We have all been thoroughly indoctrinated with so much negative propaganda about our lives that it is a wonder we can remember how to be happy at all. At every turn we are reminded that life is a struggle, that work is difficult, that solving our problems will take tremendous effort, and that earning money is hard, hard work.
Our culture’s extreme focus on individualism, competition, and consumerism has stripped from us the ability to truly relax and enjoy the process of life, and bask in the effortlessness of our evolution. The effort we are asked to express in this lifestyle drains our spiritual, creative energy.
We need only look beyond our societal expectations to see how deluded we are. The natural world is dynamic, active, constantly growing and evolving, yet it is driven without any effort. Everything that is truly important in the world is done without the kind of striving effort that our conscious minds are so used to. The forests of the earth grow effortlessly, the seasons change effortlessly, the cells of your body have grown from a microscopic fetus to a fully intelligent being effortlessly.
Your body is, in this very instant, performing tens of thousands of highly specific actions in order to keep you alive without any input from your conscious mind.
What you must learn is that your conscious mind is not meant to be used to worry about any of the functions of living. There is a deep intelligence at work in the universe, and you must develop the faith that this intelligence will meet your needs just as it meets the needs of every cell in your body, and every animal on the planet.
Your conscious mind should not be used to worry about a million things that might go wrong. Your conscious mind should be used only to direct the focus of your life and to enjoy the fruits of your actions.
Consciously decide in which direction you want to evolve, and then let the infinite energy of your inner self take over. Realize that you can attract money without any effort on your part, and realize that it is okay to do so.
Obviously you will need to use your energy in the physical world, but when you are doing what you want you will not be filled with stress but with joy and enthusiasm. Hard work is for those who have not bothered to learn how their minds work. For you, life is truly effortless, and truly enjoyable.“
Luck has been in my corner since day one back in 1975.
I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in Canada into a lower-middle class family. When I was a child I was lucky enough to have an alcoholic, underachieving, embarrassing father who gave me the first chip on my shoulder, one that compelled me to work harder, achieve more, and go further so that I could escape his shadow.
I was also lucky that my mother had dropped out of high school and spent the rest of her life working for barely more than the minimum wage, never earning more than $28,000 in a year (an amount that I’ve made in a single day in my business on several occasions). I was lucky, because of her mistakes, that she would never let me make the same ones.
And boy was I lucky to have went to grade school with patches on my knees, for this caused me great embarrassment and instilled in me the drive to do better, to excel in school, to get into the best program in college, to make the Dean’s Honour List three years in a row, to get accepted into a Master’s program, to study until 10pm on weekends so I could earn a scholarship to help me pay for 6 years of post-secondary education- and so that I’d never feel embarrassed like that again.
It’s as though I’ve had a horseshoe made out of rabbit’s feet around my neck for these past thirty years.
I’ve also been lucky to make friends with entrepreneurs like Bedros Keuilian, a real-life American Dream. Bedros was lucky to have been born in Armenia (then part of the Soviet Union) and to have a father that gambled his family’s safety by bribing their way out of the USSR so they could arrive virtually penniless in America (legally).
Bedros was also lucky enough to arrive in America in 1980 without being able to speak a lick of English. He was fortunate that his family was so poor that he had to dumpster-dive behind grocery stores for food.
Without this luck, Bedros wouldn’t have the burning desire that has allowed him to succeed and create a better life, so that as he often tells me, “My kids will never have to spend an hour of their lives in daycare.”
And I’m lucky enough to be friends with Matt Smith, another lucky young man from my generation who, like me, grew up with little more than an embarrassment of a father and a mother that spent the little money she had to take care of her children.
Among Matt’s lucky childhood experiences was the night when his mother scraped together a few dollars for a special Friday dinner of take-out pizza. That night, the Smiths were lucky to have mistakenly left the pizza on top of the car as they drove away. Eventually, the pizza fell off the car’s roof into the middle of a busy intersection – where car after car drove over it – and this was a lucky break for Matt.
Because the Smiths’ had no money to go and buy a replacement pizza. And so Matt will forever remember that night – and that feeling – as something he will never want to experience again. It’s just another lucky motivator in his drive to do better and succeed so that his children won’t have to experience that great fortune.
That kind of luck leaves a burning desire that NOTHING – not even a life of iPhones, TV’s in every room of the house, unending after-school activities, or 24/7 Internet and cable TV access – could ever top.
My luck continues. I’m fortunate to know Isabel De Los Rios, one of the world’s most successful nutrition experts, who herself was lucky enough to spend almost a decade as a sick, unhealthy, overweight, and unhappy young woman, so that she could truly understand the troubles that her hundreds of thousands of female clients go through.
Isabel was also lucky enough to be downright broke when she applied to my Mastermind Group in 2008, having to borrow the money from her fiancé. It was due to her great fortune to be in these situations that she committed to working harder than almost any other person I’ve ever coached. This has allowed her to pull herself up from financial stress and into a business where today she has over 200,000 customers that have been lucky enough to get Isabel’s help as they change their lives.
