Tag Archives: Metaphor

Thor Be With You

Praying To The God Of Thunder?

Sunflowers are pretty cool.

They turn where they face during the day, to maximize their sunlight.

Whenever something does anything that resembles anything that us humans do, we anthropomorphize that.

We describe it as if they have the same intentions we humans do.

You might have even explained the sunflower phenomenon to a child.

You could say something like, “Well, these flowers have evolved and automatic strategy which maximizes it’s exposure to sunlight.”

But a kid would say, “um, what?”

Instead we say things like, “They like facing the sun. The sun feels good.”

And the little kid would turn toward the sun, close their eyes, feel the warmth and understand.

Much of our human mythology is made up from anthropomorphized natural phenomenon.

Stars, thunder, oceans.

Watch any TV show or movie about Vikings and thunder is Thor, who is upset for some reason.

We humans tend to do that a lot.

We watch stuff happen, and then make up a story about why it’s happening.

This happens on a much deeper level than most people realize.

Some studies show that as little as 5% of all human behavior is a RESULT of conscious thinking.

Most of the time, we are reacting, and then making up a story AFTER the fact.

Which kind of makes sense, from an evolutionary standpoint.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were very primitive primates incapable of speech.

So it makes sense in our “young age” we are still getting the hang of this “conscious mind” thing.

If you watch those Viking shows, and see those guys praying to Thor or all the other gods, it can look pretty silly.

I mean, the thunder is easily explained by science.

And to us, it seems like those “primitive” people are praying to a god that doesn’t exist.

But often times, we do the same thing.

We PRETEND we are totally in charge, when we may be just watching.

This is kind of scary to think about.

But can you decide not to be hungry?

Can you decide NOT to be afraid?

Can you talk yourself into feeling alert when you are sleepy?

We can run into problems when we OVERESTIMATE the power of our conscious minds.

If we consider that our conscious minds may be (at least some of the time) after-the-fact storytelling devices, are we that different from Vikings praying to Thor, the god of thunder?

Perhaps we may do better to learn to TRUST our unconscious, instead of trying to be control freaks.

Learn More:

Ego Taming

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

Use All Your Brain

How Much Brain Do You Need?

Some studies indicate that as little as 5% of our actions are the RESULT of our conscious thinking.

By using positronic emissions, they can measure the different areas of the brain.

See which areas light up when we do things.

And in most cases, the conscious part of our brain is the LAST to find out what’s happening.

Curiously, they think the main purpose of our conscious brain is to create a story about why we do things.

We act mostly emotionally and reactively.

But then we make up a story of why we’re doing what we’re doing.

It’s hard to accept, but every time they do this experiment, they get the same results.

So what about that five percent?

That five percent when we actually CHOOSE what we do?

Perhaps that five percent is supposed to be used to we can CHOOSE how we practice.

So that when we “react” to the stimuli around us, we can behave better.

On one level, it makes sense.

Most everything we do is driven by instincts.

We can’t choose what food we like.

We can’t choose when we are hungry or sleepy.

We can’t choose who causes us to feel sexual desire.

But maybe we can.

Maybe we can’t choose in the moment, but we can use that 5% to slowly change how we respond.

Kind of like training for martial arts.

You train enough, and you have a whole new set of responses.

All of them are JUST as fast as instincts.

But they are much more powerful and effective instincts.

You can train your thinking and speaking just as easily as you can train your physical responses.

Perhaps that five percent is really all we need to “watch over” our instinctive minds, to make sure the responses are what we want.

If not, we can use that five percent to re-calibrate our automatic responses.

And then get back to enjoying life.

After all, if you want to change how you behave in the moment, you need to change how you practice.

Professional athletes, musicians, speakers and artists know this.

Why not give it a try?

Learn How:

Ego Taming

Keep Going Baby

Fine Tuned Mental Calibration

Everybody knows about goals.

It’s one of those things that we all know we should have.

But few people take the time to create them.

There’s plenty of studies that show those with goals tend to do better than those without.

A famous study of Harvard graduates detailed this.

They tracked a graduating class for a few decades.

The people who had written goals did much better than those who didn’t.

On one level, it makes perfect sense.

To be successful without goals means you have to get lucky.

Meaning you just kind of stumble forward, not really knowing what you are doing.

Funny thing is, that many people who are successful did just this.

They just kept moving forward.

They had a vague idea of what they were doing.

Maybe a certain kind of business idea.

Or musical or athletic talent.

They just followed their instincts, and they were driven forward by their rewards.

When athletes win a game, it feels good.

This good feeling motivates them to get better, so they can get more of that good feeling.

Similarly, those who enjoy massive business success followed the same strategy.

They create an invention, and make a little bit of money.

Making that money gives them a good feeling, which motivates.

