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(Over 35 Life Lessons
From Zeneration X's weekly e-newsletter)
Week 1: DO PASS GO...DO COLLECT $200!
How to approach life like a
Week 2: SYNCHRONICITIES: MERE COINCIDENCE OR SOMETHING
How the Universe send us
Week 3: ZENSENSE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
How Zen applies to your
modern day life..
Week 4: MANTRAS: YET ANOTHER THING YOUR PARENTS NEVER TAUGHT
How to utilize the power of
Week 5: USING FAILURE AS A LAUNCHPAD FOR
How to use failures as
Week 6: TIME TO REVISIT YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
A call to action on the
first day of spring (or anytime)...
Week 7: TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY INTO POSITIVE LIFE
How to transform a negative
experience into a positive...
Week 8: REINVENTING YOUR SELF IMAGE
A powerful way to become the
person of your dreams...
Week 9: ABUNDANCE ABOUNDS
A powerful new outlook on
Week 10: ANGELS IN OUR MIDST?
How to see your
Week 11: I WAS A SERIAL PRE-JUDGER
The importance of keeping an
Week 12: AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL???
Finding meaning in an
increasingly artificial world...
Week 13: TURN ON YOUR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT
Valuable Wisdom about
Week 14: ARE YOU A LIFE EXPLORER?
Insights into living
Week 15: CHOICES R US
The magical power of
Week 16: CARING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING
An simple test demonstrates
the importance of caring...
Week 17: RIDE YOUR ROCKET
The importance of
approaching life with a sense of urgency...
Week 18: WHAT ARE YOUR MUSTS?
The underlying psychological
drivers of everything you do...
Week 19: ARE YOU DRIVING WITHOUT A MAP?
A life worth living,
is a life worth designing...
Week 20: EXPERIENCE THE FLOW!
The importance knowing how
to get "in the flow"...
Week 21: THE MEANING OF "LIFE"
A unique insight into life's
Week 22: FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!
How to discover the bliss in
Week 23: THE "EXTREME" ROAD TO WISDOM
The importance of extremes
in your life...
Week 24: REFLECT, REJUVENATE, RE-IGNITE!
The story of 1000
Week 25: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE A
How you can still make a
difference in the world...
Week 26: TAKE A MENTAL RETREAT!
How to escape from the
Week 27: DO YOU FEEL CONNECTED?
Thoughts on God, Zen,
Week 28: HARNESSING POSITIVE ENERGY!
Insights into the power of
Week 29: CHANGE YOUR SEDENTARY WAYS!
Why you need "Movement" in
Week 30: EXERCISE YOUR MIND!
The importance of continual
learning and mental conditioning...
Week 31: CONNECT WITH YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF!
Insights into re-connecting
and shedding your psychic armor...
THE HIDDEN GIFT
Finding meaning, even
beauty, in the Sept. 11th tragedy...
Week 33: TEST YOUR FEAR BOUNDARIES!
Insights into overcoming
Week 34: SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS!
Confirmation that great
rewards await just outside your comfort zone.
Week 35: WHAT'S GUIDING YOU?
How to determine your
Week 36: HEALING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
The True Story of Ranee
DO PASS GO...DO COLLECT
by Drew Kossoff
If you think about it, LIFE is truly the most exciting game ever
invented. A game with many
levels, tests and challenges.
A game whose objective is to DISCOVER the most creative ways
possible to EXPLORE, INTERACT WITH and EXPERIENCE your surroundings, while
seeking out CLUES that can lead you to higher levels of ACCOMPLISHMENT and
FULFILLMENT. Of course, there are many pitfalls along the way, but the
more quickly you LEARN from them (and how to avoid them), the more FUN the
game gets...and the bigger the rewards!
The unique thing about the game is that the rules and objectives
are CONSTANTLY CHANGING (as are the players and surrounding
environment). The ONLY THING
YOU CAN TRULY CONTROL IS YOURSELF, and even that can be a big CHALLENGE,
for TEMPTATION and distractions of all kinds abound, clouding your
FOCUS. Keeping DIRECTED
and BALANCED in the midst of all these CHOICES is paramount to
SYNCHRONICITIES are experiences or "sign-posts" that occur throughout the game to TEST
your awareness and knowledge.
They are easy to miss until you OPEN YOUR MIND to them. They often act as a
“scorecard” for your journey, either reminding you how far you’ve
come or signaling whether you're ON (or off) THE
PATH. These "sign-posts" often arrive in the form of
temptations which can lead you to stray if you don't catch and/or
heed their LESSONS. But alas,
straying is part of the game too, for THERE IS NO LEARNING WITHOUT MAKING
Since the game is a constant and never-ending SWIM UPSTREAM, it is
important to both FIGHT THE CURRENT and learn to GO WITH THE FLOW in order
to avoid getting frustrated. The STRENGTH to move ahead combined
with the UNDERSTANDING that sometimes you simply can't
control the ride, will EMPOWER you to thrive in both the smooth
and the rough currents.
Although experienced in a "multi-player" environment, YOU ARE
ALWAYS THE CREATOR OF "YOUR"
GAME. It unfolds in front of you based on a combination of YOUR
CHOICES and a bit of fate (the game's environmental variables).
It throws you all kinds of curves and obstacles, but since YOU CHOOSE how
to react to everything you experience, YOU ARE TRULY THE MASTER OF YOUR
One of the coolest things about the game is that since it
tends to last around 75 years, no matter what happens along the
way, even though you can never go back and make a brand new start,
you can always begin again and MAKE A BRAND NEW ENDING! Therefore, it is wise to
EXPERIMENT OFTEN and experience VARIETY. It's the key to
UNLEASHING new PASSIONS which MOTIVATE you to BEGIN OVER and OVER
AGAIN, perfect your skills, and more thoroughly enjoy THE
On your mark....ready....set...GO!!!
SYNCHRONICITIES: MERE COINCIDENCE OR
by Drew Kossoff
Have you ever experienced a coincidence in
your life so unbelievable that it seemed impossible to be an accident?
A friend of mine recently experienced an
incredible event like this. To protect her identity, I'll just
refer to her as Piper. About a year ago Piper went through a painful
divorce. Piper had married very young and found
herself trapped in an unhappy relationship. Against the
wishes of her husband (and her family), she very courageously left her
marriage and moved out on her own to find herself and create the life she
was dreaming of.
Although convinced she'd made the
"right" decision, Piper was overwhelmed with feelings of
guilt (exaserbated by her ex-husband reminding her on a regular basis
that she had "ruined his life"). Piper cried almost every day, and
prayed every single night for her ex-husband to find another woman
and move on in his life so that she too could move on emotionally and let
go of the guilt.
About a year later, Piper was making great
strides in her new life. She was taking classes, traveling, making
new friends....but the guilt still lingered. While attending a week
long self-help seminar in Hawaii, Piper had some major breakthroughs and
was feeling on top of the world when all of the sudden, while strolling by
the pool, who do you think she saw? That's right, her ex-husband
reclining on a beach chair, holding hands with a woman! Piper
felt as if a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She was
Interpret this story any way you like, but I
believe this event was far too significant a coincidence to be an
accident. The odds of her ex-husband being on vacation
with his new girlfriend at the same hotel she was attending the seminar
at, on the same weekend, and sitting by the pool the same minute she
walked by are probably a million to one. Coincidence....or
Webter's Dictionary defines a
coincidence as "an accidental and remarkable occurance of events, ideas
etc. at the same time, in a way that sometimes suggests a causal
relationship." Carl Jung expanded on this concept, coining the term
"synchronicity" to describe "meaningful" coincidences ( i.e.
events that not only defy the odds, but are also so meaningful or
significant to the individual that experiences them
that they give support to the idea that something deeper than
pure chance is at work in the universe). While everyone experiences
coincidences from time to time, tha fact that true
synchronicities tend to occur during "transition" periods in a
person's life further supports the idea that they represent very
deliberately placed "roadsigns".
So what do you think of Pipers
My interpretation is that it was no
mere coincidence, but rather a powerful "sign" from the Universe
communicating to Piper that she had made the right decision to start
her life over, that she was headed in the right direction
(i.e. working on herself, attending self-help seminars etc.),
and that she could finally let go of the guilt and live again because she,
of course, had not ruined her ex-husband's life.
To esoteric an explanation? At least
consider this - the person who you are today has everything to do with the
paths you've chosen in your life, and if you actually think about it,
almost every major path you've chosen to follow has hinged on some
meaningful coincidence (the friends you've made, the career you've chosen,
the home you live in...you name it). While relatively few
coincidences we experience would be defined a true synchronicities, my
point is that the Universe works in strange ways. There are hidden
"signs" everywhere. Some represent "tests". Others
"lessons". Keep an open mind and look for the learning. You're
sure to gain more wisdom and insight without those blinders on.
** If you're interested in delving deeper
into the subject of Synchronicity, I highly recommend a book called
"There Are No Accidents" which covers the subject quite
in-depthly and includes many fascinating stories.
Click for a description: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573226815/zenerationx/104-5519096-1972427 ** Purchase "There Are No Accidents" from this link and help
raise money for charities Zeneration X supports!!
ZENSENSE IN THE NEW
by Rick Cipes
“Thinking...is what gets you
caught from behind.”
Nonsense: n. lack of
sense; absurd language.
I have no problem doing it with my eyes open,
it’s when I close them that I begin to have problems.
For the Master-Swami-Zen Monk-Eastern
Philosophers of the world, it is a long-held assumption that if you can
define the word “Zen” you have absolutely no idea of its meaning. With
that in mind--and considering my Master-Swami-Zen Monk-Eastern Philosopher
mind is totally bastardized in the new millennium--let’s give it the old
Let’s begin with what Zen is not. Zen is not
week long binges with blow seeping out our noses and either a hundred
dollar hooker named Angel, or Beverly Hill’s slimiest sheik hanging on our
arm. Zen is not getting so schizo from our Starbucks addiction that we
have to take half a bottle of aspirin before we are calm enough to pour a
glass of water. Nor is Zen rushing out to buy the latest gizmo, be it
computer, phone, or vibrator, so we can appear to be the hippest kat on
the block. Facade. Zen is not desperately seeking Susan at bars, websites,
or your nephew Schlomo’s Bar Mitzvah. Desperation. Neither is Zen gorging
down a whole pint of Haagen Daas in one sitting, and vowing to get on the
treadmill the next day. Fat. Zen is not placing the importance of a
television show over our friends, nor is it flipping off your neighbor for
the umpteenth time on the 405 Freeway. Zen is not making the scene every
night, for fear that the scene is going to make you. Zen is not about
trying to make the most money in the world, or accumulate the most toys,
because the one with the most toys, contrary to the popular moronic
saying, does not win in the end. Loser.
Who wins in the end, you ask? Subjectively
ranting, I think the one who wins in the end, is the one who learns to
respect and reconnect with nature. The one who understands that no matter
how much effort we exert to takeover the world, both on a personal and
global level, nature will always prevail, and it is Nature that we all
must return to in the end. (So, better be nice while you have the chance.
Grasshopper want to find Zen? Be at one with
nature. I’m not talking about whittling down a stick and going out to hunt
the neighborhood stray for dinner. No, I speak of: Where do you fit in
with Nature’s plan, and how are you best going to carry out the mission
you were set down on this planet to accomplish?
“Where your talents and the needs of the
world cross, there lies your vocation.” – Aristotle
Make time, even if it is in between A.A.
meetings, to identify your particular vocation, because it’s only after
this step that you can relax into the long journey called: Finding your
balance. A journey that promises to be highlighted by stumbles and
pratfalls that would make the Marx Brothers look graceful, and “Do Not
Pass Go, Go Directly To Jail” cards that haunt us like the neighbor hood
crow on Sunday mornings. A long and winding road to be sure, a trek only
to be tread by the truly brave and passionate few who are ready to go the
extra mile. Selfishness versus selflessness.
