Tag Archives: Life

Vibe With The Crowd

Embrace The Collective Unconscious

There’s a famous movie called, “The Hustler,” with Paul Newman.

It was later remade, and called “The Color of Money,” with Tom Cruise.

It was about a pool shark.

In the original, there was a very cool scene where the hero was having a picnic with his girl.

He was complaining about his life.

About how he hadn’t accomplished much.

How he always had to scrape for money, and never really could hold on it.

He was comparing himself to all the rich guys he played against.

How they had much better lives, families, relationships.

But then he described what it was like to play pool.

How all the worries and stressed evaporated.

He described with Zen-like beauty.

How the pool cue became part of his arm, and the balls were an extension of his thoughts.

His girlfriend noticed, and sat up.

She told him that because of that experience, that he was a “winner,” not a loser like he thought of himself.

That he had a great gift, one that men had sought for ages.

The magical state of “flow,” where there is zero resistance between thoughts, actions, and outcomes.

Sports psychologists study this their entire careers.

Athletes chase this experience like heroin addicts chase the dragon.

This state is accessible to anybody.

It’s not what you DO, but what you don’t do.

When you can shut off that inner critic, get out of your own way, and jump into the never ending flow of life.

The infinite unfolding of history.

It’s very easy to trip over our own feet.

To stand on the sidelines and try to “think” our way through.

But if you are willing to “let go” just for a little bit, you’ll enjoy the ride of your life.

This is our natural state.

Before we surrounded ourselves with electronics and fake social signals and TV shows filled with imaginary characters that are all competing for our attention.

Consider leaving your home for a few hours.

No device, nothing electronic.

Not even music.

And just walk among a crowd.

Notice the energy.

Defocus your eyes and your brain, and tap back into the collective unconscious.

Open your mind and feel the crowd as one.

This is who you REALLY are.

Learn More:

Ego Taming

The Parable of The Trees

Everything Is Eventual

Once there were these two trees. They were regular trees, in a regular forest. But there had been a drought lately, and there wasn’t much water to go around. So the leaves on the trees didn’t become as green as they had in the past. They would still grow, but not as many as before, and they didn’t look as good as before.

The mood of the forest was one of general anxiety. Most of the trees weren’t as happy as they’d been before. They still talked about the same things that they’d talked about before, but their conversations didn’t seem to have the same level of positivism as they did before. And the conversations seemed to be about trivial things, rather than any conversations that easily lent themselves to the future.

These were particularly old trees, several hundred years old, and they had been through several droughts before, but this one seemed a little bit different. None of the ones that came before seemed to have as deep an effect as the current one. Sometimes days would go by and nobody would say anything, they would just let the wind slowly seep through what few leaves they had.

Which is how this story begins, on one of those days when there hadn’t been any conversation to speak of for a few weeks. One tree, who happened to be particularly young, compared to the other trees at least, finally couldn’t take it any more, and decided to break the silence with his nearest neighbor, who was much older.

“I’m thirsty.”
“We’re all thirsty.”
“How much longer do we have to wait?”
“As long as it takes,” the old tree replied, starting to get perturbed. He too, was worried.
“How long does it usually take?”
“Sometimes a few months, maybe even longer than a year.”
“Longer than a year?” the young trees fear was obvious. The other trees pretended not to notice, but somehow they felt the same fear as the young tree despite their age and experience.

“You can’t control the rains. They come when they come. All we can do is wait.”
“But what happens if they don’t come?” The younger tree was almost in tears.

A strong wind blew, as if the angered by the young trees immature demands on the weather.

“Can you control your leaves?” The old tree asked.
“Your leaves. Can you make them any greener? By only your thought?”
The young tree paused, apparently trying this new concept out for the first time.
“No. I can’t.”
“Can you make the water from the earth seep up your roots any faster?”
The young tree didn’t try this time. He just shook his head.

“When the wind blows, do you have any choice but to bend?” he asked again. The other trees were listening with rapt attention.

“No. I just bend. I don’t have to think about it.”

“So it is with the wind, and the sun, the moon, and the rain. They happen when they happen, why we do not know. How we do not know. We only know that they happen, and it helps us.”

“But” the young tree started, but trailed off.

“Do you know what happens when your leaves fall?”


“They turn into dirt. The dirt through which your roots grow to pull up the water that comes from the rains, which comes from the oceans far, far away. So you can grow more leaves. ”

The young tree looked to the ground, and his branches, and the sky, and finally back to the older tree.

“Will I turn into dirt?” He asked.

