Master Key Week 24 – Commencement

Steve jobs said it better than I ever could, so I’ll leave it to him.

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Master Key week 23 – The Law of Least Effort

The Law of Least Effort

The Law of Least Effort is based on the fact that universal intelligence functions with effortless ease. This is the principle of least action or no resistance. It is the principle of harmony and love. When we learn this lesson from nature, we easily fulfill our desires.

If you observe nature at work, you will see that least effort is expended. Grass just grows. Fish just swim. Birds fly. This is their intrinsic nature. And it is human nature to cause our dreams to manifest into their physical form, easily and effortlessly.

The universal intelligence functions spontaneously and without effort. It is intuitive, holistic, and nourishing. When you are in harmony with nature, and established in the knowledge of your true self, you can make use of the Law of Least Effort.

Least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love, because nature is held together by the energy of love. When you seek power and control over other people, you waste energy. When you seek money or power for the sake of the ego, you spend energy chasing the illusion of happiness instead of enjoying happiness in the moment. When you seek money for personal gain only, you cut off the flow of energy to yourself, and interfere with the expression of nature’s intelligence. But when your actions are motivated by love, there is no waste of energy. When your actions are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates, and the surplus energy you gather and enjoy can be channeled to create anything that you want, including unlimited wealth.

Think of your physical body as a device for controlling energy. It can generate, store, and expend energy. If you know how to generate, store, and expend energy in an efficient way, you can create any amount of wealth. Attention to the ego consumes the greatest amount of energy. When your internal reference point is the ego, when you seek power and control over other people or seek approval from others, you spend energy in a wasteful way.

When that energy is freed up, it can be rechanneled and used to create anything that you want. When your internal reference point is your spirit, when you are immune to criticism and unfearful of any challenge, you can harness the power of love, and use energy creatively for the experience of affluence and evolution.

Too many people waste untold amounts of energy bolstering their own importance, status or ego, call it what you will. They waste so much energy trying to maintain illusions of grandeur that they never actually experience the grandeur of the universe.

The Three Components of the Law of Least Effort

Acceptance

Acceptance is the first component. Acceptance simply means making the commitment to accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur. This means you know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. This moment, the one you’re experiencing right now, is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it should be because the entire universe is as it should be.

When you struggle against the moment, you are struggling against the entire universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against the moment. This means that your acceptance of the moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in the moment. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.

When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation. These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else’s fault. When you recognize and understand this completely, you are ready to take responsibility for how you feel and to change it. And if you can accept things as they are, you are ready to take responsibility for your situation and for all the events you see as problems.

Responsibility

What does responsibility mean? Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything else for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, responsibility then means the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it into a better situation.

Once you do this, every upsetting situation will become an opportunity for the creation of something new and beautiful, and every bully or tyrant will become your teacher. Reality is an interpretation. If you choose to interpret reality in this way, you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities to evolve.

Whether you are confronted by a well-meaning friend, or a not-so-well-meaning foe, remind yourself, “This moment is as it should be.” Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.

Defenselessness

The third component of the Law of Least Effort is defenselessness or, a non-defensive stance. You relinquish the need to convince others to accept your point of view. If you observe people around you, you’ll see that many ot them spend the bulk of their time defending their points of view. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted.

When you become defensive and do not accept the moment for what it is and surrender to it, you meet resistance. When you meet resistance, just know that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase. You don’t want to be like the mighty oak tree that resists the strong wind until it cracks and falls. Rather, you want to be flexible, like a palm that bends with the wind and survives.

Refrain from defending your point of view. When you have no point to defend, resistance and arguments are avoided (this goes back to being an observer and not having opinions). If you stop fighting and resisting, you will fully experience the gift that is the present.

Embrace the present. Become one with it, merge with it, and you will experience the glow of ecstasy throbbing in every living being. As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it, joy will be born within you, and you will drop the terrible burdens and encumbrances of defensiveness, resentment, and hurtfulness. Only then will you become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free.