The reason the Road Less Traveled is the road
less traveled, is because there is a very treacherous cliff up ahead. And
at the bottom is the word: Change. You either risk your soul (and what is
life without a degree of risk), or you opt for the road to Lazyville:
Where all High School sweethearts die young.
“What we do is but a drop in the ocean, but
if we didn’t do it the ocean would be one less drop.” - Mother
Be that drop in all its splendor. Know that
your drop is making a difference to the world. Know that it forms a
connection between you and all things Mother Nature.
Anyone who was witness to the countless
beautiful millennium celebrations around the world (via CNN), can attest
to the fact that there is a lot of love in the air, and our potential
seems to be endless. Does war in some Third World country affect us? Maybe
not directly, but some way and some day, it probably will. For our mission
to prosper, there can be no denying
that all fate is tied together in the big karmic web. Pick your
drops well, and keep in mind: no matter how technologically advanced we
become, if we cross Mother Nature one too many times...
Sit by the river and listen to your soul.
Meditate. Then enter the forest where no one ever has before. Quest. When
you’re ready, come back with your boon and create your ripple. Hero.
Because within all the nonsense in the world, some Zensense must be
I dream that one day we will all be able to
walk across the tightrope with our eyes closed. Then we will have found
our own interpretation of Zen.
YET ANOTHER THING
YOUR PARENTS NEVER TAUGHT YOU!
** Inspired by the
words and teachings of my Tai Chi master Nzazi ("Z") Malonga
(founder of UrbanZen
MANTRA (man-tra) n. :
a sacred word or syllable repeated in prayer or meditation
Mantra? I know,
you're probably already thinking, "Mantra schmantra"...what do sacred
words have to do with my life?
You may not realize
it yet, but you are already a master of Mantras!
Have you ever wanted
something so badly that it was all you could think about? A car, a
job, a lover, a meal, a nap, a better body. Of course you
have! And how many times throughout your life have you turned
that want or need into reality? Gazillions of times! How
did you actually do it? Simply by focusing on your want or need
and subconsciously repeating it over and over until you achieved
it. e.g. Food, Food, Food. Sex, Sex, Sex. Sleep, Sleep,
Sleep. New job, New Job, New job. Of course, I'm simplifying
things quite a bit here (i.e. these are not "sacred words"), but in the
modern world, the words we focus on essentially work like ancient
The simple magic of a
Mantra is that if you focus on and repeat a word or thought often
enough, you create a sort of internal conflict (i.e. I need food, but
I don't have any), which subsequently pressures you to mobilize the
resources necessary to resolve this conflict (i.e. go get food). The
Mantra or thought creates the impetus for you to match your inner
thought/want/need with your outer reality. By simply focusing on the
right words or thoughts, you set in motion a process which enables you to
actualize or become one with those thoughts or dreams.
According to "Z" (my
Tai Chi Master), Mantras work best when they are simplistic and
clear. Moreover, you must be aware of the karmic consequences
of a Mantra because they can be both positive and
negative. For example, a drug addict will have the mantra of Heroine
and try to actualize the mantra to get high. Conversely, a spiritual
seeker like Gandhi had the mantra of "freedom for my people" and
everything he did when he was working to actualize his mantra (e.g.
Fasting) was directly connected to the positive karmic consequence or
outcome he was seeking. When you first find a mantra, "Z" explains,
hopefully you'll evaluate it for it’s karmic
A great morning
Mantra is to repeat “It’s a new day!” several times when you wake
up. This will completely free of yesterday and make you fully
present today. Another excellent Mantra which I learned from
Tony Robbins is, "All I need is within me now!". This one will give
you strength whenever you're tackling life's challenges. Make
example. When cultivating Tai Chi skills, continuously
repeating the words "smooth" and "graceful" helps you become smoother
and more graceful. The spoken mantra and the movement
become one - a moving mantra! Likewise, chanting "smooth" and
"graceful" under your breath can also help you in your daily life.
Repeating "smooth" and "graceful" in your head can help you
conquer the fear and uncertainty you might have about a business
presentation, a first date etc. The karmic consequence is that
you become smooth and graceful in all your endeavors.
So whether you choose
"compassion", "kindness", "positive energy", "strength" or any
other Mantra you please, you will find that focusing on one or
several of these thematic words will help you attract more abundance and
happiness into your life!
USING FAILURE AS A LAUNCH
PAD FOR SUCCESS!
by Drew Kossoff
“Those who dare to fail miserably
can achieve greatly.”
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"If you want to increase your
success rate, double your failure rate."
- Thomas Watson, Sr., founder
"When you go in search of
honey you must expect to be stung by bees."
- Kenneth Kaunda
We all know that we need to fail
over and over again in order to succeed. So why is it that so many
of us cling to the fear of failure as an excuse for not going for
By never failing, we always know
what outcome we're going to get. What a price to pay
though! Mediocrity, unfulfilled dreams, being less than we can
be...all because we fear failure and avoid uncertainty with a
Actually, there is a very good
explanation for this widely shared fear of failing, fear of not being good
enough, fear of disappointing ourselves and others. It just so
happens that fear is most powerful human (and animal) emotion! It is
innate and was pre-programmed into our systems to protect us from the
dangers of the wild. But in a modern world, this instinct often
hurts us rather than helping us. Moreover, unlike animals, we have
the ability to overcome our biology with the power of our
So let's work on a bit of
Did you know that Abraham
Lincoln failed many, many times in both politics and
business before he eventually succeeded in winning the
Presidency? Were you aware that "Post-It Notes"
were invented as a result of a glue that 3M scientists initially
thought was a failure because it wasn't sticky enough? Do you
realize that literally every single human accomplishment, invention, and
technological advancement ever achieved has been the result of failure
after failure...or should I say, Lesson after Lesson?
I often find it helpful to remind
myself that failure is like learning to walk. By falling and then
picking ourselves up over and over again we eventually learn to
balance correctly, stand tall and head off with confidence in any
direction we please. Learning to walk is actually an excellent
metaphor for life, because we are constantly learning to walk over and
over again in every new endeavor we pursue.
To continue growing, it is
critical that we maintain our childlike diligence to continually pick
ourselves up and "try, try again"...because if we don't, who will do it
Next time you feel you've failed
at something, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I learn from this
- What good can come out of
- How can I use this experience to
- What do I have to be thankful
for in my life?
(i.e. gain some perspective on the
situation...it's almost never as bad as we make it out to
Now get out there and fail!
You might just succeed along the way!
TIME TO REVISIT YOUR NEW YEARS
A call to action on the First Day of
Spring (or anytime)
by Drew Kossoff
It's the first day of Spring '00 and
it's time revisit your New Year's Resolutions and see how you've done so
far this year!
Have you made progress or
accomplished any of your goals?
If yes, congratulate
yourself! If no, don't beat yourself up! Just make a
commitment to start today! Turn your wishes into reality!
Review your resolutions and
a) If you didn't write down any New
Year's resolutions, start right now and begin writing your
"Spring/Summer/Fall Resolutions"! I mean right now!!! Even if it is
only one Goal!
b) If you did write them down, then
review your progress. How did you do?
- If you accomplished some goals, give
yourself a pat on the back! Congrats Achiever, now write some new
- If you didn't accomplish anything,
give yourself a swift kick in the ass and get moving! Life is
fleeting. The time to start is now!
INTO POSITIVE LIFE CHANGE:
This week's edition is dedicated to the
memory of Earl Bethel - a friend and talented human being who passed away
last week at the young age of 28.
When someone so "full of life"
suddenly passes away, the first question we usually ask ourselves is,
"Why?". No answer to this question ever satisfies me, so I force
focus on better questions like, "What can I learn from this
tragedy?" or "How can I use this painful experience to transform my life
and/or the lives of others?" or "How I can transform the pain of loss into
a celebration of this person's life and thereby preserve their spirit?
Earl was a special human being - incredibly good natured,
intelligent, creative, kind hearted, and one of the most "outstanding"
guitar players I've ever seen. Although his life
was cut short, most
people never live to be "outstanding" at anything, so I celebrate Earl's
accomplishements, his beautiful soul and the positive energy he generously
shared with so many people.
Earl's tragic death has reminded me
just how precious (and short) life really is. Time is fleeting and
is not to be wasted. It's unfortunate that we have to lose friends
or loved one's to remind us to "live life to the fullest" and "live every
day like it's our last", but the universe works in strange ways and if
this is the lesson we needed to learn, then so be it.
you to embrace this lesson and re-commit making your life outstanding!
Cherish the people you love and who love you, have compassion for those
less fortunate than you, pursue your passions with vigor and pride, and
make a difference in this world!
Tragedies often act as a "wake up call" and
become the catalysts for positive change.
Write Down A Tragedy
What Lesson Did you Learn, Change Did It
Initiate, or Transformation Resulted in You Life?
REINVENTING YOUR SELF
A Powerful Way To Become The Person of Your
by Drew Kossoff
Who are you? Are you the
person you see yourself as today...or are you something more?
fact of the matter is YOU ARE WHO YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE, and some pretty
magical things happen when you simply change some of your
identities. I'm not talking about Superman to Clark Kent changes,
I'm talking about some very subtle shifts in your own mind.
say you want to improve your physical body. How do you perceive your
body today? Do you see yourself as someone who is fat and out of
shape? How do you think this belief affects your ability to lose
weight? Now Imagine if you saw yourself as a thin person, stuck in a
fat person's body. Do you think that belief might be a bit more
empowering towards losing weight? What if you decided that you were an
Olympian in Training? Wouldn't that be an even more powerful belief to
adopt? If you see yourself as an Olympian, you'd have to make it to
training every day even when you didn't feel like it. You'd eat
healthier because an Olympian wouldn't eat double cheesburgers and banana
splits. Do you catch where I'm going with this?
What if you
wanted to quit smoking? If you see yourself as "a smoker", isn't it
true that you'll always be "a smoker who's trying to quit".
Might it be more powerful if you decided that you were a "non
smoker"? Imagine the difference it would make if someone asked
you if you wanted a cigarette and instead of you saying, "Boy I'm dying
for one, but I'm trying to quit" vs. "No thanks, I don't smoke!".
Your perception of self makes a huge difference in your ability to make
decisions because we always try to live up to our identities. It causes
pain not to. That's why we lower our standards or self image, so
it's easier to live with ourselves. We always know what to
expect. But is that going to get us where we want to go in
Changing your identity in your own mind is all it takes to
make some very powerful changes. They can be as simple as shifting
from, "I only work as hard a I have to" to "I strive for excellence in
everything I do and go the extra mile to be outstanding!" How do you
think that shift might impact your life? In fact, What impact would
it have on your life if starting today, you changed just one little belief
about yourself to a new improved belief? Now Imagine what you could
achieve if you changed one belief every week for a year! How much
closer to your goals would you be a year from now? How much more
fulfillment would you feel?
TIP: Reinventing your identity
works really well when you create a well know character identity that you
can relate to. For example, might it affect your creativity if you
decided that you were "a modern day picasso"? Or affect your spirit
of adventure if you thought of yourself as "a modern day Huckleberry
Finn"? Can you see the value in dreaming up all kinds of fun identities
for yourself? It has really made a difference in my life, so
why not try it in yours?
(((((((((((((((( YOUR CHALLENGE THIS
Create Some Powerful New Identities for
Physical Identity (e.g.
Identity (e.g. Donald Trump of
Identity (e.g. Prince
categories could include your Creative Identity,
Spiritual Identity, Family Identity,
Choose whatever categories most important to you and
re-inventing yourself today!