“All you see around you is part of the same substance. It came from nothing, and shall return to nothing. Some sooner, some later. Everything is eventual.”

The young tree didn’t understand.

“But, what about us, the trees. We will turn into dirt?”

“Yes. But not today.”

The wind blew once more, shifting the branches, blowing off the dry leaves, clearing the forest floor below. Then the skies opened up, and rain began to fall.


To expand your resources in the present and make the best possible choices for the future, click on the link below:

Powerful Metaphysics

Powerful Metaphysics

Hunter Or Prey?

Kill Or Die

Long long ago, much sooner than before that, there was a group of people that lived where they used to not think it was possible to support life. They were outcasts, and didn’t live there by choice. They lived there because they weren’t accepted any place else. At first they had a tough time, as the environment produced plants and supported animals that they weren’t used to. They had no idea how to hunt them or harvest them or even keep track of them.

People don’t realize that in order to develop a sense of what is edible and inedible, one must ingest poison from time to time. So for the first few weeks and months, this group was constantly living in fear of eating a deadly poison, or tracking an animal that would turn and counter attack rather than simply flee, as most animals in their homeland did.

But after the seventh month, on the seventh day, they finally had the animals and plants catalogued, and decided it was time for the ceremony. The ceremony of acceptance by the environment. They knew very well that many of their ancestors had perished because they didn’t take the time to properly understand the way of the land and the sky and the trees.

The ceremony was no small event. It lasted a full week, and was designed to fully feel appreciation for actually becoming part of the environment, much like the spotted lizard or the horned owl. These animals were long thought gods by these primitive people, as they blended well within their environment, and had developed the skill of hunting without disturbing the environment.

The spotted lizard could eat from a group of flies and be able to pick them off one by one, without the flies noticing something was amiss. And the horned owl was able to quietly land right in the middle of a cluster of mice, and selectively eat them one by one, without disturbing the others.

Many believe that a harmonious existence with nature is a situation marked by mutual respect. It is not. Harmonious existence with nature is marked by the ability to extract the maximum amount of resources from your environment without depleting it, and without causing yourself more work in the future.

This is exactly why this group of people struggled so long to determine which beasts to hunt, which to avoid, and which to domesticate. Domesticated animals could help during the hunt, and those that were to be avoided had to be respected at all costs.

Once a small community of outcasts, not dissimilar to this one, made the mistake of not respecting those animals that were better left avoided. One on hunt, the animals lured them into a trap, and the hunters became the prey, and were quickly killed, and devoured. Such is nature.

Kill or be killed is the rule. Hunt or be hunted. Fortune goes to the swift and the cunning, and only the lucky get the scraps, not the deserving. Which brings us to our story.

One day, this small group had set off for the first hunt after the acceptance ceremony. There were sixteen in all. They were hunting the large mammoth, which provided enough meat to last several weeks for their small community. The mammoth rarely retaliated, and when it did, it was only in the short term. Despite popular beliefs that these animals have long memories, they certainly don’t hold a grudge. Perhaps they don’t see humans as a threat, or perhaps there is another reason yet to be discovered.

They group, after chasing a herd of mammoth for three days, finally had one cornered. It was slow, and had fallen behind the rest of the group, likely due to injury. Had this been a nature documentary in another time or place, it might have generated sympathy. But this group of hunters had been a long time without food. It was kill or die.

So they crept slowly behind the struggling and obviously in pain animal, surrounding it as they did. Finally the time came to strike. The young animal, still not weaned from its mother, looked at the hunters with sad eyes, as if it were pleading for mercy.

But nature cares not for mercy, only for survival. The hunters plunged their spears into the young mammoth again and again, until it breathed its last. The horrible slow agony of its last breath was met by the euphoric cheers of the hunters. They had made their first kill after the acceptance ceremony.

When they returned to their tribe, they were met with great happiness and appreciation. The ceremonial cooking of the first kill was long and enjoyed.

But not before the prayers. These people had learned long ago that just as the death of this young, injured mammoth had brought them much happiness and relief, so too would their deaths, also slow and painful, to some other creature that lurked behind the hills.

They also knew that nature doesn’t care about happiness or pleasure or satisfaction, but only for survival. And just as they killed for their survival, many other creatures would just as readily kill them for its survival.

You Have More Choice Than You Think

This one or That one?

The other day I was walking down the street, minding my own business. I had forgotten my iPod, so I was just lazily listening to the everyday sounds drifting around as I slowly made my way towards wherever it was that I was going to end up. I wanted to take the train downtown, but since it was Saturday, they only run every hour. I had just missed the last one, so I had an hour to kill.

