Category Archives: Appreciation

Don't Listen To This Guy!

Switch Your Girl Getting Mindset

It’s easy for guys to fall into the “soul mate” trap.

If you don’t have a lot of experience with women, any attention that any one can give you may seem like a life changing event.

But when you understand that women don’t really like a guy (on a subconscious level) that makes himself too available, it’s easy to see why this isn’t such a good strategy.

From a guy’s perspective it works like this.

He interacts with a girl, and she gives him some positive signals. Maybe even some sex.

And because the guy doesn’t have a lot of experience with girls, his inner caveman brain wants him to hang on for dear life.

Because he doesn’t have much sexual history, and sex feels so fantastic, every part of him is screaming at him to hang on at all costs.

This presents itself, through his behavior, of being needy and always available.

This, of course, KILLS any attraction the girl has for him.

Now, you could “pretend” to not be needy, only text her once every couple days, etc.

But if you have little experience with women, this is nearly impossible.

What’s the solution?

Start talking to girls (all girls, not just ones you’re interested in) AS OFTEN as you can.

This will build up your experience with women.

So when you DO meet a girl who is into you, you won’t have that “needy” or “desperate” response.

Because you’ll have the experience that GIRLS ARE EVERYWHERE. And ONE of them is not really THAT important.

Not only will this attitude and believe make it less likely to mess up with girls that are into you, but it will make you MORE ATTRACTIVE to most girls.

Which will give you a MUCH BETTER problem to have.

When you switch from the unhelpful, “I-hope-I-don’t-lose-her” thinking to the MUCH more helpful, “hmm, which one should I choose?”

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Desperation Is Not Attractive

Why You Should Never Chase

Most humans would love to have a simple, step by step solution to pretty much anything.

Like “what do I say to her to make her like me?”

Just imagine if there really WAS a “magic sentence” you could say to a girl (any girl) that would make her “like you.”

You’d say it, and she’d like you. But then somebody else would say it to her, and she’d like him.

In reality, there IS a simple way to make a LOT of girls like you.

And that is to differentiate yourself from every other lazy guy out there looking for magic tricks.

How do you do that?

Express your interest in her, but not in a needy way.

Always have something cooking that is MORE IMPORTANT than her.

Give her the pleasure of missing you, so she can use her imagination to conjure up romantic images of you.

This, however, is VERY HARD to fake.

If you’ve ever liked a girl more than she likes you, you know what I mean.

Every time she texts you, you go crazy trying to think of the right thing and the right time and the right frequency.

Luckily, if you take the time to CREATE SOMETHING that really WILL be more important than her, this will happen naturally.

Think of it this way, if you CHASE her, she’ll run away.

This will only work for a little bit, until it loses its charm. Women have been more or less following men for most of human history.

On the other hand if you CHASE your life, she’ll CHASE you.

Which means you need to figure out WHAT you will chase for your life.

And think of the girls as the added benefit.

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Expanding Energy Leads To Increasing Resourcefulness

Spaghetti

Once I had this really strange and sudden desire to eat Italian food. It wasn’t even close to lunch or dinnertime. The feeling just completely hit me out of the blue. Since I didn’t have any real solid plans for the next couple hours, I figured I’d go downtown and find an Italian restaurant.

Not being big fan of sit down type restaurants, (I almost always get food to go whenever I’m too lazy to cook) I wasn’t too familiar with the fine dining landscape, so I expected to have to search for a while. I did have a couple ideas on where I cold find something decent, hopefully before the strange desire vanished, and I found myself knee deep in ravioli with no motivation to transform it into human energy.

Energy is an interesting thing. Most people consider energy as some kind of matter in motion. When somebody is hyperactive and in a good mood, they say he or she has a lot of energy.

Some energy is more expensive than others. You can spend tons of money on electricity, or you can build a windmill in your backyard. The funny thing is that your toaster really won’t be able to tell where you are getting your energy. 110 volts is 110 volts despite how it was generated.

I suppose you could also build a nuclear power plant in your backyard, but you’d probably need a pretty big backyard, and it may be hard to find some fissionable material. You’d also need a safe place to keep it, and most people’s back yards aren’t big enough to put everything. And the people that do have back yards big enough to not only build their own nuclear reactors as well as a place to keep all their uranium don’t usually do so, since cheap electricity is the least of their concerns. They’re worried about what to wear to the Oscars or something.

