Monday, August 17, 2015

The Beauty in the Nature of Getting Desires Fulfilled

Northbound Interstate 65 remains closed around Lafayette, Indiana as crews work to replace a sinking bridge that had been on a safety watch list for years. The bridge is over the Wildcat Creek. It sank 9 inches as crews were working to widen the bridge. This incident brings to mind the beauty of the correlation between desires and outcomes.

In my life coaching experiences I present to my clients a model that includes the principle of setting goals and taking actions that are congruent with the course toward attaining those goals. Most people don’t have difficulty in setting their goals. Assistance is often needed in establishing a reasonable timeline. The need for professional counseling lies in not only how to start taking the steps toward the goals but in altering one’s perceptions so the goals become achievable.

All actions that are progressive need to be mindful and deliberate. Individuals should be attentive to what they are doing, be vigilant in watching for and correcting errors, and working toward improvement in their daily lives. Being mindful helps to shed the perfunctory, auto-pilot mode in which most people operate. Mindfulness allows the scripts and biases which obscure truths to be revealed and responsibility for outcomes accepted.

When parents are able to see that what they have been conditioned to do to “make their lives better” is instead maintaining the status quo and keeping them dependent then they are able to start improving their lives. More importantly their actions which inhibit better parent-parent and parent-child relationships are then extinguished.

The emergency closing of an interstate reveals the extent to which seemingly unrelated systems are integrated and actually produce the results we choose. The collapse of the bridge was a choice made by people who include many of those wanting to see the federal minimum wage raised. I have heard the clamoring for a $15 per hour minimum wage for about four years now. The underlying basis of the argument is the extent of time which has passed since it was last raised and what an inflation-weighted wage would now be.

Commensurate with this argument has been a conspicuously absent clamoring for a rise in the federal gasoline tax to what would amount to an inflation-adjusted setting of 30.4 cents per gallon from the current 18.4 cents.[en1] Quite the opposite occurred recently when demand for motor fuel decreased as did the subsequent net gas tax revenue. This occurred while bridges and roadways continued to deteriorate from weather based eroding forces or settling of bridges such as the one over Wildcat Creek.

Inflation adjustment fails to satisfy a sufficient funding of the federal Highway Trust Fund which has operated in the red for 14 years now. The rubric for adjusting the federal gasoline tax would also need to include an adjustment for mileage and speed. This is because the gallons of gasoline used to transport the same vehicles the same distance has decreased as aerodynamic and technological advances have improved fuel efficiency. Additionally, the formula for force -- weight multiplied by rate -- must be applied as a rise from 55 mph maximums up to 75 mph during this time has greatly increased the pounding that tires exert on roadways. A mitigating factor is that the fleet of passenger vehicles is getting lighter as non metallic composite materials and more efficient tubular designs are being used in vehicle construction.

The actuality of what has occurred is taxpayer demands to reduce federal roadway repair funding on an inflation-weighted basis which results in needed repairs being delayed. The result is a closure of a major interstate. Thus, in the abstract and integrated systems sense, motorists who have failed to demand an increase in the federal gas tax have achieved the results of what they chose -- added costs from the deliberate failure to maintain the roadways they use. Now they get to spend the money on more fuel using the detours, more time sitting in traffic and greater depreciation or repair costs to their vehicles from increasingly rougher roads.

It is these deeper understandings of interconnectedness and how mindful action drives proper decisions that lead to successful goals. Systems naturally produce equilibrium. The example is such an exemplary model that I get giddy just thinking about it. We all get the results we choose.


1] Figure achieved using the Bureau of Labour Statistics Inflation Calculator

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