Brain Drain

May 24, 2009

Turn off the TV.

Put down the newspaper.

There is a world spinning past you.

I was talking to someone the other day who went on vacation, a camping trip to the mountains.  Granted, she was a small home-based business owner, but she was telling me how much trouble it was to disconnect.  She was tempted to check her emails and voicemail and do some work.

This is a common problem for us today.  We’re at the height of technology and science and gadgetry.  Seemingly each day, a must-have toy or software program comes out on the market to keep us “connected,” something to help us stay organized and efficient.  We’ve no sooner figured out how to use it than something better comes along, and we start the cycle again.

I’m a gadget guy.  I love James Bond and the high-tech spy movies.  I’m a total sucker.  I can easily spend hours and days working on the computer.  Every two years I like to completely reformat my hard drive and give myself a fresh start, and I love to do it.  I’m totally on board with iPod® and iPhone® and the entire on-demand thing.  My dvr is always running, grabbing up all those episodes of The Family Guy and Lost.

But I can tell when I’ve been too absorbed, and I’ll tell you exactly when that is.  It’s at the end of a Sunday during football season.  I’m a huge fan, and I can easily lay around all Saturday and Sunday flipping from game to game and pre and post game talk shows.  Maybe I’ll have had some beers.  But I’m pretty much a drooling mess.

I’ve seen a couple hundred ads for beer and cars and fantasy football and oil and more cars.  My emotions are drained from all the excitement of watching the Steelers win again (yes, the Steelers.  Bring it.)  There’s been no real mental or spiritual stimulation, so my brain is just kind of numb.

And in moments like that, I think about all the people who do that every day.  People who never unplug.  People who don’t realize that each ad, each commercial, each bit of information, is all going inside somewhere.  It doesn’t just go in and out.     It gets lodged somewhere, and until it’s processed properly, it builds up.

It’s like plaque.  Either in our veins or our mouth, if we’re not taking active steps to remove the harmful deposits, there will be a buildup until something happens.  Either a cavity or a coronary.

Information is the same way.  There’s a passage in the Bible that says “take every thought captive.”  That means that we really need to be very aware of the stimuli and influences that are fighting for our headspace.  There’s a saying in the computer world “GIGO – garbage in garbage out.”  Kind of in line with the “reap what you sow” principle.  If you want a harvest of goodness, put goodness into you.  Or at least weed the garden every once in a while.

The problem we face today is this constant, incredible speed at which we’re moving.  We find it extremely hard to unplug, to shut down.  There are lots of people who I’ve talked to who have the theory that they can “sleep when they die.”  We were not created to be 24/7.  We need sleep.  We need silence and reflection.  Or we’ll eventually end up depressed, angry, and cold.

The truth is that we are organic physical and spiritual beings that can only handle so much artificial substance before we begin to break down.  Whether that means eating right, exercising, or unplugging from our technology, we MUST give our bodies, minds, and spirits a break, a time to reboot.

If you are reading this and feel a deep down tension, like you just don’t have enough time or energy, or you feel scattered in your mind and spirit, I challenge you to unplug, at least for a little bit.  Go for a walk on the beach or in the mountains, and instead of thinking about the bills or time you’re wasting or the paper you need to write or the kids, look at the sky and trees and the natural beauty.

Do a 30 day fast from all unnecessary media (whoa, crazy, huh?)  Shut off the TV, pick up some books from the library, and really make an effort to stay quiet.  At the end of those 30 days, you’ll be amazed at how clean and peaceful you feel.

One of your necessary elements, crucial to your success as a fully functioning, fully alive human being, is peace.  (To see some others, sign up for my newsletter.)  The absence of conflict.  How can you have peace when you’re bombarded by thousands and thousands of messages all pulling you in separate directions?  How can you be at peace when you never stop to take a breath?

The point of this life is life.

In every way possible.

You were put here to LIVE, not just exist.

And unplugging is a good start.

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Respect Yourself

May 24, 2009

Respect Yourself

Do you know why you keep doing the things that you hate?

Do you hate the vicious circle that you can’t seem to be free from?

Do you find yourself knowing it’s wrong but doing it anyway?