Eventually, I knew I was going to end up back at the strain station, but between now (which was really then) and then I had an hour to kill, and a couple of internally accepted restrictions.

A word about restrictions. OK, maybe a couple words about restrictions. Basically there are two kinds of restrictions. Internally imposed, and externally imposed. Most of the restrictions are internally imposed. Now, before you click off to another blog describing something easier to stomach, allow me to explain myself.

If somebody points a gun at your head, and says “you’re money or your life,” (Henny Young man jokes notwithstanding) you’d likely see this as an externally imposed restriction. Not entirely. You still have the choice to give the other person your money (which in this day and age may not buy you much), or go simply give him the finger (which would most certainly not lead to a happy ending).

Yea, but that’s stupid. Who would choose death over life? What good is a choice if one of the choices is so incomparably stupid that it doesn’t even count as a choice?

Well, believe it or not, this is an extreme case of a decision, or choice that we make on a daily basis. Most of the time we make our decisions unconsciously, and mostly in line with decisions we’ve made before. We like what’s comfortable, so what we chose yesterday, is most likely what we chose today.

Think of the structure of the gunpoint choice. Choice number one is to remain hold on to your possessions at all cost, hold on to your ego of giving into a mad man, and accept the consequences. Because the consequences are so immediate, and so obvious, it is hard to not feel their weight. So most people would choose (hopefully you’ll never have to make this choice) choice number two, which is go give up your possessions, swallow your pride in hopes of holding that which has suddenly become more important, in the moment at least, than either of them.

Your life.

But what if the choice isn’t so cut and dried? What if the negative implications of a choice aren’t so obvious, and aren’t so immediate? Everybody knows that smoking causes lung cancer, which in turn causes death, but still millions of people still make the choice to smoke a cigarette several times a day.


The short-term benefits outweigh the potential long-term detriments. For the smoker, the pleasure they get is more than the pain they will experience in the present when considering the long-term downsides.

Now, most people who don’t smoke can’t imagine how anybody could come to this conclusion. It is obvious that smoking causes lung cancer. It is obvious that smoking causes poor health. It is obvious that smoking causes bad breath. So why in the world would anybody choose to smoke?

What about other choices, like to eat ice cream instead of a bowl of oatmeal? Surely we are aware that ice cream is not as healthy as oatmeal, right? Here is where it gets interesting. The way we trick ourselves around this is by saying that “it’s only just this once.” Surely we aren’t planning one eating a bowl of ice cream every single night, right? By telling ourselves that “it’s only this once,” we allow ourselves to significantly minimize any negative feelings we might experience in the moment when considering any long-term downsides.

How many times have you heard a smoker say the say thing?

I’ll quit tomorrow.
This is my last one.
This is the last pack I’m ever going to buy.
After next week I’ll never smoke again.

What about the flip side. We can that by tricking ourselves, we can minimize any future negative consequences of our actions, and making the present moment more enjoyable, regardless of any objective evidence to the contrary.

What about doing something that we know will benefit us in the future, but we don’t do it because it causes negative emotions in the present?

Did you exercise today? Why not? Surely you are aware of the long-term benefits of exercise right? Well, the same mental trickery works here as well. Either in the form of excuses, (to minimize the present negative emotions) and in from of promises about the future.

I’m too busy today.
I have too much to do.
I have a bad hip/shoulder/leg.

I’ll start after the holidays.
I’m going to start next week.

The human brain is a fantastic machine that can use many forms of lightening speed shell games to hide reality from us. We minimize the potential negative outcome to better feel good now. We minimize the future benefits to better feel good now. When we have a gun pointed at our heads, when there is only NOW, all the mental trickery collapse into single choice.

Life, or death.

So what do you choose, life or death? When you decide to smoke, or yell at your husband, or eat a bowl of ice cream, or go to or avoid the gym, how are you tricking yourself? What are you doing to convince yourself that the future won’t be so bad if you keep doing what your doing? How can you convince yourself that you’ll start doing whatever it is you know you should be doing today, tomorrow?

Your life, all of it, is the cumulative result of all the choices you’ve made. If you are completely happy with your life, or completely disgusted, it’s all on you. People that are generally successful and happy realize this, and make changes along the way to improve their lot. Those that are generally unhappy refuse to accept this, and try their whole lives to find blame in somebody else, somebody outside themselves.

