Tag Archives: Society

How we became from a “pulling from” to a “pushed to” society

NOWHERE-TO-GO GENERATION (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 150 cm)

Do you realize that the pendulum switched? The future is here. There were only a few gaps to close, why even the digital generation has not been aware of losing their possibility to pull. It is definitely history that with free choice we can selectively draw from the endless streams of tunneled information to which we are bound. In the past you could find out where things were coming from without having to reveal your own origin / location. Today this is exactly the opposite. Today, in every area of life, things are pushed to us by the invisible, de facto uncontrollable global and artificial intelligence-enabled online content and service providers. These pushes are non-locatable and ubiquitous at the same time. There is no “where” anymore, except for ourselves, where we are assigned IP addresses, IDs, and usernames.

Our lifestyles and businesses now definitely got dominated by the rules of a (dystopian?) virtual world. This connectivity-enforced new disconnectedness will leave us for some time with mere memories of having lived in an in-person-world, where citizens had the choice between onsite and online services, where customers used to be king, where people were asked about the ‘why’ behind their data, and where they exchanged goods for tangible values. Internet platforms are inherently gravitating towards dominant market positions. Gone are the times where monopolistic situations and the related risk of abuse of power could be regulated, gone are the times where the “where” could be located and where the truth could be verified. Welcome to the no “where” generation.

By the way:

In the course of the upcoming ongoing mutations of viruses and the expected communication of the continuation of the contact restrictions, will we then receive a QUOTE FOR GOING OUT? Will citizens receive x tickets for cultural events such as concerts and museums, y vouchers for parties and z tokens for dining out? In this way, seditious uprisings by the people can be prevented (we’ve already come to terms with the privileged opportunities of richer citizens), and the online industry does not have to forego the continuation of the profits it has made since the beginning of the Corona crisis …

There may not be all bad:-). However, for alternative, possibly more humanistic approaches, there are a lot of ideas you can find on my website www.mathias-sager.com.

Modern primitive

Modern primitive (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 150 cm)

The modern tools are sold to human RESOURCES as:

  • education
  • knowledge
  • fulfillment
  • skills / ability
  • happiness
  • connection

However, the human BEINGS suffer:

  • distraction
  • fake information
  • emptiness
  • numbness / disability
  • pleasure / addiction
  • disconnection

Dangerous highway

Dangerous highway (M. Sager 2021, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm)

People who are not able to coordinate complex multi-limb movements with their bodies are called disabled and are not allowed to do certain things like, for example, driving a car as it would be too dangerous for others. But people who are unable to coordinate complex multi-perspective situations in their minds are allowed to run organizations and countries.

In contrast to a leg-focused person who forgets about the arm-movement and therefore is realistically considered a risk for driving a vehicle, a single-minded career, for example, of exclusively fighting for one particular group’s interest is likely to be admired. Standing up for one group to succeed over others from a humanitarian perspective, however, is like prioritizing eating over drinking. Thus, the organism of humankind is doomed to die.

The ‘Corona World War’ or the 3rd World War in Corona Times (4 min. read)

If the economy is not in constant struggle anyway, then during Corona times there are increased signs of war effects. Understanding the wider context is important. It takes critical thinking, courage, and a belief in positive change. But how? My repeated lesson is: win self-control instead of economic wars so that everyone benefits.

The virtual realm was slowly but surely occupied, administered and borrowed again by the large technology and telecommunications corporations. Compared with the acquisition of the physical land at that time, the www landowners have now also established themselves. The main shopping streets are no longer in the city center, but on the well-known online markets. With the cell phone in everyone’s pocket, cyber space has become an omnipresent and real shopping, experience, work, and communication space [1]. Despite the predominance of monopolistic Internet providers and platforms, the virtual world was not yet fully conquered. There were also alternatives (such as platform cooperatives [2, 3]) and free web addresses for development. Certain data, the oil of today, were not yet in the hands of the information processors, although these global companies have probably already known more than the respective governments themselves for some time. The race for the few not yet occupied network areas and their positioning was definitely still in full swing.

A lot of money is invested in Silicon Valley, where investors slowly become impatient as new investment gains, e.g. in the area of ​​social media, didn’t realize surely and rapidly enough. In general, the profit-seeking economy was overheating. I feared war because war is profitable at this level [4]. With Corona, a lot is now also going online and the major providers were able to step in quickly. Small and medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, have to close or sell cheaply to investors who then earn double during the rebuilding; this war effect works well with corona measures.

Fortunately, the total mortality does not seem to be any higher this year than in other years, with Corona or not [5]; The idea of ​​a disease that would “solve” the “problem” of an aging population and thus an unproductive and pension-devouring population would be terrible. Where it is not about the digital economy but about natural resources, we will continue to see traditional wars. In most countries, possibly thanks to measures such as related to Corona and the resulting asset redistribution, these are no longer necessary. There is no need for conventional armies of soldiers today. To dictate the direction of the crowd, digital distraction, incitement, and advertising are also sufficient [6, 7, 8] *. The battle for people’s attention has been very advanced for a long time: Advertisement and monitoring at any online occasion, anywhere, anytime. Technology-related ever shorter attention spans of people only make them more prone to following whoever shouts the loudest (or who can spend the most money on positioning of content).

