self assessment in creating solutions to problems and preventing future problems. Can Pattern language be used as a tool for self assessment?

LEWIS: Yes. It can also be used as a general assessment tool. Alexander’s methods have been used to define expertise in many specialized fields. Expertise can be defined in many ways but one way is by determining whether an individual has the ability to recognize patterns in, let’s say architecture, education and even computer-human interaction. This is especially valuable in LHAGT theory because so much of what we are exploring here involves multi-disciplinary thinking.

 

Q. How important is Pattern language in the application of LHAGT and solving complex and extreme problems?

LEWIS:  Very. In LHAGT we often deal with Pedagogical Patterns, high-level patterns of teaching and group interaction. The core of Applied Game Theory to recognize, maximize, and actualize the potential in any system at the lowest possible cost.  To do this requires a profound understanding of available information, the unique learning, communication and interactive styles of the individuals within a group and the most effective means of presenting this information in a coherent and accessible form.

 

Q. Speak further about pattern language in a teaching-learning-group environment.

LEWIS:  I have integrated the ideas of two approaches to pattern language in learning environments. One is the theories on Multiple Intelligence created by Henry Gardiner and the other Mitchell Weisburgh’s work on Pedagogical Patterns. Weisburgh proposes nine aspects to documenting a pattern for a certain skill. Not every pattern needs to include all nine. His listing is reproduced below:

  • Name – single word or short phrase that refers to the pattern. This allows for rapid association and retrieval.
  • Problem – definition of a problem, including its intent or a desired outcome, and symptoms that would indicate that this problem exists.
  • Context – preconditions which must exist in order for that problem to occur; this is often a situation. When forces conflict, the resolutions of those conflicts is often implied by the context.
  • Forces – description of forces or constraints and how they interact. Some of the forces may be contradictory. For example: being thorough often conflicts with time or money constraints.
  • Solution – instructions, possibly including variants. The solution may include pictures, diagrams, prose, or other media.
  • Examples – sample applications and solutions, analogies, visual examples, and known uses can be especially helpful, help user understand the context
  • Resulting Context – result after the pattern has been applied, including postconditions and side effects. It might also include new problems that might result from solving the original problem.
  • Rationale – the thought processes that would go into selecting this pattern, The rationale includes an explanation of why this pattern works, how forces and constraints are resolved to construct a desired outcome.
  • Related Patterns – differences and relationships with other patterns, possibly predecessor, antecedents, or alternatives that solve similar problems.[e

 

Q. How can I learn more about Christopher Alexander’s work?

LEWIS: He  has published prolifically and has expanded and updated his work through the years.

 

I recommend the following.

The book “Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution,” containing 136 patterns for using information and communication to promote sustainability, democracy and positive social change, was published in 2008.

 

A New Theory of Urban Design (1987) coincided with a renewal of interest in urbanism among architects, but stood apart from most other expressions of this by assuming a distinctly anti-masterplanning stance.

 

The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (2003-4), which includes The Phenomenon of LifeThe Process of Creating LifeA Vision of a Living World and The Luminous Ground, is Alexander’s latest, and most comprehensive and elaborate work. In it, he puts forth a new theory about the nature of space and describes how this theory

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Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker and life coach and the creator of www.AskLewis.com. He specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen and from his personal life experiences.

 

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

“Like” us on Face book at “facebook.com/AskLewis”

 

André Cassagnes, A Great Visionary Has Passed On

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. The site is focused on how to improve people’s live through visionary thinking, skilled problem solving and through Applied Game Theory.  Please explore our website and our many unique blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas.   There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog l addresses the problem of intellectual elitism and arrogance In my work in applied game theory and problem solving I am often accused by academics of presenting complex ideas in excessively superficial and simplistic ways and  by my blog readers as presenting idea that are too hard to understand.

André Cassagnes a great visionary, inventor of kites, the Etch-a-Sketch and other children toys  most likely affected your life or the life of your children in some way. That is correct? Andre Cassagnes has left building, flown the mortal coil, and left the earth to meet his maker.

“Andre who?” You say!

I’ll tell you more about this great visionary in a few minutes but before I tell you who he was let’s talk a bit about what it means to be a visionary?