They keep doing whatever they did, so they can keep inventing stuff and making money.

In reality, it’s impossible to NOT have goals.

It’s just that very few people take the process and move it up to the conscious level.

Most business, scientific, and artistic success stories all follow the same strategy.

They have a certain set of skills.

They express their skills and in return get a positive emotional feeling.

They realize (consciously or unconsciously) that improving their skills will get them more of that positive emotional feeling.

For them, the money they get is important, but only as a byproduct.

For them, the money is EVIDENCE that what they are doing is valuable to people.

It’s one thing to come up with a goofy invention in your garage.

It’s something else completely to get people eagerly handing over their money so you will build one for them.

In this situation, the money is EVIDENCE that your skills are valuable to the world.

That the world appreciates your time and effort and thinking.

This is exactly why we have so much stuff now, when only a few hundred years ago there was only the very basics.

To maximize your participation, it’s a matter of calibrating your mind.

Of finding that proper alignment between your skills, the needs of the world, and the stream of income that connects the two.

Learn More:

Wealth Tuning

Do You Understand History?

Ancient Secrets Of History

It’s a pretty common idea that the winners write the history books.

This isn’t to say there is a bunch of secret history that’s being kept from us.

Or even that events didn’t happen.

But how those events are remembered isn’t always clear.

One of the benefits of being in charge of a society is you get to frame these events however you want them.

And generally speaking, those in charge tend to put that kind of spin on events.

Meaning that events were more because of the people in charge.

That’s kind of a human thing.

We try to “take credit” for stuff when we were really just there when it happened.

It’s not really different from when something unexpected happens, and then we say, “I knew that was to happen!”

We didn’t really KNOW that was going to happen.

If we did it wouldn’t have been unexpected.

So when good things happen, those in charge try to take all the credit they can.

Especially if they need to be elected.

They need all the evidence they can.

This happens in the short term, AND in the long term.

Read any book about the history of money, and they will all describe money as coming FROM governments.

But in reality, the IDEA of money is very instinctive.

All humans have an instinctive idea for “commodity money.”

When you have something you want to trade.

You can trade that for what you want, OR you can trade it for something you KNOW you can trade for what you want.

Little kids do this all the time.

When trading game cards, for example.

They instinctively trade for cards because they know those cards are in great demand.

Not because they want them.

Because they have “trade value.”

Nobody needs to teach them this.

This is precisely what “money” or “currency” is.

Something that everybody agrees is worth something.

Sure, when governments started minting coins, it made it easier.

Mainly because the stamp on the coin let everybody know it was real, and not make.

But governments didn’t INVENT the process.

They just make it easier.

(And also consider that since governments controlled all the guys with weapons, they controlled all the gold and silver mines..)

The idea of trading for something that is worth something to somebody else is a deeply human trait.

It’s the human instinct that is the cornerstone of all societies.

All creation, all inventions, and everything that exists.

You don’t need to learn how, you need to re-discover how.

By erasing all those false ideas about money.

Learn More:

Wealth Tuning

Gadzooks!

How To Own The Future

Potential energy is a cool idea.

Since our lives are utterly dependent on energy, it’s an important thing to understand.

Until very, very recently, we got our body-energy directly from animals.

Same as all the other animals on Earth.

A huge cycle.

Small animals are eaten by larger animals, which are eaten by even larger animals.

When we humans need other kinds of energy (for warmth or cooking) we had to find wood or other burnable material.

The wood came from trees that took their energy from the earth.

Ultimately, all energy on earth comes from the sun.

A gigantic ball of thermonuclear fusion.

Leaves take sunlight and convert it into energy.

Even when we use fossil fuel, we are essentially taking the “energy” from previously living beings.

It’s the same structure as killing and eating a giraffe.

We eat the giraffe meat, we are taking energy from a previously living thing.

When we eat an ear of corn, we are taking energy from a previously living thing.

When we put gas in our cars (or use things that are shipped all around the world using massive ships and planes) we are using fossil-fuel energy from previously living things.

When you think about it, there’s the sun, and all the living stuff on Earth.

And all the living stuff on Earth is in competition with each other.

Eating each other, running away from each other, always trying to figure out clever ways to get energy to survive.

But humans invented something a couple thousand years ago.

To use a VERY over-used term, it WAS a “game changer.”

See, even fossil fuel has to say in same chemical structure to be any use.

Yes, it’s potential energy, but it’s energy to be used DIRECTLY.

We humans invented a much more metaphysical form of potential energy.

Money.

This is potential “energy” that can be used to buy “stuff.”

What stuff?

Any stuff.

Stuff that exists, and stuff that doesn’t yet exist.

Think about that.

It’s both plainly normal and incredibly amazing.

Suppose you save a little bit of money (whatever form of money is being used).

