Category Archives: Fears

External or Internal Motivation – Which Is Better?

Which Path Do You Take?

Once there was this pumpkin. He was a normal pumpkin, and went to a normal pumpkin school, like the rest of the kids in his neighborhood. His parents had tried to get him into one of those special schools for gifted pumpkins, but he didn’t think he passed the final entrance examination. They didn’t feel bad, neither did the pumpkin, as almost every pumpkin tries to get into one of those special schools, but very few make it. So his parents as well as he were in good company. Many parents teach their kids early on that the trying and failing is ok, so long as they try. That way, when the vast majority of the kids don’t get into the pumpkin school, they can feel proud of themselves for putting forth valiant effort.

The way the schools are set up, in case you aren’t familiar with them is that they are government run schools, and are completely paid for. There is a whole section of the pumpkin government devoted to the enrichment of its citizens. To that end they’ve created a panel of experts that teach the most cutting edge subjects. The school is a state of the art facility where most scientific and technological advances are made.

Many kids secretly don’t want to get into the advanced placement school. That would mean leaving their friends and family, as the school is located near the central government. Once they finish the school, they are required to spend no less than 5 years teaching at the school and further developing the curriculum. For a young pumpkin just entering into adolescence, this is an awfully large commitment.

Of course, the kids enjoy bragging about their scores, and comparing them to one another. Because they are completely meaningless if they aren’t accepted into the special school, the teasing and posturing of the young pumpkins is accepted as a normal part of every day school life.

Most pumpkins finish their primary education without moving on to higher levels. The pumpkin economy is sufficient to provide many well paying jobs to blue-collar pumpkin workers. Because these jobs are so plentiful, most pumpkins can easily find a way to make a living very near where they grew up.

It’s not uncommon to find neighborhoods with two and sometimes three generations of families spread throughout. Which is why the pumpkin of this particular story was overwhelmingly upset when he learned he was accepted, just barely, into the special pumpkin school. That meant ten years away from his friends and family. Five for the school itself, and five for the teaching commitment that came with it.

Of course, he knew very well that after finishing his teaching commitment, he was pretty much set for life. While many pumpkins stayed and taught at the special school after their commitment was fulfilled, it was by no means expected or even depended on. Virtually all the pumpkins that fulfilled their teaching requirements found extremely lucrative jobs in the technological fields, some even sitting on boards of directors of several large international conglomerations.

However, that didn’t appeal to our young pumpkin hero at all. He didn’t want a prestigious job in ten years. He didn’t want to start teaching at a prestigious university in five. He didn’t want to study there next fall. He wanted to stay right where he was.

He was in love.

They had begun hanging out together at lunchtime last spring. They had started sitting together at lunch, the way kids do. As time went on, they started sitting closer together, some days even exchanging a few words. Then one day, for some reason that neither of the cared about, when they showed up to their normal lunch table, it was only the two of them.

Of course they were both very nervous. But once they started talking, their nervousness was quickly replaced by the excitement of discovering new feelings and emotions that you never knew existed. Soon they started meeting when they knew it would only be just the two of them, if for only a few minutes. Sometimes they would talk about their math homework; sometimes they wouldn’t talk at all.

But now this young pumpkin had a decision to make. His acceptance letter, as a matter of law, would be reported to his school administrator. It is quite an honor for any school to have one of its students accepted to the government school of higher learning. Of course, attendance wasn’t compulsory, but no pumpkin had ever turned down such an opportunity. To attend a school, at no charge, with a virtual guarantee of economic success in only a few years. To do so would be unthinkable.

But that was just what the young pumpkin intended. The feelings he experienced when he was with his new girlfriend were far more wonderful than any ideas of economic success on the other end of a long, boring, ten-year separation from his friends and family.

But how in the world would he tell them?

One day he was moping about down at the park, when one of the elder pumpkins spotted him.

“What’s wrong?”

The young pumpkin explained everything, feeling a strange sense of relief at unloading his problems to a complete stranger. This was the first he’d told anyone of his predicament.

“That is a tough one.” Said the elder.

He paused, and the young pumpkin waited. After a deep breath, the elder turned to him and started.

“Many folks would tell you that young love is fleeting, that it doesn’t last. That you should focus on long term success, rather than short term feelings. That it is an honor and a privilege to be accepted to that school. That you have a duty to your family, to your school, to society to fulfill your destiny, as they’d say. To fulfill your talents. To use your creative gift to give to others what they may not be able to get for themselves.”

This is exactly what the young pumpkin was afraid of, and precisely what he didn’t want to hear.

The elder continued.

“Many will tell you tales of opportunities missed, of dreams that went unfulfilled. And they will tell you that if you do not take this opportunity, you will regret it for the rest of your life.”

The young pumpkin, although depressed beyond measure, was ready to accept his fate. His young mind was no match for such rhetoric from such an old and learned pumpkin.

“But here is one thing they will most assuredly not tell you. Their motives are selfish. They care not for you, but only for their own memories of their own lost opportunities. They see you on the cusp of success, and recall all of their failures. All of the times they could become great, but failed. In you they see their only chance of redemption, if only vicariously.”

The young pumpkin wasn’t sure he understood.

“It is a self perpetuating myth. An idea that isn’t true. They made a choice, and it didn’t turn out very well. So they see you, and by urging you to make the same choice and follow the same, expected path, they are hoping you will heal their wounds. Society is filled with people like that. Telling you what is right. Telling you what should be done. People seek comfort in the conformity of others. It helps them to believe that even if the choices they made didn’t bring them the happiness they expected, they are the common choices, and therefore the right choices.”