It’s kind of interesting when you take a step back, and see things in a different light. You decide what you need in order to get something, and you set out to get that thing you think you must have before you get that other thing.

But then along the way, by getting those items you previously imagined were a prerequisite for that super important thing, you actually care less about getting the super important thing, and those prerequisites seem to satisfy you in ways you never imagined. Usually at a deeper level that you thought you’d get from achieving that super important thing in the first place.

And paradoxically, the less you value something, the more you start to get it. Pretty soon you’ve got oodles of that thing you used to think was super important, and now it doesn’t seem to matter much.

Huh?

For example, guys that are naturals with girls don’t read all kinds of books and spend all kinds of time practicing the right pickup lines, and making sure their clothes are all perfectly matched. Guys that are natural go out to have fun, don’t are much about meeting girls, but are somehow always surrounded by girls desperate for their attention.

Or people that are fabulously wealthy seem to always have a knack for making more money. But making money isn’t their primary goal; it’s more like a side effect. They just enjoy doing whatever it is they enjoy, to the point where get really good at it, and the money follows.

There aren’t too many professional athletes that originally got into sports because they thought it would be a way to make a living. Sure, plenty of athletes, after they discovered their talents decided it might be a pretty lucrative meal ticket, but that was after they played their particular sport for a long while, usually since early childhood.

Obviously, not everybody is naturally good at something that will make you rich. Most of us have to find things that we like, and get good enough to make a decent living doing them.

But if you dig deep, you’ll find plenty of natural talents that when applied creatively, will earn you a good chunk of change, if you focus on developing your talents, and enjoy doing so, rather than simply looking for a paycheck.

I suppose in a few years, maybe even in this generation (depending on which generation you count yourself among) they’ll develop some truly renewable energy resource that doesn’t require much environmental impact, nor space to store all that uranium. I think tapping into ocean currents is one way that future generations will have unlimited energy for pretty cheap.

And when I finally showed up at where I remembered the Italian restaurant to be, I was glad that I still had my cravings. And wanting to take full advance of that fact, I ate quite a bit.

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Success with NLP

It’s Never Too Late – Never Give Up

Numbers

There’s this guy that I know that I meet up with from time to time for various reasons. We usually meet in the same place, usually for hour or so or less. This guy is exceedingly busy, and doesn’t have a lot of free time. I hadn’t him around recently, but I ran into him last week. He had just finished his PhD doctoral thesis on some kind of advanced mathematics. Something to do with eigenvalues and laplacians and boundary levels. He was trying to explain how laplacian waveforms behave differently with and without boundaries. Of course, I have zero idea what that means, but I acted like I did. It has been a long time since I’ve studied calculus, and while many of the equations in his thesis looked to be written with symbols I was at least familiar with at one point in my life, I had forgotten the meanings.

The interesting thing was that he had spent the entire night before meticulously checking his final thesis for errors. In case you’ve read any of my other blog points, you may have come to the conclusion that checking for errors isn’t one of my particular strong points. And that’s a few hundred-word blog post. This guy had a several hundred page thesis densely packed with graduate level math equations. And he had spent the whole night hunting to make sure every last “t” and had been dotted and every indefinite integral had been properly tabulated.

The funny thing was this guy was just barely able to hold a normal conversation. His mind was obviously shot from a combination of no sleep, and stretching his brain to capacity. We were trying to have a normal conversation about current events and other boring topics, but his mind was bouncing all over the place.

At what point he was trying to explain something to me, and couldn’t quite think of the word. (English is his second language). After a moment of thought, he had completely lost track of what we were talking about. It was quite comical. Normally he is a very logical and intelligent sounding person, but during this particular conversation, he reminded me of that lyric from the White Stripe strong “Hardest Button to Button”:

“I got a brain that feels like pancake batter…”

I remember back when I was in junior high school. We were in weight training class; the gym teacher was explaining how the body builds muscle. You do some weight lifting, and the muscle fiber is actually broken down, on a physical level. The body, being the miracle machine that it is, goes right to work to rebuild it, but because it has been stressed due to overwork, it just rebuild it according to the same specifications as before. It upgrades its specs based on the fact that the muscles were broken down because they couldn’t handle the physical load. The body then responds by rebuilding a slightly stronger muscle that will be able to handle a better load the next time around.