In this joyful, simple freedom, you will know without any doubt in your heart that what you want is available to you whenever you want it, because your want will be from the level of happiness, not from the level of anxiety or fear. You do not need to justify; simply declare your intent to yourself, and you will experience fulfillment, delight, joy, freedom, and autonomy in every moment of your life.

Make a commitment to follow the path of no resistance. This is the path through which nature’s intelligence unfolds spontaneously, without friction or effort. When you have the exquisite combination of acceptance, responsibility, and defenselessness, you will experience life flowing with effortless ease.

When you remain open to all points of view, your dreams and desires will flow with nature’s desires. Then you can release your intentions, without attachment, and just wait for the appropriate season for your desires to blossom into reality. You can be sure that when the season is right, your desires will manifest. This is the Law of Least Effort.

Taken from the teachings of Deepak Chopra

Master Key Week 22 – Just A Little Rant

Hey folks,
Due to my wife being ill, I got a little behind on the blogosphere part of MKMA. I won’t bore you with my problems, but she’s doing better so now I’m playing catch-up.

The emphasis in MKMA recently has been on turning negative emotions into tools to use for better.

As someone who has struggled with weight issues my whole life, this really hits home. Today’s society does not tolerate bigotry regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. But a large part of society thinks it perfectly alright to treat weight challenged people as social pariahs. I even heard a fellow go90grow member on a Q&A say he was struggling with his feelings trying to understand why he doesn’t like fat people. It was good that he realized there was a problem, but he doesn’t get any points from me for just recognizing it.

A lot of overweight people see themselves (myself included) as inadequate, unworthy, unlikable and…well, here’s an excerpt from an article on the NYU (NY University) website:

Psychological Effects of Obesity

 Being severely obese has serious psychological and social repercussions. Many people who are overweight are subject to disapproval, even lectures, from family and friends and to sneers and remarks from strangers. Such behavior is propagated by the general societal belief that obesity is caused by a lack of self-discipline or moral weakness. These attitudes carry over into the work world, where a job or a promotion is often denied simply because of how much one weighs.

Not surprising, many obese people prefer not to go out in public because they feel self-conscious or they simply cannot enjoy activities that most people take for granted, like going to the movies, taking the subway, or going on vacation – because the seats are too small, the turnstiles are too narrow, or the accommodations are too uncomfortable. All these experiences, repeated day after day for years, can lead to depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem, and mental illness.

The truth of the matter is that morbid obesity is a chronic medical illness, as was announced by the American Medical Association (AMA), At NYU, we strive to educate the professionals and laypeople alike of the seriousness of this disease and the need to treat and prevent it.

That article describes me, and I wasn’t even close to being morbidly obese. I’ve always suffered from social anxiety and my weight problem had just made it worse.

I kind of lost track of where I was going with his. Oh, yeah, it all came to a head for me this past December when I went to the doctor the week before Christmas for a routine visit. Emily, the doctor’s assistant, came in and took my blood pressure. It was fine as usual. Then she said, “Let’s get on the scale.” “Oh boy,” I thought, “this isn’t going to end well.” Anyway, I weighed 304 pounds.

Fifteen years of working a desk job and being inactive had caught up with me. So I vowed to do something about it. I made it through the holidays with no weight gain, which was a miracle in itself. I started reading everything I could find on healthy eating. I wasn’t looking for the latest greatest diet, i was looking to totally change my eating habits. Instead of dieting, I was going to make healthy choices.

On January 17, armed with information on healthy eating and some supplements I bought after extensive research, it was time to start. I weighed in at 297 pounds. I’ve been eating grass fed beef, free range chicken, wild caught salmon once in a while, and a lot of green stuff. I limited myself to 1300 calories a day, but I have never had a hunger pang. I guess when you cut out the carbs the cravings go away.

Today is March 8, and I weigh 260 pounds. I have a good ways to go because my goal is 210, but I have no doubt I’ll get there, because I’m not on a diet. I’m making healthy choices.