Does it always seem like everyone has "more of something"
than you do? More money, more love, more friends, more clothes, more
style, more creativity, a better job, a bigger house, a faster car, a
hotter girlfriend/boyfriend etc. Well, I'm sorry to inform you that
you're suffering from AFFLUENZA!!
If you step back for a moment and
look at how far you've come in your life, how much you've achieved, how
much "more" you have than so many others, you'll realize how much
Abundance you already have in your life. In fact, just the fact that
you are alive is a miracle in itself. You are the result of one
sperm out of millions that won an incredible race to the egg to make
you! That in itself makes you incredibly special from the
We live in an incredible time in an incredible country where
wealth and abundance abounds! I know it's hard to feel like you have
enough when it seems like everyone has more than you do, but the solution
to your affluenza is to take your mind out of the
rat race because it's
a game that gets you nowhere. I'm not saying that you shouldn't
strive for affluence, but it really helps to keep things in
I had a little fit of Affluenza myself recently.
A couple of weeks ago I went hiking in the Palisades with my girlfriend
and her brother's family. The road to the trailhead goes through a
very beautiful part of LA with many large, lavish homes with lot's of
land. I found myself feeling a bit jealous and all the sudden
thinking, "I want to live like this. I need to have one of these
homes." For a few hours I found myself in a huff dreaming about a
bigger house and taking for granted the great house I currently live
in. This spiraled into thoughts about wanting more money, more of
this and more of that.
Later that night, I recognized the trap I
was caught in and focused on this lesson: While it's important to
continually strive for more in your life, if you're always looking forward
and focusing on what you don't have, know matter how far you go, you'll
always be dissatisfied, because there will always be something more.
So instead, I began to focus on what I did have, and all the sudden I
began to feel a whole lot more satisfied and fulfilled. After all, I
truly do have so much to be thankful for: An amazing family, a
wonderful girlfriend, super friends, a great job, a cool house (even if it
isn't a mansion!) and so much more!
So the next time you find
yourself focusing on things you "don't have", try reflecting on what
you do have. I promise it will make you feel better! i.e.
Definitely strive for more, but
utilize the power of "GRATITUDE" to
keep you balanced in the abundance you already have!
What ABUNDANCE do you already have in your
List all the things you have to be thankful
WHAT DO ANGELS LOOK
What do Angels look like?
- Like the
little old lady who returned your wallet yesterday.
- Like the taxi
driver who told you that your eyes light up the world, when you
- Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple
- Like the poor man who offered to share his lunch with
- Like the rich man who showed you that it really is all possible,
if only you believe.
- Like the stranger who just happened to come
along, when you had lost your way.
- Like the friend who touched your
heart, when you didn't think you had one.
Angels come in all sizes
and shapes, all ages and skin types. Some with freckles, some with
dimples, some with wrinkles, some without. They come disguised as friends,
enemies teachers, students, lovers and fools. They don't take life too
seriously, they travel light. They leave no forwarding address, they ask
nothing in return. They are hard to find when your eyes are closed, but
when you choose to see, they are everywhere you look.
So, open you
eyes and count all your Angels -- for you are truly
Angels, please send this story to all those who make a
difference in your life.
1. Get out
there and be a GUARDIAN ANGEL to someone. Be kind for no other
reason than to make someone smile, ease their pain, or help them through a
difficult time. Be a positive force for good in the Universe and
make a difference!
2. Give thanks this week to the Angels
who've made a difference in your life! Call an old friend;
write a card to an influential teacher, parent or grandparent; take
a good friend or mentor out to lunch.
"I WAS A SERIAL PRE-JUDGER"
I'm sure you've all heard the story of a young
"dead-head" looking man walking into a city bank with nothing but sandals
on his feet, and old shirt on his body, a pair of shorts and a torn
back-pack. He proceeds to the teller, who doesn't give him the time
of day for several minutes, and asks to see the President of the
bank. She laughs and tells him that President is very busy and can't
waste his time seeing every bum that comes in off the
After hearing this, this "bum" opens his back pack and pulls out a
cashiers check for $5 Million Dollars and tells the lady, "Well, I guess
he doesn't need to bother with my money either." Leaving the bank
and the teller speechless. I'm not sure what happens after that, but
I would suspect, she was looking for another job by days end while our
"bum" was over at another bank helping it's President put his kids
The moral here is simple: Don't judge a book
by it's cover. Of course, we all know this is much easier said than
done. Our beliefs, when turned into positive convictions have the power to
propel us toward success, while beliefs, as negative opinions limit our
progress and leave us critical and judgmental of everything around
Being in advertising sales, for example, I've learned that
pre-judging the person on the other side of the desk (or phone) can be one
of the worst things you can do..
Four years ago, I walked into an
interview with a dot com development company. I was dressed to the
nines, expecting a "formal" meeting. I get to the front desk and I
see a kid, not more than 20 years old in shorts, sneakers, a surf shirt
answering calls at the front desk. I tell him who I am and who I am
here to see. To this he replies, "wait over there for a couple of
minutes and I'LL be right with you." Wait a second! "I'll be
right with you?" This kid? This is the alchemist that is going
to take me out of the traditional media world with a tap from his golden
wand and bring me into the "dot-com" world? This was my
future? I really fluffed my resume for this..I'm even in a new suit
over here. Well, luckily for me, I harbored those thoughts only in my head
and not out my mouth or I would still be
selling Ad pages in some
magazine. Turns out he was not alone, he started this (now very
successful) Internet company with 3 of his childhood friends, and I still
look at each of them as three of the smartest Internet business people I
Another experience happened to me a few months ago where
I received a voice mail from a funny sounding internet start-up I'd never
heard of. I initially pre-judged the opportunity thinking it was
some fly by night company that would never result in any significant
business. Luckily for me, I overcame this "limiting belief",
returned the call and treated them with the same respect as I do for my
major accounts. To my surprise, the company turned out to be incredibly
well funded and has become one of my largest and most valued
The moral? Don't limit your beliefs..because YOU
NEVER KNOW! Creating positive beliefs and assumptions towards new people
and/or situations opens you up to so many more opportunities because you
stop limiting yourself . Why not assume that they want to do
business with you from the get go? Why not assume they NEED to meet
with you? Why not assume they can't succeed without you? What
if the "slacker" you are talking to is a millionaire CEO?
I used to
be one of the biggest offenders of negative assumptions and beliefs.
I would practically talk my self out of getting a sale. As I matured
in my career, I learned to overcome my fears and keep my ego at
home. This has helped create positive outcomes in nearly every
scenario. I'm confident it will do the same for you!
What beliefs do you have about money, relationships,
career, health etc. that are holding you back in life? How have you
been limiting yourself?
Write down at least one limiting belief you
have (right now!) and how changing that belief might impact your life:
(e.g. imagine how different your life could be if you changed these
beliefs: "smoking not so bad for me", "I'll never be a
millionaire", or "relationships equal pain"....to these new beliefs:
"smoking equals cancer and death!", "I can achieve financial freedom!" ,
"relationships can be beautiful and incredibly
to trying on a new and more positive belief for size this
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL???
Meaning In An Increasingly Artificial World
School shootings, female eating disorders, 24hr mind
dulling entertainment, credit card debt up the wazoo, wasteful
commercialism, loss of community and values, young Americans tuning out to
ecstasy like the hippies did to LSD in the 60's...
this picture? Can you sense the general malaise in our great
land? Why does everyone seem to be LACKING something?
<money, time, love, meaning...>
I believe one of the core
reasons for this unrest in our world is we've simply lost touch with our
true nature as human animals. As a species, we've evolved to the point
where we no longer have to focus the majority of our time on survival and
teamwork - finding our next meal and protecting ourselves, our family and
community from the dangers of the wild.
It is simply amazing that
we can get food 24 hours a day, most of the time not even realizing or
caring where and how that food came to arrive on our plates.
We can flip on the lights at any hour of darkness, oblivious to the
natural cycles of day and night. We can travel great distances by
land, sea and air in amazingly short periods of time.
"survival" as our primary goal and the absolute need for "connection" with
others, it has become incredibly easy to get caught up in the rat race and
the glamorous pursuit of money, status, toys, the next party etc. We live
in an increasingly artificial world of individuals conditioned to the
pursuit of self leisure. While the pursuit a comfortable life
is certainly important, for many this becomes the "ONLY" pursuit, and this
inevitably leads to the sense of emptiness and unrest so many of us
It is a certain truth that BALANCE is critical to achieving
fulfillment in life. On your deathbed, will you really look back on
your life and say,"I wish I worked more hours, had a nicer car, a bigger
home entertainment system?" Think about what is truly meaningful to
The other morning, while rushing to get to work, I encountered
11 "just hatched" baby ducks waddling after their mother towards the canal
in front of my house. Amidst the blur that is often my life, this
"real moment" re-connected me to the miracle that is LIFE. Nature
itself - Birth, Growth, Death, Family - is what "connects" us to our
world. If you were to lose everything, you'd still have your family,
your friends and mother nature to nourish and support you.
Everything else is secondary.
Pursue your dreams, seek financial
independence, enjoy the fruits of your labor, but also reflect on what
"REALLY" matters to you. Is it a shiny new car or a hug from your
child? A good stock investment or a beautiful sunset? Watching
"Who wants to be a millionaire" or taking a walk on the beach?
Getting wasted or spending quality time with a friend or loved one?
Buying another pair of shoes or helping someone in need?
want more meaning in your life, figure out what truly matters to you, make
it a priority and then balance it with your pursuit of everything
Write down three ways you can
re-connect with yourself and the meaningful things in your
Commit a mere 1/10th of
your month (3 days) to doing these things!
TURN ON YOUR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT
by Drew Kossoff
If you look around you, you'll
see that life is all about exchanging "ENERGY". Everything is in a
constant cycle of creation, degradation and exchange. Potential
Energy is everywhere. Each molecule of water has the "potential" to
evaporate and join a cloud, then to turn into rain and then back into a
happy water molecule in a lake or river. Each child has the "potential" to
become the next great leader. Each smile has the "potential" to make
a new friend.
It is a simple fact that INSIDE YOU lies a powerful
PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT GENERATOR just waiting to be fired up!
sojourn back to Physics class reveals valuable insights into getting your
generator cooking: "Work" is needed to create or build
Potential Energy, and the amount of Potential Energy a system possesses is
equal to the work done on the system (i.e.
the farther you stretch a
rubber band, the faster it will fly when you let go). Likewise,
Potential Energy can be transformed into other forms of energy: "Heat",
"Light", "Kinetic Energy", and even "Nuclear Energy".
Just as in
Science, your personal achievement "potential" can be transformed into a
powerful reality if can learn to fire up your energy and release it.
In Tai Chi, we often describe this process of building energy as "cooking
chi". I actually like to think of my personal achievement generator
as similar that of the movie character E.T. When my generator is
weakened, my inner light or energy is dim, but when my generator is revved
up, my inner light glows bright, enabling me to fly! For me
personally, the secret to revving up my engine is expending "Energy" in
all directions, which I equate to both "Working" and "Giving" because the
more I "Work" on something and the more I "Give of Myself", the more
energy I build up in me and those around me (very important).
as "Energy" can be transformed into other forms of "Energy" in science,
"Energy" in our lives comes in many exchangeable forms: money, love,
knowledge, ideas, craft, labor etc. "Energy", in whatever form, is the
fuel that everything runs on. Building up "Energy" is what returns it to
back to you because the more momentum you build, the more powerful the
energy gets (like a snowball rolling down a hill).
