FINANCIAL SUCCESS DEPENDS ON YOUR INNER WORLD
In the current world climate, there's more and more people struggling to make ends meet.
"There's a war on small business.
The government has not done enough.
The government has done too much."
And on - and on -
Honestly, the only person ever responsible for your life circumstances is YOU.
And that's great news - because it allows You to be the driver of your own vehicle.
Having worked with hundreds of clients over the past four years, there's one thing they all had in common:
Turning their life circumstances around had nothing to do with changing external circumstances - though, that could be a side effect.
And instead, it had everything to do with addressing a deep-seated issue within their psyche - defined as human soul, mind or spirit.
When we feel good about ourselves, it shows. It radiates out, attracting the highest and best possibilities and even more so probabilities.
People want to hire us. The passion is felt in the product, whatever it may be.
You can re-vamp your marketing strategy. You can change your career path. You can get a new job.
But these external so-called changes will all produce the same unsatisfactory results until you address what's really going on inside of yourself.
MY PRESCRIPTION REMAINS THE SAME, NO MATTER THE CLIENT.
Take time to relax, do nothing, and really feel into what YOU want to add to the world - not what everyone else around you wants - without regard to what it will look like to other people.
Counter-intuitive - I know.
The manner in which you approach life and business is far more important than the external details.
When interviewed, the most successful people around have said their most creative ideas have come to them when they are relaxed.
No big solution was found in a panic - it was delivered in a whisper of wisdom when you sat by the ocean and said:
"Well, I surrender to what is. Come what may!"
SOME SCIENCE TO BACK UP WHAT WISDOM ALREADY KNOWS:
"Scientists studying brain scans recently discovered that moments of creativity take place when the mind is at rest rather than working on something. And since creative approaches are so crucial to success, workaholics are working themselves out a job."
Dear Young Americans,
Once upon a time, I was young like you. Like many of you, I lived in a bubble.
I lived in the same place all my life – in the Houston suburbs. I went to primary school with the same people I graduated high school with, and then onto college with some of the same folks.
We were not exceedingly wealthy, but every need was always met. My world was safe and familiar. And really homogeneous in makeup.
On September 11, 2001, I was a senior in college, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. My college roommate and I were watching the television show Good Morning America when the first plane struck the Twin Towers in New York City.
Classes were cancelled. Sports were cancelled. We didn’t have internet access in our house, but we were glued to the television (yes, we had to pay for television the dinosaurs that we are now).
The fear of the world rained down so hard, my bubble of security was destroyed in one fail swoop. In an instant of cowardice, America’s prosperity and promised security – taken so much for granted – came crashing down so hard, it appeared as it the statue of liberty was crying herself.
The job offer I had lined up after graduation was withdrawn. The economy went into the crapper and millions of college students who were entering the workforce, like me, no longer had the security they were promised that went like this:
Make good grades. Get in to college. You’ll be guaranteed a job. You’ll be able to pay your bills.
Ha! It’s almost funny now. That’s not how it turned out. Obviously.
Being as flexible as I am, I threw out my college thesis I had been working on for some years and decided to focus on the rise of the internet as a new medium news source. I decided to move to Washington, DC and have a completely different experience after graduation.
My job in DC was to work in the mailroom of a United States Senator. This is the day when Anthrax- laced packages were being mailed to elected officials.
Every letter had to be tested for poison and then my job was to open them up and sort them out. Opening government mail then is today’s equivalent of shaking hands without being able to wash them. I did all this for free because no one could afford to hire anyone.
I got involved with what was going on in the world and learned about things I never heard of until my bubble was popped – for example, I learned about the Islamic religion for the first time. I had no idea anything outside of my bubble existed.
Eventually, eight months later after graduation from the University of Texas, I took the only job offer I had – as a newspaper reporter in a really small town in South Carolina, where people were not as privileged as I had been growing up.
I made eleven dollars per hour, and I could only afford rent in a low-income housing project near the newspaper building where I worked. In this building lived people with special needs, people of various ethnic and racial backgrounds, and young disabled veterans.
My bubble burst, but I made lemonade. I got to know my neighbors in the housing project. I learned their stories. My eyes were wide open to understanding and knowing people who were not like me. Who did not look like me, talk like me, or grow up like me.
I learned what it meant to only have a few bucks in my pocket after a long workweek. Other reporters and I would go to happy hour on Fridays and get the one-dollar Pabst Blue Ribbon beer special. I could afford three tops and ate soup from a can most Friday nights. And I loved it. I was living outside my own bubble. It was an exciting time.
Eventually the economy rebounded, and people felt safe again. I got hired at a great newspaper back home in Texas, and my career was taking off, finally.
