This morning I took my daughter Brie to breakfast at a local restaurant that we often frequent. This was the second day in a row that I took her since she's officially out of school for the summer.
Yesterday morning and this morning I saw these 2 people in an old Pinto with 2 dogs. As with most people who feel they are in an uncomfortable situation, you tend to quickly skirt past people who are down on their luck, especially in a neighborhood like mine that is considered upper-middle class. That's what I found myself doing yesterday.
This morning was different...
They had this little puppy who we eventually learned was called Zippy. Brie wanted to pet the little pup and I let her. They had a much older dog called Blue, I think.
My heart went out to these people. Here they were in the parking lot wedged between a restaurant and a discount hotel/motel and this older couple (probably in their 60s) had everything they owned stuffed into this small beige beat up 70s car. With 2 dogs.
It's not my job or right to judge anyone and I don't. But these types of situations always make me ask myself..."What happened to these people that they ended up like this?"
I asked the man politely if I could offer him some money to help him out. I mentioned that I didn't want to be disrespectful but I wanted to offer him something. He said it would help get the dogs some food and he graciously accepted what I would offer.
I reached into my purse and counted out five $20 bills then handed the cash to my daughter so she could benefit from the joy of helping someone out. (This would be her second experience in 2 weeks giving money to someone who is less fortunate.) He thanked me and we went into the restaurant.
While we were sitting at the table, Brie started asking me questions about them. She asked about why we gave them money and I mentioned to them about how they didn't have a home. They were homeless and lived in their car.
This was the first time she was introduced to the word "homeless" and what it truly meant. And it made her sad. Her sadness touched my heart because she didn't understand why someone wouldn't have a home in a world (that she knows) as being abundant. It didn't quite register.
Both Brie and the homeless people are correct in the reality of their life.
Brie is correct in that life is abundant and has the ability to give everyone anything they want if they go for it.
The homeless couple are correct in that life is lacking because somehow along the way they chose that lifestyle or chose to believe that poverty is a reality.
During breakfast I pondered how someone like that could possible get out of that situation. What could you do if you're not given a break by anyone? How could you possibly shift out of that and into something better?
I thought of the possibilities.
Maybe collect cans for cash. Maybe get a post office box as an address. Maybe scrounge around Good Will to find some things you can sell on eBay. Maybe buy a cheap camera and use the computer with an Internet connection at a library to start a small eBay business.
At least that's what I would do.
Unfortunately, it's not just the mechanics of pulling out of their circumstance that's holding these people back. It's the heavy black cloud that looms over them day in and day out, blocking out any possibly hope they could ever have about their future.
Which is why they have 2 dogs. These dogs brighten each day for them and are critical for their survival. Those dogs give them the hope that they need each day.
As we left the restaurant, the man (who apparently didn't realize I gave him $100 before) was ridiculously grateful and said "thank you" over and over again. His wife (I presume) was actually sitting in view this time (since she was hidden in the driver's seat before) also profusely thanked us for the money and said something about being able to get her car registered. I quickly glanced at the tags of her license plate and saw that they expired at the end of this month...in a few days.
I looked at the woman. She looked somewhat glamorous and reminded me of Loni Anderson (if you remember who she was). If she was cleaned up and dressed up, she could easily walk a red carpet anytime anywhere.
What the hell happened to these people?
I told her "God bless" and I said that I hoped things got better for them very soon. She started wiping tears away and my heart dropped because I knew the truth...
This can happen to any of us.
Once upon a time these people were probably considered "normal" by society's standards and they hit a rough patch. And now they live in a car in a restaurant parking lot.
Again, none of us are immune to this possibility.
When you travel through LA (as I frequently do) and see a matted-haired homeless person pushing a shopping cart and wearing every bit of clothing they own on their back in 90+ degree weather...talking to themselves; what do you think?
Do you ignore them as a crazy person?
Or do you think..."What the f#@* went wrong?"
Do you think they came out of their mother's womb as a total whack job that talked to themselves and aspired to live on the streets of LA, talking to themselves?
No, my friend. Something snapped at some point in their adulthood. They couldn't handle the pressures of everyday living and their brain shut down in parts. Talking to themselves is a means of coping.
I am sometimes condemned by family members for giving money to strangers. Other people who think they "understand" why I do it think I do it as a form of tithing.
Both sets of people are wrong.
I do it because life has beat the sh** out of me many times and I understand the very real possibility that any one of us (including myself) can end up like those people.
I do it because I would want someone to help me, even a little bit, if I were in that situation.