“Here is wisdom, young pumpkin. Many will tell you to make your choice based on what you want, and not what others want. But they forget to mention that that can only be done when you accept full responsibility for the outcome of your choice. And never expect others to undo what you’ve done. Ever. Ask yourself one question:

Can I live with it?”

The young pumpkin thought. Thought about ten years of doing things other people wanted him to, followed by who knows how many years doing who knows what. Could he live with that?

Then he thought of his friends, his family, his girlfriend, and the life he would likely lead should he turn down the opportunity of a lifetime.

The decision became lucidly clear. He smiled, and walked home.

One World, One Culture, One People?

We’re the Same, You And Me

Recently I’ve been reading this fascinating book by Steven Pinker, called “The Language Instinct.” If you are at all interested in language, psychology, or how the human brain is structured, you can’t go wrong with this book. In it he treats language as an instinct, rather than a learned ability. One of his supporting arguments is the existence of what seems to be a universal grammar that is common throughout all languages. There is an underlying structure that all languages follow, regardless of how isolated the culture is, how advanced or how archaic. This suggests that we have some kind of structure pre-wired into our brains for learning language.

There have been many scientists and psychologists who maintained that the human mind was a relatively blank slate, and it could be filled in depending on the environment and the surrounding adults. This argument holds that children need to be explicitly taught things like grammar and word order, and how to correctly identify dogs and trees. What Pinker argues very successfully in “The Language Instinct,” is that there is a structure that already exists, a structure that already has the blueprint for nouns, verbs adjectives and so out.

While there are about a billion different tangents I could go off on, there is one thing in particular that I’d like to talk about in today’s post. Chomsky is a linguist who made fantastic advanced in linguistic theory. He was the one that first suggested that if an alien came to Earth, and analyzed all the world’s languages, they would determine that we all speak the same language, just many different dialects. The structure of all of the world’s languages can easily described as on similarly structured language.

Other scientists have studied various cultures, with the intent to find, or uncover a “universal culture” like the “universal grammar” described by Chomsky and others. The results are striking. If you’ve ever traveled to another country, especially one where English wasn’t the primary language, perhaps you’ve experienced some kind of “culture shock.” Or even if you’ve watched documentaries on TV of some guys running around in loincloths in the jungle, still living like they did hundreds of generations ago. You might come to the conclusion that those cultures can’t be more different than modern western culture.

In Pinker’s book, he lists two full pages of elements of the “universal culture” on Earth (determined by anthropologist Donald E. Brown), and here are some highlights (purely chosen at random):


Value placed on articulateness, gossip, lying, manipulation, humor, humorous insults, poetry with respective words of similar nature (e.g. rhymes).

Non Verbal Communication

Meaningless sounds used to convey meaning (e.g. cries, squeals, etc), generalized facial expressions communicating basic emotions (fear, happiness etc), guessing intent from actions, flirtation with the eyes, use of smiles as a friendly greeting.


Huge interest in sex, various methods of expressing sexual attraction, sexual jealousy.


Families centered around the mother and the children, and one or more men.


Fear of loud noises, fear of snakes, fear of strangers.


Social status based on age, and economic achievement. A fair amount of economic inequality, division of labor by sex and age. Domination of men in the public sphere.


Coalitions, reasoning, generally non dictatorial leaders, (usually temporary, e.g. new leaders every so often), a common agreement of right and wrong, laws, retaliation, punishment, the existence of conflict (which is usually avoided at all costs). Property, inheritance of property.


Hospitality, special feast days, sexual modesty (e.g. sex in private), discrete elimination of bodily wastes, supernatural beliefs, magic to sustain and increase life, and to attract the opposite sex, rituals, rites of passage, dream interpretation.

I’m reminded of a story (passed around on the Internet, sourced to some book on sociology) of a strange culture that practiced a particularly odd custom. It was described in great detail and sounded very strange and out there. Until the end, when you read the punch line. It was a description of the procedure westerners use when we go to the bathroom to take a dump. But the way it was described sounded like supremely spiritual and superstitions custom that only some goofball tribesmen do in National Geographic.

The takeaway, at least for me, is that no matter who you compare yourself to, some guy chasing his dinner with a poison blow dart gun in some South American jungle, or some uptight trader on Wall Street wearing a five thousand dollar suit, you can’t help but to realize that we humans are much, much more similar that we are different.

As Joseph Campbell concluded after his life’s work studying the world’s various mythological stories, we all come from the same factory. We all have the same hopes, fears, dreams and obstacles to overcome in our daily life. In every chest, beats the same heart. At the end of the day, we all just want some peace and safety, and hopefully a few people to share it with. Something to think about when you bump into that weird guy on the street that you swear is from another planet.

The Unicycle Queen

Who Is The Real Harpo?

So the other day I was hanging out downtown. Maybe a week or so ago, I can’t recall the exact date. I had originally gone downtown to see the latest movie that has finally made it’s way to my neighborhood, only to find out that the time listed on their web page was incorrect, so I had an hour to kill. I hadn’t planned on hanging out any longer than it took to see the movie and head on home, so I didn’t bring a book or anything to read. I don’t really like just sitting in a coffee shop unless I have something to read, so I figured I’d just wander around for a while.

