It’s Tuesday, and I had no idea what to write about today. The way it was looking, life was going to be mundane, maybe even boring today…
But I opened my horoscope from Rob Brezsny, and it all changed when I read it. It brought back yesterday, and the whole past month.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): How sexy is it possible for you to be? I’m referring to authentic soul-stirring sexiness, not the contrived, glitzy, counterfeit version. I’m alluding to the irresistible magnetism that wells up in you when you tap in to your core self and summon a reverent devotion to your life’s mission. However sexy it is possible for you to be, Virgo, I suggest you unleash that magic in the coming weeks. It’s the most reliable strategy for attracting the spiritual experiences and material resources and psychological support you need.
In the 30 dry days… that seemed to pass through the land of commerce, I learned a lot about scarcity, about abundance, about being Selfish and being selfless, wanting, forcing, and pushing on a string.
I am not sure I’d be able to live through a whole year like the past month, but if I could, maybe my vibration would go up all the way to to 1000…
Life is, normally, normal… You survive and you know it.
But some time periods are not normal. There is a solar storm. Then there is February/March… The water doesn’t want to fully energize… No new money is coming in… This is a time when small businesses pray that they can stay in business. I have been observing this for 30 years… And maybe, occasionally, there is A February/March when there is also a solar storm. That is what happened this year.
I am going to share my observations, and I am going to share my insights.
I spent 20 years serving, advising, helping service providers, individuals who made a living, trading their time for money. When they know about every penny, and every penny has its place.
In the first of those years, 30 years ago, one of my clients said: If you survive March, you’ll live another year. That is what made me first look at the cyclical nature of business.
In order to see the bigger picture, you need to step back. You need to see more dots in the picture than just those in front of your nose. In fact, a whole lot more dots.
If you don’t, or you can’t, your actions will be reacting to what you can see, the partial picture, and everything you’ll do will be a mistake. Often fatal.
Unless you see, clearly, what causes what, you are going to try to fix something that can’t be, shouldn’t be fixed, because there is nothing wrong with it.
Each one of those service providers called me on slow weeks to ask me if I saw anything in the big picture. And I looked and saw.
And I always saw.
Waiting to when you need to see something may be a little too late.
When Lao Tzu said: do what is difficult when it is easy, he meant all kinds of doing, including thinking, including looking.
In the 30 years that I have been observing, I have mapped out cycles, regularities, etc… that make people buy or not buy.
And yet, when the dry spell hit this past month, my first thought went to: I am through. People suddenly don’t want what I have. I have to change!
This is where the proverbial stuff hit the fan… I reacted. I became a beggar. Luckily it didn’t do a thing, and luckily I started to query Source for a better course of action… and thus I didn’t dig myself six feet deep… the depth of a grave.
Source said it’s temporary… the dry spell. So I stopped digging, and I decided to employ end-game optimism: if I do the right things things will work out.
Just the way it started, suddenly, the same way it ended… at least let up for a few days. It’s not over yet… not quite.
The book, Acres of Diamonds talks about the dangers of abandoning your efforts when you are close to the gold or diamonds, because of your small minded, small picture view of the world.
I have a ton of visitors who, like zombies chasing mirages, hope for a windfall, but never achieve it.
Why? Because the mirages prevent them from seeing. The mirage gets into their eyes.
It does take thousands of hours of intentional learning, growing, self-developing, and there is no shortcut.
Talented people, smart people, they have to work as hard as everyone else.
You can get mediocre results with less work, less intentionality, less consistency… and the world is full of mediocre people. In every country.
And mediocre will not be fulfilling, especially if you believe that you deserve more than you are getting. And of course if you believe that you deserve more, you won’t apply yourself, you won’t put in the time.
Catch 22… the snake bites its own tail. Self-perpetuating attitude.
What is preventing you from applying yourself, is an attitude.
Attitude is a big word that can mean about a thousand different approaches to life.
My fundamental approach to life is: if something is not working, there is something I am not seeing.
And if there is something I am not seeing, fixing stuff is not a good solution.
The question to ask, instead of rushing to fix, is “What am I not seeing?”
That is probably the most intelligent question you can ask. In my 70 years no one asked me this question.