My goal is to
build that energy into a Nuclear Reaction, but building a Nuclear Reaction
by yourself unfortunately isn't possible. Your ability to build
energy to extraordinary levels
is affected by others around you.
In fact, you need their help to get to the next level! Great Leaders
don't act alone, they excel at aggregating people toward a common
goal. Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft by himself, nor did
Gandhi or Martin
Luther King effect social change without the help of
others. In order to secure the help of others (i.e. to receive), you must
expend some form of "Energy"(i.e. Give!!). So many people see
"Giving" or expending "Energy" as a "burden" or "work" or a "waste of
their time"...but it actually is the key to getting where you want to
go. Build energy, build connections, build love.
How do you
build energy in others? People are motivated by many types of
energy: financial energy, political energy, religious energy, love energy,
fun energy etc. Thinking of "energy" in these terms, how might you
achieve more of what you want in life?
Certainly not by taking more
energy than you give! The more love you give, the more friends and
loved one's you'll have. The more you apply yourself at work, the
more success and promotions you'll receive.
I utilize this "Giving"
philosophy in my life by trying to create "positive" human energy wherever
I go. I try to affect and connect with others - whether they're a
cashier I'll never see again, a homeless person, or my most important
client - even if its merely winning a smile or a laugh. Some might
simply label this "extroversion", but I see it as spreading good
energy. In fact, I even try to spread this good energy in my
voicemail messages . I'm quite well known (sometimes teased) for my
upbeat "radio announcer" sounding voicemail greetings, but you wouldn't
believe just how often people leave me messages telling me that my
voicemail greeting alone cheered them up, changed their mood
To be able to affect people simply with my voice is one simple example of
how a creating/giving a little energy can build even more energy.
You should try this out next time you're in the supermarket. Try
first walking down an aisle frowning and without looking anyone in the
eye. Then try walking down the next aisle smiling and giving a nice
cheery "hello" to everyone you pass. I guarantee you'll create
I've found it valuable in applying this approach
to all aspects of my life to think of myself as a CREATOR OF ENERGY
(substitute any of the following words for "energy": wealth, love,
friendship, knowledge, art etc.). The more energy I expend, the more
momentum I build, and the more I get back. For example, when I give
to my body in the form of nourishing foods, exercise, and a good night's
sleep, my body returns a vibrant, healthy and well functioning shell to
live in. When I give energy to my work (to my co-workers and
clients), it returns to me in the form of financial energy, social energy
and intellectual stimulation energy. When I give energy to my
relationship with Chareen, it returns to me in kind. When I give
energy to studying and mastering something, I always get more back than I
initially invest. In fact, investing is a good metaphor for all of
this. Invest in energy and you will get great returns. So stop
waiting for that lucky break, that winning lottery ticket...start to be
the greatest energy creator you've ever known!
resides inside of you too. You have significant power over your
"energy generator". If you can simply begin to think of yourself as
an "energy creator" in all aspects of life, you too will achieve more than
you ever hoped for!!!
Go spread your
energy. Pour your milk on every cocoa puff you see and surround
yourself with chocolate milk!
ARE YOU A LIFE EXPLORER?
There is one thing you can be certain about in
your life: "Change Is The Only Constant".
Vibrant living beings are
characterized by "movement" and "growth" while sick, aging, dying beings
are characterized by "stagnation" and "decay". Thus, it is no secret
that in order to survive and thrive you must stay active, keep moving,
learning, growing, changing and evolving both mentally and physically (and
spiritually some might say).
Ever wonder why little children are so
easily fascinated by pretty much anything? Because just about
everything is brand NEW and therefore fascinating - new flavors, new
sights, new sounds, new smells, new experiences. When you're
new things, it is easy to approach life with a
curious, open and explorative mind. Unfortunately, as most of us get
older, we form our opinions, become set in our routines, and slowly but
surely stop learning, exploring, and experiencing new things.
more we stay the same, the less alive we are. Just as our muscles
wither from lack of exercise, so do our minds. That is why it is
critical to keep "moving" and "growing" to be fully "alive". My
grandfather walked two miles and studied and hour of Italian every single
day until he passed away of "natural causes" at the age of 95 (with "all
his marbles" intact). I believe his consistent physical "movement"
and mental "growth" helped him to
Longevity isn't the only benefit of continually "moving"
and "growing". Abraham Lincoln once wisely said, "And in the end,
It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your
years". In order to live a rich, full life and get the most
out of your years, you MUST continue to move, explore, try new things,
consider new perspectives, embrace change and EVOLVE. In my mind,
this approach to life is exemplified by "Explorers" because by definition
they are constantly moving, learning, growing, changing and
discovering. That is why I like to think of myself as a "Life
How does this "identity" help me in life? Today,
for example, I found myself having a pretty "routine" Sunday
morning. My mind was stagnating and I needed to get out and get some
perspective. For me, surfing usually achieves this end, but instead
of walking from my house for a quick surf session here in Venice, I asked
myself, "what would a true "Explorer" do when a South swell rolls in?"
Answer: Jump in their car and search for surf up in Malibu
country! I somewhat reluctantly jumped in my car and headed up to
Malibu for a change and the fresh perspective was exactly what I
needed! New sites along the drive stimulated my curiosity
(restaurants to try, a new surf shop to check out), bad traffic
PCH made me appreciate the "easy in, easy out" access I have to my home in
Venice, unknown faces in the water (some friendly, some not) stimulated my
competitive "fight or flight" nature and made me feel alive, and the near
perfect waves, surrounding beauty, and almost mystic surf culture at the
'bu reminded me just how lucky this New York City kid is to be living the
SoCal lifestyle he always dreamed of. A simple journey out of
my routine comfort zone "made" my entire weekend.
today is seemingly small in the scheme of things, but let me tell you,
approaching all aspects of your life as an "Explorer" will bring your far
greater rewards. I should know. I'd still be stuck in New York in
some corporate job and with the wrong girl if I didn't have the courage to
be an "Explorer". So whenever you're stuck, frustrated, stagnating,
losing hope...start moving! Make a change! Try something new!
Explore! You'll be happy you did!
Are you an Explorer?
When is the last time you
went exploring or discovered something new?
How are you learning,
evolving, growing every day?
START MOVING TODAY!!!
- Sign up for
an interesting class OR dedicate 30 minutes a day to study something
- Take a vacation to somewhere you've never been OR drive a new
- Start exercising again or try a new approach to your
routine (a new trail, new surf spot, new class).
Write down at
least one thing you're going to do to begin "exploring" or "moving" and
Commit to doing it!
CHOICES R US
As human animals, we have, for the most part, evolved
beyond the basic need for survival. Consequently, we find ourselves
"seeking" various forms of stimulation to give our lives meaning and keep
us occupied. Each of us achieves this stimulation in a combination
of ways - through work, hobbies, entertainment, creativity, music,
physical exercise, relationships etc. Since our society is based on
a hierarchical system of rewards based
around money, the majority of us
spend from one third to one half of our waking hours "working" in
order to fund our "stimulation" and basic survival
requirements. Unfortunately, so many of us don't find our work
meaningful or enjoyable...it is simply a means to an end. Or is
A magical thing about being human is that we can CHOOSE what
meanings we give to our experience and can very quickly change our reality
by simply adjusting how we approach life inside our minds. For
example, what if you decide today that no matter how routine or
frustrating your job is, you are going to create challenges and fun for
yourself at work and make it a totally amazing day. You will do this
by attempting to make every person your speak with laugh or smile, by
setting a personal productivity record, and by turning up your "quality"
and "creativity" 110%. How do you think this day might turn out?
Significantly better I'd be willing to bet! And not because your job
or anything external to you changed at all. YOU CHANGED, you CHOSE
to make it different.
I have a friend who recently came to this
realization. When his boss left the company, with her went his
entire structure and reward system and he soon became disenchanted,
starting slacking off, began interviewing for other jobs and completely
missed the fact that this was an opportunity for him to "step up" and
really prove himself to his management. After receiving a
number of other offers, he realized that he actually had it pretty good
right where he was and just needed to create challenges for himself to
give meaning back to his job. He once again took pride in his work
and turned up the quality a few notches and in no time was having more
success than he'd ever achieved at any point in his career and feeling
great about it. The solution was not another job, or anything
outside himself... the solution was inside his mind.
yourself and truly take control of your life, you must simply CHOOSE your
own meanings (and rewards).
I try to think of my life as a
never-ending flow of experiences to enjoy. From the most mundane to
the most meaningful moments, by grasping onto "present" instead of
always focusing on the "just out of reach" future, I achieve more inner
peace and have less difficulty weathering the inevitable storms that come
What one thing could you CHOOSE to
approach differently from this day forward?
(e.g. your work, your
relationships, your body
could changing the way you think about this one thing affect your
CARING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN
The following insightful thoughts come
from Patrick Combs' "Good Thinking" newsletter (http://www.goodthink.com/):
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of
the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for
best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember
the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are
the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult
3. Name five people who have taught you something
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired
The lesson? CARING IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING. The
people that make the biggest difference in your life are the ones who
CARE. And when someone goes to great lengths to care, they make a
difference that becomes legendary."
Think about everyone in your life that you really care about and
2. Then think about everyone who really cares about and loves
Pretty hard not to feel fortunate, loved, blessed,
This week, express yourself! Tell the people that matter
most to you how you feel and thank them for being so special in your
RIDE YOUR ROCKET
Are you riding your couch or a magnificent technicolor
rocket through life?
Think about your most memorable
achievements. Did you accomplish them by chance? Did they
happen while you were slacking, taking it easy or waiting for something to
fall in your lap?
I'd be willing to bet that most, if not all, your
greatest achievements occurred when you had a dream or goal, really
planned and focused on it, worked hard, struggled, sweat and pushed
yourself to get there. You didn't dilly dally toward your goal, you
ran up that hill full speed ahead with courage and conviction.
Tony Robbins says "success leaves clues" and he's certainly
right. If you study great achievers, you will find a common
characteristic...they approach life with a sense of urgency (not as if
they "have all the time in the world").
So consider embracing this
metaphor: Life is like a starship adventure. You are the captain of
your rocket and constantly struggle against gravity to break through the
atmosphere and pull into comfortable orbits. You take off and land
many times in your relationships, your career, your interests etc.
Each trip teaches you something and enables you to enhance/improve your
ship and reach higher and more beautiful orbits. It is inevitable
that you will have to fight the force of gravity every time you travel in
order to "break free". Of course, you could just keep your ship in
port and rationalize the benefits of being free from the struggle...but in
actuality, you'd be a prisoner to mediocrity and unfulfilled
So how do you choose to live your life? Do you feel
like you have all the time in the world? Or is time pressuring your
daily? Do you welcome all difficulties and enjoy life's inevitable
challenges? Or do you live your life in a box, traveling back and
forth from your routine job to your couch and 300 channel TV
It's never too late to take the road less traveled and
achieve significantly. The clock is ticking, time is moving in only
one direction. Be like Forest Gump and start running!
Fill your life with memories, experiences and
What one thing can you
do today to take a step towards something you MUST achieve in order to
feel fulfilled in your life?
E-mail me your one thing right now in
order to make it real! firstname.lastname@example.org
empower yourself by asking these questions: How amazing will it feel
to achieve this goal? How painful will feel if you stay "as you are"
and don't pursue this? Why would you choose to postpone the
fulfillment you deserve by putting it off until tomorrow, next week, next
month, next year?
The time is now!!!! Life is
fleeting!! Go to it!!
WHAT ARE YOUR MUSTS?
Do you ever get the feeling on a Sunday night that you
your entire weekend?