Kind of a heavy post to make, but one thing that you will always have and you should always use, is your choice. You can choose. No matter if you have a gun to your head, or a choice between the gym and the TV, you can choose.

So back to my story. My self-imposed restriction was that I wasn’t allowed to buy anything. Because then I’d have to carry it around with me all day after I made my way back to the station. And since it was only ten in the morning, that was too long to be carrying something that I bought on whim.

Unless I see something really cool, then all bets are off.

The Meaning Of Life (For Real)

Ok, Seriously, Why Are We Here?

There have been, are, and will be plenty of discussions regarding the meaning of life. From the spiritual to the metaphysical to the clinically scientific, there is no end to the plethora of opinions about why we are here. It is something that I have been particularly interested in, as a hobby more than anything else, so I’ve come across some very interesting viewpoints that I’d like to share. None of them are likely true, as we will not ever know what our true purpose is here. But the path of discovery is like no other.

The first thing I’d like to mention is the idea of “models.” When you take a look at reality, and it behaves in ways that you simply do not understand, the human brain has this capacity for creating a working “model,” some kind of organized structure so that we can depend on it. There is something about accepting reality as some random sequence of events that is particularly unsettling on a very deep psychological level.

As man progresses through history, and we find better ways to observe and measure our reality, we come up with more detailed models of the world. A great example is that everybody used to think the world was flat. It was a largely accepted fact, until somebody sailed around the world to prove it wasn’t. Literally overnight, people rejected the flat earth model and accepted the better, more realistic round earth model.

When humans first started coming up with “stories” about how the world worked, they were surrounded by mythology and characters much like themselves. When it rained, the gods of the sky were angry, when it was sunny and warm the gods of the sky were happy. Different societies have different myths that were largely based on their predominant environmental structures.

So what are some of the basic models in our society? Let’s start with religious.
The entire universe was created by some kind of conscious, super intelligent, perhaps infinitely intelligent entity. He or She knows all that ever was, and all that will ever be, down to the minutest of details. From what your boyfriend will say to you tonight about what you decide to wear, to the very moment of your death. There has been much discussion and essays by some very smart people that elaborate exactly how it is possible for a supreme entity to know everything, while still maintaining the idea of human free will. Your boyfriend certainly can choose exactly what he is going to say about that outfit tonight, but the Creator knows exactly what he will choose.

The purpose of the creation that we live in is a mystery, and only our Creator knows the purpose, and where we are headed. Some believe that we get one shot on earth, and the rest of our eternity will be determined by how we live this one shot, while others hold to the notion of reincarnation and the ability to improve on the last go through.

This model provides for a general guideline in the form of religion, and a loving, omniscient Creator who is watching our every move and rooting for us to make the right choices.

Many of the world’s religions, whether they be mono- or poly-theistic fall under this general umbrella model of the world.

The next model is similar, but the Creator lacks a specific identity. It is more a collective of human consciousness. A nameless, faceless infinite intelligence that exists somewhere, somehow that everybody is capable of tapping into. Generally it is believed that this creative, intelligent “force” is at the heart of all “energy” that permeates all matter in the universe. This “force” is generally good, and is the underlying energy beneath all human behavior. This force is ambivalent, and behaves like natural laws. Those that know how to tap into it and maximize its live lives of unlimited abundance and happiness. Those that are either unaware of ignorant of it’s existent are destined to live lives of destitution and struggle.

Many eastern religions fall under this umbrella, as it doesn’t require a human like entity at it’s core as the creator and guardian of all that. The central, creative force is just that, a force, like the wind. You can build sail and harness it’s power, or you can curse it as it blows your leaves around, or you can be completely ambivalent.

The next and final model is the purely scientific model. This holds that there is no intelligent, creative “force” in the universe. We are merely a collection of matter that has, through the course of billions of years and measurable, repeatable, and describable physical laws, organized itself somehow into feeling and thinking creatures that can write long winded posts about the nature of its own existence on the Internet, and hope that many other like minded, self organized blobs of matter will read this and find enlightenment from it. This view doesn’t hold that our meager human minds have the capacity to even begin to understand the incredible detail and depth of all these naturally occurring physical laws. It just holds that there isn’t some “spaghetti monster’ in the sky watching our backs the whole time.

Of course, these three views are not mutually exclusive, and by no means exhaustive. There is plenty of overlap. And many times you may find yourself believing in one more so than the other two, and then out of the blue, some even, maybe random, maybe not will completely and forever change your worldview.

But regardless of where you are on the spectrum of the many theories of existence, you certainly can appreciate the fact that we are here at all, living in a time where such massive communication between people is so easy.

