Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rooting for the underdog.

I was managing a fitness facility in 2005-06 when I was first introduced to the underdog. He came to us by way of a teleconference noting he may fill our HR void because he was “not fitting in” with another team.
*Of note, 85% of that “team” did not make it into 2007, while the underdog would continue to record one of the best retention records in our organizations history across +/- eight year span of service.

The underdog was unique, no doubt about it, but the beauty of judgment is that we all have personal & professional areas of strength & improvement. I preferred to see what made the underdog unique on the other side of the spectrum which was a solid work ethic, loyalty and tenacity to pursue goals no matter how small or large they were.

Mid way through his career, the underdog hinted at a possible long term tenure with the fire department. Ultimately, this was his life long dream. I can distinctly recall people laughing at the prospect. The underdog was undersized, of mixed race and through his career suffered multiple injuries that would have been legit excuses for lesser people to continue. I recall speaking to the underdog about an interview he had ‘how’d it go’ I asked, ‘ah, not very good at all’ he said, with his familiar underdog half crooked smile – gazing off into space. ‘There’s a lot of things I need to do to improve’, and improve he did.

See the underdog didn’t quit when he was told no once, twice, three times. Instead he took the feedback and, after each time he got knocked down – he got right back up. Eventually, it was challenging NOT to root for the underdog. Days passed and I lost touch. I would hear he was going to be a husband... then a father... then a volunteer intern and finally, after years of effort, he would make the team in the job of his dreams.... as a firefighter.

Jeff Iwanaka, you are the consummate example of someone who, despite every opportunity to deploy your raft and float downstream, kept swimming against the current. As a result, you are no longer the underdog - you are a champion. All of us who surround you are better for knowing you and just before Christmas to have this fortune bestow yourself & family we wish you nothing but the best!

Merry Christmas Jeff.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Magnesium… Do you get enough?

Not many people are aware of the huge role magnesium plays in our system. Magnesium is the most important mineral in our body. After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies. It is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and regulates all three of them. 
Deficiency in Magnesium is often diagnosed incorrectly because it does not show up in blood tests. One percent of the body's magnesium is stored in the blood. There happens to be a relationship between what we perceive as thirst and deficiencies in electrolytes. 
Magnesium is needed by every cell in the body including those of the brain. Magnesium is needed not only for the production of specific detoxification enzymes but is also important for energy production related to cell detoxification. Magnesium deficiency can affect every system of the body.
If magnesium is severely deficient, the brain is particularly affected. Large amounts of calcium are lost in the urine when magnesium is under supplied; the lack of this nutrient indirectly becomes responsible for rampant tooth decay, poor bone development, and osteoporosis as well as slow healing of broken bones and fractures. With vitamin B6, magnesium helps to reduce and dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones.
Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcaemia). Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia). Magnesium levels drop at night, leading to poor REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep cycles and unrefreshed sleep. 

Oral magnesium supplements reduce erythrocyte dehydration. In general, optimal balances of electrolytes are necessary to maintain the best possible hydration. Diabetic thirst is initiated specifically by magnesium deficiency with relative calcium excess in the cells. Even water, our most basic nutrient starts having a hard time getting into the cells with more going out through the kidneys.

Magnesium is a critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. It is an essential piece of our organic structure. Some sources include: nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, beans and lentils, dark chocolate, dried fruits, bananas and avocados. Stick to whole foods vs supplementation for optimization.

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals when considering its vital role in hundreds of enzyme systems and functions related to reactions in cell metabolism, as well as being essential for the synthesis of proteins, for the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. Like water, we need magnesium every day.
Let’s do our best and make Magnesium a part of our healthy, active lifestyles... OSU! ~ 

Written  by : Michael Milosiewicz

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Organizational politics.

Play nice, stroke the ego’s, don’t rock the boat and you’re safe. Safe with the old boys/girls group who sits comfortably atop their perch of power wielding their decision making might. Well versed at saying no, (sometimes even before they even hear the proposition) no one could have possibly thought of some thing... some way they hadn’t already thought of. Behold, the politics of [insert organization here].

In our case, it is the politics of our children’s health. We can assure you the reason our children do not get the resources they need to become & remain healthy has EVERYTHING to do with politics. The evidence, expertise, tools and solutions all exist however the opportunity to collaborate & cooperate... comes with conditions. Like many societal ailments, the solution takes second place to who's flag will be flying atop the mountain. But be careful because two words have emerged that will forever change that landscape. Open. Source.

We no longer need to pay for your blessing or beg for funding because IF we’re good enough, we can bypass you and get direct to consumer. The very funnel you have attempted to block, has been blown wide open. While you try to monetize your monopoly, we can offer better assets at no cost. While you try to control who gets the cred, we can guerilla market and in doing so, achieve our own cred. People are tired of being manipulated, controlled and taken advantage of. And if you have not noticed, paradigms are being turned on their heads.

My son asked the question to the effect of  “why swimupstream?”. Somehow, somewhere he’d seen the program, heard the comment... and now wanted answers. This is what parents live for, a self initiated teachable moment.  I explained the majority of people in life are happy to contently float downstream. Floating downstream requires little effort as the path & pace are predetermined for you. While the masses float downstream, there are always 1-2 feverishly swimming upstream. Working against the current, they cling onto the riverbanks, find eddies to rest & recover and start all over again. Those floating downstream usually mock those swimming upstream. What are they doing? Why are they working so hard? Where are they going?  So I asked him. What’s at the bottom of every river? “a waterfall”. Yes and what’s at the top of every river “ a lake”. Where do you rather end up? 

Don’t subscribe to organizational politics - challenge shit. People who challenge the conventional norm are the people we read about with admiration vs. contempt.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Digital junk food.

    Heard a great description during a forum on social media last month re: what people want from their social media experience. The discussion stemmed from an observation that, while people will flock to instant gratification entertainment they are reluctant to sit through & endorse more meaningful subject matter. The term digital junk food was used to describe the psychological process of information consumption and I thought that was fairly accurate, though perhaps not evidence based. I needed to experiment for myself so I took to the popular social media feeds to determine if I could validate this digital junk food claim.

  1. step 1. Source 15 days worth of random feel good quotes and pictures that seem to garner the most amount of tee hee’s, hell ya’s and likes.
  2. step 2. Source 15 days worth of really important messaging. Health, political, social issues (still cool things) but between 30 seconds & 3 minutes long.
  3. step 3. Track the results and validate the hypothesis. 
Predictably, the feel good quotes and pictures out-liked and out-stat’d the important messaging by approx 20-1. While there are certainly more reasons than societies predisposition to be externally gratified or hesitation to invest time on important topics, the outcome was predictable. 

But what happens when we start getting fat from too much digital junk food. Is this the same as consuming unhealthy foods because they are quick and easy? If so, then we should probably ask ourselves, if real junk food is having such an adverse impact on our bodies, what impact is digital junk food having on our minds?

Are we at risk of the following digital diseases?

  1. wasting time?
  2. becoming less productive?
  3. incapable of developing our own internal guidance system?
  4. becoming desensitized to our social slide?
Stop consuming digital junk food – and start creating your own shit.