Oprah is not your Mommy



I’m sorry, but this lady doesn’t get it. Oprah has a ton of “Mommy” energy, but she is NOT your mommy. If you don’t understand that there is nothing wrong with ASKING people to perform for free, that it is YOUR responsibility to say “No.  THIS is why it is in your best interest to pay me. This is the value I bring that no one else can” then you aren’t playing an adult game. Things like money and sex are ADULT games.


Children dance in the living room and their family cheers and hugs them.  That kid inside you is going to be eaten by the world if you don’t develop an “adult” side that can sit at the table with adults and NEGOTIATE.     “I want a life in which people are not asked to work for free—by people who can totally afford to pay.”


TRANSLATION: I want to stay a child.


This person is going to be terribly disappointed by life. They will blame others for their lack of success, and probably be devastated by failed relationships.


Why?  Because they don’t recognize that they are asking other people to be their Mommies and Daddies.  They don’t grasp how selfish they are. I damaged my first marriage by asking my wife to be more of the “adult” in the relationship than I was.  “Protect my space while I dance! I’m so cute and smart!”


Well, she wanted to dance, too. She was cute and smart too. It was pure immature selfishness on my part.


In the adult arenas…be a @#$$ adult.   Otherwise, you’ll dance for hugs.






Don’t Trigger a Feeding Frenzy


I’m never offended if people ask me to perform or present for free.   I have this thing called a “no” and another thing called a “counter proposal.”   Its not up to an organization to protect me.  It’s up to the Adult part of my personality, the “Daddy” to protect Little Stevie, who really does just want to get up there and shine and have fun.


Don’t develop that part?  And you  fall into the “it’s not faiiiiir!”


What is that expression?  “In business, you don’t get what you’re worth.  You get what you can negotiate.”


How about in sales?  “You aren’t in the business of X. You are in the business of MARKETING X.”


How about relationships?  “You will be attracted to people at your level and above. You will attract people at your level and below.”  If your “adult” self is developed, this is like hearing: “I won’t carry you out of the woods, but the path is right there.”   Waah! Carry me!!


Nope.  Every chipmunk in the woods knows no one is coming to save them.  Why do we so often feel it is “unfair” when people do a very typical animal thing:


If you leave a pork chop on the floor, and the dog eats it, it isn’t the dog’s fault.  It is the nature of dogs to eat pork chops that are on the floor.



Of COURSE people will try to get all they can for as little as possible. Nothing, if they can.  I remember talking about “Trust” with Swift Deer after someone had hurt me in a business deal.  “Don’t trust people” he said, that cynical bastard.   “Instead, RELY upon them to do what they see as being in their own self interest.”


Wow, is that ever negative…or is it?    What does that mean?  It means that YOU CAN TRUST OTHER PEOPLE TO THE EXACT LEVEL THAT YOU CAN TRUST YOUR OWN PERCEPTIONS.  Your own ability to figure out what they see as “their own interests.”


How to do that? First, get in touch with YOUR own motivations.  Do you, for instance, ask other people to be your Mommy or Daddy?


Remember that student of mine who was furious at his girlfriend for talking about her past lovers?   Why was he angry? (Come on, you should know this by now)…HE WAS AFRAID.  What was he afraid of?


“Mommy” wasn’t just giving her love to him.  What she gave him wasn’t “special” snurf snurf.  She gave it to OTHER boys snurf snurf.   Poor baby.


Boy oh boy, am I glad for her that she was smart enough to bring up her past again and again.  Otherwise, she might have fallen in love with him, and known, in her heart, that one day he would be angry and rub her nose in her past, and rip her heart out of her chest.


Why don’t we take adult responsibility for our emotions?   (“I provide everything I need emotionally.   My relationships with others are about what I want, and what I can give.”)


Why not take adult responsibility in business?  (“yes, my little boy loves to dance and make mommy and daddy laugh and clap. But I have to be `mommy and daddy’ now.   I have to be willing to market, sell, negotiate, and protect.  Because otherwise when I deal with adults who AREN’T Mommy and Daddy, they will eat that emotional pork chop I left on the floor.  LOVE ME! I will say.  “Sure,” they will answer.  Come dance for hugs.”


You want money?  Money is the adult world.   Better the hell be an adult, or your “kid” will be very unhappy.