It breaks down, becomes sore the next day, but comes back stronger. You repeat this process enough times, and you can get some pretty strong, or pretty fast, or pretty well coordinated muscles. Anybody that starts off with set of muscles and bones built to factory specs can, within certain limits, rebuild it any way you want, given the right training and diet. Combine that with increasing your control over your muscles through various mind/body practice and exercises, and you can become a very elegant world-class athlete in a wide variety sports, if you decide early enough and stick to it long enough.

Several years ago there was this fast food company, Jack in the Box. They had this horrible scandal, where some tainted meat got into their supply, and a few people actually died. Killing people with your fast food is probably the quickest way to going out of business. But within a couple of years, they came back stronger than ever. They reorganized their quality control, developed much tougher inspection standards, and started a whole new public relations campaign. Before the incident(s), they didn’t have such a stellar reputation. I remember as a kid sharing rumors that they used kangaroo meat in their hamburgers. But after they reorganized, and launched a public re imaging campaign, they were back on top again. Those commercials with Jack and his big head became pretty commonplace, and they wiped out any negative image that they had before.

Scientists are starting to think that the brain builds up connections and neural pathways much like a muscle builds stronger and more efficient muscle fiber. If you have a bunch of different neurons scattered all through your brain, and you are starting to fire them off in a sequence they’ve never been fired off in before (e.g. thinking a bunch of new thoughts regarding laplacian eigenvalue boundary problems) you brain will naturally reorganize, and create several million, If not billion new connections. This new huge collection of neural pathways and networks are more efficient, and you are much smarter, and are able to think new ideas without that feeling of confusion or anxiety that came with them when you first thought them.

When we exercise, and lift weighs, we tend to instinctively realize there is a “good soreness” that comes the day after a good workout. And when we’re pushing our bodies to capacity, either doing one more pushup or pull-up, or putting an extra bit of juice into that final spring around the curve, we realize that our bodies will recover, and likely come back stronger. So next time we’ll easily do a couple more pushups, or pull-ups, or run faster out of the gait.

When you realize the initial stress and anxiety that sometimes comes with learning new things and experiences can be thought of the same way, there’s no reason why you can’t exercise your brain, becoming smarter and smarter, just like some people exercise their bodies, and become stronger and stronger.

My friend with his new PhD is a great example of this. He’s in his late forties, and teaches Junior High School science. He decided to get his PhD in math a few years ago, and now he’s got it. All it took was as a decision, and some follow-up effort.

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Success with NLP

How To Tap The Feeling Exercise For Incredible Power And Charisma

How To Find Your Untapped Resources

If you are ever in situation where you feel out of control or at a loss on how respond to any particular situation, here’s a quick mental exercise that can give you a boost. When done in isolation, it can give you some perspective, and briefly shake off any anxiety caused by external situations. When done as habitually several times a day (don’t worry, it’s quick, easy and nobody will know that you are doing it) it can slowly give you incredible power, self-confidence, and charisma.

It’s called the “Feeling Exercise,” and was described by Arnold Patent in his book “You Can Have It All.” I hesitated to buy the book at first because it sounded like another of the seemingly millions of new agey, law of attraction type books that have a bunch of vague ideas that don’t really offer any specific advice. But this book, while it is based on some pretty “out there” metaphysical ideas, is worth it just for this one exercise.

It may be a bit difficult to really feel the power of this at first, so I recommend practicing it often. Once you get that “aha” feeling, you’ll never want to be without it. It will give you a great feeling of power and ownership over your feelings and emotions; despite whatever situation you happen to be in. Experts agree that the largest cause of stress is that feeling you are in some crappy situation that you can’t do much about. This will change all that.

The first step is to simply feel your feelings. Start with whatever physical sensations you are feeling. A need to go to the bathroom, or a soreness in your left food, or a weird tingling on your scalp, anything is fine. Just pick one to work with.

The next step is to feel the feeling without any judgments or labels, or desire for it to go away. To make it easy, use as a neutral feeling as you can. Try not to attempt this while having an orgasm or experiencing a compound fracture. Those might be a bit distracting until you master this. So pick something like a vague grumbling in your stomach, or a feeling of warmth on your leg or something.

So feel the feeling without labels, or judgments (good or bad) or any desire for the feeling to go away. Feel the feeling exactly as it is. To help you do this, try and describe the feeling itself, without labels. What color is it? What is the texture? What is the physical size of it? What are the edges, the outside areas of the feeling like? Do they end abruptly, or slowly transition into something else?