And when they do ask questions, they ask them from what they know.
But no one thinks to give me the facts and help them move around so that they can see what they need to see for life to start working for them.
I could be offended. It would be justified. I could say: you have to pay for that… it would be justified.
But, I can see, that is not a productive attitude.
For the past week or so I have reversed the order of things, I have been giving the strategy session (a 20 minute conversation) BEFORE I give people their starting point measurements.
I have found that people are actually quite delightful. Once they tell me all the things they know, they start to hear what may be missing. (Me keeping my mouth shut has been the secret ingredient.)
They still don’t know to ask the question: Things are not working. What am I not seeing? and they may NEVER think to ask that question.
Not even my paying clients and students think to ask that question…
I wonder what it is about humans that they think they see everything that they need to see to find their ways out of the maze.
I am reading a book written by a guy who played competitive chess for a long time.
He played well… but he didn’t have questions, until one day he did.
Asking the type of question that probes into the invisible (to you), is an adult capacity. And you cannot even consider asking those questions from inside the cave of your mind. The mind likes only clarifying questions that prove it was right, prove that it knows everything.
When this dude suddenly saw that to win consistently, you needed to ask different questions, he became a person who spent 99% of their time widening their cone of vision so more things are recognized and more things are seen in a single glance.
Patterns, for example, take a billion hours to identify to such a high degree, that you can see them even from the corner of your eyes… like I see money spending habits of people. Or signs of weather changes.
Or the way I can see your attitude… the soil from which your behavior grows.
When things are not working, or a thing isn’t working, there is always something you don’t see. And what you don’t see is your attitude. Your approach. You don’t see that the soil from which your actions grow out of is toxic.
In yesterday’s money attitude workshop (see sidebar) almost every participant adopted my attitude: Being a value recognizer.
Being a value recognizer is a big deal. I literally don’t know anyone who is a value recognizer, who has that capacity fully open. I have it open to 30%. A major part of the value isn’t recognized… mostly in themselves. But what you cannot see you cannot grow.
If you depend on others to tell you your value, life won’t work well for you.
It takes work to see the value of what you are providing, to grow it to have monetary value, and speak it effectively so others can see the value too.
If you don’t see it… or if you are just giving it lip-service… or if you hope that others will see it without you telling them… life will remain as dark and miserable as it is now.
Of course, if you want to be honest to yourself, at this point you have no idea what value is, whether they eat it or drink it.
Until you start to get glimpses of it, this will just be a good idea… and that is mostly what will happen to people… because words don’t change attitudes, only effort to see something different. Much like in chess… you look until you see. Thousands of hours? Hundreds if you have a teacher.
But you are, nevertheless, going to be the average of the five people you spend the most time with, who have the most air time in your life.
And if they are the way you have been, no amount of work you do with a teacher will make a difference. Guaranteed. You cannot change reality.
There are no jumps, even if you feel that a conversation you had with a coach was life altering. As soon as you go back to your life and your people… you are back to where you were.
So what can you do… given that before the capacity opens up, it is as good as non-existent?
There are a few practices you can employ.
–One practice is putting a question mark at the end of every statement you think, or you say.
What this does is enters the element of “it ain’t necessarily so”, and the element of “it ain’t nothing till I say so” you could have learned from the Umpire story.
The more diligent you are in adding the question mark, the faster the capacity will open up.
Every sentence, remember?
The goal is to become cause. Cause of what you see. Cause of becoming a value-recognizer. In yourself and in others.
Here is how I sound being a value recognizer. You may sound different. Or you may emulate me… But remember, it is not the words that matter, it is the attitude:
I am fully and totally responsible for the value I receive, while I give more than what people expect of me.
No one can take advantage of me, because I make sure that I receive and end up with more value than I have given. How? by pulling the value towards myself.
I give everything I know away for free. And I get more value for myself than what it takes… and thousand times more than you are able to receive. Unfortunately.
The value is not necessarily enjoyment value, or extrinsic value. Often it is intrinsic value. An experience of gratitude, an experience of awe. And experience of self-love spilling over.
Everything I ever wanted is available to me through being a value recognizer and in providing value… to you.