One final thought. If you ever get the urge to cast a disdainful glance at someone with a physical issue, please watch this video first. I cry every time I hear it.


Peace out!

Master Key Week 21 – Turn Negative Into Positive

We all experience negative emotions. Frustration, anger, disappointment, anxiety, fear, etc. Sometimes, these emotions can be overwhelming and difficult to handle. As a result, we can end up being eaten alive by these feelings and they can cause us to say or do things that are totally out of character for us. The good news is that we have the power to take our negative emotions and use them to our advantage.

Negative emotions, especially anger, can fuel creativity. A recent study at Ghent (Belgium) University, which examined the habits of 100 creative professionals, found that those who begin their day with negative emotions and end it with positive ones had the most creative output and highest productivity levels. This suggests that these individuals channeled their anger into their work. Negative emotions may help you dig deeper into the problem and find a better solution.

Negative emotions can also help cultivate compassion. The disappointment and bitterness experienced in life can make you more compassionate toward others. According to Brene Brown, author of the “Daring Greatly”, shame is deadly. But the upside is that we can overcome it and build greater connections with others, and become more compassionate towards ourselves and others.

One fascinating fact about emotions is that they can be learned. The way our mind and body respond to varying emotions depend on several factors, including our upbringing, past experiences, and so on. It has been shown that we can train our mind and body to positively respond to negative emotions to lessen their stressful impact on our health and well-being.

Be aware of your emotions. Negative emotions make us uncomfortable, which is why our natural response is to shut them out without thinking about why we are experiencing them.

The first key step in learning to control your emotions is to realize that you are separate from them. Your emotions do not determine who you are. Learn to direct your emotions.

Since emotions can be learned, they can also be unlearned. By consciously taking action to change your response to negative emotions, you can actually change your emotions and re-label them. For example, instead of associating adrenaline rush with fear, you can interpret is as a feeling of excitement. I guess it’s all a matter of refocusing and redirecting.

We’re always going to experience negative emotions from time to time, so by redirecting the energy we can turn the negative into positive.

Master Key Week 20 – Burn The Ships

In researching this post, I found that there is some controversy surrounding what really happened to Cortez’ ships. Some say he burned them, some say he scuttled them to the point they were no longer seaworthy. Regardless, I find it inspiring and the following version is how I would like to think it happened.

burning-shipsThe phrase “Burn The Ships” comes from the story of when Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico in 1519. His only objective was to seize the great treasures known to be there. Cortez was committed to his mission and to his quest for riches. was an excellent motivator. He convinced more than 600 men to set sail from Spain to Mexico, aboard eleven ships, to capture the world’s riches treasure. How did a small band of Spanish soldiers and sailors sail to a strange country and swiftly overthrow a large and powerful empire that was in power for over six centuries?

For Cortez, the answer was easy. It was all or nothing, complete and total commitment. But how did he get that total commitment from his men? He took away the option of failure. It was conquer and be heroes…or die. When he and his men arrived on the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula. he rallied the men for one final pep talk before leading his men into battle, and uttered these three words that changed the course of history. “Burn the Ships”.

He met with resistance from his men. “Burn the ships,” he repeated. “if we are going home, we are going home in their ships”. With that, Cortez and his men burned their own ships, and by burning their own ships, the commitment level of the men was raised to a whole new level. A level much higher than any of the men, including Cortez, could have ever imagined.

Amazingly, they conquered the Aztecs and succeeded at something others had failed to do for six centuries. With the victory Cortez and his men took the treasure. Why did they win? They had no escape, no fall back position. It was “succeed or die”. Their ships were burned. They had no way to get back. Their backs were to the wall.

To “really succeed” you must have an attitude much like that of Cortez and his men. Cortez and his men did not have a “Plan B”. Their only options were “do it, or die trying.” How would you like to be engaged in fighting someone with that level of motivation and commitment?