What is that?

From smoking to sex, from overeating to mismanaging money, there are things in our lives that we can’t seem to leave behind, as much as we may want to.  They are our slave masters, and we are the helpless, incapable servants.

As one who has dealt with and overcome many addictions myself, I know what it’s like to struggle with the contradictions of wanting freedom but living in bondage.  The thought of one more cigarette makes you want to vomit, but you just have to have it.  You think porn is disgusting, but you find yourself at your computer, once again helpless to look away.

It’s painful.  It makes you feel small and impotent, a powerless pushover who might as well become resigned to the fact that you’ll never win.  You’ll never get out of this maze.

As hard as this might be to hear, the reason you can’t let go is because there is a part of you that you don’t respect.  There is a part of you that you are willing to let yourself walk all over.  If you treated others the way you treated yourself, they wouldn’t be your friend for very long.

So why do you treat yourself the way that you do?   Why do you let yourself get away with it?  For some people, it is because there is a level of comfort in self-abuse.  These people take subconscious satisfaction in the abuse they dish out to themselves.  They don’t feel alive unless they are dealing with pain.

For other people, there is a fundamental ability to say “no” that they just don’t have.  They can’t make a decision and stick with it.  This was me.  I couldn’t say “no” because I didn’t want to be rejected.  I thought that if I said “yes” to everything that came my way, my friends would respect me.  Sometimes they did, but this isn’t the best way to gain the respect of the people around you.

And then there are the people who just don’t care.  Somewhere deep down, it doesn’t matter how much pain their actions bring them.  It’s all about storytelling for these people.  They tell themselves and others that everything is fine, that it’s a little bump in the road.  Meanwhile, they sink deeper and deeper into the pit of denial and delusion.  They figure that this is just the way it has to be.

Respecting yourself is a choice that must be made every second, if necessary.  I smoked heavily for about five years.  On nights when I knew I was going to go out drinking, I’d buy three packs of Marlboro Reds, and without fail, I’d wake up the next morning and they’d be pretty close to being gone.  It got to the point where I resented them.  I resented the automation of crushing one out only to light another.  It was that vicious circle, and it was seriously affecting me to the core.

When I made the choice to quit smoking (and it is simply a choice,) I soon realized that it wasn’t just going to be one choice I made once and for all.  It was a series of choices, and again, sometimes it was second by second.  I would literally find myself telling myself “OK, you didn’t smoke just now.  OK, you didn’t smoke just now.”  Then, slowly but surely, I put some distance behind that first moment when I decided to quit.  A few days.  Then a few months.

Start respecting yourself.  In decisions like this, start treating yourself as if it were someone you had great admiration for, someone you would never want to let down.  If you don’t feel this way about yourself, then it’s time to start.


The Law of Reciprocity (Pt. iii) – Forrest Gump Style

April 24, 2009

For those of you living under a rock, “Forrest Gump” is a movie starring Tom Hanks as a simple guy who has a low IQ but leads a remarkable life.  All his life he’s been told that when he’s confused or scared or hurt, he should run.  Running got him into college football.  It got him a Purple Heart in Vietnam.  And in a scene towards the latter part of the movie, it gets him one of his many harvests.

Forrest Gump’s running scene is the law of reciprocity in action, and he doesn’t even know it.

He has just had someone extremely close to him hurt him bad.  She’s left him, and he’s standing on his front porch in Alabama, staring down his driveway.  He steps off his porch and says “so I decided to go for a run.”  He runs down to the end of his driveway.  Then down the street.  Then across town.  Then across the county, then the state, then to the Atlantic ocean, and then to the Pacific.  He starts running back and forth across the country, and in the process is unintentionally scattering the seed that is unique and individual to him.

He’s running for days and months all by himself, obscure and alone.  Although I think he would tell you that it was great and enjoyable, it represents the time of toiling and groundbreaking that must take place to sow a harvest of magnificent and exponential beauty.

So he’s running back and forth.  Eventually people begin to notice his seeds that are now springing from the ground.  Some begin to follow him.  People keep trying to ask him why he’s running, but he says very little.  So they decide that he’s running for charity, or that he’s trying to attract attention for world peace.  They begin to develop all kinds of reasons – personal, political, spiritual – but he doesn’t say much and just keeps running.

