What times zero equals one?


When I was in high school, I flunked a math class (mostly through laziness) and ended up in summer school at Dorsey High School.  There went my summer!   What was worse, is that I resented the fact that so many of the math problems would have been SOOOO much easier if you’d just been able to do the impossible: multiply or divide by zero.


Hated that.  Well, we came to the end of the semester, and our final exam.  I sat there looking at the test paper, and knew I was going to fail.  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the math.   So…I cheated.   No, I didn’t crib from another student, or sneak a peek at the textbook.  I remembered that the teacher was a very nice guy with a wild sense of humor and a bit of a nutty streak.  So I took a chance.


Right there, on the paper, I created a new number system.  Called it “Superla”, and “Superla” was the multiplicative identity of zero.  In other words “S” x 0 = 1.


I was grinning at the absurdity of it, but after establishing my premise, I whipped through the test, giving every answer in terms of “Superla” and turned in my paper.  And then held my breath…


And when my grades came back, the teacher had given me a “C” on that test, with a note that he had greater admiration for my imagination than my study habits.  I’d passed.  Whew!!




In reality of course, “Zero” times anything equals “Zero”. This is why the “Secret Formula” is so interesting to me.  Not that there aren’t more factors than GOALS, FAITH, ACTION, and GRATITUDE, but that if you have a “zero” in any category, no matter how hard you work in the others, you will crap out.


No GOALS?   You drift aimlessly, or waste your efforts.  Drive in a circle until you run out of gas.  Only the rarest of human beings, some mutant combination of Zen awareness and perfect conditioning or potential, can simply drift through life and still evolve and succeed.   Rare.  Dangerous, because it is as misleading as a Ray Bradbury short story.  It looks so easy…


No FAITH?  If you don’t believe you can and SHOULD pursue and achieve your goals, you cannot find the motivation to “give everything” or indeed to get started at all.  The path of success DEMANDS that you empty yourself out. That point of emptying will create panic. It feels like death.   And unless you believe either that you have reserves beyond conscious awareness, or that your path is worth dying for, you will never, ever pass this barrier, and fall back to the previous level like someone eternally “losing weight” but losing and regaining the same twenty pounds again and again.


No ACTION?   Do I need to tell you how angry I am at the people who preach that all you need to succeed is to “want” it enough?   “Think about it” enough?   I could take some very specific actions on their buttocks, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.   But…how about this?  How about if we ask the next question: “how do you know if you want it enough?”    If the answer is “if it feels right” you are pretty much on the Buttocks Brigade.  But if your answer is: “I want it enough if I can’t wait to get up in the morning and GET TO WORK making it happen. Take ACTIONS every day, notice the results I get, and if they aren’t working take DIFFERENT ACTIONS based on modeling successful people, until I get what the @#$$ I demand from life!”   And you develop that level of “oomph” by having clear goals that align with your values, see the path to their accomplishment, and believe that “going for it” will bring more pleasure than pain.   In fact, it is impossible not to take action if you have these things.  Reverse engineering says that any time you meet someone who ISN’T taking action, they either lack clear goals, clear values, haven’t aligned goals with values, or have lost faith that they can achieve it.


No GRATITUDE?   Well, then you’ve lost before you begin.   Because you can win the whole outer world, but unless you feel grateful for love, for life, for opportunity, for all of the wonders we experience every day…you have little or nothing.  Anyone who can read these words has more, much more than some in this world who live life with full happy hearts.  You may ignore your blessings, they may seem insignificant in comparison with your travails, but that is ego.  In the nastiest septic tank, there is clean water. Just as in the cleanest aquifer there is fecal material.   It is up to you what you concentrate upon.


Have a “1” in every category (as a minimum) and at least you’re in the game.  But have a “zero” in any category, and everything else falls apart.   Make it a must, an absolute requirement of yourself, that you have at least a bit of a goal, a little faith, a minimal action, a dab of gratitude.  Needless to say, this is thin ice. But if you can “amp up” the other areas and maintain at least a “1” in the others, you can make progress, and move forward.


And if you’ve chosen your goals in balance (body, mind, emotions, finances) you will heal and move beyond petty fear.  Fill your heart with gratitude and love, and begin to expand.   And as you do, you grow.   


I think the political divide is largely those who begin from survival, and those who begin from their hearts.   EITHER WAY WORKS. What you cannot do it begin from your concepts alone. Your head isn’t smart enough without heart and action and the feedback of engaging with the world.


It is hard.  Brutally hard at times…which is why you need faith and gratitude.


It all fits together, really.    Repeat after me: “There is no Superla.  Zero times a million equals Zero.    I will begin every day being certain to have at least a “1” in every category.”


Please, do this.  Try this for just a month. It costs you nothing, and can gain you everything.


There is no Superla.




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