I feel like I'm a different person...like some alien took over the normal Type A Monica Main's body and replaced her spirit with that of a Buddhist monk. And this all happened last weekend! (Imagine that!)
My first strange revelation happened last week when I was playing a really lame iPad app/game called Cook Dash. (Some of you may know of this lame game and how addicting it can be for "mindless" entertainment. We all need that once in awhile.) Since I've essentially mastered the game, I've been going into something called "challenge mode" where I've found myself so good at the game that I can't lose.
And that really sucks!
I've been playing the game for about 4 days in the past week, wasting a total of approximately 9 hours on this game and I can't lose because I've gotten soproficient at the game.
Now I'm dissatisfied with the game because the challenge and excitement iscompletely gone.
Then it dawned on me. This is how life is. It's a game. And when you win all the time, the interest in the game is gone. (Remember the Twilight Zone episode when the mobster died and thought he ended up in Heaven? He started winning all the time, everything came to him easy, and he had to work toward getting nothing because it was all handed to him. He then realized he was in hell because the challenge of the game was completely gone. And he was miserable.)
The prospect of losing (or the threat of danger) makes anything challenging and exciting. Without it, everything in your life will begin to suck. And bad.
It's like going to a movie. You don't go to see a movie about a fat guy laying on the beach all day, getting even fatter with buttered lobster brought to him by a guy named Ramon on a silver platter, and puffing on a cigar while drinking Patron, do you? Imagine watching that for 90 minutes. (That movie would suck!) Or do you go to a movie to see the hero get thrown into some dangerous situation that he is able to (barely) overcome? (Now that's exciting!) Or the underdog doormat guy who is able to become wealthy, popular, a winner, or whatever by overcoming his shortcomings?
When you get to a certain level in life where you've gotten so good at something and it becomes boring, second-nature, and "hum-drum," your soul will start to erode away (and eventually die) unless you begin pushing the envelope on yourself again. And to push yourself could be as simple (and dangerous) as taking up tightrope walking to walking out on your boss and starting your own business. Today.
Of course, it doesn't have to be career-oriented at all. It doesn't have to be something about making money. It doesn't have to be a dangerous activity. It doeshave to push you to be a better and different person, even if it's just a little.
Even if it's taking that cooking class at your local college...the one you were afraid to enroll in because you don't want to meet new people. Or submitting that manuscript to that publisher. Or deciding to become a photographer.
Constantly be striving. (Striving isn't struggling. Striving is walking along your path through your personal journey to your destination.)
Arriving sucks, especially if you were waiting to see the Wizard of Oz, just to realize it's a meek dude behind a curtain. (Because that's basically what "arriving" is...a suck-fest at the end. Or some lame dude behind a curtain...or your ego hiding behind things to show the world you're worthy because you're an empty shell of a person inside.)
When you strive, don't do it for the moment of arrival, thinking that moment is a rolled out red carpet with trumpets blowing and people throwing handfuls of cash at you while yelling your name. Because it's never all that. Even if it is, you won't enjoy it. While you're walking the red carpet, you'll just be too mentally preoccupied thinking about how you can get more cash, more cars, more diamonds, more, more, more...and you'll miss the moment anyway!
Onto my second revelation...
This morning when I was walking my daughter to school, I was acutely aware of all the rich snobs driving around in their overpriced cars, looking completely miserable and mentally preoccupied, nearly running over the little kids trying to cross the street because their upcoming meeting (or whatever) is so f****** important. (I used to be one of those people so I know what they're all thinking.)
There's this older Asian man. He's the crossing guard. He's always very polite. He wishes me a good morning each day. He always compliments people on what they're wearing or tries to make "mini" conversations as people cross the street. He genuinely tries to brighten people's days.
Yet to the rich snobs, he's completely insignificant in the chain of capitalism and greed. To me, he's significant in just making people walk a little taller or give them a pep in their step because he took a moment to show that he cares by throwing out a compliment or a good morning here and there, especially in a world that is cold and uncaring to most. He's also very significant in making sure the rich snobs don't roll over our kids with their S-class Mercedes' and Land Rovers. (Trust me, they wouldif given the opportunity.)
Today I was in a drive-through getting an iced coffee. There was this Hispanic man standing there cleaning the windows on the outside of the restaurant. As I grabbed my coffee and was about to take off, he waved at me. I waved back and smiled. It warmed my heart.
Yet again, according to the rich snobs of society, this man would be completely insignificant in the pecking order of our capitalistic society yet he made me smile...and probably dozens of other people this morning. Insignificant? Not really. Not when you're making the world a better place, even if it's offering a gentle wave or a hello.
Why am I telling you all of this?
I've come to the conclusion that the majority of the people who follow my work and who participate in my groups, seminars, courses, etc. are all doing it for an end result. That end result, of course, is wealth and financial freedom, right?
I was you at one point. I jumped into the business of being an investor and an entrepreneur for the sole purpose of getting rich.
And I got rich. A few times over, actually.
With each time I hit my "peak" in my life, I found myself dissatisfied because I though something was supposed to "happen" when I got wealthy to a certain point. Now, I know this sounds ridiculous but you're all thinking the same thing, too. You don't know what's supposed to happen but you probably think life is going to be awesome and an endless whirl of cocktail parties while never worrying about money again. You think it's going to be the beach party that never stops or...who knows? We all have something in our little imagination about what it means to arrive financially.
But it never happens as you picture it. Something else happens.
You become the old guy driving the S-class Mercedes, looking preoccupied, worried, pissed off, and harried while nearly running over a 3rd grader because you were looking at emails on your iPhone to see if that contract came in.
You become the ass**** who looks down at people working at a fast food establishment because you think you're better than him due to the fact that you just bought a new Porsche.
