Spokane North Notes

A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club

August 18, 2014

Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink

Program: Eric Johnson video


Back to School edition:

          Test One: Coordinator Melody Farance said the drive to buy basic school supplies for needy Holmes Elementary students still needs about $700 to make the $2,000 goal.

          Test Two:  School supplies will be delivered to Holmes Monday, Aug. 25, and volunteers are needed right after our club luncheon to help stock the cabinets.   Let Melody know if you can help for a few minutes.

          Test Three: The special Aug. 25 luncheon program features North Central High Principal Steve Fiske and four NC students who will talk about the new school year, but especially about NC’s new Science Wing, a dedicated addition unique in the region and rare in the country.  Plan to attend and bring a friend.

         Decision time:  The club was told earlier this year that Red Lion was consolidating its catering program and our time at the River Inn would end with the third quarter.  Our last lunch would be Sept. 29.  Though the hotel has since reversed that decision and said we could stay, the board agenda for Aug.20 is whether to move and where to move.

        President Jon Heideman said a recommendation will be brought to the full membership.  He said the choices, so far, include: 1) stay at the River Inn; 2) move back to the Red Lion Inn at the Park; 3) move to The Lincoln Center; and, 4) move to the central YMCA, with lunches catered by Christ Kitchen.  E-mail Jon or other board members with ideas and suggestions.

Are happy people more successful?

Perhaps a future club song will be Bobby Mcferrin’s hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

One of McFerrin’s memorable lines: “In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double.”

The song fits the theme of happiness guru Shawn Achor, a TEDx speaker in Bloomington, Ind. in 2011.  TEDx programs target “ideas worth spreading, aimed at sparking conversations and connections.”

Eric Johnson offered the 12-minute Achor video on happiness as a substitute program at the Aug. 18 club luncheon.

Achor, a Waco, Texas, native, says for 12 years he studied what makes people happy at Harvard, where the entertaining speaker got a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in Harvard’s Divinity School.  “What does a Harvard student possibly have to be unhappy about?” he quipped.

In the entertaining video, Achor, a staunch advocate of positive psychology, said “people come into therapy with one problem, but we want you to leave with ten.”

Achor, who authored “The Happiness Advantage,” says happiness pays off big time. “Happier people are 31 percent more productive.  Happy sales people have 37 percent better sales figures.  And happy doctors are 19 percent faster and more accurate in making the right diagnoses,” he said.

In schools, Achor adds, too many classes “are tailored toward the average.  Why are some of you so far above average?  We want to not just move you up to average, but to move the entire average up.”

Achor laments “moving the goal post of success.  He adds: “If happiness is on the other side of success, you’ll never get there.”

On various websites, Achor outlines his five steps to “spend two minutes a day for 21 days to rewire the brain”:

  1. Recall three things you are grateful for.
  2. Journal one great experience you’ve had.
  3. Exercise.  It teaches the brain that your behavior matters.
  4. Mediate. This “allows the brain to get over cultural ADHD from multi-tasking.”
  5. Perform a random act of kindness.  “Buy a coffee for the next person in line. Volunteer for something.  Send a positive e-mail.”

Club member Art Rudd said that St. George’s School, the area licensee for TEDx, has planned its 3rd annual event from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.. Monday, Oct. 13.

 The late Don Spencer, a longtime club member, was a big advocate of the “ideas worth spreading” international program.   Don was one of a dozen speakers at the 2013 TEDxSpokane event, talking about building a team to fight the pancreatic cancer which eventually claimed his life.  A video of his talk is posted on the web. Don’s widow, Nancy, retired elementary principal at St. George’s, is helping with the 2014 TEDx program