How To See Everything As Perfect

Jul 27, 2009


The moon is perfect as it is!

I don’t care about its shape, size, location, or anything like that.

Don’t ask me about my house, cars, career, or relationships though.

Although, I’m deeply grateful, I have lots of judgments about these things.

The reason is not because these things are different. The difference is inside of me.

Because, it is possible for me to see the moon as perfect, I know it’s possible for me to see everything else as perfect.

This possibility requires radical mind reprogramming.

I believe it requires turning every moment into an opportunity to surrender one’s thoughts and associated emotions for a higher purpose.

Every reprogrammed thought is a win for the world.

No action, thought, or emotion is ever small or invisible when its impact is projected over time.




My Life Is Not Currently On a Path That Will NOT Completely Fulfill Me

Jul 27, 2009


If I follow the current path I am on, I will have a great life by most people’s standards, but not my own.

I will have a loving family & network of friendships, be a millionaire, be well-respected, and potentially have a positive impact on millions of people’s lives. I will be healthy compared to others, because I eat well and workout. I will be well-developed as a business person because of constant learning and effort. I will be well-developed as a person because of daily meditation, reflection, and overall commitment to growth.

But, at a core level, the quality of one’s life is not determined by what one accomplishes or even by who one surrounds oneself with.

It is determined by who one becomes. It is who one becomes that determines everything else, not the other way around.

I don’t need to spend my whole life following the dreams I had when I was young to learn that I didn’t actually need or want what I was searching for (see the movie, Up). I don’t need to earn a billion dollars to learn what I could learn by having a fraction of that. I don’t need to be a celebrity to ‘get’ that being a celebrity for its own sake is not a good thing.

Here’s what I know I must radically change and surrender NOW to have the life that I know I can:

  • the concept of being right or wrong (in my marriage especially).
  • the desire to be ‘better’ than others.
  • the desire to get ahead of others.
  • the desire to be liked and accepted by everyone.
  • the concept that my thoughts and emotions depict the ‘real’ world.
  • Judgement of my and other people’s physical appearance.
  • The concept that I gain anything at a core level beyond my basic needs from other people or outside events.



Discipline is Success’ BFF

Jun 20, 2009


Quick – What are your first three associations with the word, discipline?

Mine used to be boring, rigid, and painful.

What I’ve come to realize is that I associate these with being forced to do things that are not important to me by other people (teachers / parents).

What I now realize from personal experience and coaching others is that it is actually fun and exciting to be disciplined toward the achievement of one’s goals.

When you are disciplined at something, you are bound to improve. As you improve, you graduate on to new and exciting opportunities and challenges that you’ve never experienced before. Plus, you experience the inner calm of knowing you’re living up to your potential.

However, when you’re not disciplined, you’re more than likely to repeat the same challenge over and over and have lower self-esteem because you feel stagnant and that your decisions don’t have power.




Read This If You Don’t Want Your Success to Lead to Failure

May 27, 2009


I’m looking forward to reading Jim Collins’ book, How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. I really enjoyed the following excerpt from the New York Times article on him and the book:

Now the stages of decline that he maps out in the book — hubris born of success; undisciplined pursuit of more; denial of risk and peril; grasping for salvation with a quick, big solution; and capitulation to irrelevance or death — offer a kind of instant autopsy for an economy on the stretcher.

I think that we can all be careful of these stages of decline in our own lives. When things are going great, it’s so easy and compelling to stop doing the little things that led to our success.




As We Grow In Years, We Become Like Children Again

May 16, 2009


Over the past few months, I’ve been asking myself, “How will I teach everything that I’ve learned to our daughter, Halle?”

Will she accept or rebel against my advice?

Will it be relevant to her world or over her head?

When I was a teenager I rebelled against the wisdom of my mom and threw out the baby with the bath water. Will Halle do the same?

Today I ‘got’ that I am a child again.

The more knowledge I gain, the less I realize I know.

The more wisdom I gain, the more I realize how fleeting life is.

Life is my parent now.

I vow not to rebel against the lessons life has to offer me, no matter how painful or untimely they are.

I trust that every moment is optimized for maximum growth.

Every moment deserves to be lived.




Is Pursuing Your Passion is Overrated?

Apr 24, 2009


We’re always taught to go after our passions in life. The logic is that the more passionate we are about something:

  1. The more we’ll enjoy what we do.
  2. Therefore, the more we’ll work.
  3. Therefore, the more we’ll be successful.

I agree with this generally, but when it gets to the specifics, I disagree:

  1. Success requires focus and deliberate practice. If you follow your passions of the day, you will jump from one project to another without achieving mastery. Many of the rewards of hard work come from mastery, not just competency.