Until recently, I used to beat
myself up after a weekend of pure
frivolous play (e.g. like this July
4th weekend). As much fun as
I'd had, I'd often feel a sense of
emptiness come Sunday
night...like I'd let another weekend go by
without getting a
single meaningful thing done...like I had nothing to
show for my
Luckily, I figured out that the cause of my
all in my head! It had everything to do with
my beliefs about
what I viewed as a worthwhile way to spend my
time. Even though
I try to view every weekend as a mini vacation,
belief is that I MUST accomplish things in addition to my
activities in order to feel fulfilled!
It came as no
surprise, then, when I read that our MUSTS are the
psychological drivers of everything we do.
Discovering my MUST was the
first step towards a solution.
My MUST now has two options:
Whenever possible, I MUST plan my weekends so they include
accomplish things that are important to me, as well as
time to "let
go", relax and play.
2) I MUST also accept that occasionally my weekend
plans may not
fit my idea of a well balanced weekend, and that's okay
MUST is something that I've created, and therefore
can change (i.e. some weekends I will have a great
accomplish nothing, and simply experience life, accept it,
enjoy it...without guilt!).
REAL LIFE RESULT:
this weekend well and feel completely amazing and
fulfilled writing to
you this Sunday night because I accomplished
many things on my agenda
in addition to playing and relaxing.
Next weekend, I'm going surfing
with the boyz and will accomplish
nothing more than a good time
As you can see, discovering and adjusting my MUST really made
difference in my life!
What are your MUSTS?
Figure out one of YOUR musts right
Identifying MUSTS is not only extremely valuable
understanding yourself better, but is also the cornerstone
enabling you to change undesirable or unproductive
Consider something that frustrates you...What is the
that frustration? Write it down!
Now think about how
this must affects your life and your
decisions. Does it benefit your or
hold you back? Decide
immediately whether to keep your must,
replace it with a new one,
or adjust it like I
ARE YOU DRIVING WITHOUT A
by Drew Kossoff
For quite some time
now, I've been trying to figure out why so many people (including myself
at times) feel lost or without direction in life. The other week,
while designing a "life map" to help guide one of my clients, I had a
little epiphany about the answer: How can you possibly not feel a
little lost when you're driving without a map?!!!
My dad has told
me a million times, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" and "Goals
that are not written down are just wishes", yet until the other week
I never realized just how important these statements were to us as
individuals on the macro scale. Life instantly becomes more
meaningful when you have a direction to go, a plan to help you get there
and a system for measuring and celebrating your progress.
have a written "PLAN" for you life? How many people do you know that
do? How many people do you know that can even articulate their short
term and long term goals, their minimum requirements for a fulfilling
life, how much money would be "enough" etc. Not very many, I'd be willing
Why don't more people have a plan or map for their
lives? Life simply doesn't come with an instruction book! But
that certainly doesn't mean its too late to get started because, as Tony
Robbins says, "A life worth living is a life worth designing!"
myself have been working diligently on my life plan for the past 9 months
(it's over 14 pages long) and it has already had a tremendous impact on my
life! I'm synthesizing an "easy to chew" version of it that I
hope to share with you by mid August!
The bottom line is that every
successful individual and movement from the beginning of civilization has
had some kind of theme/map/direction to guide them in their quest: from
the Judeo/Christian Bible, to America's Declaration of Independence and
Constitution, to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, to the Microsoft
business plan. Why shouldn't you?
Begin your map!
By January 1st, 2001, what are the
TOP THREE GOALS that you MUST
ACHIEVE in order to feel fulfilled in
**Take some time, think
about it, and then write down your
answers! Paste them on your
bathroom mirror or put them in your
day planner and review them every
morning and evening!
EXPERIENCE THE FLOW!
Have you ever been so engrossed an activity that time
seemed to stand still, nothing else seemed to matter, your brain went into
auto pilot and you experienced a deep sense of peace? This is
commonly known as a FLOW experience and might also be likened a mini
"Satori" - the Zen concept of enlightenment when the mind is free of
thought, pure awareness.
The depth of one's FLOW experiences will
vary, but if you analyze the things you enjoy most in life, you'll find
the majority of them are actually FLOW activities. Music can get you
into the FLOW, as can eating, exercising, sex, singing, reading, writing,
painting, even just taking a walk at the beach or staring up at the
stars. One of the most popular ways that many people quickly get
into the FLOW is through the use (or abuse) or drugs or
Personally, I've found that identifying my most
significant flow activities, and having complete "awareness" of the things
really serve me, has made it easier for me to make better choices in my
life. I know the types of FLOW activities that really
me (surfing, tai chi, music, art, nature etc.) as well as the
one's that really betray me (alcohol etc.), so whenever I'm feeling
stressed in my life, I now have a list of positive choices to pick from
that I can use to "escape" into the FLOW. For me, this has been a special
FLOW activities can be as simple as you need them to
be. You can actually experience FLOW in a just a few seconds if you
want to. The other day, I was sitting in my car at a red light and just
looked up into the sky through my sunroof and immediately it was as if I
was lying on my back in a field of grass. I just completely lost
myself in the clouds until the car behind me honked indicating the light
was green. For those 30 seconds, I lost all sense of time and the
stress of my busy day just washed away!
What types of activities
are your gateway to FLOW experiences? How can you utilize awareness
of these activities to benefit you?
Identify three FLOW activities you can use to find peace
time, think about it, and then write down your
answers! Add them
to your planner or palm pilot and make sure to
do at least one activity
every day that gets you in the FLOW!
THE MEANING OF "LIFE"
Kossoff (inspired by Chareen Anstey)
Although I can't actually
define what the meaning of life is FOR YOU personally, I can share this
valuable insight: Did you ever notice that the middle two letters in
the word LIFE spell "IF"?
I found this fascinating when my
girlfriend Chareen pointed this out to me recently! It points to an
undeniable truth - that our lives are simply one giant "What If?".
Surprise! surprise!, your life is all about POSSIBILITIES!
more exciting than it sounds. It is a core reason why children find
life so fascinating. They are enthralled by life's "what if's?".
Illuminated by discovery. Fascinated by mystery. They are naively
Unfortunately, as we grow up, we develop habits,
routines, and rules. We begin to allow our fears and doubts take
over our minds and squeeze out our hope, our dreams, and our faith in the
endless sea of possibilities.
If you want more out of your life,
you need to re-awaken that part of yourself that believes dreams do come
true. You need to embrace the notion that there are potential
destinies out there just waiting for you, but only a limited amount of
time to manifest them.
Living the life of your dreams comes down to
the choices you make! Losers and underachievers complain about the
circumstances in their lives, but don't do anything to change those
circumstances. This is so terribly sad because a beautiful rainbow of more
fulfilling possibilities floats just out reach of every one of our lives,
and so many of us simply never reach out and grab them.
longer are you going to settle for a life less than your
"No Longer" I say! Life is too short to waste my
potential. I want my life to be extraordinary. I want to make a
difference in people's lives. I want to live life to the fullest and
nothing is going to stop me! What about you? Will you join
You been given certain gifts. You have incredible
potential. Life is shorter than you realize. Wouldn't it be a
waste for you didn't nurture your gifts and pursue the life of your
dreams? If so, these affirmations should help motivate you:
can, you must!
IF you believe it, you can achieve
What special gifts do you have that
you're neglecting? What
dreamlife destiny are you denying
Write down three reasons why you MUST begin nurturing
again or pursuing those
**Take some time, think about
it, and then write down your
answers! Paste them on your bathroom
mirror or put them in your
day planner and review them every morning
FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!
I've always been intrigued by Joseph Campbell's directive
to "Follow your bliss" . Innately I know this to be wise advice, yet
in reality I know so few people who act on this wisdom, including myself
in several aspects of my life.
Following my discovery last week of
"IF" being contained in the word "Life", I immediately spotted "IS" in the
word "Bliss" and a little lightbulb went off in my head. If life is
possibilities and "what if's", could it be possible that bliss
"just is"? Not only is it possible, it is a certainty if you utilize
the right psychology!
Thus, instead of focusing on the, "Why you
should quit your day job to follow your bliss..." angle to Campbell's
mandate, I'd like to pursue what I believe is a more fruitful route, a
road less traveled if you will, a journey into the concept that bliss
I was extremely fortunate to discover at a very young
age that one's psychology is the single most important ingredient to
finding happiness in life. This self evident truth has been
confirmed over and over and over again. Some people simply decide
their cups are half empty while others decide they are half full.
The bible teaches "Salvation Lies Within". Oprah shares it this way:
"If you focus on what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough,
but if you focus on what you do have, you'll always be fulfilled." Tim
Robbins exemplified the concept in Shawshank Redemption by finding peace
inside his mind even
when locked up in a miserable jail. Finding
and following your bliss merely requires an awakening to the fact that
bliss "IS" everywhere! You simply need to open your eyes (both inner
and outer) and slightly shift your focus and you will see it!
me share a real life example of how bliss "just is". When I was in
Hawaii a few weeks ago at Tony Robbins' seminar, I participated in an
powerful relationship analysis exercise. I had specifically looked
forward to this part of the program because I had reached a critical point
in my own relationship. You see, I was totally in love with my girlfriend
was challenged by a disempowering belief I'd developed
that "commitment equals loss of freedom". The strange thing is that
I have happily married parents and plenty of role models to say otherwise,
but the aftermath of a painful and smothering relationship I experienced a
few years ago was a kind of psychological armor my mind created to protect
me from potential pain and uncertainty. By remaining single I had
control, certainty and no pain, yet I was also on a fast track to no
Anyway, the exercise involved writing down all the
qualities I was seeking in a soulmate as well as all of the qualities I
would never accept or put up with in a partner. By the time I was
done designing my soulmate (and her alter ego) and began comparing the
qualities one by one to Chareen's, I experienced an instant awakening as I
realized Chareen had 98% of the one's I was seeking and not a single one I
was committed to avoiding! As simple as this exercise sounds,
that exact moment was the catalyst and breakthrough I'd been looking for!
I knew right then and there with 100% certainty, that I already had my
So if I already had my bliss, what freedom was I holding out
for? What would I do with this freedom if I always remained forever free
and single? The answer was very clear: I would do all
the same things I'm doing now since my partner complements me
harmoniously, brings out the best in me and gives me all the love,
fulfillment and freedom I've ever needed! It could only get better
Can you see how powerful it was for me to shift my
psychology and focus? Instead of concentrating on all the things I
had to lose and allowing disempowering fears to control me, I focused on
the blessings I already had and all the fulfillment I would gain from a
deeper commitment. Bliss was right in front of me, and my psychology
was holding me back from fully seeing it!
If you take anything away
from this story, I hope that it's the following: In life you get
what you look for. Your psychology is everything. You are
either a victim of circumstance or a
master of choice. You and
only you decide what meanings to attach to the experiences in your
life. Look for the bliss! You'll always find it!
Take an inventory on your life. Your job. Your
hobbies. Your relationships.
What are you thankful for? What
do you already have in your life that "IS" BLISS that you've been taking
for granted? (e.g. your friends, family, the roof over your head,
talents/gifts, the hobbies you enjoy
** Write them down. Post
them by your desk. Paste them on your
fridge. Pile them in
your planner or palm pilot! Focus on the
bliss you already have
in your life instead of the bliss you
think you're lacking! It
will make all the difference!
THE EXTREME ROAD TO WISDOM
What is your gut feeling about the EXTREMES of
life? Do you avoid them with a passion? Or do you embrace them
I've come to learn that it's the EXTREMES in life
(both good and bad) that really give us the perspective we need to "seize
the deepest truth" as Deepak Chopra says.