Along the way, he becomes the inspiration that a few entrepreneurs needed to hit it big.  And more and more people join him.  Finally after more than three years, he stops running, tells everyone he’s pretty tired, and goes home, leaving several dozen people wondering what they were supposed to do from there.

So Forrest Gump began this trek out of the passion and uniqueness that had simply become a major part of him.  He already had his seed.  As he ran back and forth, in effect tilling the ground, he scattered that seed, and all kinds of things began to spring up.  It was completely organic and simply overflowed from a place within himself that struck a chord with many other people.  He had the right seed in the right soil at the right time.

And if he wanted to, at that point he could have done any number of things.  He could have written a book or started a foundation or branded himself and become a spokesman for a cause or agenda, like some of the people thought.  The fields were bursting with the sweet aroma of harvest.

And this brings us to the last part of this law – the receiving.  Oddly enough, this is where many people miss it.  When the harvest is ripe – and there is a perfect time – it needs to be gathered.  But even if we’ve sown the right seed and tilled the ground and kept the fields parasite and weed free, our attitude at this point can render all this activity moot.

There are two ways we can sow, give, receive and harvest.
The first is from a position of fear and lack.
The second is from a position of faith and abundance.

The first position, like I touched on with Scrooge McDuck, sows with an attitude of simply taking and hoarding.  This attitude says that there is only a very limited amount, and whatever I get, I’m going to hold tight to it because I may never get any more.  I’m going to store and store.  There may be some giving in the process, but it’s a self-serving kind of giving – giving simply as a means to an end to get back.

When a person sows and reaps with the fear and lack mentality, they actually end up missing many, many opportunities for a greater and richer harvest because they are so focused on their own end results and self-preservation.  The person operating in fear and lack has a steady flow of people walking up to their door, but they are sent away, because that person fears they will take their harvest when it’s full.  They fear that if they share their crop, there won’t be enough to go around.

In contrast, the person operating in faith and abundance gives away as much as is reasonable, because they know that as long as they have a good harvest, some of those people will tell their friends, and they will tell their friends, and it will become something that is exponential and effortless.  It will have no choice but to multiply.

There’s a story in the Bible that illustrates this perfectly.  Jesus tells a story about three servants who are entrusted with different amounts of money (called talents) by their master.  One is given five talents, one is given two, and the third is given one, “each according to his own ability.” The master leaves.  The first servant takes his five talents and makes five more.  The second takes his two and makes two more.  The third servant takes his and buries it in the ground.

When the master returns, he asks for an account of what the servants have done with what he’s entrusted them with.  He’s pleased with the first and second servant, but angry with the third.  He takes the talent from the third and gives it to the servant who ended up with ten.  Then he banishes the servant from his service, calling him wicked and lazy.  He says, “To everyone who has, more will be given…but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

I read a really good commentary on what Jesus means by this story, and how it is part of the law of reciprocity.

**If you use what is given to you, you will gain more.  If you fail to use what is given to you, you will lose even what you think you have.  Whether in physical, intellectual, financial, or relational dealings, whatever is given to you, however small it is, use it.  Use it diligently and on an ever increasing scale.  Set goals to increase whatever you do. “**

The difference between operating out of fear and lack as opposed to faith and abundance is a little like having the choice between the luxury car or the beater.

When we’re sowing out of a giver’s mentality, we are entitled to the luxury car.  Yet because we often are seeing through the eyes of lack and poverty, when it comes time to harvest, we choose the beater, even if we are giving.

Conversely, when we operate from a standpoint of a getter, we can only have that beater, but we go ahead and claim the luxury car.  Then we get angry when we get neither.

So the Law of Reciprocity looks like this:

  1. Operate out of an attitude of faith and abundance, not fear and lack.
  2. Have seed of great substance; seed that is unique only to you; that is packed with core and fundamental value and content.  Every chance you get to give this seed away, do it.
  3. Know the seasons, the soil, and the prime location
  4. Toil and work the land, overcoming and persevering at all costs
  5. Be patient and faithful to the vision and the harvest.
  6. At the proper time, reap and receive.  And then give it away again.