You become the neighbor who has to compete with other neighbors on home upgrades just to show that you're just as good (or better) than they are. And you do this because you feel this is the only way you can show others you're worthy and significant.
You become the rich guy who has a drinking problem, has a whole medicine cabinet full of prescriptions to deal with a wide variety of ailments brought on by stress and anger, and none of your family can deal with you anymore so you're lucky to get a phone call a month from your kids who live way far away from you. (This is when you realize it wasn't worth it. Unfortunately, this is when it's too late.)
You become the person who is not happy with what you have because you have to make more money. In fact, that's all your mind becomes. You become preoccupied with money and success that nothing else becomes relevant. Even worse, you look at most other people as if they are peons and losers, especially if they are homeless or work menial service jobs.
You become trapped in the body of this person who wasn't you when you were born. You become trapped in the body and life of someone else. Once you are trapped in the snare, your only escape (in most cases) is death (unless you make a realization).
When I first moved into my new neighborhood (of rich snobs), I felt disconnected from everyone. (I still do, don't get me wrong.) I found myself having problems identifying with my environment.
And then I realized why.
It was because I was one of them and didn't want to admit that I was. (I was "better," after all.) I found myself realizing that I was just like those very saps that I found myself detesting.
How I was I any different? How could I say I was spiritually better when I was doing the same f****** things? Running to the office, preoccupied, harried, miserable, and thinking that closing one more deal would be the moment I'd find happiness. (The happiness never came after that "one more deal" because there was always the next"one more deal" then I'd be happy.) Yelling at "menial" customer service reps on the phone when I wasn't getting my way. Constantly thinking about what I could do to increase my wealth and thinking about nothing else, including being with my daughter even when I was with her. (Mentally I was always somewhere else and never in the "here and now.")
How could I say I more spiritually balanced than they were as I drove down the street with my $105,000 BMW in an effort to stay relevant with my shallow neighbors? Or what about the Navigator with the chrome rims I have sitting in my garage that I never drive?
What the f*** is that for?
Something really snapped inside of me last week. I went from being "one of them" to being an observer of everything around me including observing myself. Instead of being upset, I found myself laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. (Okay, I wasn't really laughing hysterically. That would be weird, especially if I was by myself.)
And then we get to the revelation about fear...
Fear is what holds all of us back. We fear not making it, not winning, not making the grade, not getting in, and not becoming successful.
And with this fear, sometimes we end up doing jack nothing. (Why bother if there's a chance we can't be successful doing it, right?)
But that "fear" is the part of the game equation that makes the journey a challenge...thus fun! (Remember the mobster who died and went to hell?)
I can't believe it but, for myself, I came to a realization that I wish would have come 20 years ago. (Unfortunately it takes experiences, life, time, and aging to figure things out.)
What's the realization?
Without the notion of "what if I don't make it" in the equation of pursuing anything, you have nothing meaningful of the actual attainment when (and if) you do make it.
For example, imagine being a kid in high school and you're trying out for the football team. Of course there will be fear. "What if I don't make the cut? What if I'm not good enough?" But when you do make it in, the attainment is meaningful and fulfilling because there was always that possibility that you wouldn't have made it. Therefore, your attainment is satisfying and fulfilling to your soul. It has meaning.
When you settle in a life that lacks challenge because it's the "safe" road to take, you may as well lay down and die now because your life has lost meaning and purpose. If you stopped doing things because of the fear of "not making it" or "not being successful" then you've stopped living.
If the only reason you're taking courses, seminars, and mentorships is for the end result (financial security) without finding enjoyment and fulfillment in the process of doing the business then you'll be a failure no matter what, even if you do find financial success one day. You'll arrive at your financial destination just to sign up for a prescription of Prozac once you realize that the financial attainment did nothing foryou and who you are. And it certainly didn't make you happy at the "end" if it didn't make you happy and fulfilled during the journey of it.
Success is not stocking up on loads of money. Success is not driving a $100,000 car to show other people you're a worthy cool dude who's better than they are. (People don't look at you like you're worthy, by the way. They look at you like you're an ass**** or they're just plain jealous; neither type of reaction that you're going for, I assure you.)
Success is living a life that makes you truly happy, inside and out!
So, what do you do?
Find things you can do that you have an interest in. Find things you want to do to challenge yourself with that would be fun for you.
Don't do anything just for the money otherwise I'd suggest taking to a life of prostitution or drug dealing if it's just for the money. Do things in business and your career that you like. It shouldn't be "work" but rather something that's fun and challenging.
And, by golly, it may actually not have anything to do with real estate investing or anything else that I teach. Or maybe it does. This is the time where you need to figure that out.
You have to enjoy the game and the process. When you do, the fear falls away. Things will just come to you (i.e. success, wealth, happiness, etc.). You'll be a person with your own identity rather than having to keep up with society's shallow status symbols. You'll be balanced.
And this can all happen as fast as right now to whenever you decide you want to make that mental shift (which can be 50 years from now). Because eventually you'llhave to make that mental shift otherwise your future will be a meaningless miserable shuffle in struggle, attainment, and constantly wanting more.
I have a recommendation for you. There's a movie (documentary) out there called Finding Joe. If you really are ready for a change, I recommend you seek out the movie and get it. I think Amazon is out of stock right now but you may be able to order it for delivery when they get it back in stock. It's an amazing, life-changing video. It's not for everyone but it's for those of you who know what I'm talking about and you're ready for a major mind-altering shift because you know what you've been doing up to this point in your life hasn't been working. I get no profits or proceeds from this movie. It's just a recommendation I'm making to you because I've recommended it to so many people and those who have watched it have changed their lives because of it.
See you at the top!