If you’re lucky, life will give you what you need, rather than what you want

A very nice young man approached me recently and asked, very respectfully, if I would be his martial arts instructor.  He said that he could travel to me, but could not afford to pay.  I was very tempted, because I know I have an obligation to teach, but thought that it might not be the best idea.  What was he really asking?   There are several possibilities.  Among them are:

  1. He wanted to deal with his fear.
  2. He wanted to increase fitness.
  3. To increase his self-defense capacity
  4. To learn a cultural or conceptual art
  5. To “grow up” and mature as a human being.


All important or valuable. But if my primary goal is to help one million people awaken, the point that is most important is that “awakened adult human being” aspect. And since his heart was already open (he was a beautiful young man, really) the problem was more the “root” of the situation: his capacity to navigate the world as an autonomous being, hunting and gathering efficiently and effectively. Through most of our history, a person who does this is attractive and attracts a mate easily.   Children usually follow, and this opens the natural protective instincts.  The rest is just technique.

If he asked me to give him time and energy in exchange for barter, it suggests to me that he has yet to learn how to exchange his capacities for the coin of the realm–money.  Without that, you are confined to finding people who need your specific goods and services.  If not, you can’t get what they have, unless you find a third person who needs them who in turn has something your “target” mentor or supplier needs.   That’s three steps.   Or four, or five.  You can always, eventually, find “A” who has something “B” needs who has something “C” needs who in turn can supply something of value to “D,” your target.  That’s all bartering is, and it is hugely inefficient compared to simply opening your wallet.  All money is is abstracted barter of time, skills, goods, and services.

And those who don’t learn this have a hard time navigating the adult world, even if they are brilliant and open-hearted.   And this leads to much human misery and disappointment, because our creative selves ofen live in the “child” space, and children exchange their love, focus and energy directly for food and shelter without the intervening step of green paper.   There is no direct emotional connection to money for that little kid inside you, and unless you grew up in a money-positive household, you probably have either negative beliefs and emotions connected to it, or you have ineffective and inefficient strategies for earning and protecting it.

So…while I decide what I’m going to do with the martial aspect of my teaching, I suggested that he spend a week thinking about “The Secret Formula” and then get back to me.  In other words, I would rather mentor him in making money, and then let him pay me with that.   Feels to me like the best way to address his real question.

So there are a couple of parts here:

  1. Making money in a fashion that is in alignment with his childhood dreams, self-image and his deepest values.  This is critical, and if you can’t find a way to do it, adulthood is gonna suck.
  2. Using the “Secret Formula” or some version of its principles:
  1. You need clear written GOALS, along with plans for their accomplishment expressed in continuous action.   Study the lives of people who have accomplished similar goals starting from where you started.  What price did they pay?   Are you willing to pay it?  If so, get to work. If not, change your goals.
  2. You must have FAITH that you CAN and SHOULD have your goal.  In other words, that its pursuit and accomplishment will bring more pleasure than pain to your life.  If you don’t believe this, you will sabotage the living hell out of yourself.
  3. You must take constant ACTION.  Every day.  You have to know what you can do TODAY that will take you closer.  That way, you have constant, daily feedback, and can make rapid course corrections.  The “Five Minute Miracle” makes it possible to get feedback FIVE times a day.  Imagine how much more precise and powerful your actions become when you can get that kind of course correction!  Imagine how often you’d crash your car, or get lost, if you only got to peek at where and how you were driving once a day!  NO! You have to “sample” your environment every few seconds, or you are in deep trouble!
  4. You must begin every day with a sense of GRATITUDE.  Gratitude is the antidote for fear, anxiety, anger…all negative emotions.  This prevents stress from becoming strain, triggering growth.  It also attracts friends, lovers and bonds mentors and “mastermind” partners to you–the only known way to compensate for lack of talent or intelligence.  And it makes the “secret formula” the only 100% guaranteed success system, because you BEGIN with the precise result other people think they can only have at the end.  In other words, everything you have ever worked for, strived for, hoped for, was about moving away from pain and toward pleasure.  Don’t accomplish to be joyful.   Instead, “joyfully accomplish.”


The voice in your head might well say: “but if I’m happy, I’ll be inert.”   Sorry, but happy children move, play, build, create, interact.  Joy moves us as effectively as fear (if not as acutely!).   All you have to add is “nudges” from your adult self, and you have it licked.

That’s what I’m telling this young man.  I won’t give him free lessons in martial arts.  But I will give him free lessons in becoming an adult, awake human being. And mastering the “dream world” of adult exchange is a critical step in this.

I can live with that.




If you don’t “pay yourself first”, you probably won’t get paid


Republished with permission from Darkush – Pay Yourself First

Taking another look at what we’re doing with the “Morning Ritual.” A question: why the physical motion? Isn’t it enough to sit quietly, meditate and visualize the results you want? A few thoughts:

1) The “Secret Formula” idea (Goals X Faith X Action X Gratitude = Results) arose from studying one of the core source materials for “The Secret.”

I had friends who loved “The Secret” but I found that while it seemed to work for some of them, for most people it didn’t. And what was missing was dynamism. Action. If you aren’t sufficiently emotionalized to get your own butt off the couch, what in the WORLD makes you think “the universe” is going to respond to you? That seemed to violate basic laws and principles that control everything I’ve ever experienced.

On the other hand, people who are already dynamic, already taking MASSIVE action, can seem to just “want” something, and it is like someone driving a Mercedes down the freeway–a slight “twitch” of their finger and the magnificent vehicle responds, and you change lanes and destinations. To an observer, you did almost nothing, because they didn’t notice the twitch of the finger.