Next is to feel the energy and the power in the feeling. Feel this as the power of life, the power and energy that existed before there was any matter ever created in the universe. Pure, untapped power. Feel this energy and power as YOUR energy and power. Nobody else. Your energy. Your power.

Next, feel appreciation for your energy and your power. Feel gratitude for it.

After that, feel appreciation for yourself, feeling the feeling, and feeling the power and energy in the feeling, and feeling appreciation for the power and the energy of the feeling. Feel as much appreciation for yourself as you possibly can, feeling the feeling.

That’s it. This may seem strange at first, but pretty soon, you’ll be able to do this within a few seconds. And you’ll also be able to do this when you have those “bad” feelings that most people want to get rid of.

You’ll soon discover that the power and energy is the same in all your feelings. And when you start to learn to feel appreciation for the power in all your feelings, that powerlessness you used to feel in certain uncomfortable situations will be a thing of the past. Because no matter what your mind/body system’s automatic response is, you’ll be able to dig underneath it to find the gold that is always inside you waiting to be discovered.

So here’s a recap:

Feel the feeling.
Feel the feeling free from judgments or labels.
Feel the energy of the feeling.
Feel appreciation for the energy of the feeling.
Feel appreciation for yourself, feeling the power and energy of the feeling.

One final note, when feeling appreciation you may need to consciously choose to feel appreciation. It may not come naturally, so you may have to really work at it. But just like any other thing you practice, it will get easier and easier to the point that it’s automatic.

Have fun with this.

Money Love

Open The Floodgates

I remember I went on this backpacking trip once. We had planned it out fairly thoroughly, reading several guidebooks, and buying maps with different levels detail. One thing that we couldn’t really plan on was the size of the rivers. The mountains we were planning on hiking in were in the Sierra Nevada range in California. Those mountains have several thousand small lakes, which are fed by the annual rainfall, creating several thousand streams and rivers of various sizes.

Because these streams and rivers are so numerous, you inevitably have to cross one or two large ones if you are going on hike that is longer than a day or two. Since these mountains are kept as pure as possible, from a human interaction point of view, doing anything other than keep debris from blocking established trails is strictly prohibited. This means that no bridges exist, or do strategic placements of stones. It’s not uncommon to spend several hours wandering up and down a riverbank looking for an appropriate place to cross.

Often time there is not real danger, but when hiking with a pair of wet boots is never a pleasant experience. It makes it much easier to get blisters, which can ruin an entire trip. Crossing a river without getting wet is ideal.

Generally speaking, when looking for a place to cross, you either look for a point where the river is particularly narrow, where crossing will only take a couple strategically places steps. Other times the best you can do is find a place that is relatively shallow, and simply walk across. If you are lucky, and the bottom is relatively smooth, you can take off your shoes and wade across, with the water hopefully not getting higher than your waist. Keep in mind this water is freshly melted snow, so it is really cold.

The ideal is a slow moving river that is shallow enough and narrow enough to not get your boots wet. The worst I’ve ever experienced was when we had to strip down to our underwear, carry our packs over our heads, and cross that way. The best place we could find to cross was about four meters across, and about a meter deep. Luckily the bottom was sandy, and the water was flowing slow enough that it didn’t pose any danger. But it was really, really cold.

I was listening to an interview on the radio the other and they were talking about this book called “Flow,” where the author described the experience when you are completely and fully engaged in something to the exclusion of all else. It is a fascinating feeling, usually experienced by athletes and artists. If you’ve ever experienced it, then you know what it’s like. Everything seems to disappear, and any conscious interference that exists normally is virtually shut off. You become a machine, fully focused on the event at hand. It’s almost as if you are watching yourself flawlessly performing some task.

One of the most esoteric conversations you can have with yourself is regarding the metaphysical flow of money. You can look at it as a purely right-brained physical based entity, obeying the laws of physics and of cause and effect. You do certain things, and you get a certain amount of money. You want certain things and you give up a certain amount of money. Other schools of thought, usually thought a little bit on the new agey side, teach the money should be thought of as a flow of energy, and that all you need to do is open yourself up, in both directions. That is, in order to have money flowing in just as readily as it flows out, you should set up your consciousness to appreciate the exchange in both directions. You should be just as happy to receive product or services in exchange for your money, as you should in receiving money for your products or services.