Hopefully, after the shutting down of the traditional local offline economy in favor of the global online tech world, there will be some calm again, respectively enough capital of the capital holders will have increased and the threads in the puppet play of the global digital economy under control as desired. In that case, if the widening gap between rich and poor [8, 9, 10] does not lead to local unrest, a lot of blood spilling and the environment might have been spared for a moment; apart from technology / energy consumption and psychological factors, which also lead to mortality.

At least, a physical war attack is difficult for the individual ordinary citizen to fend off; However, staying psychologically healthy is always in our individual control given the appropriate knowledge and discipline (11, 12, 13) and depends little on economic factors (14, 15, 16). Perhaps psychology will soon be taught in schools instead of the history of battles and wars [17]. I would still be for such an approach. The way to peace seems to lie in the ability of each individual to self-control and to be moderate through a reorientation towards intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation [18 – 24]. In this sense, the focus would shift from technology and a capitalistic economy back to people [25, 26], and so-called humanitarian crises (crises that are actually economically caused) would be prevented in the long term.

Is there any hope of change? Yes and no. The individual psychological forces to establish and approve systems that disadvantage the general population are very strong. Unfortunately, it is often the particularly disadvantaged who justify authoritarian forces [27]. Whether, despite technology, enough fears can be distributed locally in political and social structures to keep people fearful enough not to wake up, remains questionable. It is to be hoped that the critical thinking, courage and belief in positive changes that are also widespread, can ultimately prevail. It is important to strengthen the self-confidence of each individual; Humanistic, transpersonal psychology, art, and sport are feasible ways to do this, which I also consistently advocate.

* Once more self-serving fake news? Not too credible? Not enough likes? Would you like more information? You are welcome to read the scientific sources and backgrounds in the resources listed below (which is not available even in renowned media). This is important to me, although many readers can no longer muster the attention span even for this length and type of text. I hope you find a lot of exciting things about it, and thank you for your attention. Please share the text if you find this valuable. All the best – Mathias Sager

Selected resources. More at www.mathias-sager.com

[1] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/12/15/net-neutrality-cyber-territory-development-owned-by-landlords-or-by-the-people/

[2] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/10/25/platform-cooperativism-democratically-run-digital-organizations/

[3] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/12/17/platform-worker-co-ops-as-a-solution-for-business-ownership-successions-the-context-in-japan/

[4] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/08/19/after-world-war-iii/

[5] https://web.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1270585109985031&set=a.170683376641882

[6] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/09/distraction-of-the-mass/

[7] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/02/24/why-people-justify-social-systems-that-disadvantage-them/

[8] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/09/25/7-wrong-reasonsexcuses-for-why-we-cannot-change-for-a-better-cooperative-economic-system/

[9] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/10/04/a-reply-to-the-article-obedience-ashiftinconsciousness-wordpress-com/

[10] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/06/27/yes-we-can/

[11] https://mathias-sager.com/?s=awareness+intelligence

[12] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/06/11/the-benefits-of-an-internal-locus-of-control-personality/

[13] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/10/26/healing-beyond-relief/

[14] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/11/30/the-relationship-between-age-socioeconomic-factors-and-happiness/

[15] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/09/09/earth-education-art-and-happiness/

[16] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/12/05/should-happiness-really-be-the-goal-a-buddhist-perspective/

[17] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/04/02/why-psychology-should-be-taught-in-every-school/

[18] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/04/10/developing-human-capital-success-and-failure-in-learning/

[19] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/07/17/your-free-access-to-my-course-developing-leadership-skills-personality-motivation-and-creativity/

[20] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/01/31/human-capital-success-in-learning/

[21] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/01/25/self-leadership-and-the-seven-habits-of-highly-effective-people/

[22] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/06/12/spirituality-is-required-to-understand-human-motivation-and-personality/

[23] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/06/08/being-driven-or-thriving-sigmund-freud-versus-carl-rogers-on-human-motivation/

[24] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/02/07/dr-wayne-w-dyer-inspiration-for-the-leader-in-all-of-us/

[25] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/26/technology-and-the-distributed-intelligence-of-the-mind/

[26] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/07/broadening-the-social-scope/  

[27] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/02/24/why-people-justify-social-systems-that-disadvantage-them/

The ability to respond

Psychological issues, and by that ultimately any human-related problems, come either from neurosis or character weaknesses. Both are a matter of lack of responsibility and typically lead to symptoms of individual and collective stress. If a society and its members decide to see the world as threatening, hostile, and transactional instead of being determined by love, and if the path to happiness as the highest goal is considered to be depending on what kind of or how much stuff one can accumulate, it is not surprising that this leads to fear of loss, obsessions, and depression. There lie serious responsibility issues in excusing diminished awareness, which lead to selfish, greedy, and passive behavior. Character flaws tend to be excused at all or as illnesses. It appears that it is cheaper for a society to pay for standard treatments, which bring temporary relief of symptoms rather than to invest in the long-term healing of people as whole-human beings. From a financial and law and order perspective, it is more efficient and effective to fight the most extreme symptoms of exclusion, for example, by paying some public assistance and to exploit only to the point that there remains a broad enough middle class that helps defending the privileges of the upper class than to risk a revolution from below. People need to be kept happy enough in their misery that they are still helping to defend the oppressors’ authority. That’s how it came that everybody’s issue and suffering has become nobody’s focus of awareness.