If you go to someone, or the world, and say “be my Mommy or Daddy” what are you doing?  You are denying responsibility for your own maturity.  It is NOT their responsibility to do this. It is YOUR responsibility to do it. If you don’t have those chops, you had better the hell have a manager, an agent, a lawyer, a “minder”, a marketing and sales section to surround that little kid’s heart and protect it.


But when you demand that…they ain’t gonna do it for hugs.   You are demanding that they be adults, they deal with the adult world.  They are gonna want money, oh yes they will.


Now, if they are honest, they won’t take more than you negotiate. But THEY have a little boy, little girl to care for, too.  And they are going to negotiate the biggest contract they can, and you’ll be left with nothing if you can’t get “adult” about it.


What are the healthiest relationships?  Frankly, it is between two adults who ARE adults, but also in touch with their child selves.  Then their “kids” can play, but each “adult” is ultimately responsible for their own heart.  But even better, (say between me and T) sometimes my “child” is wounded and I just can’t quite manage to provide myself all the nurturing I need.  I’ve got a LOT in the ‘bank’ with her,and I can borrow her “Mommy” to comfort me. Feels wonderful.


But I have to be there as “Daddy” for  her little girl. And gladly do.   Wonderful little girl she has, and sometimes she is playful, and sometimes she is wounded and lonely.  She could re-integrate and heal on her own…but she knows she can come to me, and I will comfort her.


What would happen if I stopped comforting her?   It would be like a mouse searching for cheese in a maze.   If there is cheese there for a few days, and then you take the cheese away, the mouse will keep searching for a while…and then stop.   In a relationship, if things go bad, we’ll keep searching for the “cheese” for a while…and then if we are healthy, we stop.


And you know what?  If you aren’t honest enough to grasp that you were trying to get your partner, or business partner, or world, to carry the burden of being the “adult” without being willing to see that THEY want what’s best for THEM as well…if you try to manipulate them, guilt trip them, or tell them that they “owe” you anything other than honesty and perhaps kindness…you are being a child.  And the “adults” around you will sniff that. And you will bring out the very worst in even “normal” people.  The same instinct to burden them with responsibility for you will trigger their own tendency to seek unfair advantage.


And they you have a feeding frenzy.  Blood in the water.  Remember that line from “Broadcast News”?  “Wouldn’t it be great is `needy’ were a turn-on?”


It isn’t, except in other wounded people…or sharks.


Be your own parent. THEN I’ll let you play with my little boy.






Start with love

  1. Love yourself
  2. Love (at least) one other person
  3. Understand history without guilt, blame or shame
  4. Nurture your tribe, avoid sleepers and snakes if possible.
  5. Win with integrity.




The key is that first step. LOVING YOURSELF. If you do, you value your heart, your time, your energy. You value the gift you give others.  You step out of co-dependency.  This pattern is a key to a strain-free (stress ain’t the problem.  Being unable to HANDLE the stress healthfully is the problem), joyful, high-energy, creative life.   You don’t waste your time with trolls, but offer compassion and courtesy to all.


After all, discourtesy is usually a matter of anger. Anger is fear. Remove the fear, and what remains is love.  So long as you are strong enough to defend from snakes and monsters, love is the very best way to address life.


What is the best way to address #1?  There are countless tools.  I personally and DAILY use:

  1. Heartbeat meditation
  2. Ancient Child
  3. Morning Ritual.


If I ONLY had time to do one…I’d choose the Morning Ritual, as it is combined with physical motion, and I’m therefore taking care of body, mind, and spirit all at the same time.






Escaping the “Troll Trap”

  1. Love yourself
  2. Love one other person
  3. Study history to understand humanity without guilt, blame, or shame
  4. Support your tribe.  Don’t argue with sleepers or snakes
  5. Win with integrity.


#4, avoiding arguments with Sleepers and Snakes,  is justified by the Dunning-Kruger effect, where one is too ignorant on a subject to be able to judge the depths of his ignorance.  This can make even well-intended people “adversaries” if they cannot empty their cup.     One aspect of this is something I’ve mentioned several times: people saying they know as much about another group’s experiences as members of that group even though they barely even know any members.   Most of this is just being asleep, but there is some Snakey energy around it too.  It is the Troll aspect of siphoning off your time and energy, getting you to spend your time arguing, “debating” and so forth.   A debate has neutral judges and rules.  When you try to apply that notion to internet arguments, you are wasting your life and energy.   Better to spend that precious resource nurturing people who are awake.