This is the level of motivation and commitment you must have, the “burn the ships” level of commitment. Take away your crutches and excuses and burn the ships that are keeping you from achieving your goals. Identity the ships in your life that are keeping you from accomplishing your dreams. Like a friend of mine always says,“Dream big or go home”. Whatever prevents you from achieving your goals and dreams are ships that must be burned.

If we know that our ships are still out there, when things get tough we instinctively head for our ships so we can escape. It’s just human nature. The path of least resistance. This level of thinking and commitment sees sacrifice as a positive thing, not something weird or impossible, but something to be cherished and fought for. Cortez didn’t allow himself or his men to have the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful. And so it is with you. How can you make the missions in your life successful?

Master Key Week 19 – Do Not Walk In Fear

Fear is a thief. It will steal your dreams, your ambitions, and ultimately, your life. You can go for your dreams with gusto, or you can let the thief called Fear steal them out from under you. Five years from today, you can be happier, more fulfilled, healthier and wealthier…or you can be in the same boat you’re in today, but five years older.

See if you recognize yourself, or someone you love in this true story about my grandmother.

I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents on my mom’s side always lived with us even though they had decent jobs and made a good living. But, being a kid, I thought it was pretty cool.

One day, when I was 11 or 12 years old, I asked my Nana why they had never bought a house.

She replied, “Because we would lose it if there was another depression.”

That seemed a little strange to me. I knew what the Great Depression was. But I also knew it had been over for more than 25 years, since the end of WWII.

When I asked Nana that question, she was about the same age I am now – mid 50’s. I
guess her answer puzzled me because I knew their lifestyle. They had both worked for their respective companies for years, they never went without, and they bought a new car every three or four years.

They never seemed to want for anything, but my Nana lived her life as though she thought disaster was always just around the corner. If she experienced good fortune in one area of life, she would immediately start worrying, because in her mind, something bad would have to happen to cancel it out.

Pop died in 1972, five months before he would have started collecting his pension. My Nana, at that time, was on permanent disability due to heart disease and diabetes.

Nana passed away in 1985, and as we all know, that next Great Depression she spent her life worrying about never happened. Come to think of it, I guess it didn’t have to, because in her mind, the first one had never ended.

We are given just so many days to walk this Earth. Don’t let fear steal another precious one of them.

Peace

Master Key week 18 – “Ya Gotta Believe”

In Week 18 we learned how every one of us can be The Greatest Salesman In The World. It’s all about making that first sale to the most skeptical of prospects, yourself.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Door To Door, you know what I mean. Bill Porter overcame cerebral palsy to become the number one salesman for Watkins Incorporated, a manufacturer of health remedies, baking products, and other household items. When asked if he was surprised by the success he had achieved, Bill responded, “It never entered my mind that I couldn’t.” You can read more about Bill’s story here .

It’s All About Believing in Yourself

Thoreau said most people live lives of quiet desperation. They never realize their dreams and die with their music still in them. I believe one of the biggest reasons is that they never made that all important first sale. They never sold themselves on the the belief they could do it. They do not believe in themselves.

Belief in yourself is being sold on the idea that you can do whatever you want even if no one else believes you can. The majority of folks quit as soon as they encounter the proverbial bump in the road because, as we have learned in MKMMA, when faced with uncertainty, people revert to doing what is familiar and comfortable, which usually means doing nothing. Faced with adversity, they begin to doubt their own abilities and they just quit. The people who have made that first sale and believe in themselves completely are the ones who succeed.

Take network marketing, for example. MLM bashers love to throw around the incorrect statistic that 97% of people who get into network marketing fail. The truth is, 80% of those who join a network marketing company never do anything to build the business and cancel their autoship within three months. To my way of thinking, the only difference between the 80% and those who have never considered MLM is that the 80% bought a starter kit and some products.

Here’s an example of two people who joined the same MLM under the same sponsor.

Stan joined and bought a starter kit and some product. He attended a couple of the trainings offered by his upline. He threw up all over everybody he knew about his business. Of course, they all said no and one of them laughed at him for falling for a pyramid scheme. Stan convinced himself he couldn’t do network marketing, so he cancelled his autoship and stopped taking his sponsor’s calls.