Several psychological mechanisms are explaining how people are brought to justify existing social systems that do even disadvantage them. Social justification theory is about the promotion of ideologies, which underline the belief in the inferiority of underprivileged groups. So, it is a myth that Western societies are based on equality of opportunity. The economic success of most people also depends on the level of resources allocated to them, for example at the workplace or by parents who could afford better education and the necessary capital for entrepreneurial ventures. However, many people today believe in the story of meritocracy and attribute economic inequality to their own inferiority. Such unaware system justification is further blocking critical thinking and can also manifest in system-reinforcing victim blaming and stereotyping.

The saying “It’s all about the perspective” should not become a justification and excuse for any social exclusion or harm to anybody, regardless of how far away and seemingly unrelated.

It is more sensible to assume a multi-perspective awareness that is all-inclusive rather than defending group interests.

People who are not able to coordinate complex multi-limb movements with their body are called disabled and are not allowed to do certain things like, for example, driving a car as it would be too dangerous for others. But people who are unable to coordinate complex multi-perspective situations in their minds are allowed to run organizations and countries.

In contrast to a leg-focused person who forgets about the arm-movement and therefore is realistically considered a risk for driving a vehicle, a single-minded career of exclusively fighting for one particular group’s interest is likely to be admired for its dedication. Standing up for one group to succeed over others from a humanitarian point of view, however, is like prioritizing eating over drinking. The organism of humankind is doomed to die.

It’s time to assume responsibility for one’s scope of awareness. Humanity needs a shift from physical protection to a right intention. A society guided by Awareness Intelligence does not build on barriers, walls, and defense mechanisms anymore because nobody needs to be protected against Awareness Intelligence that can’t but take care of everybody’s needs. Such is the beautiful nature of responsibility of humantime. What else could be more worth to realize?! I, for my part, rather want to have tried.

Highest qualities of the mind do not know fear from failure as only failure to learn falls short of them.

Everybody can develop Awareness Intelligence. Once tasted, the knowing about one’s self-efficacy irrespective of society’s non-responsiveness or punitiveness, is too good to be given up again. Everybody can get the control over one’s access to life source, to meet other people lovingly in the current moment, and to serve the communal good and next generations to come. Even if you are discouraged and rather hopeless about what you can do about your future, you always can start with impacting others’ today and tomorrow, which, in return, will reveal your future to you as well. Your impact is of the full scope of humankind.

Recognize how important you are. Every dream for a better world, every creative act, and even a seemingly naive idea can inspire and provide the courage to break out of the cage of limited knowing.

Think, paint, play music, dance, write, and think again. It’s not commercial products that touch people’s heart most profoundly. It’s what you can do in your mind. It’s not compliance, but boldness that nurtures your, others, and all humankind’s Awareness Intelligence. Every feed into the expansion of knowing is fuel for more awareness-intelligent thought and more wholesome behavior. Life might be right, and an awarian land of awareness not too far away to be already part of now.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Chapter 34 – Think thrice

Chapter 35 – Circumthinking

Chapter 36 – Unconditional love

Chapter 37 – Humankindism

Chapter 38 – Unimportant urgencies versus purposeful service

Chapter 39 – Becoming wholly human

Chapter 40 – Exchanging and building energy through gratitude

Chapter 41 – Enthusiastic learning and teaching

Chapter 42 – Surviving and thriving through change

Coming next:

Chapter 44 – Safety, satisfaction, and connectedness

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

Inspirational Leadership: Allowing the Soul to be Free

1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.

2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.

3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.

4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.

5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.

6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.

7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.

Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.

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Personality and Leadership Styles

 

Slides from our event, December 5th, 2018:

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The leader-follower relationship: Theories and related strategies

1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.

2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.

3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.

4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.

5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.

6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.

7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.

8.A secure ATTACHMENT STYLE helps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.

9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.

10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.

11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.

12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.

 

Slides:

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Leaders are not born, they are made

1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.

2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.

3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’

4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.

5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.

6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.

7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.

8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.

9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.

10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!

11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.

Slides:

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To be free requires freedom to learn

Thankful for another night being free to learn.

mathias-sager-freedom to learn

 

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The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

10 takeaways from the 80% is Psychology session ‘Learning and motivation’. Tokyo, November 7, 2018.  

Presentation and discussions:

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Beyond the brain (Takeaways from 80% is Psychology)

Takeaways from our event on October 24th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. Please see also https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

Course 1 Session 4 Brain and Memory in Learning_v04_TAKEAWAYS

1.Know that the brain has different chemical processes for addictive pleasure experiences (neurotransmitter is dopamine) versus more long-term, empathic, and self-sufficient happiness-related behavior (neurotransmitter is serotonin).