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To see more writing like this, check out my book, The Human Code

** Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 2008


The Law of Reciprocity Pt. ii

April 24, 2009

There is something amazing about this law that will make your fields explode with harvest. When you give and focus on the giving rather than the receiving, the sowing rather than the reaping, the harvest inevitably bursts into something greater and more uncontainable than you could ever have planned.

Instead of planting with visions of cramming it all into your storehouse and guarding it with your lives, plant with a desire to keep what you can use and give the rest away.

There used to be a Disney cartoon called “Duck Tales” that was on when I was growing up. It was about a family of ducks, somehow related to Donald Duck, and there was one particular duck called Scrooge McDuck. He’s a rich miser, wealthy beyond all reason, and he has a vault that contains all his treasures that he occasionally dives into and swims around in. He used to get a mouthful of coins and spit them out like they were water. It seemed like so much fun!

Now that I’m grown up, I realize that it would hurt really bad to dive into a pile of gold and crowns and bullion (that’s a great word), and those coins would taste really bad.

I mention that, because I think most of us have some sort of similar picture in our heads. If we won the lottery, we’d fill our living rooms with hundred dollar bills and roll around in them. If we found buried pirate treasure, we’d stumble around with giant jewel encrusted crowns on our heads drinking from some golden goblet.

And I think in many cases, that’s how we approach our giving. That’s how we sow. We’re looking past the good and right reasons for sowing because all we want to see is how much harvest we’re going to be able to cram into our barns and storehouses. We fail to see the joy the harvest will bring to a needy family. We miss the fact that our grain could have been the very grain that was supposed to be used to plant bigger and more fruitful fields. And so our grain goes into the storehouses where it simply rots.

We have all been given the seeds of brilliance to sow in the rich soil of today. Our seed is our own and will never be duplicated. And it must be sown. I am convinced that each person is a Da Vinci or a Beethoven, and that person is screaming to get out of us.

Imagine if Beethoven, knowing that he had all this good musical seed, decided to become a real estate agent instead. Or what if Shakespeare put down his pen and took a middle management position as an associate assistant to the vice president of senior consulting and marketing in the communications and linguistics department of that new high-tech company down in the business park?

We’d be robbed. They had powerful seeds, and they sowed them.

So many people lead lives of frustration and barrenness because they are trying to sow someone else’s seed. Or they aren’t sowing at all. The Law of Reciprocity is always at work, and the sooner we begin to recognize the seed we have been given, the location in which we’ve been placed, and the cycle of nature that we’re in, the sooner we’ll begin to see the harvest and returning.

Type in the words “home based business” into a search engine, and you’ll see thousands and thousands of pages come up, each one promising to make you the next internet millionaire. You’ll see the same sales letter telling you how they went from broke to a millionaire in three months.

They will be sitting in an expensive car in the driveway of a mansion with their arms outstretched and a giant smile on their faces They will show you their “secret autopilot” system that claims you don’t have to do anything to make five figures a day. They will tell you that you can work a few hours a week in your underwear and make CEO level pay.

And lots and lots of people believe this. For some of these people, this is a reality. They have put in the time and effort and have achieved that level of success and prosperity, have developed a system that works for them, sown their own seeds, and are reaping fantastic harvests.

I really respect those people. I’ve met many of them, and they are genuinely good people who have worked really hard. They like to make money, but they really are excited about helping other people break out of the confines of the traditional job and live a life that is about freedom and prosperity.

The hard part to watch is that millions of people buy a dream rather than a business. They see the harvest that other people are reaping and are convinced that they can reap that same exact harvest. And some people do because they have been given similar seeds.

Yet the statistics say that about 97% of the people who start a home-based business fold within 3-5 years. Why is that? Are they not good enough? Are they lazy?

Some, yes. But a good portion of these people have just begun to plant and toil in the wrong field with the wrong seed at the wrong time. Or they are in the right field with the right seed at the wrong time. Or they…you get the picture.