Sally was presented with the same opportunity as Stan. The first thought to come into her head was, “I can do that.” She joined, same as Stan, but Sally attended all the trainings and learned how to do things the right way. Sally understands there’s no such thing as get rich overnight, so she keeps on keepin’ on, doing what she was taught.

Three years go by and Sally realizes her checks from her business are almost twice as big as the paychecks from her job. She went to her boss and told her she was giving her “two weeks” because it was costing her money to work there.

Did Stan fail at MLM? No he didn’t. Stan was like the guy who buys a set of golf clubs, plays a few rounds, and because he keeps hitting the ball into the woods, stashes the clubs in the garage and never touches them again. He failed to make the first sale of selling himself on the belief that he could do it. He failed because he believed more in the people that scoffed at him than he did in himself. Don’t let the opinions of others mold your opinion of yourself. They aren’t putting bread on your table.

I kind of went off on a tangent there. I’m prone to do that sometimes.

I’ll leave you with a couple pictures. Anyone from NY or NJ will probably recognize them.

lindsaybelieve

 

yougottabelieve

Master Key Week 17A – May The Force Be With You

Associative memory is a strong force. In its simplest form, it’s how you remember peoples’ names. You see the face and the name comes to the front of your memory or, conversely, you hear the name and the person’s face pops into your mind’s eye.

The pleasant side of associative memory can bring a smile to your face. You walk into a bakery and all of a sudden you’re thinking about your grandmother (mine is pot roast and my mother-in-law). Or, you smell hot dogs and Yankee Stadium comes to mind. Sorry, Davene.

Sometimes these associations are, for no apparent reason, very strong. When I was a kid, I took public transporation to high school. Five days a week, ten months a year, for four years, I’d walk to the corner and catch the bus for downtown. Once downtown, I’d walk the two blocks to City Hall where I’d catch the bus that went to the school. To this day, whenever I smell diesel fumes, my mind instantly takes me back to my high school days. There are other things (usually sounds or smells) that will resurrect a faded memory, but the diesel fumes – high school association seems to be the strongest one for me.

Welcome To The Dark Side Luke

But associative memory has a dark side. A side that can bury who you really are so deeply that no one, including yourself, ever sees the real you. They see the you that your associative memory has created. It can affect every decision you make, sometimes very negatively.

I have a friend who didn’t have a very good relationship with her father. She is smart, kind and just the nicest person you’d ever meet. But for the longest time, everything she touched turned to crap.

She would meet a guy she liked, and the brain chatter would start. All she heard was her dad’s voice, “You’re not good enough, no one will ever love you.” I don’t have to tell you where that led. In her relationships with men, she became clingy and insecure, smothering them and trying to prove she was worthy even though there was no real reason to think she wasn’t. The good guys would back off quickly and she became easy prey for men who seek to exploit women with low self-esteem. She went from one abusive relationship to the next.

But Wait…It Gets Worse

Job wise was no different. She’d get a good job and next thing you know, here’s dear old dad inside her head, “You’re stupid, you can’t do anyting right. No one likes you.” She couldn’t hold a good job because her insecurities made it impossible to do anything unsupervised. The only jobs she could hold were ones she hated. Perhaps there was something deep inside her fighting to get out by telling her she was better than that.

It seems like every situation she encountered in life drudged up memories of being told by her father how stupid or unlikable or unworthy she was. So much so, that she became the person these memories created, while who she really was disappeared into an abyss. Whenever her real self would try to poke its head out, the memories of her father’s psychological abuse would come rushing forth to beat it back down into the hole and shovel dirt over it.

It’s Never Too Late As Long As You’re Still Breathing

The story does have a happy ending. Sadly, she was never able to mend the relationship with her father while he was alive, but after he passed she wrote him a letter, a very long letter. In it she told him everything there was to tell about how his treatment of her had affected her life. It ended up being eleven pages on legal sized paper.