2.Reduce distractions, especially to avoid over-dependence (addiction) to technology and social networks that interrupt your attention and learning.

3.Increase for how long you are able to stay offline and/or exclusively focused for better learning results.

4.Train your brain through exercising, diet, sleep, and alternative learning strategies.

5.Recognize how your consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body, and the world. Brain activities may be necessary, but not sufficient preconditions for human behavior.

6.Experiment with stretching your sense of time and thinking of cyclical time. The soul/spirit wants to expand. As the earth is not a plate where you can fall off the edges, time may not be a simple line with birth and life ‘abysses.’

7.Do not fear the future. The brain takes even distantly thought threats for real and causes already now suffering, anxiety, and depression.

8.Do not fear loss. If we are only our physical brain, we don’t need to fear any regrets or pain after death. If there is something more permanent than our brain, death isn’t an existential threat to fear either.

9.Use intuition, imagination, and intention to ‘real-life check’ what really counts in everything you learn: Is it meaningful, unlimited, and purposeful? If not, it’s not worth it.

10.Read to activate your brain, increase the working memory’s capacity, and expand attention span.

 

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Social Learning & Developing a Growth Mindset (7 Takeaways from 80% is Psychology)

Takeaways from our event on October 24th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. Please see also https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

mathias sager psychology social learning growth mindset

Slides:

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The Meaning of Work (and Cultural Considerations at the Example of Japan)

mathias-sager-meaning of work life quote.png

 

Introduction

Definition of meaning

Although ‘meaning’ isn’t reducible to a state-like single factor [1], the meaning of a concept (i.e., work) is related to how an individual does experience the significance of a situation that causes related inferential intentions to behave in a certain way [2]. While for many people the primary meaning of work lies in the earning of money for making a living, work provides also for values such as achievement, honor, and social relationships that determine how central the purpose of work is as compared to other life aspects like leisure, family, and community [3].

Economist and psychologist approach to work

The economist approach to work assumes a transactional exchange of time and effort for money. Non-financial job values have gotten limited attention by economists when examining work motivation and productivity. However, like for example, academics who have highest job security without the need to outperform, and who study beyond working hours without monetary incentives, are motivated by pure contribution to a subject, intellectual stimulation, and the satisfaction from a deliberate exchange of knowledge. Similarly, entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of autonomous decision-making regardless of ‘pain’ put into it in the form of time and effort. Top talents have been found to prefer to work for social organizations rather than just for the best paying one [4].

Albeit the financialized political economy [5] ignores many aspects of work, such as its creative and interpersonal (social) value [6], the examples show that through psychological satisfaction, work can be a source of meaning beyond merely earning an income [4].

 

Cultural features of work meaning

Work creates culture, culture creates work

Culture as a guiding set of material, mental, and spiritual values that are based on a group’s experiences over time, creates meaning on how to behave and work [7] and, at the same time, its meaning itself is produced by work. Consequently, work should be considered a meaning-making construct of and within culture respectively as the producer and product of people’s mindset simultaneously [8]. A culture, therefore, can be only as rich and meaningful as the work that produces it is itself. 

“Adulthood” identity

In most Western cultures, there is today a less clear boundary between school and work life. In Japanese society though, there exists still a distinct point in time (usually beginning of April every year) that is marking the end of one’s student identity through entering the working world on full-time basis, which means to becoming a ‘shakaijin,’ i.e., a person of society/workforce [9]. Companies use recruitment practices and regular personal assessment throughout an adult’s work life to socialize [10]. Age-based reward and promotion systems also support this ongoing socialization process [15]. More recently, the traditional path to adulthood and ‘companyism’ has become more diverse, and the increasing number of part-time workers and contractors is shaping a changing understanding of the transition to adulthood and work life, one that takes place rather through action than through the acquisition of the ‘shakaijin’ status [10].

Masculine breadwinner identity

Company respectively work-led socialization reinforces gender roles. The breadwinning role is a priority in masculine identity. After the earthquake in 2011, men’s concern in Fukushima was less related to health than to the loss of their economic situation [11]. As in Japanese patriarchal culture, the father role is still primarily related to company job-related work, childcare duties are culturally assigned to solely to the female role (i.e., mother or grandmother), which provides a widespread potential for work-family conflicts. Shared family and work-related commitments, however, begin to be seen as essential to improve self-worthiness and a sense of meaningfulness in life [12]. Men who don’t exhibit a regular full-time job are more likely to marry late. Also, males with non-standard jobs have the lowest chance of getting children, an effect that is prevalent in Japan, but not in the US, for example [13].

Given the importance of work as a provider of status, identity, and meaning, it is understandable that Japanese commit with a lot of grit to it [14]. Over time, Japan’s values align more closely with global trends insofar as there is a great emphasis on the economic function of work as well [15]. Will that be enough meaning to engage the next generations of employees as well? Research is showing that lack of meaning at work is reducing work volition and work-related well-being significantly [16].

