Archive: Catherine Otten

June 3rd, 2011 | By Catherine Otten | Posted in Innovation | Comments Off

The Solution: Conquer Your Fear, Control Your Future

3 Steps to Control Your Fear

A guest post by Lucinda Bassett, author of The Solution: Conquer Your Fear, Control Your Future was posted on My Super Charged Life on December 28, 2010

Lucinda posted the following expert from her book.

3 Actions to Help Control Your Fear in the Face of Change

Glen Hiemstra, our expert futurist, designates three actions that will help you control your fear in the face of challenge and change:

  1. Get Current With the Latest Technology
    If you’re not skilled technologically, it’s time to learn some cool networking techniques that will help you connect to other people and the world at large. Then you won’t have the sense that the world is leaving you behind.
  2. Improve Your Personal Communication Skills
    Nothing will get you further in life than being able to communicate clearly and directly. Then you can ask for what you want with no confusion.
  3. Complexify Yourself
    This made-up word means that you need to discover your array of choices. Glen suggests you find a book on science fiction or management theory and read it. Or find a book on the history of the Great Depression and see how your ancestors coped during difficult times. Whatever attracts you, learn more and become a far more interested and interesting person.

Conquer Fear to Increase Your Sense of Importance

People often say, “You know, I’d really like to do something important. I’d like to be part of something that matters.”

If you fear the future, you will ruin your chances of making a difference because you will react to life with paranoia instead of hope. Like a tortoise hiding in its shell, people become so overwhelmed by fear, they are paralyzed, unable to move in any direction. There is a proven neurological response to fear that causes people to shut down at the precise moment when they need to make an important decision. Once the response kicks in, they either can’t make any decision whatsoever, or they make the wrong one based on fearful projections about the future.

The challenge is to stay outside the boundary, Glen tells us, and find some alternatives to unfreeze yourself. You might engage in physical exercise like a hike or a bike ride to try to break up some of the stress. The point is that doing the three actions listed above can open you to change and the possibilities that come with it.

Most successful people do this on a steady basis. Glen regularly tells his groups, “The next twenty years are all about a mission. We’ve become more sustainable on a planetary basis, developing personal economies . . . that are maybe a little bit more modest but mostly just more sustainable, greener, and so forth.”

At some time or another, we all must change the way we think, act, respond, and, most of all, the way we view the world and other people in it. It’s time to stop the thought patterns that keep you stuck, like “I know it won’t work.” If that’s your belief, then it won’t. No excuses or reasons for not doing something, no matter how intricately thought out and expressed, can help you get what you want. Embracing challenge and change and turning them into opportunity is the solution.

The Solution

Author Bio

Lucinda Bassett, author of The Solution: Conquer Your Fear, Control Your Future and President of the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety. is a nationally acclaimed motivational speaker and best-selling author. Her life-changing techniques have been shared with a variety of major corporations such as AT&T and McDonalds, and professional associations such as LPGA and the AIDS Foundation, as well as many educational institutions. She has appeared on hundreds of national radio and television programs including Oprah, The View, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. Bassett and her emotional wellness solutions have been featured in a variety of high-profile publications including Health, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, and even the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

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May 11th, 2011 | By Catherine Otten | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy, Environment & Energy, Innovation, Science & Tech | Comments Off

The Impending Dominance of the Electric Car

Jolt!On May 4th I had the pleasure of attending a Washington Clean Technology Alliance (WCTA) Lunch Seminar to hear James Billmaier, author of JOLT! The Impending Dominance of the Electric Car and Why America Must Take Charge.

After listening to Jim speak, I was fully convinced that America will soon become an “electriconomy” as he puts it. The way he explained it, it will be similar to the evolution of the internet, which existed for a fair amount of time before it became easily accessible to the general public through the introduction of the internet browser. Soon electric cars will be mass produced, charging stations will be easily found, and battery life will last longer to make it not only feasible, but desirable to own an electric car as your primary vehicle.

Jim had a number of enlightening facts about the current gas economy as well. As much as we complain about gas prices, they are currently paying $9/gal in France and the U.S. is not even in the top 100 for gas prices around the world. As gas imports increase, jobs will be lost to overseas production. Some would argue that there is gas to be found within our nation, which is true, but not nearly enough to meet our current needs. A much brighter picture will be painted as energy production becomes a higher priority. There are many ways to keep this production within our borders and increase the number of jobs here with it. Currently the government is still subsidizing gas and defending the pipelines in the Middle East, but even on this uneven playing field the current electric technology is highly superior.

Some people are unnecessarily worried about our current electric grid being overwhelmed by the increasing amount of cars that will need to be charged. Jim put this in perspective for us and explained that electric companies currently produce enough energy to meet the highest demands during the day, but the demand lowers so dramatically at night that even with a conservative estimate, 100 million cars can be charged at night on the unused energy that is currently available. And the future of energy production will only increase that amount. Charging an electric vehicle is equivalent to hooking up a new fridge, NOT a new house. Even air conditioning units take up to 75% more watts than are used to charge an electric vehicle for a 40 mile commute, and AC is more of a luxury than a necessity in many places.

Gas continues to sound more and more wasteful as it is compared to energy use and dollars spent on electric cars. It takes 6-7 kilowatt hours to make 1 gallon of gas. Even one of the newest electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, goes 30 miles on less than 6 kilowatts! In 2010, on a good day, $1 could buy you enough gas to get about 8 miles in a standard car, but in an electric car that same $1 could take you 50 miles! For those interested in sustainability, the Nissan Leaf is made from 90% recycled material and is fully 95% recyclable. And the lithium that batteries are made from is also endlessly recyclable.