So the Law of Reciprocity begins with sowing and giving. And not just randomly, but with purpose, passion, authenticity, and seed that is as unique and individual as the one who is sowing.

Then what? We’ve got the process started. We’ve engaged the law. We’re authentic and passionate about something. We’ve got the seed.

Then comes the toiling.

This is the hardest part, the part where most people give up. They may have their seed, their field, and their vision of the harvest dancing in the back of their mind, but when they get out into the rain and the cold and the heat to begin breaking up the ground, they quit. They faint.

I’ve done this a million times.

Buried within this Law of Reciprocity is a principle that we just can’t get away from: you have to reach high for the best things in life.

It is in the toiling process that something gets solidified inside of us. It’s on these proving grounds, when we are digging and our back aches and we have heat exhaustion that we come to the place where we ask ourselves if it’s really worth it. And sadly, most of us decide that it’s not. So we quit digging. We make excuses. We procrastinate, and the seed dries up. We miss the prime growing season and have to wait until next year.

There is a verse in the Bible that sounds really good, but actually is a very strict challenge. This verse is Matthew 7:7-8. It says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

This passage was originally written in an ancient form of the Greek language. The way this was written is literally translated something very similar to this: “ask, and keep on asking; seek, and keep on seeking; knock, and keep on knocking.”

“The Greek present tense emphasizes continuous action: Jesus was not saying knock once and stop, but keep on knocking until the door is opened.

God, in His wonderful wisdom, has built the world in such a fashion that only those who are diligent and who persevere win the highest prizes. The person who is determined to achieve his God given goal, despite all obstacles, will wind up a winner. Those who are fainthearted and faltering, whose minds are not made up about something, will always lose.

God makes us reach high for the better things. Only a few will strive hard enough to win them. Those who keep going in spite of problems, pain, and difficulty will eventually overcome them…In whatever task God places you, do not quit, but stay the course.”**

The toiling process involves intense action, both physical and spiritual. This continual process of asking, seeking, and knocking activates something in the soil we are tilling. It injects supernatural vitamins into the ground, nutrients that in some mysterious way strengthen the roots and forever unite us to this harvest. Our very life and identity go into it, and as we grow and persevere, so does the harvest.

It is in the time of toiling and breaking up the ground that the kind of harvest we will reap will really be decided.

The toiling becomes a reflection of our self.
If we are lazy, we only break up a small piece of the ground.
If we are determined, the ground will be deep and wide and fresh.
If we are in doubt, we’ll give up.
If we really want it, we’ll keep going at all costs.

No matter if it is hot or cold, day or night, raining or shining.

This brings me to Forrest Gump…

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To see more writing like this, check out my book, The Human Code

**Spirit Filled Life Bible p. 2009


The Law of Reciprocity

April 24, 2009

There is a very real law called the Law of Reciprocity.

This is the principle of giving and receiving. Like gravity, it is there, whether we believe in it or not.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem like magnets for good things? For some people, doors just always seem to open. It seems so incredibly easy. Then there are other people who seem like they have to fight just to stay above water. They seem cursed.

What’s going on?

The secret is in the seeds.

Seeds?

A farmer plans to plant a field of wheat. He wants to reap an incredible harvest, so that he can sell it, share it, or feed himself with it. What does he need in order to see this harvest? Yep. Seeds. Lots and lots of good seeds.

What else? Time. Timing. Patience. Faith. Location. The right soil conditions. Rain and sun in proper proportions. Knowledge. Understanding. Hard work. A supreme effort. Love.

When all these elements are combined in the right mix, he is guaranteed to reap a field of the finest grain. Why? Because that is the way that the earth is set up to work.

This example of the farmer is the most obvious example, but it is a powerful one. It is a metaphor for the way we’re to live and move through our lives. It represents the way we do business, the way we raise our kids, the way we treat people, and everything in between. It is the key to living the life of abundance and fullness that we were meant to live.

And make no mistake, we were meant to live a full and abundant life.

So how does the law of reciprocity work? According to this analogy, what does it start with? That’s right. Knowledge and understanding.

One of the scriptures in the Bible says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

In the book of Proverbs, the writer says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.”