I came across this stretch of road where the street performers usually hang out. It’s on this covered area where cars and bikes aren’t allowed. It’s only for pedestrians to wander around. The performers are the normal kind, mostly amateur musicians belting out some tunes they’ve either written or borrowed from somebody. There’s usually this guy with this white parrot that he’ll put on your shoulder and take your picture for a few dollars, or a few hundred yen as the case may be. Once in a while they’ll be somebody doing magic or juggling or something.

That particular afternoon is a rather interesting show. It was this man/woman team that did all these really cool unicycle tricks. They had all means of props and costumes and personalities they would switch in and out of all the time. They even borrowed members out of the audience to involve them in their tricks. One trick involved several guys laying on the ground, and then this girl ride at them and somehow jumps them with her unicycle. She spent all kinds of time building up to the actual trick, which in and of itself was very entertaining. I was impressed with her skills. Although she spoke very little, she communicated quite a great deal. I was reminded of the episode of “I Love Lucy” where Lucy dresses as Harpo Marx, and then the real Harpo shows up. They are both on either side of a partition, and they do a bit where they each come out from either side of the partition and are strangely mirroring each other exactly. They do this several times, and the joke, of course, is who is the real Harpo and who is the imposter.

The jig is up when the real Harpo drops his hat, and it magically returns to his hand. Lucy of course, doesn’t have that trick hat, and hers falls to the ground.

As I was remembering this episode of a performer pretending to be another person pretending to be another person, while watching a performer putting on different personas at will, I was amazed at people’s vast capacity for self-deception. Now before you accuse me of being a cynic, I don’t mean self-deception in any negative sense. Self-deception is a hugely useful trait that has undoubtedly been passed down to us through successive generations of people that have slowly increased their effectiveness in surviving in a harsh environment.

A recent medical study showed that children have the capacity to use their imagination to make pain physically go away. There are thousands of documented cases of hypnosis being used in place of anesthesia in surgery, dental procedures, and other cases of pain control.

That gifted performs such as Harpo, Lucy, and that lady doing the unicycle trick can tap into that capacity is truly a gift to humanity. I’m reminded of a course I took once in hypnosis. The instructor started out by asking who the best hypnotist we’d eve encountered was. Most people couldn’t really think of any. When we all thought of hypnotists, we all assumed he was talking about a stage hypnotists, or a therapist or something like that. He surprised us when he said George Lucas was an example of a great hypnotist.

When you think of hypnosis of being way to capture and focus your imagination on a particular topic, that makes perfect sense. If you go to see a hypnotist to quit smoking or lose weight, he’ll sit you down in a comfortable chair. You’ll lean back and he’ll start talking to you in a soothing voice. And as you listen to this voice, and start to feel yourself sinking into that chair you are sitting in, you will start to forget about things that you used to worry about. You will start to let those thoughts that normally bother you slowly drop off the edge of consciousness as you let those other thoughts take up the main stage of your mind. Once you are in this relaxed, focused state, the hypnotist will start giving you suggestions, suggestions you will hopefully take as authoritative and truthful, and affirming. Such as you only breath fresh clean air, you only eat healthy food, you respect your body, and you get plenty of rest every night and so on.

Compare that to seeing Star Wars. You are sitting in your comfy chair, relaxed, leaning back. The everyday distracting thoughts are drifting away as you are focused a created reality that you will lend your thinking to for the next couple of hours. The lights dim, the crowd hushes. Then you see the words on the screen:

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away….

And magically, all conscious connection to normal reality is gone, and your imagination is handed over to Lucas as he takes you on a Campbellian tale of epic proportion.

Of course, this human capacity is a double-edged sword. Just as we can give our mind over to a false reality for entertainment, or to temporarily dull pain, we can also fixate our minds on things that don’t help us one bit. Fears that aren’t true, limitations that don’t exist, and anxieties about events that likely will never happen seem to take up a lot of space in our brain. The trick is to not be too quick to let go of our critical factor when such images seem take hold of our minds.

Nobody likes the skeptic who continuously points out all the violations of the laws of physics or the plot holes of an otherwise decent movie. But that skeptical attitude is exactly what we need to kick out the false fears and seemingly but untrue reality that has taken up residence in our minds.

If you are having a good time, let it be. But if you aren’t, and you suspect a negative false reality has snuck in past your conscious gatekeepers, try asking yourself these questions:

Is It True?
How do I know?
How would I know if this wasn’t true?
Who would I be if this were false?
What could I do if this was false?
Can I find any evidence that this is false?
Is this true for everybody, or just me?
If this is not true for them, how can I make it not true for me?

And see what happens.

Have fun.

How To Love Mistakes And Failures

Are You Afraid Of Trying?

There was this prominent business leader giving an interview on a famous talk show. He had built several large companies, and had enjoyed massive amounts of success with them. It wasn’t always this way. We often make a mistake of perception when we see successful people. We assume that they were always successful, or they have some kind of secret edge that the rest of us don’t’ have. Maybe they were lucky enough to attend a prestigious university, or just enjoyed a string of lucky breaks.

But here’s some news that a lot of us don’t like to hear. A poll was done with successful, independent business owners. And when I say successful, I mean they were making enough money to live a good life, without any financial worries or difficulties. Wondering if they have enough money to buy something is not usually a concern for these people. The poll was to determine exactly how long it took for them to be successful. One question that was asked to help determine this was how many businesses they’d started before they started making serious money. The average answer was over ten.

All these successful people had, in some form or another, started at least ten businesses that ultimately failed before they finally found their niche.


