If you don’t know the difference between winning and losing…you’re probably losing.


Musashi #5: distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters


Again, this is just incredibly common-sensical, and I find it simply amazing how many people don’t take care of business when it comes to this.  Simply put, what does a positive or negative result look like in your endeavor?  Do you know when you’re getting closer to your goal or further away?  FEEDBACK, friends. Feedback.

Think of it as if there are two basic ways to approach a problem, and we have to keep them in balance–almost everyone will have one or the other more solidly in control:

1) The emotional aspect: the skein of feelings, association, emotions, relationships.

2) The quantifiable aspects: how many, how much, how far, etc.

If you look at them as “yin” and “yang” I’m asking you to resolve them into the Tao.  If “female” and “male” I’m asking you to think somewhat hermaphroditically.   Feelings without measurement can lead to delusion.   Measurement without feeling can lead to obsessive chasing of the SYMBOLS of success: money, awards, seductions–instead of the core of success itself: peace, security, love, contribution, and growth.

For instance, I recently had a client say that he needed to “meet” more successful people.  I amended that he needed to PITCH TO more successful people.  Familiarize them with his services.  ASK FOR THE SALE.  In other words, you have to identify the behavior that will lead you to success.  Meeting people isn’t it, unless that leads to pitching them.  And even pitching them won’t help unless your intent is to SELL.  To provide goods and services THAT PEOPLE WANT, find the people who both NEED and CAN AFFORD your service, and transfer your honest enthusiasm to them.  Some percentage of them will say “yes.”  If that percentage is 1% it says that you need to talk to 100 people to sell a vacuum cleaner (or get a date, or find an answer to a physical issue).  It’s just a numbers game (yang).  And…its all about feeling (yin).  You have to work it out.


One presentation of the Ultimate Success Formula is:

1) Choose a goal

2) Learn the behaviors  and beliefs that will lead to the goal.

3) Analyze your current behaviors and beliefs, and see what the difference is.  Then, commit to either changing the goal, or changing the beliefs and behaviors.  Get the point? If your actions are not in alignment with your intentions, start changing one or the other, or you’re in serious crap.

4) Raise your energy level

5) Begin to live as if the beliefs and behaviors are yours.  All kindsa techniques work here: NLP, and positive thinking, and Psycho-Cybernetics, and self-hypnosis and affirmations, and God knows what all.  They all work, if you pay attention and generate real EMOTION.

6) Keep tabs of your results.  Do they take you toward or away from your goal?  Do you actually even do what you’re committed to doing, separate from the issue of the efficiency of the act?  YOU MUST GAIN SENSITIVITY TO THIS.

7) Fail successfully.  Push yourself until the behaviors and habits break down.  “Test to failure.”  Then

8)  Start over again.


This Success Cycle will, with proper learning and effort, take you about anywhere you want to go. But it only works if you pay attention, if you learn to know when things are going well, and when they’re not…and more importantly, know what is actually important.  What things will actually bring you closer to your goal?  What is REALLY winning in life.  Some people would say that getting into an accident because you refused to let some idiot cut them off on the freeway is “winning.”  For others, getting home alive and safe is the prize.  Be VERY clear on what is and is not important in life.  Listen to the men and women who have led healthy, happy, successful lives.  Chose them carefully.  I don’t want to model Edgar Allen Poe unless I want to die in the gutter.   But I can model Poe AND Ray Bradbury, and ask myself what they had in common: passion, scholarship, mountains of work, a trust in their “voice”, writing poetry as well as prose, whatever.

Listen to what they say about what matters.  And if you find that is greatly different from the way you see life or deal with the world?  

Consider changing.



When People Lie to Themselves

The thing about Coaching in comparison to writing is that it uses more of who I am. Check the clinical notes from a patient I worked with yesterday, a very successful man, “N.” who is recovering from a stroke and a lifetime of emotional abuse.

Any instinctive “hit” I get from someone is based on a sense of their imbalance in one of three basic arenas. I assume that 99% of people want:

1) A strong healthy body they would consider sexy, capable of hunting, gathering and either fighting or evading predators.

2) To provide goods and services to their community, supporting themselves with joy and contribution with enough excess resources to provide pleasures and freedom.

3) To find a loving, bonded relationship with someone who appeals to them emotionally, physically, mentally, and shares their spiritual values.

That other 1%? They don’t need me, and are on a rarefied path. But I assume that if people argue with any of this, they are just telling me the “story” they use to bind together the beliefs, fears, values and scrambled intents that keep them stuck.

I don’t buy it, because people lie to themselves, and when they do that, they can’t possibly be honest with others.

It is as simple as that.

And it’s been my experience that when I run into one of those 1%? They know exactly what I’m talking about, why I take the attitude I do, and are not offended in the slightest. Any emotional reaction? They aren’t in the 1%.