It is truly wonderful to be alive. I hope you feel the same.

How To Use Life’s Problems To Your Advantage

How To Powerfully Blast Through Any Obstacle With Ease

The other day a friend of mine and me were talking about how different people deal with adversary. His girlfriend is currently going through a crisis at her work, and the people that are employed there are having some difficulties.

Because of the economy, it is quite obvious to everyone that business is slowing down, and although the owner hasn’t come out and said anything, changes are coming, and they aren’t likely going to be pleasant. It is a small operation, and they don’t have a lot of reserves to fall back on. Lately it has become evident, at least through the company grapevine, that making payroll every month is getting more and more difficult for the owner.

Now my friend’s girlfriend has a side business that she has been secretly cultivating for a few months, and she is almost at the point where the income from her side business is the same as her salary. So she has the luxury of being an observer without running around trying to protect her livelihood in any way possible. And she has noticed some startling, or perhaps not so startling things about her coworkers.

She said they basically fall into two different categories. The first category are the people that have faith in their abilities and skills to find employment elsewhere if need be. Then there are those that seem to be getting more and more terrified as the days go by. These people have been working for this small company for a long time, and don’t know how they will survive if the company has to start letting people go, and they are one of the people.

An interesting paradox is that the people that seem to be most relaxed and confident in their skills seem to be doing the most to try and help the company stay afloat. They are the ones putting in extra hours, trying to come up with creative solutions to generate more business and income. The ones that seem to have the least amount to lose if the company goes under seem to be the ones that are trying their best to keep it going.

The second group, on the other hand, is doing the opposite. They seem to have the most to lose if the company goes down. And paradoxically, their behavior more on pure self-preservation rather than trying to help out the company. They seem to be more worried about positioning themselves so they aren’t the ones that get laid off. And she says they are doing so in really underhanded, and less than professional ways. Backstabbing, gossiping, spreading rumors that are not true, banding together to smear the reputation of others. Their behavior seems to be making the problem worse.

I remember reading a book about human behavior many years ago. There are things called paradoxical problems that pop up frequently in the human experience. As we move through life, we encounter all kinds of problems, in various forms and levels of severity. How we deal with the problems that come up can define our lives and how much pleasure we can experience. Usually we come up with familiar problems that we’ve overcome before, so they can be a valuable learning opportunity to foster growth and the development of useful skills.

Other times, however, we encounter problems, and for whatever reason, our best response to the problem, one that we think we help, actually makes the problem worse. And the more we try and solve the problem, the worse it gets directly as a result of our actions. And of course we respond with more of the same, which makes the problem even bigger.

Of course, we rarely realize the problem is getting bigger because of our actions. We usually blame some other, seemingly external cause. Our situation, the behavior of other people, some general state of society, likes the economy or whatever. These paradoxical problems will persist until we “step out” of ourselves and view our behavior and the problem as if we are completely on the outside looking in.

The method described in this book explained how to do this. You need to figure out your objective, take some action, then step back and judge your actions from a third party perspective and see if they effected the situation in the direction that you wanted. Then adjust accordingly, until the problem is overcome.

The reason this can seem difficult is many times our response to situations are unconscious, and we really aren’t aware of what we are doing. For example, if you wanted to lose weight, and you decided to try a new diet. Through sheer will power you kept on the diet for a couple weeks, but then gave up.

After giving up, you felt dejected and depressed, and you turned to the one thing that usually gives you comfort. Food. This of course makes the problem worse. You’d likely keep it up until you decided to diet again, and of course the same thing happens.

The solution is to decide upon a clear objective. Losing weight is kind of vague; it will help to be more specific. How about losing while enjoying the benefits of good food? That might be easier. So next time you try a diet, you’d step back periodically and ask yourself if you are meeting all the criteria of your objective. Are you losing weight? Are you enjoying the food you eat? If both answers are yes, then you’d likely continue your diet, and you wouldn’t fall of the wagon, and get dejected.

If you were losing weight, but weren’t enjoying the food, then you’d simply adjust to a different diet plan, until you found one that satisfied both requirements.

By doing this, you’ll learn a valuable lesson about yourself. You are much more resourceful than you think, and you can overcome any obstacle you come up against, providing you look at it with the right mindset.

Nurture Vs. Nature – Why It Doesn’t Matter

How To Program Yourself For Automatic Success

There has been an ongoing debate for a while among people that study human development and potential, and believe it or not, linguists. There is one camp that believes that when humans are born, we are completely blank, and don’t know anything about anything. It would be the equivalent of buying a brand new computer with no operating system, not software, nothing.