Finally, we’ve all been lucky enough to learn from Michael Masterson, our mentor that was lucky enough to grow up in a poor household of ten children. He was lucky enough to have so little that it drove him to become the entrepreneur and mentor that we all came to know through Early to Rise.
This is the luckiest group of individuals you might ever meet. We were lucky to have had the experiences we did because they taught us so much and drove us to great action. Without our setbacks, what would we have achieved? We have been part of the luckiest generations to have ever lived.
What about your luck? Have you lucked out and been fortunate to have gone through similar struggles? Have you been given the inspiration to work harder than ever, to explore new opportunities to take control of your future, and that drive you towards financial independence?
Are you one of the fortunate ones that were not born with a silver spoon so that you could learn the importance of adding value to the world in exchange for a fair return? Have you been lucky enough to fail again and again?
Never forget that failure isn’t bad. Failure isn’t final. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from achieving the success you deserve. If you’re struggling, keep hustling. Keep taking at least one big action step each day.
Failure is good luck.
I can only hope you’ve been as lucky as I have over the years. And the old saying is true, you know, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. So take that luck that you get and press it. Keep on pushing. It only gets easier from here.
Over the past several years, I’ve been on a quest to study micro-businesses — small operations (typically one person) that make $50,000 a year or more (often a lot more). The quest took me all over the world, at first to a large group of 1,500 “unexpected entrepreneurs” who volunteered to share their stories in detail.
I wanted to hear from all kinds of businesses — both offline and online — to decipher what made them so successful. How did they get started? What helped them grow into significant, reliable sources of income? How can you increase odds of success?
After much effort, a small team and I narrowed down the case studies to a subset of 70 that I focused on for final analysis. All 70 people had created freedom for themselves: new income and a completely new way of life. There are formulas.
This is Hollywood actor Will Smith giving a very fascinating interview in which he explains how he used the force of his mind power to fulfill his dreams. The sound on this video is awful but the message is brilliant. Listen carefully and learn how to command the universe to bend to your will.
Think of your present moment as your Point of Power, because it is the only point where you can exercise your full power. For most of us the present moment exists only as mental concept. If there is such a place where all the creative forces of the universe come together, how do we know it is the present moment? What evidence is there that this is true?
Consider this; all your hopes for the future and even your memories of the past can happen only in the present moment. The present moment is that one point where everything comes together.
We have been taught that those moments are separate from each other, but in truth, they all take place in the now. No matter what happens in life, it is always now, then now, then now – always in the present moment.
Nothing exist outside of the NOW. Nothing ever happened in the past. – It happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future – It will happen in the Now. When you think of the past it is stored in the mind as a former now. And, when you think about the past, when do you do it? – You do it now! When the futures comes – it comes in the now. And, when you think about the future, when do you do it? – You do it now!
The past and the future have no realities of their own. Their realities are “borrowed” from the now.
All unhappiness is caused by denial of the present. We think problems are caused by our situations in life, but attachment to the past and future and denial of the now is the real problem. Ultimately then, there is only one problem in life – not living in the now.
You cannot be unhappy and fully present now. It is impossible to have a problem when your attention is in the now. When you live in the now, a situation is either dealt with or accepted now. A problem means you are dwelling on a situation mentally without having a true intention or possibility of taking action now.
In order to attract substantial amounts of wealth into your life you obviously must be open to receiving this wealth. You also must be open to the idea that any situation you encounter may offer you a money-making opportunity, and that any person you meet may open a creative opportunity for you, or spark an idea in your mind that can be turned into a lucrative enterprise.
You must be constantly alert for ways in which you can use your energy to attract more wealth into your life. This means being always willing to learn, and always expecting to find fulfilling ways to earn money.
Develop your feelings of expectation to such a degree that in every situation you encounter and in every conversation you have you will expect to learn something new, develop a new idea, or in some way enrich your life.
Living your life in this manner will open you up not only to a more abundant lifestyle, but also a more enjoyable one. When you go through each day’s experiences constantly open to the possibilities that surround you, your mind automatically becomes calmer, more focused, and better able to bring to you the experiences you desire.
A simple way to be open to the goodness within all experience is to assume that you are always in the right place at the right time, and that when a creative idea comes you will be psychologically prepared to accept it and physically prepared to act upon it. In this way you can make any of your daily experiences more rewarding.
An extremely useful habit to begin is to develop this sense of openness and expectation first thing in the morning when you awaken. Simply ask yourself “what will happen today that is truly great”, or some similar question that fills you with an optimistic attitude towards the events you will encounter each day.
Assuming that something exciting will happen will automatically kick-start your day in a positive direction, and guarantee more fulfilling experiences in your life.
Let us start with a quote, often misattributed to Goethe:
“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. -William Hutchinson Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951)
If you want a lesson in boldness, and to cross things off of your bucket list, there is no better teacher than Ben Nemtin. His story, and that of the entire Buried Life team, is amazing.