The reason I say most of us don’t like to hear this is because most of us are completely terrified, some even to the point of inaction, of the very thought of failure. Trying and failing, for some of us, is our worst nightmare. We imagine some horrible memory from our childhood, often vague and distant, but painful nonetheless. We imagine ourselves a little bit into the future, trying something new, and then suddenly imagining all the horrible things that will happen if we aren’t successful. Then the fear and anxiety kicks in, and we come up with a million reasons, or rather excuses, why we don’t want to try. Most of these excuses are self-delusional. See if you recognize some of the more popular ones:

I don’t have time.
I don’t have enough money.
People from my background (whatever you think that is) can’t do that.
I’m man.
I’m a woman.
I’m (insert your ethnicity here).
As soon as I (insert your lame excuse here) I’ll do that.
I’m going to get started next week.
As soon as I get a raise at work.
As soon as I get a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/partner.
As soon as I pay off my credit cards.

The bottom line is all these are just excuses to cover the real reason we are afraid of trying. A mistaken belief that we formed before we even learned to speak. Since the first time we cried, and our moms didn’t come and immediately pick us up, we had to come up a reason to fill the cause/effect mechanism in our brains. This belief was created, and ratified thousands of times during the most formative years of our childhood.

I’m not good enough.

The good news is that this is only true if you believe it. If you don’t believe it, and throw it out like the garbage that it is and insert a more empowering belief in its place, that will be just as true.

Then you’ll learn one of the most elusive, deceptive and at the same time most powerful secrets of human development and potential.

Mistakes and failures are the best things you can do to be successful, in anything you try. Instead of seeing “mistakes,” or “failures,” as proof of your erroneously believed inadequacy, you’ll see them for what they truly are.

Feedback from the environment in which you are operating. If you have a clear and solid goal of where you want to go, these mistakes and failures will be the things that keep you on track, and guide you toward you target like a heat seeking missile.

This famous businessperson in the interview was asked as simple question:

“How can I double my success rate?”

The answer was quick, straightforward and simple:

“Double your failure rate.”

The most successful people, in any field, understand this. Every action they take offers feedback. They look at every feedback as a golden opportunity to analyze their actions, compare them to the results that the actions created, and then to go back and modify their actions to get better results the next time around.

When you make this process a habit, success is inevitable. No matter what you are after, with this mindset, you will achieve it. It may take time, and you may not get there in the way that you thought, but you’ll get there.

And for bonus points, you can learn to enjoy the path. For those that have learned to enjoy the journey, as well as the destination, are the happiest people in the world.

How To Change Your History For An Easier Future

Are You Using Outdated Programs?

I was taking this self-development seminar once, and the guy was saying that thinking about your future is like driving a car. At least when it comes to comparing how much time you should focus on the future, versus how much time you should focus on the path. His analogy was the size of your windshield compared to the size of your rear view mirror.

It’s important to glance behind you from time to time, but it’s much more important to keep a keen eye on where you are going. You should dwell on past mistakes, or worry too much about things from your past that you can’t change. Accept it and move on. Even if others have treated you like crap, it never does any good to hold a grudge. I believe it was Mandela who said holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies.

OK, that makes sense. It also reminds me of another metaphor by Wayne Dyer when he said that the wake doesn’t drive the boat. The wake being the waves of water left behind a boat as it goes across the water. The wake is purely an after the fact effect, and has no bearing whatsoever on the future direction of the boat. OK, sounds simple enough. The past is the past, and should stay in the past.

But is it really that simple? Humans have some really powerful, and really deep hard wiring in our brains to learn and improve. That is one of the reasons we have become the dominant animals on the planet over that last couple million years. We have instincts, just like many other creatures (some say many many more instincts) but we also have the capability to learn. And many times, that learning is automatic, unconscious and completely outside of our awareness.

Just ask a little kid who performed the unfortunate, but necessary experiment of sticking his finger on a hot stove. He or she will learn in about half a second that stove with fire equals danger, and should avoided at all costs. In that particular example, the wake indeed does drive the boat. The wake I this case being the memory of pain the child will remember whenever he goes near as stove. His memory of the event, or the wake, will definitely mold his choices and thinking in the future.

If humans didn’t have the capability to learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others, we’d have been extinct hundreds of thousands of years. When Zog and Bog were out hiking around, and Bog got eaten by a tiger, Zog didn’t was any time remembering every single thing about the event, and committing it to memory for future reference. The location, time of day, appearance and sound of a tiger were all burned into his brain. Because of the magic of language, he was able communicate all of these things to his buddies back at the cave, so they wouldn’t make the same mistake as poor Bog.

So it seems that our history and experience really can have a powerful and profound effect on our behaviors, thoughts and actions as we move toward the future. It’s not quite as simple as the two metaphors described above.

But there is some good news. While it’s true that our brains will automatically remember things that caused us pain in the past, and remind us of those memories as we move close to experiencing those things again (usually in the form of vague anxiety), there is a solution.

Whenever we label something as dangerous, our brains remember the label we give to the “thing” as much as the thing itself. When the kid touched the stove, and Zog saw Bog get eaten by a tiger, the events themselves caused an automatic reaction. But in today’s modern world, our interpretation of events is what causes the emotional pain in many cases.

Things like public speaking, asking a pretty girl or guy out on a date, or asking your boss for a raise bring up feelings of anxiety and fear not because they are inherently dangerous situations (unless of course you actually have an experience of giving a speech at toastmasters, and were beaten within an inch of your life due to your lackluster performance) but because we labeled them as such.