Similar to the computers of many years ago. They didn’t even know how to start. So every time you had to start up your computer, you actually had to insert a punch card that was configured to give the program the start up parameters.

There are those that feel humans are completely and utterly blank when we come into the world, and that all we are is a result of our environment.

From a purely physical standpoint, that seems a bit ridiculous. As a general rule, and maybe you’ve noticed this, but children of Asian parents usually grow up with Asian features (e.g. black hair, brown eyes). Same with people from other parts of the world. Of course you could likely explain that different climates in different parts of the world gave rise to different physical features over hundreds of thousand so years of evolution, but you could hardly say that this process is repeated for each generation.

So at the very least, it appears that we come pre programmed for at least some kinds of things, such as certain physical traits, which are based both on our ethnicity and our parents. Tall parents usually produce tall kids, etc.

On the other extreme is those that argue that we come in with pretty much everything all configured, and life is nothing more than a discovery of that configuration. People will usually point out cases of twins who although separated at birth, grew up into mysteriously similar lives. Same lives, same names of their wives, same habits, down to the brand of cigarettes.

Of course, these cases are few and far between, they are anything but the norm. Those that study statistics will tell you that you can prove any theory, no matter how hair brained, by choosing certain data to represent your case. Nostradamus, and the appearance of the twin towers on a folded twenty-dollar bill to name a couple.

But along those two endpoints of the spectrum, we have to lie someplace in the middle. We do seem to come pre programmed with some kinds of pre-determined characteristics.

Despite how this seems to suggest that we are doomed by fate, there is a ray of hope in something called meta programs. These are a shorthand collection of decisions the brain groups together to conserve valuable processing time. The reason I say ray of hope is because although in many people these usually go undiscovered and therefore unchanged, once you find out your own metaprograms you can change them to improve your results. Here are a couple important ones. As you read, ask yourself which “endpoint” resonates most with you, and just be aware of it as you go through your daily life, to determine if it serves you, or if you want to change.

The first one is motivation. Are you motivated more by fear of pain, or the promise of reward? Many people are motivated by the fear of pain, and take action in the right direction. But as soon as they make progress, the fear of pain diminishes, as does their motivation. This is one of the main reasons it’s so hard to stick to a diet once you start it.

In order to overcome this, focus on the end results, and make it really big and compelling.

Another one is sorting. Do you see similarities in things, or differences? If you see differences more so than similarities, the world can seem to be a dangerous and confusing place. The human brain is more comfortable with similarity. If you want to try to something new, and only see how it’s different than what you are used to, it might be hard to get started. However, if you train your self to find similarities it will make doing new things easier.

For example, starting a new job can be a frightening experience, if you are always comparing how different it is to your old job. But if you consciously look for similarities instead, it will be much easier to adjust.

Another important one is verification. When you choose something, how do you know it’s the right choice? The two options here are internal and external. If you seek external verification for all your choices, you will always be following somebody else’s lead. What diet to go on, what to order at a restaurant, what movie to rent at the video shop, all these decisions will require you get somebody else’s opinion first.

On the flip side, if you only need to rely on yourself, then you’ll have much more freedom to choose. This can be the toughest one to change because it is very easy to rely on the opinions of others. If you find yourself asking others opinions often, try choosing by yourself, and be happy with your choice. Take small steps, and as your confidence continues to increase, it will become easier.

When you start to examine your own meta programs and how the help you achieve what you want in life, it opens up a huge realm of possibility. Just by noticing how you choose things, you will be far ahead of most other people.

To summarize here are the three main ones:

Pain or Pleasure – Which motivates you the most?

Same of Different – What do you see the most?

Internal or External – Do you always need others opinions, or is yours enough?

After you get skilled with these, there are about twenty other ones I’ll be writing about later on to help you make success automatic for you.

Tap Egyptian Power of Success

I was sitting in a bowling alley recently, waiting for my turn, and this guy sitting next to me started talking about the Egyptian Pyramids. He was explaining all the historical and political significance of them, which I had never really thought of before. When most people think of the pyramids, they naturally think of these giant structures that were built out in the middle of the desert, many thousands of years ago by a culture that we can’t begin to understand. Some even believe they had influence from alien life forms, as some of the structural mathematics matches up keenly with certain elements of our solar system and out galaxy.