ALMOST EVERY DAY I see a comment from someone about how exhausted they are arguing with someone who mistakes   ignorance for wisdom.  Usually this involves politics, because politics is “downstream” from the philosophical positions that shape it.   Politics is the way you IMPLEMENT your philosophical positions, the polite public rhetoric that covers a sense of “Who am I?” and “What is true?”


The more anger that bubbles up in the conversations, the more fear lies under the surface.   Something about losing a political discussion is threatening. Sometimes to finances or national security, but sometimes to a core sense of self or place in the universe.


Dig deeper.   Remember that anger is fear.  Ask “what are they afraid of?”  Rarely will you be able to ask this directly of the person you are speaking with.  Anger is how you mobilize fear, switching from one circuit to the other so that you can act rather than cringe.  Guys, especially, have shame associated with being afraid, so asking them what they are afraid of specifically threatens their sense of self.   Often it is deeper…they really, honestly, aren’t sufficiently connected to their emotions to be able to answer the question with honesty and insight.


Look “upstream” from the argument, ask what core beliefs about humanity would have to be held to justify this position.  And one of the fastest ways to do this is to get clear on your own positions.   Ultimately, you will reach existential positions THAT CANNOT BE TOTALLY “PROVEN” LOGICALLY.  They will be matters of faith concerning the basic structure of reality.   Not necessarily spiritual or religious faith, but for instance trust that our senses can report accurately enough to offer accurate insight.


One of mine is human equality.   Male-female, black-white.  I see absolutely nothing in history or society that is irrational if I start with that assumption. I DO see serious problems if I start with an assumption of inequality.  Does that mean its correct?  No. It means that I am willing to stake my position there, until I encounter data that cannot be explained from that position.


Stake out such a position, follow the assumptions ruthlessly, and you’ll have a perceptual tool you can use to sense how others design and construct their internal world.    REALLY useful tool if you want to avoid the Troll Trap.






A True Soulmate Moment

I don’t coach individually any more: reached a point where I had to charge too much, which put me beyond the range of the people who needed re-integration most.  Stepped back, and asked: “What is 20% of what I’m doing that provides 80% of the results? What is the 20% that can be shared without one-on-one interaction?”  Where I teach now is where these two circles overlap.


But so long as they are willing to discuss their concerns publicly so that others can benefit from the conversation, I will go “deep” with a student with a sufficiently interesting issue. And just this morning, one of these “semi-private” folks woke up a little bit from his nightmare.


There’s a guy named Dan who had a girlfriend who blew his mind sexually.  The only problem: she talked a LOT about her previous relationships, and this triggered massive insecurity as well as an inner critic that raked her over the coals for being a sexual being.   I had to point out to him that she had done NOTHING wrong in having an active history.  That she probably spoke about it as much as she did because she knew he was judging her. That it was a defense against opening her heart too widely: “if you can’t accept me, don’t ask me to fall in love with you.”


Tracing back his attitudes, the Madonna-Whore stuff connected (of course) to his father, a powerful, domineering man with…issues.


I worked with Dan for over a year, and made little progress. I didn’t take it personally, as little progress had been made with therapist after therapist before me. Well, I ain’t no damned therapist. I’m a coach. I can point out a path, but YOU have to do the running.  Doctors heal the sick. I find the part of you that is already healthy, and help you nurture it.  BIG DIFFERENCE. I don’t set broken bones.


So I changed the game.