    For example, is Tiger Woods passionate about golf, yes! Is Tiger Woods passionate about every second of practice he does, probably not!

  2. The better at something we are, the easier it is to be passionate about it.Unfortunately, we’re uncomfortable and not very good when just starting at most things. Ironically, developing a passion often requires doing something you’re not passionate about at first until you are.

    For example,. I used to hate writing. It was always my worst subject in school. However, after doing it over time, it has become a passion.

Crazy Ideas to Ponder

  • Passion has less to do with what we do then how it is structured.

    - Why are you doing it
    - Under what context are you doing it
    - How do you think about it

  • We control the structure of what we do. Therefore, we could theoretically be passionate about anything including life overall. Just look at the random passions people have across the world. Tour speaker (http://www.extremetour.org), Patrick Cuartero of YoYo Nation (http://www.yoyonation), loves yo-yoing. Tour speaker, Luke Tipple (http://www.luketipple.com), loves sharks. Instead of letting your random life experiences control your passion, you could choose them.
  • It is more fulfilling, impact-making & financially rewarding to pursue something you’re passionate about overall and achieve mastery in it then it is to jump from one passion to another.

How it Applies to My Life

I love my company, Extreme Entrepreneurship Education. I’m passionate about it, because:

  • It is the way that I see I can make the biggest difference in the world.
  • It allows me to work with my wife, friends, passionate educators, top young entrepreneurs, and whoever else I want to.
  • It allows me to work from home, which means that I’m getting a full night of rest (because I can sleep in) and spending 5-6 hours a day with our daughter, Halle, during her most formative stage in life.
  • It pays for a lifestyle that I’m extremely passionate about.
  • It is constantly pushing my comfort zone and making me a better person.

Things I don’t like about it are:

  • Sometimes we have to schedule schools back-to-back and drive overnight in order to be able to work with the school’s schedule. Being on the road with little sleep and having to be high-energy is very challenging over time.
  • At this stage in the company, there is stuff that I must do on a consistent basis, which I don’t enjoy.
  • Up to this point, we’ve felt that we’ve had to work crazy hours in order to get the company off the ground.
  • Dealing with cash crunches from time-to-time.
  • Not being able to leave work at work during stressful periods.

Could I start another company? Yes.

Have I thought about it? Yes. I’m an idea guy.

Will I? No. Not in the foreseeable future.

In the end, the clear decision for me has always been to grow the organization to its fullest potential and to structure it to maximize my fulfillment from it. In the past, I’ve jumped from passion-to-passion, and it led to poverty, slower learning & growth, and no growth in the organization.

Answer Me These Questions…

What are your thoughts on these crazy ideas to ponder?

How do you identify and build new passions?

When is the best time to jump from one passion to another?

How do you know whether something is no longer a passion or you’re just going through a difficult period?




My Idealist View on My Own Potential

Apr 22, 2009


I believe that it is possible for me to transform every single experience (not necessarily every sensation) into one that is immediately empowering and that I’m appreciative for.

I believe that this is possible through intensive & rigorous focus on controlling my thoughts…just like I’ve done as an entrepreneur.

I plan to achieve this through building a routine of two hours of daily meditation and transforming my life into a waking meditation where I constantly and patiently pull myself back to appreciation & perspective. I also plan to do this by continuing to surround myself with like-minded people in in-person and in books, seminars, videos, etc.

I believe that following this process is its own reward regardless of whether or not the ‘end goal’ is achieved.

I believe that this is worthy of being my life’s work, because of the fulfillment it will bring to me and those around me personally and professionally, and therefore the difference it will make in the world.

Self-confidence rises as one realizes that work, relationships, hedonism, wealth, celebrity, influence over others, alone, won’t give us the experience of life we’re looking for.

Interestingly, I’ve observed many of these grow as I value them less. I don’t fully understand this yet. Perhaps, it is just momentum.

I believe that the experience of life that we’re all looking for is equally available to us all.

I’m exploring the idea that the best way to be of service to this world is by who we become, not just what we do.

Ironically, I believe that walking this road to appreciation is incredibly and increasingly difficult.

It requires us to forgive the world, ourselves and everybody 100% despite our own intermittent feelings of rage, jealousy, anger, resentment, sadness, fear, guilt, negativity, apathy, etc.

Written down, these emotions seem innocuous, but in the present moment, when they consume us, letting them dissolve away or ignoring them seems impossible.