This guy was telling me how it was a brilliant political maneuver by the government at the time. They were very dependent on the Nile for almost all of their food, and when the Nile didn’t provide sufficient water, many people suffered. Every year the Nile would flood, submerging many peoples houses and farms, so they were not only dependent on the Nile, but they had to live and move according to its behavior.

Having a whole people who felt they were at the mercy of the gods was not an easy people to govern. Any edict the Pharaoh would proclaim would always be conspired in light of the heavens and the forces of nature, and would consequently take a back seat.

Enter the pyramids.

Deciding to build the pyramids was a stroke of genius. It gave virtually every Egyptian a feeling of being in control of something, for the first time in their lives. They knew they were building a very large structure, and they could even imagine a point up in the sky that they were aiming for, and that they would one day reach. To go even further, the engineers designed the pyramids so that when they were finished, they would point to a certain and prominent star in the sky, so even at night the people could connect their daily activity towards a specific goal to a far of distant point of light in the mysterious night sky.

If you’ve ever taken the time to look at your goals, it’s important to have them defined in two different ways. One way so that you can determine exactly when you have accomplished them, and giving you a specific time and place to focus your attention. Keep your eyes and mind on the finish line at all time, so to speak. This way your brain knows exactly what behaviors to do and not to do in order to get you to your goal. Many people set goals and fail, not because they don’t want them, but because they are not set with enough clarity and specificity.

The other important factor is to set a goal in a direction that you want to go in. Once you achieve your goal, you are going to have to come up with another one. Resting on your laurels has long been known as a killer of motivation and success. When you choose a far of direction, like the horizon, or a star in the sky, you will keep on going in the right direction, and can keep your motivation when you stumble along the way.

When you set both of these with enough clarity and specificity, you will almost get to your goal automatically. Just like the pyramids, once they set the plans, gave everybody a clear idea of where the were going, the pyramids went up almost automatically. And anything you want to create in life will go up just as quickly and as smoothly.

One thing that did go very smoothly, was my bowling. It seemed that every time I released it, it would roll very smoothly straight to the gutter, and my friends very quickly erupted in laughter and told me what an entertaining bowler I am to watch.

Whose Thoughts are in YOUR Monkey Brain?

The other day I was sitting at a coffee shop. It is kind of a mix between a coffee shop and a bagel shop. Because I was only drinking coffee, in my mind I was at a coffee shop. Of course had I been eating bagels, I would have remembered it as a bagel shop. Interesting how the mind works like that. You can remember something, and based on slight change of angular memory, the past can take on a whole new meaning. Meaning is a fairly slippery thing. Many people don’t realize just how slippery it is. I guess that’s why so many people get into arguments about things that happened before. They aren’t really arguing about the events per se, rather the meaning each individual gave to the meanings that they each subjectively applied to the past. Because they each applied a different subjective meaning, or interpretation to the past, they actually stored the memory differently in their brain, from a neuro-chemical standpoint, which gives the illusion that they are remembering different things.

I was listening to a lecture once about this subject. The professor who was speaking was exploring how we code and store events have a large effect on how we remember them. She went on to explain that when some people say they have a “memory problem,” that is not entirely accurate. What they really lack is a storage problem. And because most people don’t consciously choose to store their memories in a certain way, when they go and try to recall them, they not only can’t remember where they put them, but they don’t remember what kind of box they put them in. Which makes looking for old memories a problem when you don’t know what color the box is.

So anyways, I was sitting there, drinking my coffee, waiting for the movie to start. It was one of those international blockbusters that has been heavily marketed, with signs everywhere, and trailers before every movie. I was looking forward to it, because I read the book, and I enjoyed it. I actually read the book twice, by accident. And when I say by accident, I don’t mean that I fell down a flight of stairs and read the book on the way down. I read it, and forgot that I read it. Then a couple years later I read another book by the same author, which I really enjoyed. Then I went to the bookstore to find other books by the same author. That’s how I generally read books, by the way. I’ll read one author, and if I like them, I’ll go to the bookstore or the library and read all their other books. So I went to the bookstore, found another book by the same author of the second book, and picked out the first book, which I’d read before and didn’t remember. Then about halfway through it, I realized, “Hey! This seems familiar, I think I read this before!” Of course I kept on reading, because I wanted to see if it turned out differently than before. Because I didn’t remember how it turned out from before, I wasn’t sure if it was the same ending. Which of course, made sense when I saw the movie, because then, everything fell into place, even though they changed some parts from the book.