I’ve even read some suggestions saying you should write a big “Thank You” on your checks to the IRS every year.

The interesting thing about money is that if flows whether we want it to or not. For the whole of human history, until only a few thousand years ago, there wasn’t any money. Now there is hundreds of millions traded every day on the Forex Exchange. This is just different country swapping out their currencies at the end of every single day.

Whatever your own personal beliefs about money are, money is there, money is flowing, and it would probably do you some good to figure out a way to get in on the action. It’s not like there is a finite size of the pie, and once the pieces are gone, they’re gone. The money supply increases every year, and the ways and paths that it flows increase as well.

And the cool thing about money flow is that you don’t have to worry about getting swept away by the current, or worrying about keeping your boots dry. You can just dive right in. Kick the boulders out of the way and let if flow. They’ll be plenty more where that came from.

How To Create A Huge Following Of Admirers

Be Excellent, Be Gone

The other day I was having this conversation with a neighbor of mine. This guy is pretty old, and was talking about well his kids were doing. He had three sons, and they all went to university, got decent jobs, and are now married with kids of their own. The guy seemed to be bragging about his kids, but I could detect a little bit of sadness. The guy’s wife died several years ago, and he lives alone. Hence his frequent chats with me and all the other neighbors. The guy is lonely. But he somehow knows when to cut a conversation short; he seems to have a sixth sense of doing this just before he starts to wear out his welcome.

But not a bad kind of lonely, like some old people. I had this neighbor once that was always eager to talk with you, but she gave off this really strong vibe of desperation. As soon as this lady started talking to, you had to figure out a way to make an escape. If it were up to her, she would talk to you for hours on end. Sometime she would knock on my door with a really weak excuse, when it was obvious that she was looking for somebody to talk to.

Reminds me of a story that people tell sometimes about Milton Erickson, who was a world famous hypnotherapist back in the fifties and sixties. There was a woman, in her sixties, who was old and lonely like the two people mentioned above. She went to Dr. Erickson for help, and he gave her some advice. It was a variation of the old “if you want to make a friend, be a friend,” advice.

Since was particularly fond of a type of flower, African Violets, and grew quite a bit of them, he had a pretty interesting idea. Her assignment was to read the Sunday newspapers, both the obituaries, and the announcements. If somebody that lived in her neighborhood passed away, she was to bring them a bouquet of African Violets as a condolence. She wasn’t supposed to hang around very long, or try to make friends. Just show up, give her condolence, offer the flowers, and leave.

Likewise, if she saw a good piece of news in the announcements, such as a wedding, or a graduation, or a new baby, she was to put together a bouquet, and bring it over as a gift of congratulations. Again, the assignment wasn’t the same. Show up, give her congratulations and the flowers, and split.

She was to do this every week, at least once. Keep in mind this was back in the fifties, when it wasn’t uncommon for neighbors to do this kind of thing. If you tried this today, somebody might call the cops or something, depending on the neighborhood.

At first she was incredibly nervous and worried that she would be rejected. She was afraid that people wouldn’t want her, or her gift. So the first couple of times it was very hard. But once she got over her nervousness, and realized that most people are generally very friendly, and will happily accept well wishes from strangers, so long as they don’t have any ulterior motives.

Pretty soon she was doing three, four, even five trips every weekend. As the weeks and months went by, she found her self very busy with her little operation that was actually getting quite big. It didn’t take her very long for her loneliness to disappear as she learned one of life’s most valuable lessons.

The best way to help yourself is to help others first.

Of course had Dr. Erickson told her this as some vague platitude, she would have agreed, and not changed much. But he broke it down for her into a simple task, so that she would discover this lesson for herself.

And years later, when she died, thousands of people crowed at her memorial service, and she got quite a write up in several newspapers:

African Violet Queen Mourned By Thousands

Not bad for a lonely old lady. Just goes to show what a simple effort to step outside of your comfort zone just a little bit can do. To see what you can offer to others.

It’s important to remember that she never hung around after she gave her bouquet of flowers, expecting immediate thanks or gratification. Erickson was explicit on this. Let the reciprocity slowly build throw the strange effects of karma.

For some reason, it reminds me of a movie called “The Tao Of Steve.” A movie that is particularly popular among those that would like to me master seducers of women. It was about this guy that was poor, overweight, and not all that attractive. But he was wildly successful with women. His motto was simple.

Be excellent, be gone.