It started with a list of 100 things and a planned two-week roadtrip. Along the way, Ben has somehow managed to play basketball with Obama, throw the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, deliver a baby (not his), make the biggest roulette spin in Vegas’ history, and much more.
Most recently, they crossed off #19: Write a bestselling book. Their debut, What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, just hit #1 on The New York Times, which will be announced officially April 15th. To celebrate? They’re sending a copy of the book into space.
It all seems unbelievable, which is exactly why I love this guest post from Ben.
This original content covers his 6 steps for crossing anything off of your personal bucket list. There is a method. Everyone needs a kick in the ass sometimes, and this did it for me.
QUESTION: How can I be happy, when the future holds little promise, and you fear you haven’t lived the kind of life you can be content with?
ANSWER: In June, 2003, I Googled what would happen if I put three unlit cigarettes in a cup of water overnight. Then drank the water in the morning. The idea is that nicotine is a lethal poison. When you smoke it you burn most of the poison away. But if it drains into the water… The theory was I’d be dead of a heart attack in sixty seconds. My fear was that I would I have brain damage instead.
I’ve known people with brain damage. That would be no good.
It was three in the morning. I knew I was going to go broke. My office had papers and dead computers and dead books and the cards of dead friends everywhere. The IRS letter was next to my computer. I had an incomparable loneliness in all of my relationships. All the work and hours I had put in had added up to this dirty office and no money.
Or maybe there was the other time. My whole life added up to being escorted by police to a hotel room to spend the night. “To calm down.” Or the time I was thrown out of graduate school. Or the time I was asked by my boss, “don’t you think it’s important to show pride in your work?” Or the times I was cheated on.
If I really want to be honest I could say I threw a burning iron at someone and that’s when the police came. But perhaps that would seem too much. If I wanted to truly be correct, I could look back at the past and say I did everything they told me to do, all the secret agents that wanted to destroy me: friends, parents, colleagues, bosses, lovers, and here I am – look where I ended up? And where did they all go? Back to their safe houses, in the James Protection Program so I never see them again.
I could sit here all night until daybreak talking about the past, which is gone forever. And the future, which will never exist and yet seems so real. Maybe the economy will end us. Or global warming. Or Greece. or war. Or we lose our jobs. You and me. We can be scared all night together. And who will survive when the world turns Mad Max and rogue skinheads will kill us for our gasoline?
The future just a bleak desert, mirages of water only lasting a few seconds before I realize my thirst won’t be quenched. May never be quenched again.
One thing you forgot to mention in your question, my friend, is the present. Right now. The only thing we know exists. The most important thing of all and we left it out. I was googling cigarettes in water when I could’ve been looking in on my sleeping one year old. I could’ve kissed her forehead. I could’ve been grateful to be given such a magical moment. Then I could’ve called my father one month before his fatal stroke and told him I loved him. Instead I never spoke to him again.
I gave up that magical moment forever because of worries about the future and because of something I did in the past.
The magical moments only exist right now. They will never exist again.
The way we miss them is when we focus on the past. Or we try to drink from the mirage in the distant future. Flying unicorns could be all around us but our eyes are glazed over with cataracts of the dismal future and bleaker past.
I would say, “if only this company sells, I’ll be happy.” And then I was never more miserable. And then later I would say, “I blew it so bad I ruined everyone’s life and not just my own.” And then I was never more miserable.
If only I had left out both those statements out I never would’ve been more happy.
Abundance doesn’t exist only “after X, Y, Z happens”. Happiness doesn’t exist because “I already did A, B, and C”.
Magic and Abundance only can exist right now exactly because the past and the future simply don’t.
This doesn’t mean live only for the moment. We all have responsibilities. But DO them. And then be grateful. Find the five things you are grateful for. There’s always five or more. List them. That’s abundance. And it compounds into more abundance if you always bring yourself back to it when your mind wanders like a time machine. Everytime your mind wanders, bring it back, list what you are grateful for.
I’ll tell you a story. I asked Kathryn Schulz what the inspiration of her book, “Being Wrong” was. She said she was talking to a friend of hers and the friend was describing in great detail the funeral of her father. The snow coming down in large flakes that covered the ground, the tears, the intense sadness that brought the memory to life. “But,” Kathryn asked her, “I thought your dad died in July?” So there couldn’t have been snow.
The past lies. The future won’t come true. The abundance and magic are only here and now.
The Magic Trick
If you always bring yourself back to that present moment, the future will more than take care of itself.
The abundance will grow every time you bring yourself back to the present moment and count the things you are grateful for.
That’s it. That’s the only trick to get great abundance in your life.
We start off with that helpless destined feeling. That we will die with our handcuffs on. And the hopes we had would be put a stop to. We would be found guilty in our worst nightmares. We would be silenced by our fears.
But right now I’m happy I’m talking to you. I’m abundant because you are listening. I’m grateful because I can feel my breath. Maybe one day I’ll decay and die. Maybe one day all around me will be the mirage and the desperate heat. Maybe one day my past will seem too much for me. But right here and now you and I are both alive. We’re both breathing. Knock knock.