Many times this label is as automatic as Zog’s was while watching his friend being eaten. But there is a cool trick.

There is so much in your personal history; you can re program your brain to “access” different memories whenever you go into a potentially worrisome situation. If you let your brain choose, it will go for the most safety, so it will find the scariest memories. Your brain operates on a “better safe than sorry” strategy, so it picks out the most scary and painful memories in order to keep you the safest.

But when you realize that you have billions and billions of memories to choose from to use as a reference when you go into any particular situation, you can train your brain to use more positive and enhancing memories rather than scary ones. This takes some time and some conscious work, but the rewards are enormous.

Imagine having to give a speech. Scenario one is relying on your brains automatic factory installed programs, which find the most horrifying experiences of your life regarding public speaking. You’ll likely get sweaty palms, heart palpitations, and feel as if you are about to vomit.

Scenario two is instead of automatically recalling all those horrifying memories, you consciously choose to remember all the times you’ve expressed yourself in public and gotten good results. Like I said, this can take some practice, but after a few times you’ll feel excited and happy, as if you are about to do something really fun and exciting, rather than dreading it.

And you can do all this purely through your imagination. Just imagine yourself giving as speech, and then quickly and consciously recall as many positive experiences and memories as possible. Keep switching back and forth in your mind, imagining a future speech, and then going back into your past and thinking of all those good memories.

And here is a bonus tip. If you can’t find any positive memories in your history, you can make them up. Your brain won’t know the difference. Find some memories that are kind of close, and then change them around so you can remember them differently. This will have be jus as powerful.

The choice is yours. You can either leave your mental programming the way it came from the factory, designed to be used by cavemen and cavewomen to survive from saber tooth tigers, or you can upgrade to the modern version, and consciously go in reprogram your thoughts and memories to serve you in exactly the way you want.

The Dangers Of Your Comfort Zone

How To Expand Your Limits

I had this fish once a few years ago. Actually, I had several fishes. I don’t know what go into me, but I got the idea that I wanted to have a tropical fish tank in my apartment. And as luck would have it, there was a tropical fish store in the mini mall just behind where my apartment was located. I suppose there is a connection there; as the tropical fish store was right next door to the cleaners I took my shirts to. (Marketers take note.)

So I went in one Saturday afternoon, not sure what I wanted, and started looking around. I priced difference size tanks, equipment, shapes that would best fit in my apartment, etc. Finally I settled on size and a price, and now was time to pick the fish.

“I need some fish,” I asked the guy. He explained to me how the shop was set up. On the left, were fighting fish. Fish that can’t live with other fish or else they’ll kick the crap out of each other. On the right were passive fish, or fish that just stare at you bug eyed from inside the tank. Since I had in mind a tank with a bunch of different fish swimming around, I decided on the passive fish.

I remember once I took this public speaking class. The guy who taught it started it off with some story, which of course was a metaphor for personal growth. The story was told to him by his original teacher at this public speaking course. It was a famous course, and most of the instructors are former members who realized incredible personal growth through the course and wanted to continue their growth by teach others.

I’m not sure if they actually designed the course that way, or if it just naturally grew that way, but it seems to be a pretty good way to build your business. The people that teach others are people that were successful in it to start, so they really know the ins and outs. And the instructors are always being created, as more and more people join the course.

That way, they really only need to worry about getting new people to sign up for the course, rather than always be on the lookout or new instructors. It is kind of self-feeding business. Just put people into the funnel and they will either spread the word to other potential members, or become instructors themselves.

This particular public speaking class has been around for many years, at least fifty or so, and has slowly grown through this method. Unless you know somebody who’s gone through the course, you likely haven’t heard of it. Of course, if you are looking for one of the best public speaking courses around, you’ll likely find this one, if you do any kind of searching.

Anyway, this guy went into a fish store, and noticed that there were several different sharks. Some sharks were pretty big, while other sharks were kind of small. At first the guy thought maybe they were different breeds or species or whatever the word is that they use to classify sharks, but then he noticed that they were all very similar in appearance. They only differed by size.

So he then assumed that maybe some were younger, and some were older. But when he asked the shopkeeper, he was surprised.

These sharks only grow as big as their cage. It has something to do with their swimming patterns. They don’t have air buoys like other fish, so they can’t just sit and float. They need to keep moving. If they are confined to a relatively small area, they won’t grow very big. They have evolved this as a way to not out strip their resources. If they are in bigger tank, or a bigger area, then they grow bigger.

Of course, the sharks really have no idea that they are in a container; they just swim around and are automatically constrained by their boundaries. Those with larger boundaries expand to meet them, and those with smaller boundaries stay small.

He asked what would happen if you took a small fish and put it into a larger area. The shopkeeper told him that they would naturally adjust, and grow bigger. He said that’s the interesting thing about sharks, is that they are like people in this regard. They are always growing to match their boundaries. If they want to grow bigger, all they need to do is increase the limits of their boundaries, and they will naturally expand to meet them.

But like most people, sharks sit around and wait for somebody else to put them into a bigger container. They expect some outside force or entity to change the shape of their cage. Some people have figured out the secret. That our cages are really only a figment of our imagination. All we really need to do is imagine that our cages are bigger, and we will expand accordingly. Most people never figure this out, and are always waiting for somebody else to guide them by the hand to bigger and better cages.