I share these beliefs to make them more real for me & to align with more people who feel the same way.

I have so, so far to walk on this journey.

I’m excited for it.

Let’s do it!!




Edit I Live on Revolutionary Road – We all Do

Apr 18, 2009


The movie, Revolutionary Road, hit me at a deep level.

I know that I am NOT fully living the life I want right now.

I have a great life by most people’s measures. I have a loving wife, daughter, mother, and family (including two cats). I have a growing business, which I believe is making a positive difference in people’s lives. I have a great & growing group of friends & associates whose visions and values are aligned with my own. I love where I live.

In short, things have never been better for me. I’m certainly not complaining.

BUT, over these past few months I’ve become increasingly aware that I can be better. As the pain of this knowledge becomes deeper, change becomes inevitable.

The movie, Revolutionary Road, does a great job displaying the choices we all have when we know we need to make a change in our life:

#1. Do nothing and pretend like everything is fine.
#2. Try to fit the change into our current life.
#3. Burn the bridges to our old life, and focus on what we want.

On the bridge to #2 from #1, we must decide whether there are certain parts of life we simply need to accept OR if there are parts of it in our control which we need to change.

On the bridge to #3 from #2, we must decide whether we’re willing to let go of the comfort and certainty that our current routine, social network, and lifestyle bring.

Jumping to #3 from #1 could be simply avoiding the core issues, and as a result you could run right back into what you were trying to avoid.

At the same time, there does come a point, when moving to #3 is required in order to fully make the change.

Knowing when, where, and how to jump…that’s what Revolutionary Road is about.

When I was a Sophomore at the Stern School of Business at NYU, I took a semester off. I seriously considered dropping, attending Maharishi University (http://www.mum.edu/), or moving to the middle of nowhere, USA so I could focus on personal growth.

I think this would have been me trying to jump to #3 from #1, but I’ll never really know. Instead, I focused on #2. I went to related conferences/retreats (http://www.bizspirit.com/,http://www.bizspirit.com/science/http://www.veritaspub.com/, andhttp://www.dhamma.org/), read related books, and built friendships with like-minded people, etc.

It’s 7 years later now. A window for change is opening again. I’m not planning big changes in WHAT I do, but I am planning huge changes in HOW I am. More on this as it unfolds.

How have you made major changes in your life? Where you lived? Your significant other? Your school? Your job? What was it like? How did the changes go? Are there changes you wish you had made, but didn’t?




Passion & Hardwork Over Decades Equals Guaranteed Success

Mar 22, 2009


I was first exposed to the idea that I could accomplish anything I want in life in high school, about 10 years ago.

Since then, my life has been experiment to see if that idea is true. At times, I’ve had a lot of outward success with media and awards. At other times, I’ve toiled away in the clutches of personal doubt, skepticism from others, and lack of finances.

As time has passed, I am more and more convinced that what I believed in high school is true. My happiness and success have been increasing, and I’m exposed to more and more role models who are doing the same thing.

In Napoleon Hill’s book, he says, “Every failure has within it the seed of equal or greater benefit.” I’ve also experienced this to be true. As I grow, my challenges and failures will grow. I’m extremely excited to confront these and see the person that I MUST become to overcome them.

If you happen to be at a low point right now, just know that it’s all part of the journey. Have faith. As long as you have passion and therefore are willing to work hard no matter what, your goals will be achieved.

As you get closer to your goals, they may become less relevant as you realize that the true joy is in who you become, not what you accomplish.




100 Questions

Mar 14, 2009


When I was in high school, I read the book “How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci” by Michael Gelb, which I highly recommend. One of the exercises in the book was listing the first 100 questions that come to your mind via your stream of consciousness. The presumption was that the questions would reveal themes in your life that are important to you, which you might want to look into further. Here’s mine now:

FYI – If you want to do this, block at least 20-30 minutes aside.