A visionary is an individual with clarity of thought, and a passion for a clearly defined experience, as well and foresight on how that passion may manifest.

How does the visionary process evolve for someone who is content to just have goals?   It often arises when a person combines his natural curiosity with a sense of deep introspection. In time this evolves into a passion so vast in scope that it can be described as nothing less than a “transcendental vision.”

Can you recognize a visionary when you meet one? At the first meeting probably not. Over time, you notice he/she is different than the ordinary person. In conversation this person may appear particularly intense but not in a negative way. He/she is not the type of person inclined to banter around light cocktail party conversation or enter into a conversation about the weather. Of course this is all a generalization. Visionaries are unique unto themselves and tend to express who they are in different and often unusual ways.

In my experience a focused and skilled visionary is a force of nature. What he is able to do is change the external landscape, enroll large groups of people into his vision, and harness as well as utilize formerly dormant resources in the service of his vision. He is able to shift opinion and impact society in ways usually associated with the most skilled futurists, economists, and influence peddlers.

To speak with a visionary is like conversing with any “true” artist. It is not always easy to follow the stream of thoughts expressed by a visionary and yet you understand that something unique and interesting is being presented.

Why is this so?  A visionary is often inclined to speak of an ideal that seems totally unrealistic. Imagine speaking to the Wright Brothers – two bicycle manufacturers – a year before they took flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Imagine speaking to Gandhi or the inventors of the personal computer, the telegraph, the telephone, the ballpoint pen, or robotic surgery before their visions took form.                                                                                                                   If a vision seems so unrealistic why do these visionaries continue working to bring them to fruition?  They just think differently than the ordinary individual. The perception that a vision is unrealistic does not deny the fact that there is a delight in having the intention for achieving and experiencing that ideal. Often it is the hunger, the desire, the joy and the intention that in the end brings the vision to fruition.

This being said about visionaries let’s get back to the late, great Mr. Cassagnes, a visionary inventor, electrical technician the greatest kite manufacturer in France and the inventor of the “Etch-a-Sketch. ”. Yes, the Etch-a-Sketch. .

To some an Etch-a-Sketch.  is some mechanical drawing toy from the 1950s. But for the individual with a passion for ideas and a vision it is so much more.  What André Cassagnes figured out was a recipe for creativity that would use the laws of physics and mechanics to stimulate the artistic impulse in a child. In addition this invention would improve hand to eye coordination, and expand a sense of awe that is the cornerstone of any happy childhood. This is what he did and it was probably not even what he had in mind when he created the toy. He figured out that if you did the following

….You could create one of the most wonderful toys ever invented…without electricity, software, Apps, spam blockers or IT specialists.

  1. Take a thick, flat gray screen and put it in a in a red plastic frame.
  2.  Add two knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. The left control would move the stylus horizontally, and the right one would move it vertically.
  3. When twisted this moving stylus would displace aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line.
  4. The turned knobs would then create lineographic images

I often write about “Black Swans Theory” –  Unexpected events with great consequences. It was such a event that effected Cassagnes’ life

André Cassagnes’ father was a baker. Andre’ was to be a baker as well however he was BLESSED with a terrible allergy…to flour. So instead of becoming a baker he focused on a different life path beoming one of the greatest kite designers in history and later invented the Etch-a-Sketch. .

I know that somewhere there is a neo-modernist-postimpressionist-dada motivated-conceptual artist who began his career on an Etch-a-Sketch.

What he created on the world stage was so influential in some un-measurable way that on his passing he way was awarded an obituary in the February 16th 2013 issue of the magazine THE ECONOMIST. In the world of power and influence this is considered one of the great honors.

Below is a joyous salute to Mr. Cassagnes created on an Etch-a-Sketch.

http://digg.com/video/an-illustrated-tribute-to-the-inventor-of-the-etch-a-sketch

Be a visionary! You’ll be happier for it and the world will be a better place.

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ Kindle E-book “Healing Depression Naturally”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” every Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis is the creator of the “Free Advanced Course in Personal Development”

Learn more about the course at  – www.HowToSolveAnyProblem.com