Even the simplest
experiences make a difference. For example, the other day I went
surfing with my friend Megan and afterwards went to breakfast and then ran
some errands. Three hours after getting out of the Ocean, I was feeling
pretty salty and grimy so I headed home to shower. For some reason,
even though it was identical to any normal daily shower (same shower, same
shampoo, same soap), it felt more gloriously refreshing than any shower I
could remember! The shampoo seemed to strip deeper, the water
smothered me like a beautiful waterfall, and the soap gave my skin that
extra "squeaky" clean feeling. I quickly realized that it was
the EXTREME of being dirty that enabled me to truly appreciate and notice
the experience becoming clean again.
There's actually a scientific
explanation for all this that I discovered a few days later while reading
an article about Einstein's "Deep Thought Experiments". It described
a biological state we all experience called "Neuronal Habituation", which
is the "tendency of nerve cells, circuits and the nervous system itself to
go to sleep on a constant signal and, conversely, wake up on a changing
signal." This biological state explains why we "get bored" with
routine experiences and "stuck" in linear ways thinking and why "new" or
"different" approaches or stimuli (particularly EXTREME ones) "unleash the
floodgates of new ideas, perceptions and answers." Aha! So
that explains what happened to me in the shower!!!
similar to Socrates, utilized consciously directed thought experiments to
get out of "Neuronal Habituation" and make breakthrough discoveries (he
actually held a rock in his hand so that he didn't fall asleep in the
process!), each of us already knows many "quick fix" ways for breaking out
of our own Neuronal Habituation - pretty much any
CHANGE, or EXTREME in your life will achieve this end (new toys, clothes,
lovers, music, drugs, food are all ways to "wake up" your brain).
The biggest challenge for most of us is figuring out how to balance an
appreciation for the present and all the gifts in our lives with the
constant pull of the forever dangling carrot of the "new new" thing.
However you look at it, you stand to gain far more than you lose by
experiencing NEW and/or EXTREME things. Life on
auto-pilot gives you a lot of certainty, but not the perspective, wisdom
and excitement you need to really get the most out of your
Some might disagree with my recommendation to seek out
EXTREMES and I've actually been criticized by some for going from one
EXTREME to the next in life...but let me tell you, these EXTREMES are
where I discovered my deepest insights, which, in turn, helped me to
develop the strength and clarity I needed to make smarter choices and
achieve greater balance in my life. I am grateful for those EXTREMES
and knowing what's "on the other side" because it makes the present all
the more fruitful.
Two recent EXTREME experiences are good
The first was ever so briefly "stepping in on" the lives
of those poor needy families during the basket brigade this Thanksgiving.
It literally "woke up" my system and gave me the perspective to see just
how lucky I am. Seeing how challenging life is for these single
mothers (and especially for their kids) made me wonder how I can even
pretend to think I have any real problems at all!
occurred on a flight to San Francisco where I met a woman named Maria who
shared her painful life story. She used to be a Heroin addict, then
began "delivering packages" for her dealer in exchange for money and dope,
and eventually was caught by the DEA with a kilo of Heroin!!! For
this crime of drug trafficking, she spent that last 2-1/2 years in Federal
Prison and now the INS was trying to deport her to Venezuela because she
was not a U.S. citizen even though she'd lived here for 35 years!
She was going to San Fran to see some hot shot attorney who was her last
and only chance for remaining in the U.S., but was asking for a fee of
$25,000 which she had no idea how she'd be able to afford!! Just
like in the previous example, the EXTREME contrast of Maria's life to mine
gave me such amazing perspective on my life and again made me deeply and
sincerely appreciate all the abundance I have in my life.
after me....EXTREME is good! CONTRAST is good! CHANGE is
good! Whenever possible, embrace new things, experiment, and
open yourself up to new people and experiences...it will significantly
enrich and enlighten your life. Go EXTREME!
List at least three things that have become routine
in your life:
right now (in your mind or on paper) to trying something
something differently, going to an opposite extreme
from your normal
life. Say NO to Neuronal Habituation and YES to
"A THOUSAND MARBLES"
"The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings.
Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise,
or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either
way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement
shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in
the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one
of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me
tell you about it.
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of
the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap
net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a
tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded
like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling
whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles."
was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. "Well,
Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they
pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your
family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work
sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed
your daughter's dance recital." He continued, "Let me tell you
something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my
And that's when he began to explain his theory of
a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little
arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years.
I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live
about seventy-five years."
"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and
I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average
person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to
the important part."
"It took me until I was fifty-five years old
to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I
had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to
that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a
thousand of them left to enjoy."
"So I went to a toy store and
bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit
three toy stores to roundup 1000 marbles. I took them home and put
them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack
next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble
out and thrown it away."
"I found that by watching the
marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.
There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to
help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last
thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for
breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the
container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have
been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a
little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend
more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the
band. 75 year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this
fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think
about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I
was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club
newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a
kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to
"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.
"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday
together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're
out? I need to buy some marbles."
Using the formula above, I've calculated that I have
2,236 Saturdays left (1,664 already used).
A) If you're curious,
calculate how many Saturdays YOU have left!!!
<Lifespan X 52 Saturdays/yr (e.g.75 yrs x 52 =
- ? <Minus your Age X 52
Saturdays/yr (e.g. 32 x 52 = 1,664
= ? <Total
Saturday's Remaining (e.g. 2,236)>
B) You have 52 Saturdays
in 2001. Make a list of ten "REALLY IMPORTANT" ways you will take
advantage of them and then tentatively schedule all ten into you calendar
immediately! (e.g. take your kids to Disneyland, take your
significant other to a spa, visit your parents, contribute to charity,
sign up with a personal trainer or coach
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE
by Drew Kossoff
I was blown away to learn that
Martin Luther King's renowned public-speaking abilities developed slowly
during his collegiate years. He actually received C's in two
public-speaking courses in his first year of graduate
school!!! By the end of his third
year, however, professors
were praising King for the powerful impression he made in public speeches
and discussions...and the rest, as they say, is history.
is proof positive that it's "never too late" to start making a
difference. If MLK could bloom as late as he did, just imagine what
you can still do! You simply need to begin with a dream and then
fuel it with passion!
You might be interested to know that I
DREAMED about launching Zeneration X for two years before actually doing
it! In my first full year (2000), just look how I was able to make a
difference (thanks in part to your loyal readership and feedback,
purchases on Amazon and fees/contributions for coaching):
Donated over $700 to the following charities:
- American Foundation
For Aids Research (AMFAR)
- America The Beautiful Fund
- ChildHelp USA
- I Have a Dream Foundation
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Safe Horizon
2) Delivered Baskets of Food and Clothing to
Five Needy Families in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving
hundreds of readers across the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia with
twenty-four "almost weekly" issues of Zeneration X
Personally helped over a dozen people get re-inspired and improve the
quality of their lives (lose weight, improve relationships, enhance their
I know this is only the beginning and there are
limitless possibilities for what I can achieve! I am committed
to "at least" doubling my "GIVING" in 2001...but back to you...have you
ever seriously thought about how you can make a difference??
considered Volunteering as a big brother or sister? Helping out at a
soup kitchen? Spending time with elderly or sick folks at a
retirement home or hospice? Teaching or Mentoring? Donating $$ to
I challenge you to make 2001 the year that
you too make a difference!!! Maybe you'd even like to help
A famous explorer once said, "Dream Big, Dare to
Fail." Watch Out World...Exciting things to come from
Zeneration X in 2001!!!
What is your
What do you BELIEVE in?
How can you make a
Write down at least ONE thing you can do today to begin
making progress toward making a difference!!! <e.g. look up charities
on the net, help out a friend, make a list of meaningful causes, share a
story with us!>
Are two weeks of vacation a year enough to relieve the
stress you experience in today's fast paced world? I think
I've reminded you in past issues to think of every weekend as
an opportunity for a vacation. I've shared with you the story of "1000
marbles" and the 10 Saturday's exercise. I've discussed the importance of
findng your "FLOW" activities and, today, I'd like to promote the
importance of regular mental retreats (even if they're just a quiet night
in random hotel room!).
Mental Retreats can serve to simply
rejuvenate your energy, or they can be utilized for deep introspection,
soul searching and growth.
I know each of you has your own
preferred method(s) of retreating for relaxation. My father, who is a very
early riser, finds solace in half hour afternoon naps everyday to keep him
going. My mother enjoys reading before bedtime. A good friend of mine
meditates daily to reduce anxiety and stress. Another friend does the
crossword puzzle during lunch. Other friends practice yoga religiously,
jog in the mornings or weight train at the gym. Unfortunately, many people
do very little to relax other than crash in front of their TV's nightly
and maybe get a massage once a year. I believe this is extremely
We are, at our core, human animals. There are some
pretty basic things that we must do in order to survive and thrive: intake
nutrients, expel waste, sleep, think, move, rest and interact with others.
Unfortunately, the majority of our population are severely deprived in
most of these categories - from eating terribly unhealthy food, to not
getting enough rest, to living sedentary lives with little or no exercise,
to rarely experiencing peaceful time alone (especially out in nature), to
living in "literal isolation" without love or regular physical contact.
With all this deprivation, it's no wonder so many people feel so
Deepak Chopra says,"To make the right choices in life,
you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to
experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the
silence you hear the truth and know the solutions."
I think Chopra
is "spot on" (as they say in South Africa) with this advice. Most of the
great wisdom, epiphanies and serenity in life, from the prophets to the
poets, the sages to the scientists, to everday people like you and me, was
and is experienced in solitude.
Ironically, it is solitude and
aloneness that so many of us do everything in our power to avoid. In doing
so, we miss out on the opportunity to fill that void with the peace that
comes from self knowledge.
Where do you
find solace and peace? Yoga? Afternoon Naps? Nighttime Walks? Painting?
List three types of "mental retreats" you enjoy or would
like to try:
List three ways these retreats will
improve your life:
List three reasons why you
must commit to regular mental
DO YOU FEEL CONNECTED?
Surreal doesn't even begin to describe what happened
to me last week, and it has me wondering just how many sign posts I can
ignore before accepting that the universe is trying to tell me
Of course, the situation may just have been a total
coincidence, but it follows a chain of spiritual events that have happened
in my life over the past year that have left me feeling really "connected"
to something, and trust me, I'm not a particularly religious "god squad"
kind of person!
Here's the plain in simple: I was on a flight to
Seattle last Wednesday night when all of the sudden we encountered some
terrifying TURBULENCE. It was the look of fear on the flight attendant's
face as she nearly fell into my lap, then dove into the seat next to me
and "buckled in" that told me this was a pretty serious situation. The
plane was getting battered around like a toy and losing altitude fast. I
reasoned the pilots were looking for smoother air below, but the nose of
the plane was basically pointed down, my stomach was in my throat, and it
seemed like some invisible giant was outside slamming the plane with a
huge sledge hammer the way it was getting tossed about. I tried convincing
myself that I'd been through this before, but after ten minutes of this
jarring, my gut wasn't listening to my head anymore - I was scared for my
So I prayed for the first time in years. I said under my
breath, "God, I know you've always been there watching over me, and I know
my life has a greater purpose. You put me here to be a positive influence
on the world and make a difference in thousands, maybe even millions, of
people's lives and my work has only just begun...so please just get me
through this storm and I promise to continue pursuing this quest with all
my heart and all my might."