Meaning never hang around waiting for people to say “thanks,” or tell you what a nice person you are. Do good things for others simply for the feeling you get for doing them. Then get the hell out of Dodge. If you are patient, your rewards will come. With much more magnitude and much more significance that you could ever imagine.

The Dangers Of The Wrong Mindset – And How To Overcome Them

Scarcity or Abundance – Which One Are You?

There has been much written, spoken about, and talked about regarding the difference between a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset. These two seemingly ubiquitous concepts can change your perception of reality itself. But do we really understand what they mean?

I can understand the mechanics and philosophy and process of baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I can even study material, research methods and techniques, and even publish books on how to make chocolate chip cookies, but until I smell and eat them, I really have no idea what I’m talking about.

The funny thing is that the language I use, the illustrations I use in my descriptions of making and eating cookies will be the same whether I have experienced the or not.

It’s easy to think you understand he concepts of scarcity and abundance, but until you experience them firsthand, they are two completely different worlds. One objective, looked at from the outside with only an academic understanding, and the other subjective, from the inside, from an experiential feeling of what it’s really like.

One quick test to see if you really have an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset with regards to money. How do you feel about salespeople? Car salesmen, door-to-door salesmen, time share salesmen? Do you love them or hate them?

If you truly have an abundance mindset towards money, that is if you really feel deep in your bones that money is plentiful, and you will always have an avalanche of money, then you will never feel threatened or put off by salespeople. You will welcome them. You will enjoy talking with them and seeing what they have to offer.

What good is money if you never spend it? If you truly believe that there is an unlimited amount of money in the universe, then you will never feel a lack. And when the salesman comes knocking you will never fear that he or she will con you out of something. You will never feel as if you are getting a raw deal on anything.

Take air for example. Most everybody naturally has a deep, unconscious belief that there is plenty of air in the world. Enough for everybody. We don’t even thinking about worrying about getting enough air to breath when we wake up in the morning. We don’t get into fights with our loved ones over how we are going to be spending our precious air.

If somebody we don’t know walks into the coffee shop we are passing the time in, we don’t suddenly get worried that they will take our precious oxygen. (Of course if they are smoking that is something different altogether).

Likewise with money. Very few people have a true sense of abundance when it comes to money. Sure we all like to proclaim to each other that we have an abundance mindset. We believe in the Law of Attraction. We put down others when they exhibit what we judgingly call “scarcity thinking.”

But when the salesman comes knocking, or we walk into a car dealership, if we are the least bit nervous, or put off, or fearful of our pocketbook, then we are living, breathing and feeling scarcity.

Most people think that once they get plenty of money, then they will stop their scarcity thinking. That is backwards. That is like saying you want to go on a diet, but you are going to lose weight first, then you’ll start to diet and exercise.

That is the great paradox of human nature and how we perceive reality. We spend our childhoods learn the have-do-be mindset. We have something, then we are motivated by our possessions and then it shapes our personality. We are born completely blank, and we have to be given thoughts, ideas, and behaviors, as we grow older. We absorb who we are, how we behave, what we get from the adults around us.

But when we become adults, we must make a shift from the have-do-be mindset to the be-do-have mindset. When we are children we are because of what we have. As adults, we must learn that what we have is a result of what and who we are.

As we grow up, our personalities and behaviors reflect our environment. But as we grow older, we must learn that our environment becomes a reflection of who we are.

The simples test to who you really are on the inside, beneath all the posturing and affirmations and efforts and appearances is to simply look around you. What does your house or apartment look like? Your friends? Your relationships? Your bank account? They won’t change, unless you do.

Change yourself first and your environment will follow. It may take some time, but it will change. Don’t give up.

It’s easy to blame the world. But that is the reaction and thinking style of a child. Children blame the world. Adults take responsibility and change themselves, knowing the environment will change accordingly.

No, it’s not easy. And yes, it can take a lifetime. But what else are we here for except to shape our own reality?

You Are Surrounded By Beauty

What Treasure Do You Hold?

The other day I was sitting in a bookstore talking to one of he girls that works behind the counter in the coffee shop section. It seems that many bookstores these days have a full-blown coffee shop inside. Which makes sense, because what goes better than hanging out in a bookstore and reading books?

One of the cool things I like about bookstores is how many completely ideas different people have about certain things. Even if we confine ourselves to the measurable physical universe, there is still an endless supply of things known and unknown to talk about. Even things we can see, touch taste and feel we have really no idea of the underlying structure and substance.