  1. He was forbidden from mentioning her.  ALL of his problem was his own. 100%. Own it, dammit.  ADULTHOOD IS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR EMOTIONS AND ACTIONS. As long as he was focused on HER he was a bleeding mess.
  2. Every time he mentioned her, he had to Paypal me 5 bucks.  That worked for a few weeks, then he tried to sneak her back into the conversation.   Raised it to ten bucks.  Problem solved.  Heh heh.  Oh, he’ll mention her again at some point, and I’ll double it to 20 bucks.  It’s gonna get expensive, real #$%% fast.
  3. His focus had to be healing his own heart, and the Ancient Child.  From my point of view, the problem is that he allowed his sense of worth to flow from someone else, rather than giving himself the love he was looking for. That left his “wounded child” screaming “Mommy doesn’t love me!  I’m not special!”
  4. Look, as far as I’m concerned the lady in question is something of an adventuress.  I have no reason to consider her behavior anything but healthy. BUT…even if it wasn’t…what would it mean? It means that a damaged person was the BEST he could do. We attract our level and below. We are attracted to our level and above.   If he wants a more integrated, healthy lady, HE has to be a more integrated, healthier man. Brutally simple.
  5. Alone isn’t the same as “lonely.”   The night before I met Tananarive, I finally got “clear” that I could have all the women I wanted. Knew exactly how to do it, with a fairly high level of integrity.  And…I didn’t want it any more.  I saw something: that on some level, conscious or unconscious, every one of them was asking: “are you the one?”  Those four words, usually unspoken, relate to the REALITY of human life, our existence.  We are born alone. We die alone.  We seek someone, something, to help give meaning and purpose to our lives.  Love is one of those things, whether you seek to create a family or not.  The energy of orgasm, of sexuality is the result of ego fusion–the energy released is in direct proportion to the degree you “let go.”  You abandon your illusion of a separate existence.  “The beast with two backs” is a rather earthy way to look at a spiritual reality.  We seek companionship.  If we find our soulmate, some glance, some touch, some kiss, some sexual encounter will be the first step on a lifetime path. “Are you the one?  Is this my beginning? Are you what I’ve been waiting for?”   Unless you are willing to say and MEAN “perhaps.  I’m seeking too” you don’t get started.   I certainly couldn’t.  Not any more.  Not if I wanted to claim I was treating women the way I would want my daughter, my sister, my mother treated.  And I decided that night that if I had to wait the rest of my life for my perfect partner…I would.  And the next morning I met Tananarive.  Now…am I claiming a causal relationship?  Yes, I am. Not direct.  That is the mistake people make with magic. It was indirect.  I had become the kind of person worthy of a woman like T. 
  6. When the student is ready, the master will appear. And…when the lover is ready, the beloved will appear.


So Dan has to take responsibility, love and nurture himself, and focus on what HE can do, rather than what others did or didn’t do.  If I was him, I would refrain from all sex while I healed.  Turn that energy and attention inward.  How long would it take?  A year is average.  What matters is that you have to stop counting days.  Be your own “mother” and “father”. Nurture that child inside you.


Then, one day when you actually love yourself, accept yourself, you will meet a soul walking the same path, at the same rate, heading to a destination similar enough that you can hold hands as you climb the mountain.   And if they have the right plumbing…Yowsah!      Out of 4 billion people on the planet, trust me, you can find someone.   In fact, when you talk to people who have had long and happy relationships, few of them dated more than twenty people before finding their Soul Mate.   What that means to me is that I’d be willing to bet that one out of every thousand or so people could be the one you’re looking for.  Maybe 10k for the really picky people.


That’s not so much if you are actually out in the world, meeting people, broadcasting clearly who you are.   In other words, if you know 100 people, and each of THEM know 100 people…

Someone you know already knows a person you could love, and be loved by, and spend your life with.

But you have to stop bleeding, stop the desperation, be happy with your life so that you are radiating your positive vibes, and get out into the world, be who you are, meet people, and proudly declare that you are an active, healthy human animal. That you love yourself.  Frankly, that if you weren’t you, you’d WANT you.  And mean it.  This will horrify the insecure, and you’ll be accused of being an ego-maniac.


That’s fine. That’s their problem. You’re looking for someone healthy enough to say…”I can believe that.   I feel the same.”


Because you two…?   The two of YOU can build a nest together.



This morning “Dan” said that he was wrong to try to turn his ex into his mother.  NOT UNLESS HE WAS WILLING TO BE A LOVING FATHER TO HER.  Not a judgemental asshole.


THAT was a real “spark.”  A glimpse of a larger world for him.   A few more of those and he might be able to make a fire. And light a torch.


And then…if he completes this cycle of the HERO’S JOURNEY…he will be able to lead others out of the darkness.


