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Saturday Bike Rides with Bob: The Uranium Rule

Posted by Joe Antle on August 1, 2021 8:10 PM EDT
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This past weekend, Bob and I renewed our bike ride discussion series after he and his wife had enjoyed an outstanding more than a week-long getaway....

...in the Minnesota lake country with two other couples.  This, of course, in itself is a life well-lived activity by any person's measure.

So, after Bob sharing some of the highlights of his and his wife's outstanding couples getaway, we came upon the discussion topic he had challenged me with a couple of weeks earlier.  In the course of our previous discussions, Bob had picked up on the fact that I had a tendency to frame my perspectives on interesting and challenging subjects related to pre-retirement and post-retirement wellbeing initiatives in the context of the past...past readings, past personal experiences, past experiences of others that have been shared with me and past lessons learned to be applied to the present and future.

In the course of those discussions, I had shared with Bob a philosophy that has permeated my thinking and my writing related to ways one could lead their best life and serve a purpose nobler than their own welfare alone.  I had framed the philosophy around a rule that I said was more precious than The Golden Rule, which is best described as "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you".  In that line of thought, I told him that I thought platinum was a more precious and rare metal than Gold, so The Platinum Rule would be "Do unto others as others would have you do unto them".

So, Bob's challenge was for me to think through what might be a way to shape that thinking so that it was forward-looking, actionable, and inspiring as a guideline for living, for better capturing the activities that would lead to living one's best life.  Certainly, Bob's challenge was a reasonable request and one that I could easily deliver on.  Until I began to really focus on it, I thought it would be easy, for I had written many blogs that were somewhat based on the concept, I had much material to draw upon.  On the other hand, when I really began to drill down into his challenge, I realized it was harder than I thought it would be.

Then in the course of preparing for our discussion it really hit me.  Once a reader of one of my blogs that spoke to the higher value to The Platinum Rule and its nexus on understanding what other people wanted or needed and to give them what they said they desired.  I had received feedback once that there is a disconnect with my thinking around The Platinum Rule in that it did not align with our blogging team (me, Chip and Thomas) and our research and focus on innovation, especially market-creating innovation.  After all the feedback suggested, nobody really said to anyone that what they really wanted was a social media platform or two or three.

The reasoning was that sometimes giving people what they want and need as expressed by them may be a higher objective than giving them what you would want or need if you were them.  The responder basically said that giving them something that they truly want or need and that they don't tell you that is really a richer concept.  All that led to my reasoning that The Uranium Rule is just that...a level more valuable than The Golden Rule or The Platinum Rule.  The Uranium Rule is essentially to do unto others what they REALLY want or need to have done for or unto them but have not really thought of it before.  I went to say to Bob that the slogan I have adopted for The Platinum Rule is CARE to HOPE-meaning acronyms for Compassion, Action, Results, Engagement to Help Other People Excel.

After listening to this reasoning and my responses to some of his clarifying and confirming questions, BOB then made an interesting observation.  First, he thought I was onto something that is novel, relevant, and applicable to many people.  And, second, it lacked the execution element.  In other words, while the concept is truly solid, figuring out the application for it so that people could put it to action was not necessarily intuitive.

By this time, we had arrived at the end of the bike ride.  So, in the same fashion that shaped the assignment two weeks ago, Bob challenged me to think of a way to actually apply the concept.  His suggestion centered on using several context-laden applications.

Feeling at the same time that there was validation in a concept I had been trying to make actionable was exciting.  it seemed a daunting task to be challenged with, which is developing a method for making it actionable.  And that has led to my next challenge for our next bike rides with Bod discussion:  how do we put in place The Uranium Rule so that it is more than conceptual, but it can actually be actionable as well.

More to follow...

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