Economy of dignity and respect

A further question is how much a collectivist society may be able to reduce the dependency on others and society overall because over-dependency on the meaning of work risks to hamper dignity. The individual capacity to understand and position oneself as a fully recognized societal participant is vital to the notion of dignity as sourced from within. It is to hope that companies and society, not only in Japan, help to create dignity by de-stigmatizing of traditional personhood markers such as employment type and gender roles [17]. It’s maybe such a shift from status-focus to an action-focus orientation that also explains the changing meaning of ‘sonkei’ (Japanese for respect). Formal respect (e.g., towards age-based status) is increasingly recognized as a moral duty rather than an emotion built on genuine love and admiration [18].

Benefits from meaningful work

Psychological well-being

The benefit of employees perceiving their work as meaningful come as experiences of greater happiness, job satisfaction, team spirit, and commitment ([19]; [20]), thus reducing turnover rates and long-term sickness absences. This is because of the positive emotional bondage to the workplace that is an end in itself; a characteristic also called intrinsic motivation [21]. A greater sense of meaning in one’s work can be protective of burnout [22]. Eudaimonia is a term describing the sort of well-being that comes from living an engaging, meaningful, and fulfilling life [23]. Such a spirit at the workplace can be fostered by letting employees feel they contribute to something more significant in connection to a common connection and purpose [24].

Performance and physical health

Work meaning is also closely linked to better outcomes, such as increased income, quality of work, and job satisfaction [25]. Finally, a sense of purpose and sense of socially embedded growth in and from work (i.e., eudaimonic, meaning-based well-being versus hedonic, pleasure-based job-satisfaction [26]) was found to be associated with positive health outcomes, for example, by the means of supporting one’s physical resistance against adversities like inflammation or viral infection [27]. The Japanese type of stress-death, the so-called ‘karoushi’ (death from overwork) cannot be seen as a physiological phenomenon only. Rather death is caused by a vicious cycle of depressive feelings, and states of helplessness and unescapable despair combined with overwork [28].

Fostering meaning at work

A culture of mentorship and nostalgia

For a long time, job satisfaction research has been focused on an organizational perspective without sufficiently considering the role of the job on family, the standard of living, personal development, and on a worker’s larger worldview [26]. It is crucial to understand better situational contexts in which meaning ensues. Researchers found that the highest levels of meaning arise during spiritual practices and work hours, especially when performing social job components such as talking to people. As a general pattern, meaning occurs most during states of increased awareness [29]. An organizational listening climate may facilitate such an awareness [30], and acting as a self-reflective mentor might be a useful avenue of experiencing meaning at work [31]. Indeed, studies among nursing practices from different countries (e.g., Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, and Korea) confirm that leaders and a culture of mentorship are important for fostering meaning of work for both mentors and the mentees [32]. Also, the induction of nostalgia (i.e., remembering sentimental events from the past) can be used to meet employees longing for wistful affection to the past and may increase an employee’s perception of the meaningfulness of his/her organizational life and therefore the attachment to it [19].

The need for humanizing the economy

The hope that unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and even health and life-threatening mental stress at work will improve may be overshadowed by the continuing centrality of profit margins and efficiency in corporations. Neo-liberal development in Japan has shaken the traditions of secure long-term employment and a state responsible for citizens welfare. While the need for meaning at the workplace implies rather a humanization of the economy and society, capitalist marketization of everything is continuing. Corporate managers continue to exploit deregulated labor and capital and maintain insecurity and growing competition among workers. [33]. While rhetoric is sometimes trying to convince otherwise, understandably in the light of how grim the reality reveals, capitalism’s ultimate sense is about capital rather than humanity. In case of conflict, business goals come before anything else. Regardless of how meaningful employees perceive their job, no CEO is considered unsuccessful when driving profits within legal constraints and without caring especially about humanistically meaningful jobs. It’s, therefore, as an example, a non-surprising and common observation that such managers only after their retirement turn to a more dedicated anthropological role of contributing to society.

Meaning determines moral and ethical intentions and behavior

It seems that people need to find answers from within because the treadmill of the pursuit of consumption, pleasure, and economic success from work won’t fulfill the potential of greater meaning at work in many cases, regardless of how comfortable or tough the circumstances. It is each and everyone’s responsibility to fill the void of meaning through their sacred awareness, philosophy, and artful approach to put it into practice. And it is critical that we help others to do so too. The meaning of work should be considered simultaneously from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective, considering its psychological function for everyone. Meaning is the basis on which intentions ensue and according actions follow [2]. Consequently, claiming peaceful fulfillment in one’s work is an essential part of and prerequisite for moral and ethical behavior towards oneself and others alike.

 

References

[1] Leontiev, D. A. (2013). Personal meaning: A challenge for psychology. Journal Of Positive Psychology, 8(6), 459-470. doi:10.1080/17439760.2013.830767

[2] Liberman, S., & López Olmedo, R. (2017). Psychological Meaning of ‘Coauthorship’ among Scientists Using the Natural Semantic Networks Technique. Social Epistemology: A Journal Of Knowledge, Culture, And Policy, 31(2), 152-164.