I’m happy for Dan.  THIS is one of the moments that matter.  Real teachers love good students.





Philes and Phobes and FB Friends lists

Another in my series of explorations into the question: when you you know you’re talking to someone who is either asleep, or a snake? In other words, that you are wasting your time and you need to realize that every moment they can suck out of your life on useless arguments THEY ARE WINNING.

  1. Love yourself (enough to protect your time)
  2. Love another person (enough to protect theirs as well. Time spent talking to sleeping people is time away from your loved ones)
  3. Study history to develop a theory of humanity that comes from love strength
  4. Find and protect your tribe
  5. Win with integrity.

NO WHERE in there is “let closed minded, rigid people, even of good intentions, steal your time.”

Here’s another tripwire that should trigger an alarm.


So far as I can recall, almost every time I’ve had a FB conversation with someone who claimed to know as much or more about another group than members of the group, and a glance at their friend’s list shows few members of that group, their perceptions and opinions  were negative.


This would make sense: if you know a lot about something, you have either actively or passively studied it.  If you didn’t have passive experience (being raised around them, for instance), you need active experience (research and study).  If you have a NEUTRAL or POSITIVE set of feelings about Xs, you will befriend them in the process of research, especially given that FB removes geographic boundaries.  I’ll see members on your friends list.

If you have focused enough to be expert, but have none among your friends list?   That leaves negative. Aversion.

If you know a lot about something, you are either a “Phile” or a “Phobe.”

So two things immediately apply:

  1. Either positive or negative emotions create filters.  You will edit out information contrary to your emotional position.
  2. If you think concepts trump experience, you are a “top down” person.    You can learn about the world from experience or heartspace connection.   The “top down” person, who thinks they are smart enough to “figure it out” without actually living it, is rarely correct.  They can often present complex and intellectual arguments, but it won’t mesh with the real world.
  3. If you think that with less information about a situation you have greater understanding, you are saying you have greater capacity to crunch data: can extract more meaning per unit.  You think you are smarter, in other words. While you might be right, it is dumb to say “accept my opinion because I’m smarter than you” and expect that person to say “yassuh!”  The very use of this technique is a mini intelligence test: if you are really that socially oblivious, you aren’t as smart as you think you are.


And no, I don’t believe that your real-world friends are more diverse: statistics show that the opposite tends to be true: our FB list tends to be MORE diverse than our real-world acquaintances.  So the person who wants to argue from superior knowledge with no visible experience should expect that if they can’t demonstrate lots of actual Xs among their friends, I laugh at their insistence that I should place their opinions above those of any intelligent X whatever “X” may define: martial artists, science fiction writers, men, women, blacks, whites, Christians, Muslims, whatever.   You aren’t in the game deeply enough to have more perception than the players.





“Liberalism damaged black people more than slavery”

Afrofuturism creates a vision of the future for the children of the Diaspora. But it also seeks to explain the past in an attempt to contextualize the present moment.  To do this, we also have to examine the mythologies created to OBSCURE that reality.  This one came up yesterday, and I have to comment.

This whole “Liberalism did more damage to the black family than slavery” thing is so bizarre I can hardly grasp the logical structure, see how anyone can say it with a straight face.  I can only believe that for those who use it honorably (without deliberate attempt to lie or confuse)  it is not logical but an emotional thing, stemming from some combination of:


  1. An ignorance of the actual historical circumstances
  2. A deep and visceral hatred of Liberality combined with
  3. A desperate need to avoid racial guilt and fear of retribution. That would create enough scotoma to delete enough information to make that make sense.  Maybe.  But there is so much misinformation masquerading as knowledge that I hardly know where to begin.


(Note that #1 and #3 are somewhat incompatible.   If you are ignorant of slavery’s history and circumstances, such that you consider them mild as say, immigration’s rigors, why would you feel guilty?  So…I suspect that those who are ignorant are simply being led by the nose.  They “know not that they know not.”  But those who ARE feeling guilt and fear?  They KNOW the history and are trying to feed denial.  They are baby snakes, at the least.     They know what happened, and are lying about it to avoid pain, to feel better about themselves and their world.  The question is: do they understand or not?  Frankly, prior to “12 Years a Slave” there were really no cinematic images of slavery worth much (I did enjoy “Skin Game”), and “Roots” was a long, long time ago.   “Gone With The Wind” was the most common image system, and that’s a scary thought.