1. How does one live life to his her fullest potential?
2. How can I be focused on what’s important to me and leverage new technologies like facebook, twitter, and email without getting distracted?
3. How can I surround myself with more people who are committed to living question #1?
4. How can I build a self-development program for myself that answers question #1?
5. How can I experience the time with Halle and not feel that I’m getting behind on work?
6. How can I most fully express myself without losing important current or potential clients?
7. What are the most important questions I should be asking myself on a daily basis?
8. How can I build the closest relationships possible with my family?
9. What are my blind spots?
10. What’s right in front of me that I want to see, but can’t see for some reason?
11. What books should I read that best answer question #1?
12. What movies should I watch that best answer question #1?
13. What mentors should I have that best answer question #1?
14. What mentors are in my life right now that I don’t see?
15. How can my life be a living prayer?
16. How do I overcome life’s ‘little’ temptations, which lead to distraction?
17. How can I have the biggest impact on the world?
18. What are my biggest strengths?
19. How can I most effectively let go of fear, jealousy, and anger?
20. What is the best way to meditate?
21. Should I use an air purifier at home?
22. How can I have the most healthy diet and that is the cheapest and takes the least amount of time to prepare?
23. How can I setup my work environment to have better posture?
24. What would the ideal exercise program for my lifestyle and health goals look like?
25. If I were to pursue question #1 1,000%, what would my life look like?
26. What would an idealized version of myself look like?
27. How can I be that person everyday?
28. How can I be the best father?
29. How can I be the best son?
30. How can I be the best husband?
31. How can I be the best friend?
32. How should I prioritize my life?
33. Should I get two computer monitors?
34. How can I be more fashionable? :)
35. What are my deepest fears?
36. How can I maximize my courage?
37. How should I draw the line between what I know at more core and fulfilling different roles I play as a citizen, entrepreneur, etc.?
38. How much of a rebel do I want to be?
39. How can I most effectively share myself with others?
40. What should I hold back when sharing myself with others?
41. How do I know when I’m unintentionally turning people off or unexpectedly resonating with them?
42. How does one gain basic competency as an engineer or scientist without any academic training in these? Is it worth it?
43. How will technology change the identity of what it means to be human in the 21st century?
44. How I can maximize positive and minimize negative black swans in my life?
45. How can I ensure Halle’s safety while maximizing her freedom?
46. How can I help Halle find her passions and become world-class at the one(s) that are most important to her?
47. At a core level, what is money?
48. Is watching TV series that I like a good relaxation technique that is sometimes inspiring or is it a distraction?
49. How can I help our cat get over his sickness?
50. What is the best age for a child to get a dog?
51. Should I respond to all of my emails?
52. How can I make meditation a lifestyle?
53. How can I remember what’s important to me as I go through the busyness of life?
54. How can I feel the emotion of grattitude, forgiveness, easygoingness, and unconditional love on a moment-to-moment basis?
55. How I can more easily role with the punches of life instead of trying to fight them?
56. How can I judge myself and others less?
57. Am I over-thinking things or am I afraid that others will think I’m over-thinking things, or both? Does it matter?
58. What should I be saying ‘no’ to?
59. What people in my life should I be spending more time around?
60. What people in my life should I be spending less time around?
61. How much should I cater my lifestyle to what my mom wants?
62. How can I practice sleeping on my back?
63. How can I find a local masseuse / chiropractor / etc. who is effective that I am aligned with and who I can visit regularly?
64. How can I find someone who I would trust to watch Halle?
65. How can Sheena and I most effectively live question #1 with and for each other?
66. Is the most effective way to have a positive impact on the world to be the best person you can be or is it to build a scalable organization with a culture/product that helps billions of people? Are these the same question?
67. What questions will I be asking about life 10 years from now?
68. How can we scale Extreme Entrepreneurship to impact billions of people?
69. What salary do I need to live my ideal life?
70. What role does luck play in my life?
71. What is luck?
72. Am I overly cynical of energy work?
73. What am I too skeptical about?
74. What am I not skeptical enough about?
75. How can I be a better driver?
76. What is the ideal number of hours of work per week to do?
77. What toll is the number of hours I work taking on my body, if any?
78. How can I spend three hours per day for ten years focused on question #1?
79. How can I recontextualize what it means to do nothing?
80. How can I be fully present when I’m with Halle?
81. What Halle trying to communicate to me when she makes sounds?
82. How can I be a tough love person with Halle as she gets older?
83. When should I give feedback to someone else? When should I keep the feedback to myself?
84. How can I feel awake and fully energized every day?
85. How can I make our home more energy efficient?
86. What should I be doing with my time with Halle?
87. Are multi-vitamins bad for you?
88. How can I bring stillness into my life?
89. How can I be more true to myself?
90. How can I recontextualize my life around be productive and not just feeling productive?
91. How can I be a better speaker?
92. How can I be a better salesperson?
93. How can I recruit people to the team who aligned and who deliver?
94. How can we have awesome events when Sheena and I aren’t there?
95. How can we create a bug-free, usable, fast-loading web site?
96. How can I learn Chinese? Should I learn Chinese?
97. How can we webcast our events to a larger audience?
98. How can we most effectively market our events?
99. How can we more effectively partner with our clients?
100. What is the best way to teach entrepreneurship?