[3] THE MEANING OF WORKING: JAPAN VS USA. (2011). Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings of the Academy for Studies in International Business (ASIB), 11(1), 7-11.

[4] Cassar, L., & Meier, S. (2018). Nonmonetary Incentives and the Implications of Work as a Source of Meaning. Journal Of Economic Perspectives, 32(3), 215-238. doi:http://dx.doi.org.liverpool.idm.oclc.org/10.1257/jep.32.3.215

[5] Lapping, C., & Glynos, J. (2018). Psychical Contexts of Subjectivity and Performative Practices of Remuneration: Teaching Assistants’ Narratives of Work. Journal Of Education Policy, 33(1), 23-42.

[6] Gill, F. (2000). The meaning of work: Lessons from sociology, psychology, and political theory. JOURNAL OF SOCIOECONOMICS, (6). 725.

[7] Francis, V. F. (2018). Infusing Dispute Resolution Teaching and Training with Culture and Diversity. Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution, (Issue 2), 171.

[8] Bendassolli, P. F. (2016). Work and culture: Approaching cultural and work psychology. Culture & Psychology, 23(3), 372-390.

[9] Cook, H. M., & Shibamoto-Smith, J. S. (n.d). Japanese at work : politeness, power, and personae in Japanese workplace discourse. Cham : Palgrave Macmillan, [2018].

[10] Cook, E. E. (2016). Adulthood as Action Changing Meanings of Adulthood for Male Part-Time Workers in Contemporary Japan. Asian Journal Of Social Science, 44(3), 317-337.

[11] Morioka, R. (2014). Gender difference in the health risk perception of radiation from Fukushima in Japan: The role of hegemonic masculinity. Social Science & Medicine, 107105-112. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.014

[12] Hamada, l. (2017). Men’s unpaid domestic work: A critique of (re)doing gender in contemporary Japan. In M. Tsai, W. Chen, M. Tsai, W. Chen (Eds.) , Family, work and wellbeing in Asia (pp. 177-191). New York, NY, US: Springer Science + Business Media. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-4313-0_9

[13] Piotrowski, M., Wolford, R., Kalleberg, A., & Bond, E. (2018). Non-standard work and fertility: a comparison of the US and Japan. Asian Population Studies, 14(2), 116-136.

[14] Suzuki, Y., Tamesue, D., Asahi, K., & Ishikawa, Y. (2015). Grit and Work Engagement: A Cross-Sectional Study. Plos ONE, 10(9), 1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137501

[15] Karyn A., L., & Arne L., K. (1988). Age and the Meaning of Work in the United States and Japan. Social Forces, (2), 337. doi:10.2307/2579185

[16] Duffy, R. D., Autin, K. L., & Bott, E. M. (2015). Work Volition and Job Satisfaction: Examining the Role of Work Meaning and Person-Environment Fit. Career Development Quarterly, 63(2), 126-140.

[17] Pugh, A. J. (2012). The Social Meanings of Dignity at Work. Hedgehog Review, 14(3), 30-38.

[18] Muto, S. (2016). [The hierarchical semantic structure of respect-related emotions in modern Japanese people]. Shinrigaku Kenkyu: The Japanese Journal Of Psychology, 87(1), 95-101.

[19] Leunissen, J. M., Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., & Cohen, T. R. (2018). Organizational Nostalgia Lowers Turnover Intentions by Increasing Work Meaning: The Moderating Role of Burnout. Journal of occupational health psychology, (1). 44.

[20] Fourie, M., & Deacon, E. (2015). Meaning in work of secondary school teachers: A qualitative study. South African Journal Of Education, 35(3), 1-8.

[21] Clausen, T., Burr, H., & Borg, V. (2014). Does Affective Organizational Commitment and Experience of Meaning at Work Predict Long-Term Sickness Absence?. Journal Of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 56(2), 129-135. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000078

[22] Tei, S., Becker, C., Sugihara, G., Kawada, R., Fujino, J., Sozu, T., & … Takahashi, H. (2015). Sense of meaning in work and risk of burnout among medical professionals. Psychiatry And Clinical Neurosciences, 69(2), 123-124. doi:10.1111/pcn.12217

[23] Cake, M. A., Bell, M. A., & Bickley, N. (2015). The Life of Meaning: A Model of the Positive Contributions to Well-Being from Veterinary Work. Journal Of Veterinary Medical Education, 42(3), 184-193.

[24] Kinjerski, V., & Skrypnek, B. J. (2008). Four Paths to Spirit at Work: Journeys of Personal Meaning, Fulfillment, Well-Being, and Transcendence through Work. Career Development Quarterly, 56(4), 319-329.

[25] THE PATTERNING OF WORK MEANINGS WHICH ARE COTERMINOUS WITH WORK OUTCOME LEVELS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN JAPAN, GERMANY AND THE USA. (n.d). APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY-AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW-PSYCHOLOGIE APPLIQUEE-REVUE INTERNATIONALE, 39(1), 29-45.