And you hang on to it.

That money allows you to imagine a much better future.

And you don’t even have to participate.

If you have ENOUGH money saved, you can relax and let other people do all the work.

All the trial and error research and inventing.

And once they’re finished, you step right up and trade some of your money for whatever it is they’ve invented.

This is exactly why the amount of things EXPLODED after the invention of money.

People were driven to invent stuff so they could get money.

And people were driven to get money so they could buy these new inventions, whatever they might be.

A HUGE positive reinforcing loop that has been humming along every since.

And it’s easier ever to get in the game and get some.

Learn How:

Wealth Tuning

Road To Riches

First Rule Of Emperors

I used to know this old guy.

Attorney from Japan.

He’d done a bit of traveling (including a few excavations) and had an interesting view on things.

He told me the story about Tokugawa, the first Shogun who ruled all of Japan.

If you watch any of the old Samurai movies, they take place BEFORE that happened.

This was the “wild west” period of Japanese history.

When there were rogue bands of samurai’s everywhere.

If you are going to be a leader of any country, you need to have a lot of skills.

Tokugawa had a particularly interesting problem.

He took power right around the beginning of the 1600’s.

AFTER a lot of European explorers had visited Japan.

The first thing Tokugawa did was kick them all out.

The real problem was that most Japanese had either experienced or heard stories about these Europeans.

And at that time, the Europeans had FAR SUPERIOR technology.

So Tokugawa’s task was to rule AND figure out a way to get them to “forget” about the Europeans.

He needed his people to feel superior to the “outsiders,” as all rulers do.

Nobody is going to last long as a leader with the idea that “we suck, and we better hope our superior enemies decide to invade us.”

People like their leaders to tell the people how AWESOME they are.

Which was difficult for Tokugawa, since they’d all seen the HUGE gunships and technology the Europeans had.

And all the stories of different cultures on the other side of the world.

This is where Tokugawa was an absolute GENIUS at social engineering.

He came up with the idea that “technology” is evil.

Impure.

It’s better to be poor, and sit and watch the rocks grow.

Or spend an hour preparing pouring a cup of tea.

(Interestingly enough, it was this super attention to detail that made the Japanese super rich super quick when the Industrial Revolution showed up).

But as my lawyer friend explained, another aspect of Tokugawa’s genius was to put the merchant class at the VERY BOTTOM of society.

Who was on top?

The Samurai of course.

But the Samurai had to take a vow of poverty.

The idea of pursuing money was not becoming of a Samurai.

This sounds curiously similar to the early Roman Empire, especially when they took on Christianity.

The idea that it is “holy” or “divine” or “pure” to be poor.

It’s also a VERY EFFECTIVE way to ensure nobody raises an army against you.

Armies take money. Lots of money.

This is EXACTLY how Julius Caesar took over Rome.

He had money, and an army.

So if you ever become a ruler or an emperor or a shogun, the first rule is to convince everybody that “money is evil.”

So you can keep it all for yourself.

Or you can FORGET about becoming a ruler and just make a bunch of money.

Let everybody else find holiness through poverty.

Learn More:

Wealth Tuning

Think Beyond Constraints

The Greatest Human Invention

Most animals are locked into their existence.

The things they want and the behaviors they do to get them are inseparable.

They are both programmed by instincts to want certain things, and those same instincts drive them to get certain things.

If a monkey is hungry, he has only a few options.

And he can only live in an environment that satisfies those options.

Humans are similar, but with one VERY IMPORTANT difference.

We are like every other animal.

We need continuous energy to survive.

We need to burn energy to get energy.

If we burn more than we consume, we lose weight.

If we burn less than we consume, we gain weight.

But there is ONE THING in between our actions and our desires.

If monkey wants a banana, he has to climb a tree.

We humans invented something called money.

In terms of our long history, this invention was pretty recent.

But once money was invented, the amount of stuff EXPLODED.

Before, humans were just like monkeys.

We had to DO STUFF to GET STUFF.

Now we can do stuff to get money.

And we can use that money to get WHATEVER STUFF we want.

Whereas before, the stuff we could get was highly related to the stuff we could do.

Once that ancient connection was broken (by the invention of money) the amount and variety of STUFF exploded.

Most people, when they think about money, associate it with lack.

Scarcity.

Something they want but can’t get.

But in the last few thousand years, the OPPOSITE has been true.

BECAUSE of money, there is more STUFF.

And not like, “I have some money so now I can buy some stuff.”

The outcome of money being INVENTED was that tons of STUFF was invented.

For humans as a species, money SOLVED the scarcity problem.

And since this is still going on, there is still more stuff being invented and built every single day, this relationship holds true.

So why do we feel lack and scarcity on a personal level?