It is important to start out in whatever you intend to accomplish with a foundation of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The farmer has to know what kind of harvest he wants, so that he knows what kind of seed to sow. If he wants wheat, he can’t plant corn or beans. Without the right seed, the harvest is doomed.

He has to understand the weather patterns and know when the conditions are optimal to plant those seeds. He’s not going to go out in the dead of winter and scatter the seeds on ground that is frozen over and expect them to grow. For the farmer, timing is crucial.

He needs to be in the right location. If he’s living in Kansas or Spain, there’s a great chance he’ll yield a profitable and full harvest. If he’s living in Iraq or Greenland, his chances for a successful harvest are slim to none. When all of these elements are aligned, it’s time to begin planting or sowing.

In many parts of the world to this day, this remains a backbreaking and grueling process. If the farmer doesn’t have the heavy machinery, he has to use animals, laborers, or his own strength. There’s sweat and blisters and aching muscles. It is a supreme effort to break up the ground and get it turned over so that it is at just the right depth and richness.

Then there is the actual sowing process. The seed must be scattered at the right distance and frequency and ratio. It is vital for it to land on that perfectly cultivated ground and not in ground that is rocky or dry or weed-infested.

After this comes the difficult time of waiting and weeding. The land must remain free of weeds and other parasites as the tender shoots rise up out of the ground, or the harvest will be lost before it really even begins to develop. It is a constant process.

All the while, the farmer is seeing action. He sees the young plants springing out and growing. He catches the scent on the breeze.

But if that farmer is hungry or needs to sell his harvest because he’s running out of money, that can be the longest and hardest time of all. It’s right there in front of him, but picking it prematurely will kill the harvest and destroy all the months of hard work. There is nothing the farmer can do but wait and have faith that at the proper time, he will reap the good harvest if he doesn’t give up and become discouraged.

A good harvest – the best harvest – is always about the proper time.

That is the key. Too early, there’s no fruit. Too late, the fruit dies and rots and falls to the ground. There’s nothing that can be done to speed it up. It will happen at the right time. The farmer has given and given of himself. He plants and toils and cares, having faith that his efforts will pay off. At the right time, he receives back all that he has given and then some.

So it is with the Law of Reciprocity.

It is constant and reliable. But it is hard work and discipline if you want the really good harvest.

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To see more writing like this, check out my book, The Human Code


Day 8 – Interview with a (Digital) Gangsta

February 23, 2009

Wanna know what Eric “The Digital Gangster” Green has to say to new and seasoned internet marketers?

Want to hear what *Valuable* advice he has for people using social media to promote their products and services?

Listen as I *grill* him about what it takes to succeed and prosper in the world of internet/network marketing.


By the way, here is Eric’s Story, taken from his blog at http://gutzmarketingblog.com/

___________________________________________________________

How in the world did a burned out salesman from North Carolina actually create success online? I mean I didn’t really know anything about Internet Marketing but here is what I did have! Drive, Passion, and a Hunger to succeed.

I have had a lot of struggles over the years trying to build network marketing companies with old school methods and getting kicked in the mouth on a regular basis. The greatest thing you can do is realize that our success is inside you and there is no program or product that can replace the power of your subconscious mind. Please take a look below at what I’ve been able to accomplish over the last year and understand that I can help each one obtain success. If you have no money yet has a desire to win — I can help you.

Remember… I knew nothing!!!

I have been published in a book discussing “New School Marketing Techniques” that is now being sold on Amazon.com. The book was written by Bea Fields, and is called “Millennial Leaders.”

Millennial Leaders: Success Stories From Today’s Most Brilliant Generation Y Leaders

I was asked to join the advisory board to represent the U.S. for my Network Marketing Business.

I am a co–founder of GUTz Media Training — a site dedicated to helping people learn the How To’s of Web 2.0 and Rejection Free Marketing Strategies — which has since been turned over to Armando Arias.

I helped form an online community called the GUTz Community! You can google us up if you’d like to.

I co–founded Instant Viral Exposure along with Holly Powell

Bottom line here is I can help you if you are hungry!

Eric Green (a.k.a. “The Digital Gangster”)
Skype id: thedigitalgangster