So…I’m willing to grant most the courtesy of believing  they bought into the CSA (Current Southern Apologia) about the institution. Generations of carefully cultivated misinformation passed from generation to generation.  So that current generations can stick their fingers in their ears, scream “la la la I’m not listening” and feel safe.


But…what of those who know, and pretend not to?  Who are privately thinking “we wouldn’t have been hurt as badly” or “who cares?”


I could look at several different aspects of it, but here are the major thoughts:


  1. The core notion suggests that centuries of rape, torture, murder, kidnapping and brainwashing are less dangerous than fifty years of the same social support structures currently in place in dozens of countries around the world.  Those structures have not created the kind of damage black Americans have experienced, so that is logically inconsistent with any notion save inequality.
  2. It ignores the fact that white families were not as damaged by the exact same policies.  The WHY isn’t there.  Inequality slithers forward and offers a forked kiss, once again.
  3. People who believe or promote this idea seem drawn exclusively from the group who cannot or will not commit to the notion of human equality.  They cannot positively answer the simple test question: “Under the same historical conditions, would whites have been as damaged by slavery and Jim Crow?”  They hem and haw, rather than being able to say: “yes.”  Slither on, my friend. Slither on.


This straw, this desperate attempt to demonize Liberality is just the typical politicized person’s need to say “we rule, you drool.”  Nothing special there.  I certainly see the Left doing this to the Right.  But in this instance it is a marriage made in hell, joined to the CSA, the need to believe that no special evil was done 1619 and 1865 and 1970.  Pretty much the same thing that would have happened in Germany if they’d been able to conceal the horror of the Holocaust.  Why, nothing happened there. What mass graves? 


There is something about this that makes me feel that we’re looking at the last barrier protecting the heart of a reactor.   Something just on the other side of this is primal, and powerful. Say…the tribal need to dominate and crush and use…in conflict with the higher human wish to believe our tribe is not capable of such things.   CORE conflict.  MAJOR spiritual wound.


What do you guys think?  This picture is just a little too large, and I’m too close to have all the perspective I need. Some discussion would be useful.


But remember: all discussions must come from the faith-based assumption of equality. Nothing that assumes whites are evil will be tolerated.






How to motivate anyone

One of the core signs of maturity is the ability postpone gratification, to accept temporary discomfort in exchange for some future benefit. The inability to do this is, then, a sign of adolescence. It is what adults have to learn to do, in whatever arenas: to tolerate the boredom or discomfort of daily writing for the pleasure of seeing a finished book on the shelves.  To limit purchases today so that you can buy something large and expensive at the end of the year, to push through a tough workout to be able to win the big game, to not steal something that doesn’t belong to you because you wish to protect your honor and reputation.



All animals are motivated by the urge to move away from pain and toward pleasure. When you see people whose behaviors put them in pain what I can promise you is that they see no way to get to pleasure in their lives.


–they may see a way, but not believe it will work for THEM.

–they may see a way, but believe that accomplishing that goal will ultimately bring more pain than pleasure.

–They cannot future pace, imagine a future benefit more brightly than the smaller temporary pleasure.  Such people will have a hard time reaching ANY goal, whether physical, financial, or emotional.


I don’t believe in people without motivation. I believe in people who haven’t learned how to tap INTO their motivation. Take the least “motivated” person in the world, stick their head in a bucket of water, and they will fight like a tiger for that next breath of air.  The survival drive is ALWAYS there.  All you have to do, then, is tie into that drive, believe that action X will increase our chances of survival, and that we CAN and SHOULD do it…and you WILL.