Jim currently has two fairly new cars that he told us about, one that runs on gas, and one Nissan Leaf that he could not bring himself to wait to buy. It sounded like he bought it based on ideals, but he drives it because it is such a comfortable and efficient ride. He said that 95% of his miles are driven in his electric car and the other one is kept around now for longer trips or weekend holidays. I had expected to be convinced by the end of his speech that I should read his book, but instead I am convinced that my next car will be electric. If you ever have the chance to hear James Billmaier speak, you should take it. Until then, I would highly recommend his book because if it is half as informative and entertaining as he is in person, it will be one of the best of the year.

He has an even better conclusion on his Jolt! website:

There is no longer any question of whether or not we will adopt an electric-based transportation system. We will. And the transition will come much more quickly than most “experts” predict. All major auto-makers have some type of plug-in vehicle coming out in the very near future, with the first cars due out at the end of 2010. The U.S. can’t afford to be left behind. But we’re going to need to move fast to become the undisputed market leader.

The good news is that we’re halfway there, at least in terms of ability. The U.S. has a well-established history of economic leadership and is renowned for its innovation. It also has a resourceful and skilled workforce able to capitalize on every aspect of the coming electriconomy, from conception and development to manufacture and delivery. In short, the U.S. workforce is a veritable Dream Team.

And the electric vehicle is a Dream Car. EVs are good for us individually. They’re good for us as a nation. And they’re good for the planet.

Hang on, America! The EV is going to take us on an amazing ride.

- James Billmaier

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April 22nd, 2011 | By Catherine Otten | Posted in Art & Society | Comments Off

True Diversity

Diverse ChildrenEveryone knows that the population in the United States is growing, but many do not know that the nonwhite population is growing much faster than the white population. According to a report released earlier this month by the Brookings Institution nonwhites accounted for all the growth in the youth population from 2000 to 2010. In almost half of states and nearly one-third of large metro areas, overall child populations declined in the 2000s and now ten states and 35 large metro areas have minority white child populations.

The LA Times published further information about the report:

The study authored by William Frey used new data from the 2010 U.S. Census to find the nationwide population of white children declined by 4.3 million, while Asian and Latino children grew by 5.5 million.

“It’s an old story for Los Angeles, but it’s a new story for most of the rest of the country,” Frey said Wednesday. “California and Los Angeles are on the front lines of this.”

Frey said the new trends could be useful for school systems and policymakers who need to provide services for different youth populations and who need to “bridge the divide between older white residents who don’t see the needs of some of those younger more diverse populations.”

I hope that school systems and policy makers will indeed use this new information when they are making decisions. It seems like the best decisions are generally made by individuals who have all of the information.

I am currently volunteering with a very diverse group of people to provide the best food that we can for our local food bank in Wallingford, a neighborhood in Seattle. The greenhouse group I volunteer with has been planting seeds and starting an amazing amount of vegetables. Once the starts are ready to be planted, they are given to local pea patch volunteers and the vegetables, once they are grown and edible, will be donated back to our food bank. Before starting the process this year, we took a poll of the people who get food from this food bank to find out what they would prefer to receive and were surprised by some of the results. The growing Asian and Russian population there asked for Bok Choi, Chinese Cabbage and various other vegetables that we have never tried to grow before. We are very happy that we know more about the people we are helping and can serve them the things that they want the most. We were able to do this without the results from the Brookings Institution, but hopefully this report will get others thinking about the growing diversity too!

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April 20th, 2011 | By Catherine Otten | Posted in Art & Society, Environment & Energy, Innovation | Comments Off

The Truth About Climate Change

In a perfect world, people would rely on facts to uncover the truth. I don’t want climate change to be real, but I’m not going to ignore all of the statistics that tell me that it is. However, the problem that many people face is how to change not only their beliefs, but their entire life just by accepting these facts. As Upton Sinclair pointed out nearly a century ago, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

In his New York Times opinion article, The Truth, Still Inconvenient, Krugman writes about five “expert witnesses” Republicans called for last week’s Congressional hearing on climate science.

But what we had, instead of high seriousness, was a farce: a supposedly crucial hearing stacked with people who had no business being there and instant ostracism for a climate skeptic who was actually willing to change his mind in the face of evidence.

Krugman goes on to say “it’s terrifying to realize that this kind of cynical careerism — for that’s what it is — has probably ensured that we won’t do anything about climate change until catastrophe is already upon us.” I prefer to look at the bright side and point out that one scientist with strong climate-skeptic credentials not only changed his views based on his own research, but had the courage to present it to a Congressional hearing that was eager to hear something else.

You Control Climate Change

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April 18th, 2011 | By Catherine Otten | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy | Comments Off

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

This is a great question addressed by Time magazine last week. Although I personally try not to devote too much time to social media, they make a great comparison with the internet  and it’s beginnings  – “Were Netscape and the Web enhancing our economy, or were people just spending more time at work checking out”? I know it took the older generation a much longer time to adapt to using the internet and the same may be true for social media, but will it be good for everyone? I think most people, at least in developed countries, would agree that the internet is now vital to growth and sales for many businesses, and the same may soon be true for social media. This may look good to some, however, the vast majority of people still do not have access to the internet at all. In the Time magazine article they sum it up quite well:

Time TwitterLike so many things these days, social media contribute to economic bifurcation. Dynamic companies are benefiting from these tools, even if the gains are tough to nail down in specific figures. Many individuals are benefiting too, using LinkedIn to find jobs and Groupon to find deals. But for now, the irony is that social media widen the social divide, making it even harder for the have-nots to navigate. They allow those with jobs to do them more effectively and companies that are profiting to profit more. But so far, they have done little to aid those who are being left behind. They are, in short, business as usual.

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