I do it for "brownie points" because I hope the Universe will give me a "pass" and not shove me into a situation like that against my will.
And the main reason I do it because the only people who feel truly grateful for what I can give to them -- even if it's a few dollars -- are those who have been humbled by the severity of the worst that life can dish out.
The only time I ever feel a sincere blessing from anyone is when I can give to someone who is in need the most. And I need to feel their genuine blessing as much (if not more) than they need a few dollars.
Because when you're someone with money, everyone who contacts you (including and especially "friends" and family) wants money. And when they get it from you, they want more. And when they get more and you finally tell them to f#@* off after several years of the financial abuse, they immediately come to hate you and everything you are.
And it makes you feel sad because you are who you are after a time.
And that's where I'm at.
So...how does someone who is seemingly living a normal life spin out of control and end up living in a Pinto in a restaurant parking lot with 2 dogs when they should be retired, playing with grandchildren in the backyard, and watching Jeopardy every night?
The truth is this...
The mind/brain goes first. And when I say "go" I don't mean that they snapped or went crazy or anything like that. I mean that there was a slight shift in the thought process. Somewhere along the way they lost focus and maybe one or more things occurred in a short time frame that flushed their confidence down the drain where before they believed they could take care of themselves.
It happens a lot. Someone loses a good job. Then they lose their house. They find themselves living in Mom's basement. There are no job prospects. They take to drinking. Mom kicks them out.
Or there's a divorce. Or someone close dies.
Or some other such scenario.
Bottom line: something throws them off kilter and they lose confidence in themselves.
What am I getting to here?
Just as easily as you could be thrown off kilter, you can shift into a different direction to get what you want in life.
It's so ridiculously simple that you'll probably discard it as being insignificant but here it is anyway.
1) Decide: you have to first decide that you're ready to go into a different direction in your life. To "decide" actually means "to cut off" other alternatives. It essentially means get off the fence and go in one direction with confidence while letting go of another possibility or reality. You also have to decide what that different direction will be (obviously).
2) Know-how/mechanics: once you decide which direction you want to go into, you need to get the proper know-how or mechanics (in order) that have to happen in order to achieve what you're doing. This includes education which needs to ultimately turn into a step-by-step action plan that you can follow in a specified order.
3) Action: do it. Period. Sitting on your ass thinking about it, talking about it, and dreaming about it will get you absolutely nowhere quick! My "smarties" or those of you who have high IQs, advanced degrees, or just think too much at 2am instead of sleeping end up thinking yourselves right out of success because you have trained your brains to weigh the "cons" against the "pros." And no action ever happens. So, do me a favor and "dumb yourself down" so you can take action and stop thinking about all the "what ifs" that will probably never happen.
I have to admit that in 2011 I started losing focus. When you find that you're losing focus, it usually means that something big is going on (positive or negative) or you're just done with how you're spending you life (i.e. sick of your job, business, etc.). In my case, I was getting a divorce then getting married all within about 90 days. (I know, probably not the best plan.)
No matter what I tried to do to snap my focus back, it continued to wane.
This is when I discovered that it was also time for a life change as well. Welcome to midlife crisis-ville.
In order to continue growing as a spiritual being, you sometimes have to shake things up a bit and venture out to do other things otherwise your soul starts to die.
Last year I was able to get my "groove" back with my new business.
I first started my new company to demonstrate how easy it was to set up a New Wealth Ninja business to become my own "case study" for my students.
Then this little "project" turned into a lucrative business venture.
I started to notice something weird happening...
My students knew about my new business (through my New Wealth Ninja trainings) and started to hit me up about how they could do it to.
And this is never a good sign when my students want me to talk about a completely unrelated business at a real estate investing seminar. Or maybe it is a good sign because I decided to have an Underground Secret Event solely on this Aggressive Income on Steroids and Speed method that I sort of stumbled in as a side project.
Little did I know that this side project would not only be incredibly profitable but it also saved me from careening off balance (where bad things could have happened to my financial and business future).
You'll not only discover a completely new and highly profitable business model that I've never fully explained or laid out but you'll also learn how to avoid the many pitfalls that I barely survived in this business. You'll also learn the multi-faceted realm of distribution of products from having a small home-based Internet business to having a major multi-million-dollar empire.
There's also going to be a very special guest speaker who can tell you about some incredibly profitable (and cheap) products including insider information on which of these types of products sell the most.
Ronnie will also be talking about his views of the business, the pitfalls he had to overcome, and how to quickly catapult yourself to success with some strategies that made all the difference.
See you at the top!