In the midst of all the
chaos...SUDDENLY THERE WAS SILENCE! No more than five seconds after I had
finished that prayer, everything went completely SMOOTH. The timing was
unbelievably ironic. Literally speaking, it was a miracle!
not sure what you believe in. I'm not even sure what I believe in! Is
there a God or higher Power? If there is a God, is he a man up in the sky
with a magic wand or just some powerful unexplainable energy force? I've
been questioning God's existence for a long time, and man, I gotta tell
ya, this experience kinda freaked me out. Wouldn't it freak you
What made it all the more powerful for me was something I had
experienced in Hawaii last September. I won't go into the specific details
of how the experience occurred (although I believe I can replicate it for
you if you wanted to experience it yourself), but basically I had what
some might call an experience of "enlightenment" or at least "stumbling
towards enlightenment". I had a very powerful sense that I was surrounded
by something (call it God or whatever you like) and it it brought me back
to a time in my childhood where I remembered feeling this same
"connection". It awakened a long forgotten part of my soul and gave me the
sense that I was guided and that something had always been there watching
over me. It was beautiful, loving, and safe and it was a part of
I selectively began relating these experiences to friends and
peers over the past week and found myself investigating "spiritual" and
"connected" experiences in general. To my surprise, almost everyone I
spoke with could recall having some similar type of experience at least
once in their lives.
What about you? Have you ever had a spiritual
experience like mine? Do you feel "connected" to something greater than
yourself? Do you believe there is something more to life than just the
next increment of money, the next drink, the next new pair of shoes, the
next new restaurant or lover or... (you fill in the blank)?
believe that I am "guided" by something external to me and I guess I kind
of always have. Everything I've studied from Physics to Astronomy, Biology
to Zen, and experienced with Reiki, Tai Chi and Yoga convinces me that the
Universe is made up of "energy" and we are all connected to that "energy".
I definitely feel connected to it and whether or not it's "all in my mind"
or absolutely "real", it gives me a sense of peace and direction. A sense
that everything will be okay no matter what.
I've always found it
difficult to believe in things that I couldn't see or define, but I've now
realized that there are plenty of things I can't see that I believe in - I
believe electricity is real, don't you? I know radio waves and cellular
waves flying through the air are real, aren't they? Any doctor will tell
you that the human body has an electromagnetic field - Can you see it or
feel it?. So why should it be so hard to believe or at least be open to
the possibility that something else (call it God, call it an energy force)
The bottom line is that regardless of what you believe, the
Universe we live in is a magical place. Nature's beauty and complexity are
truly mind boggling. We each have lessons to learn. We each have lessons
to teach...and ultimately, I believe we each have a
Getting "connected" is one first steps toward figuring out
your purpose. Connected to yourself, connected to Nature, Connected the
If you want more peace, more happiness, and more meaning
in your life, then please take a few minutes to breathe....ponder....and
complete the following weekly challenge...
Describe a time in your life when you felt really
connected to or in awe of something greater than yourself :
did it make you
about it made you feel that
you enjoy that feeling if you could find or create it on a regular
three ways you could add that sense of connectedness back into your life
COMMIT right now to doing
one of these three things some time in the next week!
by Drew Kossoff
A few weeks ago I saw Dr. Wayne Dyer
speak at the Learning Annex. I was excited to see him speak because his
book "Erroneous Zones" was the first self-help book I ever read when I was
just a "wee little lad" of eleven.
Dyer is kind of like the
earthy, spiritual version of a Tony Robbins and I have to say, many of the
ideas he discussed were a bit "out there". I kept an open mind though,
knowing that some of the greatest breakthrough's in history have come from
unreasonable and unconventional thinkers.
If you've read my
previous issues, based on my experiences from Tai Chi to Biology to
Physics, you know that I'm very open to most concepts relating to
metaphysical "energy" as well as our connectedness to all things. Thus,
one idea in particular that Dyer expressed really resonated with me - the
concept that "every thought has energy". What blew my mind was when he
attempted to prove it!
Dyer began with some biblical references,
including, "as a man thinketh, so is he" and then moved on to physics
explaining that "every force always creates a counterforce". He continued
along these lines elucidating that higher, faster energy always dissipates
lower, slower energy (for example: light dissipates dark, hope dissipates
despair, love dissipates hate etc.). He described how having a "burning
desire" creates "attractor energy" which enables you to manifest what you
want and need in your life, whereas clinging to your "personal history"
(the "story" of why you can't or don't have what you want in life) merely
harbors negative attractor patterns in your life.
that when you "connect" into a positive source, you gain the power of that
source and used examples of Jesus, Buddha and Mother Theresa as people
who'd tapped into the power of Compassion (positive) while freeing
themselves of Resentments (negative), thereby aligning themselves with the
power of pure positive energy.
I could see where he was coming from
with all this, but the really interesting stuff came when he began to talk
about the work of Dr. David R. Hawkins (M.D., Ph.D.), author of "Power vs.
Force" and a pioneer of 20+ years in the field of Kinesiology, a well
established science based on the testing of an all-or-none muscle response
to stimuli (A positive stimulus provokes a strong muscle response, a
negative stimulus results in a demonstrable weakening of the test
If you've never seen or experienced muscle testing before,
the most commonly used test consists of a person standing with their arms
out to each side with instructions to resist the downward pressure from
Dyer took a woman out of the audience and proceeded to
demonstrate how her muscles went weak (she couldn't resist) in the
presence of negative stimulus and how they stayed strong in the presence
of positive one. The amazing thing was that the woman didn't have to
consciously know whether the stimulus was positive or negative for the
test to work! For example, he took out two envelopes and did a test with
each. One enabled her to resist and turned out to contain vitamin C, the
other made her weak and turned out to contain a cigarette! This looked
pretty far fetched on stage, but when I tried it at home I too experienced
the same thing (even more pronounced when I actually put a vitamin C in my
mouth as compared to an unlit cigarette)!
Even more fascinating
about this Kinesiology testing is that it even works with thoughts as a
stimulus (not just objects). Ask the person being tested to focus on
horrible things (death, Hitler) or to lie and they go weak. Ask them to
focus on the positive, tell the truth and they stay strong! Likewise, Dr.
Hawkins 20+ years of research with subjects from around the globe revealed
that people's strong and weak responses were predictable, repeatable and
Hawkins created a calibration system from low to high
and went on to analyze the full spectrum of the levels of human
consciousness and experience (pretty far out stuff). The bottom line is
that thoughts themselves do actually seem to have negative or positive
energy associated with them, as well as a measurable effect on human
What effect could it have on your life if you were able to
harness massive amounts of positive energy?
Well, the good news is
you already know how to!
Experience my weekly challenge and see
What kind of energy do
you consistently "put out there" in your life? Positive, fast, light
energy? Or Negative, slow, sad energy?
I want you to try a really
enlightening experiment one day this week (I first did this exercise in
college and changed my approach to people forever!).
1) From the
moment you wake up until lunch time, I want you to deliberately put out
negative energy. Don't smile when you see people. When someone asks you
how you're doing, sigh, roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders and say
"could be better". Complain about everything (the traffic, your job, your
kids). Focus on all the negative things that frustrate you about your life
- your job, your body, your friends etc. Write down how you're feeling
after lunch and how people reacted to you.
2) Next, I want you to
completely swing the other way! Smile at everyone for no reason at all.
Put a skip in your step. When people ask you how's it going, you respond
with an energetic, "Great!". Focus on all the things you have to be
thankful for in life - your family, friends, job etc. Surprise a loved one
with a phone call, a gift or romantic dinner plans. At the end of the day,
write down how you feel and how people reacted to you after
** Seriously, try doing this! You'll be amazed at how
significant your energy and approach determines everything else around
you! Use this little test as a metaphor for bigger things. Imagine what
you can do with a lifetime of positive energy!
CHANGE YOUR SEDENTARY WAYS!
Would you believe me If I told you that I'd discovered a
secret health tonic that's 100% natural, FDA approved, has been
scientifically proven to increase longevity and aid in the prevention of
seventeen chronic diseases (including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and
osteoporosis), and has beneficial side effects? Well I have!!
is this magic potion? Actually, the medicine is not quite a secret at all.
In fact, the ingredients are so cheap, so readily available, and make such
common sense, that it's truly sad more than 75% of our population refuse
to take advantage of it's benefits!
And the secret, of course,
is...EXERCISE! From the most strenuous forms to the seemingly easy one's,
"Movement" is absolutely vital to your health!
Americans are increasingly living sedentary lifestyles and all the
wonderful technologies and labor saving devices we've come to enjoy over
the past 100 years are actually hurting us. We "sit" in our cars instead
of walking, ride escalators and elevators instead of climbing stairs and
hills, "sit" at our desks in front of computers, "sit" on the couch in
front of the TV... and with all this sitting, it's no wonder people are
overweight, disease ridden and lack energy!
In fact, in the past
100 years there has been a 29-fold increase in heart disease deaths, and
in the past 40 years there has been a six-fold increase in diabetes and a
two-fold increase in obesity in America.
Most of us have forgotten
that we are HUMAN ANIMALS. I mean, think about animals in the wild… Do
animals sit around all day without any exercise? NO! Certainly they take
rests, but generally they are moving all the time (hunting, gathering,
playing, traveling, interacting etc.).
"Moving" is critical to so
many of our bodily functions - keeping our lymph fluids flowing, heart
muscle pumping, blood circulating, lungs fully absorbing oxygen and
releasing carbon dioxide, sweat glands expelling toxins etc.
you don't exercise or "move" on a regular basis, this is your WAKE UP
An article in the Journal of Applied Physiology begins,
"Chronic Disease on the rise due to American Sedentary lifestyle." A
similar report from the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine stated,
"There is growing evidence that many of the degenerative diseases of aging
is due to the American sedentary lifestyle."
The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, include a "sedentary lifestyle" among the
top three primary risk factors for all chronic diseases (the other two are
smoking and poor nutrition).
Finally, the American Heart
Association warns that a sedentary lifestyle (and the excess weight
usually associated with it) represents a significant risk factor in the
development of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular mortality. Most
importantly, this risk factor can be reduced by simply beginning an
Unfortunately, 25% of Americans continue to be
completely physically inactive, and only 22% are active enough to derive
any health benefits!
So here's a simple piece of advice - When it
comes to your body, there are two primary factors you need to consider for
your health 1) What are putting into our engine? 2) How well tuned and
oiled are you keeping your engine?
If you sit around and never
turn your engine on, your oil will get clogged up, your parts will rust,
your battery will lose it's charge and it will result in a myriad of
problems for you down the road. Conversely, If you fill up with clean
burning Natural Gas and regularly run and tune up your engine, you can
expect a healthy, high performance vehicle.
One last thing you
need to remember about your human engine - unlike a car, if run it into
the ground and don't take care of it, you can't trade it in for a new one!
I therefore urge you, if you care about your health, to please take out a
pen or pencil and complete my weekly challenge below!
Decide right now that you're going to find a way (some
way!) to move everyday. It doesn't even have to be strenuous - any
movement at all will do - walking, stretching, bike riding, or even
beginner yoga class!:
1) Make a list of possible ways you can start
to move (and hopefully enjoy doing
List three ways moving every day will improve your
List three reasons why you must commit to moving every
Now do it! That is, if you're interested in having more energy, more
vitality, more clarity, more longevity, less disease! And Please start out
easy. If you kill yourself from the beginning, you probably won't stick
EXERCISE YOUR MIND!
Most people believe they were either born smart or never
really "had it in them", but research suggests that with regular mental
conditioning, you can actually significantly improve your memory,
creativity, ability to solve problems, ability to learn...even your
intuition! Just like your body, your brain also requires
Have you been feeling foggy lately? Considering the sheer
quantity of data we process every day (more than ever before in human
history), it's not surprising that your clarity is waning. One reason is
all the clutter, but the other primary cause is lack of exercise. That
right, simple data throughput (i.e. repetitive daily stimuli requiring
unstrenuous thinking and processing) may stress you out, but it does not
create new neural pathways. Expanding your mental capabilities requires
learning which, much like weightlifting, requires resistance to obtain
growth. If you exercise with feather weights, never increasing resistance
or duration, you will get weak results with both your muscles and your
The sad thing is that one of the primary reasons we stop
exercising our brains regularly is a little trick life plays on us called
AGING. When we were children, we were constantly learning because almost
everything we experienced was new. As we get older, we become so familiar
with the majority of what we need to know to survive that it becomes easy,
if not comfortable, to stagnate and stop learning new things. It requires
significant effort to get out of that "comfort zone", so may of us just
choose not to, but that's exactly what we need to do if we want to stay
sharp and continue expanding our minds.