Once you know the secret, you can just re-imagine our limits until they are big enough to contain all the goals and things you want to achieve in life.

That’s when this guy realized he was at the first day of a public speaking seminar, and the instructor was giving them a kind of pep talk. Over the next twelve weeks, they would be expanding their comfort zones considerably through the practice of public speaking. And they would learn the best secret of all.

All of your boundaries are set by your fears of what you think is on the other side. When you face those fears, and realize they are only figments of your imagination, you boundaries or comfort zone will expand immeasurably. Which is exactly what they learned at this public speaking seminar.

The funny thing is that I think the shopkeeper made a mistake. Because even though I picked all passive fish, from the passive fish side of the store, it didn’t take long for one fish to eat all the rest. I started out with about six fish. Every other day or so there would be one more fish missing.

And all I had left was one fighting fish that had been mistaken for a passive fish, which was now proudly the only fish in his tank.

How The Rabbit Discovered The Secret Of Life

The Magic Of Multiplication

Once upon a time there was this rabbit. He was like any other normal rabbit, except when it came to chasing down carrots, he was a little bit afraid. When he was a young rabbit, just at the stage when rabbits learn how to dig for their own food, he set out to find his first carrot. He’d watched his parents dig up carrots, and thought it seemed pretty easy, so he figured it was time he could dig up his own, and not have to follow his parents around.

Now when it comes to rabbit and carrots, there is a huge window in the time that they get food from their parents, and when they learn to dig it up on their own. What makes it particularly confusing is that just around the time that rabbits start learning to dig up their own carrots, they start to learn how to make more rabbits, if you know what I mean. That can thoroughly confuse the issue with most rabbits.

It’s kind of tough growing up as a baby rabbit whose parents haven’t yet learned how to dig up their own carrots. Then you have a situation where grandma and grandpa rabbit are digging up the carrots for everybody. It sort of gives some time to the parents, sometimes. It’s not uncommon for several generations of rabbits to be alive at once, as everybody knows how good rabbits are at multiplication.

It’s not uncommon at all for a rabbit to live his whole life and never learn to dig up his own carrots. Of course, this story is about one young rabbit, and how he learned to this.

The first time he set out, he was really excited. He’d seen his dad do it plenty of times. His dad was known as the local expert in finding carrots. It’s not as easy as one would think. Most of the carrot lives underground, with only the green part sticking up. It’s easy to miss a good patch of carrots, and it’s easy to pull up a bunch of weeds that don’t turn out to be anything.

What happened to this young rabbit was particularly frightening. He set out by himself, because in case he pulled up a clump of weeds, he didn’t want to be laughed at by those older than him.

So he found a clump of green stuff, that he thought was likely a carrot. He looked around to make sure nobody was watching, and then he pulled with all his might. What he found horrified him. It was a carrot, but it had already been partially eaten. There was a squirrel that had gotten in and eaten it from the ground up. And he squirrel was still eating it, and caught completely by surprise by the rabbit. He reacted accordingly, and snarled and hissed at the rabbit. Now, had the rabbit spoken squirrel, or the squirrel spoken rabbit, they likely could have come to an agreement about splitting the carrot. But as it was, the rabbit fled in terror.

That was over a year ago. And since then, all the rabbit’s friends had learned to dig up their own carrots. Every time the rabbit ventured out to find his own carrot, he remembered the snarling and screaming squirrel. He would find a plump carrot just begging to be dug up, but would lose all his nerve. He would scamper home, empty handed and depressed.

One day he was on is way home, and he ran into his grandfather. (Or maybe it was his great grandfather, he couldn’t tell).

“What’s up?” Said gramps.
Young rabbit tried to ignore him.
“Still worried about that squirrel?” gramps asked. Young rabbit was shocked. He didn’t realize that anybody knew. Gramps chuckled.
“Old Chester once got scared off by a rock, thought it was a monster. Couldn’t dig carrots for years after that.”
Young rabbit felt a little bit better, but he didn’t know who Chester was.
“And Marvin was scared by a squirrel as well. But he learned a secret.”
“What secret?” young rabbit asked.
“Squirrels are all bark and no bite. They only scream at you so you’ll be startled enough so they can run away. They never, ever will fight over a piece of food. They’re actually pretty smart when you think about it.”
“What do you mean?” young rabbit asked.
“Just look around,” gramps said, waving his paw at the vast countryside where the rabbits lived.
“There’s enough food here to last everybody hundreds of generations. Why in the world would you fight over a small scrap like one carrot?” gramps said, laughing.

Young rabbit thought about it.

“Like take that small green shrub, pull it out and take a look at it.”
Without thinking, young rabbit turned around, grabbed the green leaves sticking out of the dirt and gave it a yank. A nice, plump carrot came out.

“Now take a look at that one, is it any different from that one over there?” Gramps said, motioning to another clump. Young rabbit turned, grabbed and yanked. He held the two carrots together. They were identical.

“Just look around, I’ll be in an hour you could find hundred just like that. Do you really think a squirrel would want to fight a rabbit over something that is so abundant?”

The young rabbit thought.

“No, I guess not.”
“So how many carrots can you eat in a day?”
“I don’t know, maybe one?”
“Well now, you’ve got two. Why don’t you find a nice pretty girl rabbit and give it to her. I think you know what comes next.” Gramps winked and hopped off.

Young rabbit thought. So many carrots to pull. So many girls to give them to. He suddenly realized why all the rabbits around him seemed so happy. He smiled and hopped off.