Most of us have wrong money beliefs built in since before we could speak.

As did our parents, and their parents.

But some lucky folks are born WITHOUT money-scarcity thinking.

They aren’t any smarter.

Most millionaires weren’t born millionaires.

But they had a unique collection of thinking that made them look out into the world and NOT see lack, but see tons of opportunities.

And they acted upon those opportunities (or made them) and got rich.

So can you.

Once you re-calibrate your brain.

Learn How:

Wealth Tuning

Far Away Dreams

Have You Been To Charm School?

No matter who you are, you have to learn skills as you go through life.

That’s one of the many differences between humans and all the other life forms on this planet.

Humans come with tons of instincts.

But we also come with tons of learning capability.

Even way back in the day when we were hunter-gathers, we had to continuously learn.

Since we were nomads, nothing was ever the same.

Different environment, different source of food, different climate, different things to be worried about.

Now, with our massively complex society, continuous learning and updating your skills is pretty much a given.

Like the Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland,” you have to keep running just to stay in place.

When it comes to learning, there are two kinds of skills.

Skills that start off in the “unconscious incompetence” area, or the skills that start off in the “unconscious competence” area.

Most people only ever consider the first collection of skills.

The ones we don’t know we suck at, or unconscious incompetence.

Some new technology is invented, so we need to learn it.

Before it was invented, nobody knew anything about it, so we didn’t know that we didn’t know.

Then we know that we don’t know (conscious incompetence), and then we know that we sort of know (conscious competence).

A few people take it to the level of unconscious competence.

Meaning they are skilled, and do so without thinking.

For most of us, this comes in doing simple things like riding bikes or tying our shoes.

But there is a whole other realm of learning.

Of taking something we are born knowing how to do.

These are the things that start off as unconscious competence.

Walking, talking, interacting with people.

These are the things we tend to think we’re either “good” at or “not good” at.

And if we see somebody who is “good” at one of these skills, we shrug our shoulders as if there’s nothing we can do.

This, however, is false.

You can take any instinctive skill (unconscious competence) and raise it to the conscious competence level.

Back in the old days, girls would do this.

They would go to “charm school” to learn how to take their unconscious behavior (walking, talking etc.) and refine it.

Of course, in today’s society we’re told to just “be yourself.”

Which is perfectly fine.

If you are happy with what you are getting as your “authentic self,” that’s fantastic.

But your “authentic self” can be refined any way you like.

A particularly effective way is how you use your language.

Most people have half baked thoughts they try to describe with haphazardly chosen words.

But you can learn to use your language with extreme precision.

And deadly force.

Learn How:

Weaponized Hypnosis

Yay!

One BILLION Dollars!

One of the paradoxes of being assertive is what we think we’ll happen.

This is due to the very squirrely nature of our brain.

We want something, we are scared of doing it, but we don’t like to admit we’re scared of doing it.

Since that would make us feel bad on an ego-level, we use all kinds of biases and cognitive dissonance to reframe what’s going on around us.

Often times we’ll be in a situation where somebody asks us a favor, and we don’t think much of it.

And then they ask another favor, and we go ahead and help them.

But the third time they ask, we’re starting to feel like they are taking advantage of us.

But since we didn’t say anything the first time, it’s hard to speak up now.

And in those few situations where we do speak up, it’s hard to maintain our cool.

Being assertive means to plainly say, “no,” without needing to give a reason.

But there are other ways.

Easier ways.

And even more playful ways that are not only just as effective, but may even enhance the relationship.

Instead of just going along with any unexpected requests, ask what you get in return.

From the askers point of view, this is very hard to argue with.

Unless they are your direct boss (or a cop) they aren’t going to say:

“What do you mean what do you get? Your job is to obediently serve me!”

The opposite usually happens.

Especially if you ask playfully.

Simply state their request back, to make sure you understand.

That will make them feel good, since you’re demonstrating that you’re actually paying attention to what they said.

Then playfully say, “Ok, after I do that, what will I get?”

This presupposes you will fulfill their request, and that they’ll give you something in return.

They won’t have anticipated this, but they will enjoy the question.

It implies an ongoing “tit for tat” relationship.

It’s also a good way screen out freeloaders.

You can even playfully put them on the spot.

Since they won’t have anticipated that response, they’ll usually (and honestly) ask, “What do you want?”

To which you can reply:

“One BILLION dollars!”

And say it like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers (making sure you put a lot of emphasis on the “B”).

This will do a lot of things.

One is it will send a clear message that you are not a pushover.

Two is it will make it much more fun to “defend your boundaries.”

Three is they will honestly feel obligated to return the favor.

This is a very playful way to deal with folks you suspect are trying to sneak past your boundaries.

There are plenty others.

Learn More:

Weaponized Hypnosis