So my friend walks in this coffee shop, and has this really confused look on his face. Like he was just finished reading this really confusing article on the Internet or something. I asked him what happened, and he told me that he just got back form a lecture. It turns out some really cute girl gave him a flyer for a lecture that some metaphysicist was giving. He doesn’t normally go into metaphysical lectures, but because this girl was really cute he decided to go. I asked him what the lecture was about, and he tried his best to describe it to me. There were several different lectures, and they kept finishing up where each other started. There was one guy that had this really long beard, and another guy that had some really strange sandals.

He said that most people are walking around in a cloud of ambiguity. Because we are so conditioned to get other people to think for us, when there is nobody there to make a decision, you just kind of walk around with a vague sense of waiting to be told what to do. Which normally isn’t a problem. It makes sense to be this way at work for example. It wouldn’t really be very productive to have a bunch of people at work just doing their own thing, or arguing with the boss whenever she gave you an instruction. I don’t know if this is a leftover from evolution, or if it is something that is just hardwired into us, but the brain will always look for shortcuts in thinking. Kind of like when you are driving on the freeway, and you get a traffic report of an accident up ahead, you can imagine ways to go around the problem, so you don’t be late for your appointment. The brain will always find the easiest path to get to a decision. Which worked pretty good when we were cavemen running around chasing our food, or running away from dinosaurs that thought we were food. But in today’s society, when there are about a billion things coming at you at once, it’s hard sometimes for our monkey brains to make a good decision. So modern man has learned to kind of have this vague cloud of ambiguity floating around, waiting for clear instructions. He said that the two biggest forms of guidance come in the form of social proof, and authority. Social proof, of course, is when you go along with the crowd. Everybody has experienced this. You do something, because everybody else is doing it. Of course, this isn’t what you tell yourself, we always have some other reason why we think we are doing something.

The other shortcut is authority. When a police officer, or a doctor tells you to do something, you rarely question them. Unless you are a criminal of course. So in the absence of these two elements, he explained, it can be hard to figure out what to do.

I asked him if he explained how to get around this, and he said he did. I asked him what it was, and he told me.

The best way to get around this is to have clear, strong, powerful goals. That way you will start to see everything in relation to your goals, and your automatic monkey response will decrease, and your evolved human response will become stronger and stronger, and you turn your mind/body system into a goal-seeking missile, instead of an automatic monkey responder.

And he concluded his speech by saying that the choice is up to you. You can let other people choose your goals for you, and walk around in an ambiguous monkey daze, bouncing from one mental shortcut to the other, or you can choose your own goals, and let your goal seeking mechanism do all work to create the life that you want. Then you can eat bagels, AND drink coffee at the same time.

The Skillfull Bees

Once there was a group of bees. They lived in a rather large hive, which was located in a fairly large forest. They had been living there for about a year, and were aware that their growing hive would need to find another place to live soon. Now bees are a particularly strange animal. Most animals live in a kind of social organization. Wolves, dolphins, hummingbirds, they all have their own set of social rules or instincts that they live by. Some closer knit than others, like dolphins or wolves. Some more loosely based on family ties as in hummingbirds or walrus’s.

Bees are an exception. Bees are much more influenced by social instincts than other creatures. It is not accident that the word for a group of bees, “swarm,” is used in mathematics to describe any number of different collections of elements that can collectively be described as a single entity. One hive of bees can almost be treated as a single animal, according to many scientists. Not unlike many different cells in the body of a mammal, each bee has a specific function, and does not stray from that function. A bee separated from its group will not survive very long.

It’s interesting to compare this to human beings. Several studies have been done (anecdotally of course) where human babies that have not been provided with a physical connection with others has been severely developmentally disabled. Humans need physical contact with other humans as much as we need food and water. Some argue that this need is much more pronounced in early life, but it never disappears altogether. We need each other.

And the particular group of bees in this particular story is no different. They, collectively, realized that with the growing number in their group, they needed to find a new home that would support them. And so they decided, collectively, to begin actively seeking new resources. Now when bees do something like this, a peculiar thing happens. Some of the bees whose job it is to find food, and then through an elaborate set of signals and dances alert the rest of the group where it is, must use this same bee technology to find a place that they deem suitable for their new home.

It’s kind of like when you develop a skill of some sort, and you realize that you can transfer this skill into another area of your life. Because you have certain skills, you can easily use this skill in another part of what you do. And it’s important to realize that you have these skills, and that there are many ways to use them.

So the bees, through their magic of bee technology, quickly shifted their behavior to achieve a new goal. And before they knew it, the collective had re established itself in a new home, which was bigger and brighter than ever before. And that is something to think about.