They Are Everywhere – And They Know Who You Are

Where Are They Hiding?

I had a friend once that never learned how to ride a bicycle until he was in high school. He never explained why, but I suspect his parents were a bit on the goofy side. They were in this strange religious, or maybe even cult, I’m not sure. Now that I think of it, it probably wasn’t a cult, because he said that he sometimes went to some of the meetings, and sometimes didn’t, and there wasn’t ever any pressure one-way or the other. So I guess it wasn’t cult.

But they did have these really weird views, and they seemed to change from time to time. For a while his parents were on this kick where they bought all these water ion machines. I’m not exactly sure what they did, but they were supposed to somehow “resonate” the water with the earth’s natural magnetic field in order to harmonize with its naturally occurring resources. I’m not even sure if I know what that means.

Another time he told me they literally ate dirt. Not that they would go into their backyard with a spoon and get down on their hands and knees and dig in like on that TV show, but they take dirt, and put it through some sort of high tech ionic sifter that somehow took the vital ingredients that the FDA is covertly removing from our food. Supposedly there is a grand conspiracy going on how the FDA (a secret arm of the covert clandestine operations group) is secretly getting humans ready for the great population decrease.

There is some secret committee comprised of different leaders from various government agencies that was assembled shortly after World War II. These members have been watching the Earth’s population grow, while keeping an eye on our precious resources. Back in the sixties they were faced with a decision. Either get everyone to cooperate and share the resources, or simply get rid of over half the people on Earth.

They tried various projects that were funneled through different third party organizations in the seventies to get people to conserver resources, and go green, and all that, but it didn’t catch. So they began to come up with a plan to get ready to basically slaughter half the people one earth.

Apparently the swine flu vaccine is merely the first wave in this attempt. They are seeing how obedient people will be to take a vaccine. Then in a few years, they will slowly come up with new illnesses, and new vaccines, that people will naturally and eagerly get in line to receive. Then they will introduce various elements into the food and water supply. These elements will combine with antigens developed over years by these “false” vaccines, and create a massive and deadly worldwide epidemic that will basically eliminate two thirds of the world population.

Only those that receive the “real” vaccine, those that are chosen by the government based on their class and social standing will be spared.

Of course, all this information comes from the parents of a guy who didn’t learn how to ride a bike until he was in high school, so the information is highly suspect. I doubt it would even make it as an X-files episode, as it is filled with too many holes and inconsistencies.

It always amazes me the incredibly far-fetched stories that the human mind can easily believe. I was listening to a radio show once and the host described something he called the “Elvis Factor.” This is based on the idea that ten percent of American’s believe that Elvis Presley is alive and well someplace.

But it also means that ten percent of people will believe the weirdest things. Alien abductions, secret chemicals in the water designed to de-testosterone men, even subliminal sexual messages in Disney cartoons. Of course, these all may very well be true.

They also may be false flags to get people used to them, so when the real deception comes, nobody will know.

Or it could all be a huge waste of time to even worry about these things. I suppose discussing secret alien-government conspiracies makes for interesting reading on the Internet when there’s nothing on TV, but when you take all of these theories and look at them objectively, somebody’s got to be full of crap.

The moral of the story is, as always, check the crap that’s in your head. If it is entertaining, and helps you deal with the anxieties and stresses of daily life, then by all means, suit up with your tinfoil hat. But if it gets in the way of getting what you want out of life, dump those ideas and get some new ones. Here’s some to get you started:

  • There is a huge galactic conspiracy for you to get lots of sex
  • There is a secret consortium of businesses designed to make it easy for you to make money, you just have to discover the secret.
  • There is a clandestine group of Aliens from planet Xchylon that are in cahoots to watch you and make sure you don’t make any goofy mistakes, like joining an MLM

I’m sure you can think of others. That is all for now.

How To Powerfully Blast Through To The Other Side Where Massive Abundance Awaits

Are You A Child Or An Adult?

A long time ago, a lot of ancient and primitive civilizations had some kind of “coming of age” ceremony. There are still remnants of that today in both the Jewish and The Catholic traditions, and likely a few others of which I’m not qualified to speak of.

But the ones from before, way before, were much more significant. Simply because the tribe depended on the full adulthood of all it’s members in order to survive. There needed to be a clear line between children and adults. The children were dependent on the providers, and the adults were the providers. If an adult still had some childish characteristics, and depended others more than he or she was able to provide for others, then he or she would be a detriment to the group. Perhaps even cast out.

So societies developed rituals, and traditions where boys became men, and girls became women. With women it was fairly easy. By giving birth a child, the girl would swiftly transform herself from a dependent to a provider. With a constant reminder of how close death was, this became fairly easy.

With men it wasn’t so easy, so they needed to develop a coming of age ceremony. Not like today, where they are mere echoes of those of the past, these were real and life changing events. Boys were dragged of and forced to spend days in the wilderness, alone. Given hallucinogenic drugs, forced to hunt and drink the blood of their prey.

When they left, their mothers wept. Because they knew that the boys would never return. They would come back forever changed into men. Men that were no longer dependent on their mothers or the tribe, but providers, hunters, and killers.

They went through this transformation by facing their deepest fears. The fear of isolation, separation and death. The ultimate rejection. By facing their fears and overcoming them, they became more powerful than they thought possible as boys.

By going through this fear facing life-changing transformation, they transformed themselves from receivers, to creators.