Marching up the Chakras, you can look at the other motivations, less explosive than survival but still powerful:

  1. Survival.  PRIMARY.
  2. Sex.  Believe that a behavior will give you more, better, happier, more passionate sex and most people will take that action.   Second for second, the human nervous system can’t process greater pleasure than the orgasm.
  3. Power.  Believe that a given behavior will increase your ability to control your environment to your benefit, and most people will act.   This is the domain of money, the most fluid form of power that exists.
  4. Heart.   PRIMARY.   While children also relate to #1 (genetic survival), I think that for most of us, they also exist powerfully in the domain of the heart.  Our families and loved ones.  And of course, our connection to our own deep selves.  If you BELIEVE that an action will increase your joy, you will take it.  If you don’t, you have a raft of “but…if…” fears that stop you from BELIEVING it will work, or that you should have joy.  If you don’t believe you deserve happiness, good things actually cause you pain.
  5. Communication and learning.  Not everyone responds to this level, but those who do are some of my favorite human beings.   For such people, learning to communicate with greater clarity, speak their truth with power, or learn a new subject can be a powerful motivation.
  6. Intellect.   Reality maps. Creating and testing your ideas.  A danger here is that there is nothing more common than being able to agree with yourself.  So you really, really need a reality check.   Business can also factor in here–in many ways, for a particular type of person,  the business world is the Big Game, a puzzle that is utterly absorbing and fulfilling.  Money as “marker” rather than as “power.”   For these people, anything that gives them an edge will motivate them.
  7. Spirit.  Every adult knows they are going to die.  Placing your life in the context of your inevitable departure is one of the most powerful philosophical acts you can take.  “Who am I?” really fits here.  “What is true?” in terms of a Creator, or a Unifying Principle, or even an Abyss of nothingness.   Looking directly at this question until you have an answer that really works for you in your life is HUGELY motivating once you have made the connection and admit you really want it.    For such people, the chance to hear real answers, test a spiritual path, connect with something deep and meaningful within them…people will give all their worldly possessions for a valid step along this path.  They will sacrifice their lives,and sometimes family and worldly honor for clarity here.  Vastly, explosively motivating for those who have this connection.


As a very broad principle, the lower the number, the more people respond to the motivation.   EVERYONE responds to survival.   As you climb up the Chakras you’ll in general find fewer and fewer people responding.  Not totally true, but consider 100 top box office films, or bestselling novels: about 90% of them deal with either survival or love.  Damned few with “the Paper Chase” of education (unless they throw in a romance!) a purely intellectual puzzle (most great mysteries involve risk and murder!) or a purely spiritual inquiry.


Anyway…anything you want to accomplish in your life needs to go through three steps, in this order:


  1. WHAT do you want?  As clearly as possible.
  2. WHY do you want it?  How many of these basic motivations are you tied into? Can you really FEEL the pleasure of accomplishing? Let yourself FEEL the pain of failure?
  3. HOW comes ONLY after these first two steps. NOW you can create your “to do” list.  Now, and only now, does the “how” generate emotion.


Emotion is the fuel that drives your engine.  See  and feel  a positive outcome AND feel the pain of failure, and you cannot help but act.


In fact, any time you see someone stuck in a painful situation, you can bet that if you can help them see and FEEL  a path to happiness and away from pain, they not only CAN act, but they actually have no choice.   That’s how we’re wired.






Rules for 2018

One thing I’m promising myself in 2018 is that I’m going to recognize more rapidly people who should not be taken seriously, or are trolling, or have sufficiently different views of reality or humanity that argumentation cannot lead to a useful conclusion.  Over 2017 I tested a bunch of them, and I’ll be discussing them over the next days.


Here’s one:   When people say “human beings are bad” in some specific way: dishonest, evil, sick, etc, I ask a simple question: “are you including yourself in that?”


  1. They do. In which case we know they have a poor opinion of themselves.  I personally find such people worthy of sympathy but not modeling.
  2. They do not. In which case they are falling into the “I’m so great” thought pattern.  People who look down on humanity from some supposed height.  I find that almost everyone who does this also has an inferiority issue: they are always worried about who is better than THEM, since they are so clearly superior to others. Further, they are often filled with rage, as they rarely have the success they deserve, while others, less evolved than them, get the girls/guys, make more money, have the better toys and lives. Not fair!   They are also more worthy of sympathy than modeling.


If someone comes from that position, they will interpret all human history as well as current events very differently from those who believe human beings are either neutral or good.  Be aware that there are entire families of interpretation where you won’t agree.    Once you’ve encountered a few of these folks, you probably aren’t going to learn much about yourself or the world from talking to them.   You might help THEM, but they probably can’t help you.  So…you have to decide if you want to make that investment. If you do, bless you…but don’t expect to get anything back. And they just might infect you with their issues.