[26] Rothausen, T. J., & Henderson, K. E. (2018). Meaning-based job-related well-being: Exploring a meaningful work conceptualization of job satisfaction. Journal Of Business And Psychology, doi:10.1007/s10869-018-9545-x

[27] Kitayama, S., Akutsu, S., Uchida, Y., & Cole, S. W. (2016). Work, meaning, and gene regulation: Findings from a Japanese information technology firm. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 72175-181. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.07.004

[28] Walter, T. (1993). Karoushi: Stress-Death and the Meaning of Work. Journal Of Business Ethics, (11), 869.

[29] Kucinskas, J., Wright, B. E., & Riepl, S. (2018). The Interplay Between Meaning and Sacred Awareness in Everyday Life: Evidence From a Daily Smartphone Study. International Journal For The Psychology Of Religion, 28(2), 71-88.

[30] Reed, K., Goolsby, J. R., & Johnston, M. K. (2016). Extracting Meaning and Relevance from Work: The Potential Connection Between the Listening Environment and Employee’s Organizational Identification and Commitment. International Journal Of Business Communication, 53(3), 326-342. doi:10.1177/2329488414525465

[31] Kennett, P., & Lomas, T. (2015). Making meaning through mentoring: Mentors finding fulfilment at work through self-determination and self-reflection. International Journal Of Evidence Based Coaching And Mentoring, (2), 29.

[32] Malloy, D. C., Fahey-McCarthy, E., Murakami, M., Lee, Y., Choi, E., Hirose, E., & Hadjistavropoulos, T. (2015). Finding Meaning in the Work of Nursing: An International Study. Online Journal Of Issues In Nursing, 20(3), 7.

[33] Gagne, N. O. (2018). “Correcting Capitalism”: Changing Metrics and Meanings of Work among Japanese Employees. Journal Of Contemporary Asia, 48(1), 67-87. doi:10.1080/00472336.2017.1381984

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Aristotle said “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”

What’s your experience?
Come and discuss with us at ‘80% is Psychology: The History & Philosophy of Learning for Life’ on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, 19:00 (B2 Yaesuguchi, Tokyo Station)

Please help to spread the word. Thanks and Cu
https://www.facebook.com/events/296127901169930/

mathias sager-school-learning-psychology-aristotle-TEASER01.png

80% is Psychology: The History & Philosophy of Learning for Life

Public Event · Hosted by Mathias Sager – School & Advisory and J-Global Inc., Tokyo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/296127901169930/

Meetup (Ticket): https://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Self-Leadership-Meetup/

mathias-sager-school-course 01 01 image.png

Hello and welcome!

Whether in a few or many single sessions picked according to your interest, or be it by attending the whole certificate courses, you will learn, reflect upon, discuss and start to apply:

  • How to improve individual well-being, organizational performance, and social contribution for your private life and professional career
  • How to develop a personal (self-) leadership that combines multi-disciplinary, inter-generational, and cross-cultural knowledge better

The goals of the unique approach fostered in these meetups include lectures and discussions/group works that are intended to spark critical thinking, stimulate new ideas, and motivate for self-improvement. You’ll be inspired, encouraged, and enabled to lead your way for deeper experiences and bigger impacts.

(further details, related courses in the series, and tickets you can find on meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Self-Leadership-Meetup/)

October 10, 2018 – November 14, 2018
‘The Psychology of Learning & Developing a Growth Mindset’
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 19:00
– #01 1/6 The History and Philosophy of Learning (for Life)
Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 19:00
– #02 2/6 Behaviorism, and Animal and Human Learning
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 19:00
– #03 3/6 Social Learning & Developing a Growth Mindset
Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 19:00
– #04 4/6 Brain and Memory in Learning
Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 19:00
– #05 5/6 Learning and Motivation
Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 19:00
– #06 6/6 Learner Profiles and Strategies

November 21, 2018 – January 16, 2019
‘Inspiring Others Across Cultures and (Self-)Leadership Psychology’
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
– #07 1/6 Leadership Philosophy
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
– #08 2/6 Leaders and Followers & Leadership Strategies
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
– #09 3/6 Personality and Leadership Styles
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
– #10 4/6 Inspirational Leaders
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
– #11 5/6 Leadership, (Cultural) Threats, and Change
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
– #12 6/6 Leadership, Power, and Influence

January 23, 2018 – February 27, 2019
‘Developing Human Capital, Cultural Agility, and Global Talent Management’
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
– #13 1/6 The Psychology of Talent, Competencies, and Appraisal
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
– #14 2/6 Developing Human Capital: Success in Learning
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
– #15 3/6 Mobility and Cultural Agility
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
– #16 4/6 Global Mindset
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
– #17 5/6 Global Talent Management Strategies
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
– #18 6/6 Developing Cultural Empathy

Approach
All the courses and sessions are presented in easy English and supported by Japanese keyword slides. The international and Japanese participants both are encouraged and helped in interacting in English as a second language. The sessions are interactive, engaging, and provide a safe environment to learn. The goal is to inspire you for increased self-efficacy, wherever the starting point. You will leave the discussion energized by meaningful knowledge and friendly contacts. Welcome and let’s learn for life!