I've known all my life that
continuously learning is critical to healthy brain functioning because I
remember vividly my own grandfather passionately "learning" Italian until
he died at the Grande old age of 95 with all "his marbles" intact. He also
walked over a mile a day into his 90's - evidence enough for me of the
importance of both mental and physical exercise.
If you agree and
are interested in sharpening your mind, I've included three mental
conditioning exercises in your "weekly challenge" below that will help
give you that extra boost! At a minimum, try and read every day instead of
Decide right now that you're going to find a way (some
way!) to exercise your mind everyday. In fact, commit to trying least one
of these exercises right now!
1) FIVE ALIVE:
with "all five senses". Instead of thinking one dimensionally, try and
increase your awareness of the sounds, sites, smells, tastes and texture
and feel of whatever you're experiencing. For example, if you're sitting
in a room...think about the texture of various things in the room and what
they feel like. What does the room smell like? What sounds are you
hearing? What do you imagine the objects in the room might taste like? Can
you visualize everything you see if you were to close your eyes? Although
this sounds a bit strange, waking up and thinking with all your natural
animal senses stimulates the growth of new neural pathways in the brain
and will improve your overall sharpness, focus, and awareness.
Practice thinking holographically by varying your
points of view. When experiencing a challenge, analyze how you might
perceive the challenge if you were 30 years older or younger, were a
different gender, race, or religion, were your boss, your employee, your
competitor etc. Wearing other people's shoes will provide you with the
20,000 foot view and a much broader perspective (i.e. "big picture") that
very often will reveal groundbreaking insights that you might otherwise
have missed (i.e. you're bound to learn something new!).
BREAKING NEW GROUND:
Go out and do something you've never done before,
especially if it's something you don't think you'd pick up very quickly
(e.g. painting, wood carving, ice skating, playing an instrument, playing
chess etc.). Learning new skills, especially when difficult, will force
you to mobilize and exercise new resources in your brain which can
significantly improve your and mental flexibility and self awareness.
** These exercises are just the tip of the iceberg. If exercising
your brain is important to you and you'd like to learn more about how to
condition yourself, please check out this week's recommended book "The
Einstein Factor"...it's chock full many more great mental conditioning
CONNECT WITH YOUR AUTHENTIC
by Drew Kossoff
Two weekends ago I had a breakthrough
experience that profoundly changed my life. A metamorphosis occurred. I
cracked open my psychic armor and got in touch with an inner place I never
knew existed (and watched twenty nine fellow souls do the
Considering the fact that I launched Zeneration X to awaken,
enlighten and inspire others (and make a difference by helping people to
re-connect with themselves), it came as quite a surprise to find out that
I wasn't actually as connected and evolved as I believed I
Maybe it shouldn't have come as any surprise at all. Deep down
inside I've always known that my drive to help others stems from my need
to help myself, and help myself I did indeed!
confirmed what I've believed and have been sharing for over two years now
- that much of the emptiness, unhappiness and pain in people's lives stems
from being SEVERELY DISCONNECTED:
1) Disconnected from OURSELVES (Are
you fully connected to your inner self, your deepest truth? Do you
experience a complete range of feelings or do you repress certain
2) Disconnected from EACH OTHER (How much genuine physical and
emotional contact do you have with others? How many hugs do you get each
3) Disconnected from NATURE (Do you know when the next full moon
My RE-CONNECTION occurred in the mountains near Big Bear at
an experience called "New Warrior Adventure Training". I truly
re-connected with myself, with others, and with nature and released years
of repressed garbage. I got in touch with my authentic self and discovered
a bevy of facades and defense mechanisms I'd developed to repress and
stave off feelings of inadequacy, fear, and pain that I didn't even know I
had! Deep, hidden feelings from thirty-two years of striving for
unattainable "perfection", unrealistic "self reliance", and superhuman
"tenacity and endurance".
The walls came tumbling down with
outpouring of tears, emotion and self honesty - I do have weaknesses. I do
allow fears to hold me back. I do have feelings of anger, sadness, and
pain in addition to all the positive energy and feelings I outwardly
favor. I'm imperfect...and that's perfectly okay!
My new found
self awareness has been very much like turning on an internal GPS (global
positioning satellite) system, empowering me to easily identify and
navigate my true inner thoughts and feelings. I've been liberated! I'm now
fully equipped to overcome the inner challenges that previously bound me.
The next stage in my evolution has just begun!
If you're also ready
to get "equipped" and connect with your authentic self, then I invite you
to complete my "weekly challenge"...it's the first step toward your own
Get in touch with
your deepest truth. Let down your walls and take an honest look at the
facades you create. Ask yourself the following questions and then pause,
breath and listen for the answers your inner SELF reveals to
1. What are you repressing or in denial about in your life
right now? (Don't skip this...everyone is in denial about
will continuing to repress or deny these things affect your life and the
achievement of your dreams? (Be honest...don't just put your blinders back
down three reasons why you must immediately face your truth and change
your attitude, your beliefs, your identity, or your actions:
Commit to that change by sharing it with someone
who will hold you to it and setting the following deadline for starting
your new beginning!
Date I will begin:
THE HIDDEN GIFT
It's still hard to believe that September 11th, 2001 was
real. It caught me so off guard, I was literally "stunned" for days.
Enveloped by grief, sadness, anger, fear and confusion, I spent hours
glued to CNN, shed numerous tears, made prolonged phone calls to my family
in New York, gathered and "clanned" with close friends in LA, waited in
line for hours to buy American Flags, and donated precious greenbacks to
charities like the "September 11th Fund".
After several "zoned
out" days, my feelings of anguish began to dissipate, replaced by hope,
pride, and even joy for the heroism, unity and fundamentally positive
shifts taking place in America and around the World. It appeared that good
was emerging from evil and there might be something to learn from all
As my healing progressed, I naturally began looking ahead. I
thought about my purpose in life and connected more powerfully than ever
with my mission to "co-create a world of authenticity, love and
enlightenment and make a difference by being a courageous, passionate,
loving and responsible leader and contributor." I was feeling renewed and
Just as I felt I was putting all the pain from the
tragedy behind me, I found myself squirming as I watched the emotion
packed Celebrity Telethon on TV last Friday night. I felt as if I were
being dragged back to the depths of a dreadful swamp from which I'd just
My wife sensed my uneasiness and asked me what was going
on. It took deliberate effort and courage to face this discomfort instead
of brushing it off like I would have done in the past, but as I explored
my feelings, I immediately recognized what had triggered their intensity -
my unconscious mind had erected fresh layers of psychic armor to shield me
from the pain I'd been experiencing and was struggling desperately to
repress the pain that was being unearthed. Fortunately, a hidden gift was
also being revealed.
It's my personal belief that tragedies always
come to us with a "gift". Some choose to receive this gift, others choose
to ignore it. The "gift" I received ten days after the September 11th
tragedy bloomed from the "awareness" of my mind's natural defense
mechanism kicking in. My gift was an invitation to consider NOT "blocking
out the pain" or "returning normalcy". My gift "is" the opportunity to
EMBRACE the pain and use it as a reminder every day to CHERISH LIFE and
all the blessings I've been graced with. I will not ignore this gift by
conveniently "tucking away" the pain. Instead, I intend to actively use
the memory of all my lost brothers and sisters as added motivation to
"live life to the fullest", to seek harmony and meaning in all my
pursuits, and to tell friends and loved one's how I feel about them while
they're still here. My gift empowers me!
WHAT IS YOUR GIFT? How do
you intend to use September 11th as a catalyist for positive change in
Take a few minutes of
"quiet solitude" to consider the following questions (I encourage you to
print this out and write down your answers in the space
1. How will you use September 11th tragedy as a catalyst
for positive change in your life?
How has it changed your focus and/or values?
What have you learned about yourself and others as a result of this event?
What good will come out of this tragedy for you
TEST YOUR FEAR BOUNDARIES!
I've recently had the good fortune to participate in some
powerful personal growth work which opened my eyes to my own FEARS and how
they were ruling my life! What I discovered was that even though I've
succeeded at so many things throughout my life, a pervading fear of
failure as well as a resistance to asking for help was severely limiting
my ability to achieve my potential.
Thankfully, the work also
taught me how to transform these fears into allies. By acknowledging and
then testing my fear boundaries over the past six months, I've experienced
how I exponentially magnify my fears (the "Elephant Afraid of a Mouse"
syndrome) and that when I simply face challenges with my fears right out
in front of me, 99% of the time my fears miraculously de-materialize right
before my eyes!
So I've come up with a new definition for FEAR:
Fiercely Exaggerated Amplification of Reality. I now see that Fear is
merely an "inner alert signal" that some action or preparation needs to
take place and this is how it becomes an ally.
For me, once I
become aware of the "alert", the secret to turning it off and overcoming
the fear has been to make small commitments that test my fear boundaries.
Making these small commitments enables me to put a dent in the fear
instead of tackling the entire overwhelming thing. Funny enough, much like
a balloon, putting a dent into it usually ends up puncturing it's expanded
walls and releasing an avalanche of pressure.
I believe the secret
power behind making commitments (even little one's) is that they initiate
a powerful form of inner pressure that propels us forward, providing just
enough momentum to overcome the gravity our fears place on us. The power
is quadroupled we share our commitments with at least one other person and
ask them to hold us accountable. The pressure to live up to our own and
others expectations is incredibly powerful and therefore highly
recommended if you truly want to change.
Since I believe in
leading by example, I'm publicly making a commitment to test my fear
boundaries by going skydiving for the first time on January 13th at Perris
Valley, CA...and you're invited to join me! Interested? E-mail me for more
If skydiving isn't for you, at least try my New Year's challenge
below to help you build momentum in 2002!
NEW YEAR'S CHALLENGE
between COMMITMENT and RESOLUTION is the difference between "I will" and
"I wish". One is about "action" and the other is about "intention".
The statement, "I'll ask for more help in 2002" is a merely
resolution or intention without plan. A commitment looks like this: "To
overcome my fear of asking for help in 2002, I'm committed to asking for
help at least once a week. I'm going to begin by looking in my database
this evening, choosing a mentor or potential mentor that I respect, and
will call him/her first thing tomorrow and ask for help to test whether my
fears of being rejecting or appearing weak are valid. I will tell my wife
I'm doing this and will report in to her tomorrow night. I will continue
this every Monday after that for 52 weeks straight and will measure my
success by tracking it on my calendar and reviewing my progress
See the difference?
TRANSFORM YOUR RESOLUTIONS
WITH THIS 7 STEP PROCESS:
1. Choose one New Year's Resolution and
identify at least one fear, frustration or limiting belief that might hold
you back from achieving
List three ways this fear, frustration or limiting belief has previously
held you back from achieving your resolution or
List three reasons why you must change or overcome this fear, frustration
or limiting belief(i.e. Describe what would your life look like if you
List at least one action you can take in the next 24 hours to make a step
towards overcoming that Fear, frustration or limiting
Make a commitment to taking this action at or by a specific date and time
(When would NOW be a good
Choose someone to hold you accountable (*this is critical), explain your
commitment and make a promise to following up with them to report your
Friend's Name: _______________________________
Report in: __________________________
7. Rinse & Repeat for