With modern society, this has all but vanished. There are a million ways to avoid your fears and remain dependent on others. It is relatively easy in today’s modern society to remain a child your whole life, expecting others to provide for you. Your girlfriend, husband, government, society in general. These can all be crutches that keep you from reaching your greatest potential.

Society is no longer dependent on every single person making the transformation from childhood to adulthood. In fact, arguments may be made that today’s society functions more efficiently if only a small number make the transition to be creators and providers for the vast majority who are content to remain dependent receivers their whole lives.

In ancient Rome, much is spoken about how powerful and innovative their government was, by few are aware of the vast majority of people, Roman citizens, were basically on welfare. Completely dependent on the state for their livelihood.

And so it has been for that last few thousand years. The only way to make the transition from childhood adulthood is to make the choice yourself. Nobody will do it for you; nobody will drag you to a cave and force you to face your fears. Nobody will allow your child to die if you can find enough food. No tigers will come and eat your baby if you don’t watch after it 24/7.

If you want to become and adult, and realize your true human potential you need to stop relying on free gifts from others. Free support, free dependence. Get rid of the notion that everybody deserves X.

That can be harsh idea to accept. But once you accept the idea that the only way you get X is to figure out a way to secure it for yourself. That may mean paying money for it, or entering into an agreement with somebody else, where they give you X and you give them Y, whatever they may be.

The fear is that if you give up expecting free X from somebody, (e.g. free parental love from a partner, free money from the government) that you will never get it. That you will be left out in the cold, rejected and abandoned.

The truth is that is exactly what you need to feel to make it to the other side. To face your fears, and realize what Rocky Balboa said to Clubber Lang in Rocky III holds much truth:

“You ain’t so bad! You ain’t nothing!”

And then you will realize that on your other side of the fears you’ve created in your mind, there is a world of abundance waiting for you to readily give you anything that you properly ask for through your behavior and communication.

The choice is yours. You can be safe, or you can be free.

The Untapped Power Of Negative Thinking

What Can You Learn From Your Fears?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and she was unloading some of her problems on me. I guess that’s what friends are for. They weren’t really any life threatening problems, just the kind that build up, and if you keep them that way they can explode in an unhealthy way, so it helps to find someone to complain to. Which is pretty much what she was doing. Boyfriend problems, boss problems, parent problems. It seems like the entire universe was conspiring against this poor girl.

It got me thinking of a seminar I went to once. (One great way to allow people to vent without getting too emotionally involved is to let your mind drift to other things while they are venting.) This guy was talking about the value of negative thinking. Up until that point, I had always assumed that negative thinking was bad, and should be avoided at all costs. But this guy had a different take.

He said that everything we do naturally has a purpose. Some believe that purpose was put there by God, others (like myself) believe that purpose slowly evolved over time through natural selection, still others (like the guy teaching this seminar) believe in a metaphysical combination of the two. There is some life force that was present right at the big bang that inhabits all of us, and there is a purpose to all the crap we have to go through.

Anyway, he was explaining that negative thinking is a natural outcome of human’s special ability to think and plan for the future. Some biologists think this all started when humans started using tools to hunt animals. We had to kind of plan ahead when we threw a spear at our dinner as it was running away. The brain had to develop a way to accurately predict where the animal would be in a few seconds, and throw our spears accordingly.

This grew into our ability to plan for the future based on current events around. The way it works is the brain will sort through all of our possible choices, and then extrapolate all those choices out into the future, and create several likely scenarios and present them to our imagination. Based on what we imagine, we choose our behaviors accordingly. This happens pretty quickly and unconsciously. When we make a decision that has the potential for a negative outcome, we get nervous an anxious about the future. When we choose behavior that has an almost guaranteed positive outcome, then we get really excited about the future.

This guy at he seminar was saying that our negative thinking about the future can be a powerful warning sign to indicate some problems that may come up. Since we can never be really sure of anything, he was saying to give yourself the luxury of following your imagination for a while, and see what terrible things might happen, and plan accordingly to minimize any bad outcome.

He kept referring to the famous quote by Mark Twain, (which I’m paraphrasing here) “I’ve experienced many terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Which means that rarely do our worst fears come true.

By allowing yourself to slip into negative thinking can be helpful if you consciously think and plan to avoid the negative outcome. It can be a bad thing if you allow your fears of the future to keep you from taking any action at all. That would be the often referred to condition of “paralysis by analysis.”

People that suffer from this need to plan everything in great detail, so they will be virtually guaranteed of a positive outcome. Of course, we all know that doesn’t always work that way. No matter how much you plan, stuff can happen to disrupt he best-laid plans.

The guy was saying that the people that are the most successful take a balanced approach. They respect their negative thinking enough to make good decisions, but they also respect the randomness of life to have a “Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead,” attitude when it comes to taking action.

People that rush in without too much thinking, with a “shoot first, aim later” attitude can be very successful, but they also have to be able to put up with a lot of setbacks and readjustments.

People that won’t even take the first baby step without being completely assured of safe and automatic success leave the starting blocks.

It’s that magical place in the middle where you can tune in just long enough to your negative thinking to put in a few safeguards, and then plow right on through life, confident you can handle and deal with anything that comes up along the way.

And by the time my friend stopped venting, she seemed to be feeling much better. She even had a couple of ideas on how to fix a few of her problems. She thanked me profusely for being such a good listener, and even paid for lunch. She seemed to be in a pretty good mood when we parted ways.