Eleven pages of pouring out her heart led to the final sentence that changed her life forever. That sentence was, “But I love you, and I forgive you.”

She read the letter out loud, often choking back years of previously unshed tears. When she finished reading it, she went outside, dug as deep a hole as she could, and buried it. And with it, she buried the person that had been created by the anguish expressed in that letter. My friend is now a very successful business person. She is happily married to a guy who worships the ground she walks on, and has a couple of great kids.

And so it goes.

Master Key Week 17 – For “Lack” Of A Better Word

Every week on the webinar, something always jumps out at me. This week it was “abundance” and its antithesis, “lack.”

A lot of people have a scarcity mindset or, mindset of lack, as it’s sometimes called, while others, who are usually happier and more prosperous, have a mindset of abundance. I’ve always found the subject fascinating and have wondered why the scarcity mindset is so ingrained in our society.

How many of us heard as a child, “Finish your vegetables, there are kids starving in China.” I never saw the logic in that because even as a kid, I knew eating my spinach wasn’t going to help some starving kid on the other side of the world. Now I understand my mother was really saying there wasn’t enough to go around, so I should appreciate that I had a plate in front of me. That is a scarcity or lack mindset.

Another example comes from friends of mine, a married couple. They got into network marketing back in the 90’s and were trying to figure out how to make it all work. Their upline was fairly new and couldn’t really help, so at a company event they approached a husband and wife team they knew was upline to them and very successful, and asked for help. The way Bob tells it, the response they got kind of shocked them. After explaining that they were looking for some help, the wife asked them a few questions about who had sponsored them and just said, “We’d like to help you, but you’re out of our payline,” and basically dismissed them.

“But that was over 20 years ago,” you might be thinking. Well, I can tell you that just recently, a very successful marketer posted openly on Facebook, “Don’t message me if I’m not making money from you.” I guess there will always be those who believe there is no reward in helping people who aren’t in a position to help you back.

On the other side of the coin, there’s Mark J, Davene, Trish and Heather, who give their time, effort and knowledge without limits because they know the universe, or universal mind, knows only abundance. The universe will give us whatever we desire. When we give, expecting nothing in return, we set the wheels of abundance in motion. And what is set in motion, stays in motion.

The abundance mindset knows there is plenty to go around. There is no need to “get while the getting is good” and then move on to the next thing. The abundance mindset knows that helping or giving to those who are in no position to help you opens you up to be able to receive. The abundance mindset knows the more value you unleash into the universe, the more there is that will flow back to you.

People’s mindsets are easy to spot

The abundant mindset rejoices at the success of others, the lack mindset curses it.
The abundant mindset says “How can I earn…?” The lack mindset says “Who will give me…?”
The abundant mindset expects to pay for value. The lack mindset believes in entitlement.

So where does the scarcity or lack mindset come from? I have to honestly say, I don’t know. I don’t think parents intentionally condition their kids to have it. I don’t think schools teach it. Maybe it comes from the self talk that springs up from circumstances we interpret incorrectly, to the point that all our self talk becomes negative in nature and the next thing you know, the world is against us, nothing ever turns out right, and everybody hates us.

Maybe we should go eat some worms.

Master Key Week 16 – Kill Them With Kindness

Our requirement for this week is to, each day, share two acts of kindness we observed or participated in. The subject of kindness always reminds me of this video. I’ve watched this 20 times or more over the last couple of years and I still get choked up when I see it.


The great thing about kindness is that a lot of times, a simple act of kindness that didn’t cost anything can make someone feel better than if you had given them an expensive gift. Sometimes a simple “hello” and a smile can make a difference in someone’s day, perhaps even in their life.

I’ve found that even observing the kind acts of others makes me feel better. Maybe it gives me a renewed faith in human nature, who knows. We might be onto something here.

The next time you have an opportunity to do someone a kindness, think about the potential three-way positive effect. There’s the positive effect on the recipient and the positive effect on you. But maybe the biggest effect of all will be on a passer-by who just happens to witness the act.

I think we could start a pandemic of a positive nature here.