Sure, I returned to my bubble, but this time I had a new understanding of the world and how it works for people who have not had everything handed to them – as I had.
It’s an experience that shaped and molded me in the best way possible. It’s what you would call character building. It improved my writing, my empathy and understanding of a forgotten America, and it made me a better reporter, writer, and a better lobbyist when that became my job.
More than anything, it made me a better human.
The best part of living in America is not that we are resilient – and we so are – it’s the alchemy that occurs in this great country that when tragedy and crisis hit – regardless of who is in office or the political landscape – we don’t only address the problem, we create something entirely new from the experience.
Americans do not push tragedy away or sweep it under the rug. Instead, when we come down from the high of panic, loss and fear, Americans take whatever is handed to them, and we weave it into the fabric of our vastly diverse heterogeneous society.
That fabric is not monochrome. It is a coat of many colors.
Many young Americans are being affected by the massive shifts taking place in the world today. You get to choose what you want to focus on.
And I choose to see this disruption as a great character- building opportunity for future leaders.
I know from direct experience, having your bubble burst at such an age opens you up not only to being a more well-rounded person, but having a new depth from which to draw on as you make your way through this beautiful American life.
You got this!
I went to a big progressive city yesterday (Austin) and over new year’s (San Francisco).
Don't get me wrong I love a city's charms. Loads of food options, hustle and bustle, variety.
I spent most of my adulthood in big 'progressive' cities, yet I realized something driving out of downtown Austin yesterday back to my quiet island life:
American city life is lacquered. Every single little thing in my interaction with city life yesterday had a high gloss sheen.
From my six-dollar coffee, which came with the option of six different kinds of milk, to the signs telling me how to live my life (organic) and where to pick my politics (liberal), every single thing was telling me we need MORE.
More consumption – of the RIGHT things. More progress - which is PRESCRIBED. More and more and more choices, AND most of all, more SUCCESS to pay for it all.
So many choices, or the illusion of choices.
The menu may be fancy, but the concept that there is a choice is a facade.
As I drove out of Austin and back into the marshy flatlands of Texas, I watched the sea birds fly overhead. The deeper I drove into South Texas, the more the sheen wore off. It felt like I entered a tube on the highway that dropped me off into yet another reality or universe.
I stopped for my 89-cent coffee at a gas station in nowhere, Texas. A man held the door open for me. The cashier smiled big and welcomed me into the store. Their clothes were likely from a discount store. The options for food are pork or beef.
But something struck me. They were kind.
Not because I billboard (meme) told them to be or in any forced way or because it's the trendy or spiritual thing to do. Not because they made the right food options that day or because they meditated with an app that morning or because their latest entrepreneurial endeavor reached wild success level.
They were kind because they wanted to be. Because moving through the slow pace of life outside the city affords them the space to stop, open a door, talk deeply to customer or a passerby - even when it doesn't benefit them in status or financially.
Even for ten minutes. No hurry. Eye contact. Depth.
I realized the reality of those living in places like Austin is nothing at all like life on Mustang Island. No better or worse, it's just different.
Drive two hours outside the city you live in, engage with those around you, and you'll receive an education beyond any book or internet article. We all have something to learn from one another. It can't be found living in your bubble.
I'm really grateful for this amazing grace period in my life to slow down and observe how the rest of America outside the big progressive hubs live.
A lot of the political solutions touted today are made within the confines of what will work in a city where hustle is king. But what works for the rest of America, well, it's like trying to come up with a game in which the rules favor one type of player.
I don't have any grand sweeping conclusions or solutions or firm and fixed beliefs one way or another; I am simply awe-struck at the diversity of a beautiful nation.
My fluid perspective sitting on the ferry ride back home, chatting with the boat operators who light up when the see me and Ollie, my dog:
You can't homogenize a heterogeneous society. To do so would rob it of its beauty, the diverse tapestry that makes up the beauty of America.
It truly brings tears to my eyes on how grand the design of American life is. My jaw drops at the vastness of the landscapes open for exploration between the packed in cities that operate in an entirely different manner, an alternate universe or reality.
Beyond problems and politics, the nation is not only masterly diverse in nature, her people are as complex and varied as the landscapes they occupy.
For me, the grandness of American life is found in the open spaces, outside the confines of a city's bubble. I am glad I made the leap into something New.
Something real slow.
And most of all, something no less grand simply because it doesn't have a lacquered facade placed upon it.
The fabric of America does not need any more lacquer or a high gloss sheen; she's beautiful just the way she is.
All is well in all of Creation.
As a former newspaper reporter and book writer, I love to capture moments in word form. I love my home, America, yet I fell head over heels in love with Mexico, too.