Many quantum physicists have dramatically questioned the nature of reality after discovering the incredibly illogical subatomic world. Many have gone on to write philosophical books on the subject.

Even you wander into the religion section, you are in for a wealth of different ideas, beliefs and opinions regarding who we are, how we got here, and where we are going.

There are some really interesting books that lie on the border between religion, philosophy, and metaphysics. I never cease to be amazed at the sheer variety of thought that is available in bookstores. And those are just people that sat down and wrote a book and convinced somebody to publish it and sell it in a bookstore.

Imagine all the incredibly diverse thoughts in people’s heads that are just walking around and waiting to get out. Many times we make the mistake and assume that because someone may not be so eloquent with words that their thoughts are therefore inferior, but that is never the case.

One of the most prevalent theories of human existence is that every single human shares the same DNA. Not that we all have the same parents, but the structure of all human DNA is the same. It’s not like some people have more chromosomes than others.

So it stands to reason that everybody’s brain has the capacity for thinking up new and wonderful ideas. Speaking skills may not be their Forte. Even the great Moses called up his brother Aaron to do his public speaking for him. Can you imagine if you tried that at work?

“Uh, yea boss, I’ll give the presentation at next years shareholder meeting. But I pretty much suck at public speaking; in fact, they kicked me out of toastmasters. So I’m gonna have my brother come in and give the speech for me, ok?”

So as I as talking to this girl that worked behind the coffee counter, she started telling me her story. She is originally from Laos, and her family escaped to Thailand during the seventies. She said she remembers being shot at as they crossed the river from Laos into Thailand. Then in Thailand they had to live in this “reeducation camps” for a while before they figured out a way to get to the United States.

She was very young when all this happened, so she doesn’t remember much other than what her older brothers and her parents told her. She was six when it happened. Imagine getting shot at trying to escape the country of your birth at six years. I don’t know if I even learned to tie my shoes when I was six.

I couldn’t help but be amazed at the incredible amount of stories and ideas and experiences that everybody is carrying around with them. And most of them will be more than happy to share with you. All you need to do is ask.

Skills, Pleasure and Money

Once there was this guy who was a professional auto mechanic. Not just a professional auto mechanic, but he was considered the best in his area. He had built up a huge clientele base through several years of dedicated service. One thing that made him stand out was his brutal honesty.

He usually had a flat fee to inspect a car, and then would lay everything out as clearly and specifically as he could. He wouldn’t make any suggestions, he would merely let his experience and the prices speak for themselves.

For example, if somebody had a problem with their engine starting on cold mornings, he would charge fifty bucks to take a look, and then give a full report. He would say exactly what it would take to get the car fixed to the point of starting ok on a regular basis, at a bare minimum cost, and explain exactly what the chances of and how long this “fix” would last.

He would then give another report about how much it would cost to virtually guarantee that this problem would be completely fixed, and how long that would last (usually two or three years, which was the life expectancy of the parts he would replace).

He would then give another report of other problems he found with the car, and what the chances is that they would be a problem, and how likely they would to be happening. Of course he would explain exactly how much this would cost to make sure the problem didn’t happen.

He would, naturally, fix specific problems, to satisfy specific requests. For example, if someone came in saying only that they wanted their timing belt replaced, he would do exactly that.

Because he was so honest and upfront with his costs, he never had any want for business. It wasn’t uncommon to find that you needed to wait a week to have your car even looked at because he had so many customers lined up.

There were several other auto repair businesses in the neighborhood that didn’t do so well. One of the reasons was they because they were always worried about their business, they would sometimes make repairs that weren’t really necessary, or they would rush through and not do a thorough job, making it necessary for some people to come back to get their car repaired. It was no wonder than these other shops didn’t get a whole lot of repeat business from loyal customers.

A lot of people wondered why this guy didn’t branch out, and open up shops that operated on the same principle, as he certainly could. Perhaps it was because he really, honestly enjoyed working on cars so much that he didn’t want to spend time in an office trying to manage multiple businesses and people. He seemed to be extremely happy, and was always quick to remember a customer’s first name when he saw them at the grocery store.

If there is any moral to this story, it’s that if you can combine honesty, a needed skill, and sincere pleasure in performing that skill, you can make a lot of money, and make a lot of people feel satisfied because of your work.