Tickets
Tickets are available for the six sessions, each 1.5 hours on Tuesday evening from 19:30 – 21:00 (door opening at 19:00)
Prices include drinks and snacks
– Single session: YPY 1,800 per ticket (paid at the entrance JPY 2,000)
– The whole course of 6 sessions: JPY 9,000 (paid before the first session)

Certification
3 Certificates* in Personal Development for Individual Well-Being, Organizational Performance, and the Common Good across Cultures.
– Certificate 1: Learning Master
– Certificate 2: Master in Self-Leadership
– Certificate 3: Global Mindset Mastery

If you attend each of the three certificate courses, the combined certificate is awarded:
– Certificate of “Master in Learning, Self-Leadership, and Global Mindset”

See you, and all the best!

Nothing Has Changed (Or the Courage to Cease to Insist)

Nothing has changed

Some time ago we did insist on getting privileges
based on the race inherited from our parents

Nothing has changed

Nowadays still we insist on getting privileges
based on the wealth inherited from our parents

Nothing has changed

If in the future we will insist on getting privileges
due to the thinking inherited from our parents

Nothing has changed

Only if today we ceased to insist on getting privileges
through the courage independent of our parents

Something has changed

 


The world produces enough food to feed the planet’s 7 billion-plus people, so why are so many going hungry?* It’s mainly because most hungry people don’t have the resources to grow or buy food.

*1 in 3 people suffer from some form of malnutrition, which means they lack sufficient vitamins and minerals in their diet, which can lead to health issues such as stunted growth in children. Each year, poor nutrition kills 3.1 million children under the age of 5. (http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-global-world-hunger-day-20170528-story.html)

The Tripod Mindset (TM)

mathias-sager-tripod-mindset

Summary

There are individual, organizational, and societal human and technological approaches available today. However, there is little integration of these dimensions into a coherent mindset, educational concept, or cooperative platforms. Therefore, I’ve dedicated the last couple of years to the study of leadership, learning & development, psychology consequently from cross-culturally, multi-disciplinary, and inter-generationally cooperative perspectives. And I’ve performed intensive testing of a, as I think, new discovery of a pattern of the human mind, which I’m calling the ‘Tripod Mindset (TM).’ I have found that three logic matrix-derived socio-temporal conditions put together to a “tripod” mindset would eliminate random, imbalanced, and unconnected ways of traditional and contemporary human thinking in favor of more healthy attitudes and drive for positive human evolution.

Tripod Mindset (TM) Highlights

My background in education sciences, leadership, art, technology, and psychology have equipped me with different perspectives on individual, organizational, and socio-cultural functioning. My navigation between the philosophy of time represented by the past, present, and the future, and the intra-, inter-, and extra-personal dimensions of information and communication (technology) have led me to discover a, as far as I’m aware of, novel and lawful socio-temporal matrix in which our temporal thinking about ourselves, our relationships, and humanity consolidates.

The mapping of thousands of (scientific) resources to the matrix of aforementioned socio-temporal dimensions revealed the striking finding of three coordinates that jointly form a set of mental states that governs human psyche and thriving, which I’m going to call the “Tripod Mindset (TM).” The further study of TM as an interdisciplinary concept shall explicitly consider aspects such as the Internet as a tool for democracy and global citizenship. The time seems to be ripe for leading the way to more distributed and participative approaches including a broader range of stakeholders globally. For example, the TM can be translated into design principles, which would be informing the development of next-generation and more cooperative online platforms that integrate the intra-past, inter-present, and extra-future thought patterns necessary for progressing agile approaches and human flourishing in the virtual and physical world.

Also, the TM could be used to get a balanced view on how sustainable (from an individual and collective point of view) any kind of services and products are. Are they based on a mindset that is backward oriented, protective of the status quo, or facilitating innovation?  What does each of these temporal aspects mean for the individual, the team, and the broader communities’ respectively the human context? The consistent integration of such a coherent “tripod”-stabilized mindset view will guarantee not losing sight of all that is important for true next-generation solutions.

Impact

There are many apt formulations, and rich collections of human qualities proposed to be packaged into so-called mindsets that are deemed to be favorable for individual well-being, organizational performance, or societal functioning. However, looking at worldwide suffering, competitive challenges, and societal issues, there is, apparently, still a lot missing regarding a more holistic, systematically consistent, and continuous awareness that leads to positive human behavior. Technology progress, for example, may enable positive change, but it will not be without a change in human mindset that an improved development and use of technology will occur. The Tripod Mindset (TM) has the potential to inform a new type of guiding principles in sociology/psychology, education, communication, and technology with a disruptive impact on how humanity’s collective mindset, and participative and cooperative policies and economies further develop.

Separation: The Mother of Frustration

mathias-sager-separation-maternal-alienation-frustration-poem

Like a nation‘s immigration
So its mothers’ alienation
Strategy for protection
Through separation
Frustration

Like a society’s identification
So its mothers’ justification
Need for appreciation
Through separation
Frustration

Like a family’s condition
So its mother’s assertion
Status for position
Through separation
Frustration