Economic Multipliers (182)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Good processes are an economic multiplier (No. 1).


Most days, I evaluate how I do things.

I have a wish list:

  • I wish I’d get more done (in all areas).

  • I wish my processes were more refined and consistent.

  • I wish that when I did things, I didn’t get so many things out that sometimes still need to be put away.

  • I wish I read more.

  • I wish I got more exercise.

  • I wish I spent more time observing nature and design.

  • I wish that, at the end of every day, my time has had some value and that value will have some continuity long-term.

I’m going to lay out a process for young people to connect and I have no idea whether it will work or whether anyone will ever gain any value from it.

If you want to go to a prom or just in general do something with someone (I picked the prom because I never went and although I never considered that to be ‘earth-shattering,’ it’s an event that many young people might miss for the wrong reasons), try this process:

1. Make a list of 30 people that just simply seem nice that might have an interest in going to the prom or doing something with you for two hours: You can even have different lists of people for different activities.

2. Ask a person on your list whether they’d like to do something with you while explaining the criteria:

    • No technology and no media (unless they are being used as tools to get something else done together): A conversation should not be a distraction.

    • If (for you or them) it could possibly be a future date, explain that it’s not a date but you might, after doing things together (for at least 2 hours without technology and media) at least 10 times, be interested in exploring the possibility. Ask if that would be a problem. If dating is your sole goal (you’re unconcerned with developing a nice group of friends), the ‘I am hoping this leads to dating’ statement can cause some relationship uncertainty as you do things 10 times. It also takes much uncertainty away.

    • If you end up going the distance (10 times), whether you date or not, it’s highly likely that you’ve found a good conversational friend or project buddy. Conversational friends and project buddies can be the same people. The nice thing is, they don’t have to be. There are lots of ways to value good relationships in your life.

3. If an individual turns you down, tell them you’re going to ask someone else and since you don’t know whether anyone else will say yes, could they tell you why they said no? They may or may not. It’s worthwhile to ask.

Someone once told me I smelled like garlic and was worried that I’d be offended. I went home and washed the sweat-laden (from work) jacket I had on that day, pondered the breath issue since a prior meal contained garlic and asked if I smelled the next time I ran into them.

‘Friends’ tend to redirect you away from people and casually whisper when something gets caught in a tooth, a button pops open, a tag is out, a zipper slips or some other thing pops up that people might tend to make fun of.

If someone turns you down because they are not interested in an activity or already have too much going on, don’t write them off. Next year might be the year that you ask again. If they tell you something unflattering (and it’s something that you don’t like about yourself either), don’t write them off. Two years from now, whatever you didn’t like about yourself may be past history. Say hi when you see them and consider asking again in two years. If they ever make some uncalled for snide remark, acknowledge them like you would any other stranger on the street and pay attention to whether they ever grow up. Some day they might.

4. Ask another person. Obviously if you ask someone to the prom and they say yes, you’re not going to ask another person. For many things in life, it’s nice to know a lot of people who would say yes.


  • Hike or bike to go somewhere or look at anything (Libraries tend to be good environments if you can’t think of any other place).

  • If you have tools and materials or can scrounge them up together – create a crafty project. (Although I think it’s good for young people to forge relationships in the absence of technology, for specific projects I diverge as two people can easily engage in a conversation about something they are creating online).

  • Test some recipes as you make a meal together.

  • Make a pact: I’ll help rake your family’s leaves this weekend if you help rake ours.

  • Find a skill builder: My parent said they’d teach us how to ... if you’d like to learn …

  • Explore a few blocks where you live: See and tell each other what you never see. Go again and explore a few more. (Who knows? – One or both of you might decide to run for mayor someday. – People are good candidates if they can imagine how to develop resources and solve problems in their community).

  • Attend some community meeting or function that neither of you know anything about and see what it’s about.

  • Ask some adult what you could do for them and do it together.

  • Develop a process whereby you are constantly looking out for each other and helping each other develop worthwhile skills.

  • Read manuals together out loud when you learn to use and do new things: Very few people read manuals completely. It’s impossible not to when you read them together out loud.

Relationships are not always positive. Just know that you never should expect them to be (consistently) negative.

5. If you ever get to the stage where you do decide to date someone, make your relationship a project and get the best advice you can get from:

    • people in good relationships

    • books that cover healthy relationships (all three components: physical, mental and emotional)

    • people who want you both to have good lives and good futures

    • preparing for marriage materials that religious organizations and others put online (that make sense for both of you)

    • your health care provider(s) when you both get to a point where you are considering the more physical piece

I have no idea whether this process will work. If you have a better one, let others know.

There is a LOT of luck built into a broad base of truly supportive relationships. I am absolutely sure of that AND if there is any one thing I’d want for any child in the world, it would be that they knew what those were (because their lives were surrounded by them AND they recognized them).


P.S. Since some young people are into gaming and some friends might want to ‘game’ together, this is the ‘teach me how’ game.

Teach Me How Game

You get together with one or more friends and each individual picks one ‘teach me how’ item and you explore each item on the computer for 20-30 minutes (timed). (Try this with a grandparent if you’re so inclined.)

After each individual gets their chance, you decide whether you want to go back to a topic (because you want to know more – another 10-15 minutes (timed)).

At the end, you go for a hike and think up a ‘group’ selected topic and come back and do one more ‘teach me how.’ (It’s not a bad idea to throw in a short hike or a few body moving chores between each topic no matter what. For most people, it’s easier to concentrate and learn if some movement is built into games.)

This past year I learned that a person is less likely to accidently nick fingers while slicing vegetables if they hold their hand like a crab’s claw. I ran across the technique while pondering whether it would be worthwhile to post a video or photo showing how to dice an onion into tiny pieces using very few cuts (the onion layering makes it easy if you take advantage of it).

Other ‘teach me how’ items (a starter list):

Teach me how:

- to extend the life of my electronic devices

- to make soup

- a motor works and how to take care of it

- to thread a sewing machine and how to take care of it

- to paint (a wall, a portrait, a deck, a house, a …)

- to calculate (pick something)

The ‘internet’ taught me how a friendship bracelet maker worked and in the process of testing one out, it occurred to me that I had just learned one way to make exceptionally strong braided cord (which people use for shoe laces, belts, backpack straps, clothes lines, etc, etc., etc.). Of course, machines do all that work today. I was just surprised by what I was looking at – a ‘toy’ from the tool sets of adults. And, since I embroidered a bit when I was young, I expect that many, many grandparents have embroidery thread sitting in their closets (The ‘toy’ version I tested used multi-strand embroidery thread). As an FYI, if you ever use generic embroidery thread, it’s worthwhile to wash it first to make sure it is colorfast. Some thread is and some isn’t. You want colorfast thread if something is going to be washed or get wet.