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emPOWERMENT

Creating Lives, Families and Organizations that ROCK!

By Michael Shenker

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“Empowerment” by Michael Shenker

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“Empowerment” by Michael Shenker

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“Empowerment” by Michael Shenker

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About the Author

Michael Shenker, founder and President of

Dare 2 Be Great Coaching Systems has served as a

business adviser, business coach, and has been

involved with personal and organizational

development since 1980. Prior to that he was a

sales and marketing consultant. He has consulted

with over a hundred companies from start ups to

turn arounds to Fortune 500 Companies.

His unique training methods invoke "inspiration" rather than

motivation and help management and employees alike gain a new

perspective of how to be successful, make good business decisions, how to

treat their clients, and how to create work environments that produce an

unprecedented ROI.

He has written numerous articles, lectured throughout the U.S. on the Law of

Attraction, The Secret, team working, the power of the mind, and recently

wrote the book, “EMPOWERMENT: Creating Lives, Families and Organizations

That ROCK!”

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“Empowerment” by Michael Shenker

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Contents

Please Read This First...................................................................................2

Terms of Use .................................................................................................................... 2

Disclaimer......................................................................................................................... 2

Credits: ............................................................................................................................. 2

About the Author ...........................................................................................4

Contents .........................................................................................................5

Universal Truths.............................................................................................6

Creativity Vs. Competition ..........................................................................12

The Quest for a Worthy Ideal ......................................................................17

Gratefulness .................................................................................................21

Expectation and Non-resistance ................................................................26

Personal Freedom........................................................................................30

Sharing It ......................................................................................................35

Empowering Others.....................................................................................41

The Mastermind ...........................................................................................49

The Practice .................................................................................................53

Doctrine Of Gratitude ........................................................................................................ 55

The Gratefulness Exercise ............................................................................................... 56

Author’s Note ...............................................................................................59

The Next Steps .............................................................................................60

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Universal Truths

Next to my family, business is my life. One of the things I learned a

long time ago is that if you want to be successful in life you have to first be successful in business and to be successful in business you have to go after

what you want and not quit until you get it. No one is going to do it for you

and no one is going to help you along the way. Life is difficult, full of

obstacles and only the strong survive. I am a survivor. I started my company

ten years ago with no money and today I have over 200 employees and

three regional offices around the country. The American Dream come true.

One of my secrets for success is I enjoy going to the book store near

my office and browsing through their inventory of biographies and WWII

books because the strategies of war apply very easily to the strategies of

business. And let’s face it, business is war. I also like to enjoy a cup of hot green tea while I sit and read.

My wife recently tried to get me to read one of those hot New Age best

sellers that she gave me as a gift. After picking it up several times I finally had to admit that I wasn’t enjoying it. Not so much because it wasn’t well

written but because the content was so contrary to my way of thinking. So I

decided to exchange it for something more to my liking. When I went up to

the book store clerk, a friendly young man in his late twenties with longish

hair and wire rimmed glasses, looked at me like I was making the biggest

mistake of my life. He asked me why I was so eager to exchange it and I

explained that it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

“Well, I guess you’re just not ready,” he said in a very matter of fact manner.

“That’s too bad too, it really is an excellent book and not because of all the hype.” He started to reach for the book. “What do you mean, I’m not

ready?” as I recoiled. Who does this young punk think he ’s talking to? Does he Copyright ©2009 Dare 2 Be Great All rights reserved

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supply more than 200 people a place to go to work each day? I don’t think so.

“Ready for what?” I asked inquisitively, wanting to know what he meant.

“Evolve. That’s what it’s about. As a species we’ve reached a place in our

evolution where we have to either evolve or become extinct. It’s pretty

heavy.” He began to write on a slip of paper.

“Really? I didn’t get that from what I read.” To be honest I didn’t read that

much, maybe half a chapter. “Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance.”

He stopped writing and looked at me. “Look, there’s a guy that we sometimes

refer people to when it comes to books like this. He’s somewhat of an

authority and if he likes you he might offer to help translate the information so that it makes more sense.”

Intrigued by this criterion, yet not really sure why I had agreed, I took

him up on his offer and he gave me a name and number and I immediately

give Myron Cain a call. When we spoke he sounded a little gruff, like I was

interrupting something. I told him about the book my wife gave me and he

agreed to meet me at his home the following Saturday morning. He made a

big deal about my being there at precisely 8:00 a.m.. Not before, not after; or not to come at all. He said that punctuality was a sign of character and if I

couldn’t control my time, he wanted nothing to do with me.

Saturday morning I was standing on his front porch wondering if I was

doing the right thing. I knocked on his door at precisely 8:00 a.m. and was

greeted by what appeared to be a little old man who stood about five feet tall with a full head of shiny white hair. After I introduced myself, he politely

ushered me into his living room. Although the room was not spacious it had a

comfortable feel to it, and a big overstuffed couch which seemed to envelope

me as I sat down. Myron moved with the ease and manner of a person half his

age as he quickly straightened up the room picking up piles of magazines and

books that lay scattered about. “I wasn’t sure you were going to show,” he said and then followed it with what could only be described as a pirate’s laugh. He then disappeared into the adjoining kitchen.

Without asking, he brought out a pot of hot green tea which wound up

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being the only libation we would have throughout the time I would spend

with him. Once he poured us each a cup, he said, “I have zero tolerance for

anyone who refuses to have an open mind to new ideas. Would that describe

you?” he accusingly asked.

“No, it does not,” I quipped, resenting the implication. “The fact that I

am here with you today demonstrates my willingness to learn something

new. However, I’ll admit that this has not always been the case. For a long

time I guess I let my success in business substantiate my perspective of the

world, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to work quite as well anymore.

“You know Robert, I have done some checking up on you and I know

that you own a very successful software development company here in town.

I also know that you are highly respected amongst your peers, which is why

I’m taking the time to meet with you today. Now what seems to be the

problem with understanding the book?”

“Yes, I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish with my

company. But to answer your question, the words are plain enough, yet it

seems like my perspective of reality is contrary to what the book is saying

and I’m having trouble making sense of it all.”

Myron gazed into my eyes as if to see if I was on the level and I got a weird

sensation in the pit of my stomach. What in the hell was I doing here? For all I knew this guy was a serial killer who spiked the tea and was going to chop

me up into little pieces! Yet, at the same time, I somehow sensed that this

little man possessed a great deal of wisdom and that I would be passing up a

valuable opportunity if I didn’t give him a fair chance.

Myron drank his tea, sat back in his chair contentedly with his eyes

closed as he seemed to relish the moment. No one spoke as the silence

became heavy when he suddenly opened his eyes and quietly asked,

“Robert, do you know anything about Universal Truths?”

Although I had a few good guesses based upon seeing all of the Star Wars

movies at least twice, I decided to plead the fifth. “No, not really.”

“The Universe in which we live, works on an entirely different set of

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rules and principles than those practiced by most folks. That’s why the world

is so screwed up, or what I call unempowered. In fact, most people live their lives in total ignorance of these laws and by doing so, lead very

unfulfilling, frustrating lives. If you want to understand the book and the way life actually works, you’ve got to understand and live by the Universal Laws

which will transform you into an empowered being.”

Even though I was considered highly successful in the eyes of society I

had to admit that something was definitely missing in my life and Myron’s

words resonated deeply within me. I started to say, “Well if I may, let me

play devil’s advocate…”

Myron bolted from his chair like a gazelle with its tail on fire and

brought his face about one inch from mine, “If you want to play devil’s

advocate, you can march your ass right out of here and not waste my time.”

He straightened himself up and looked down at me, “But if you want to

understand the book, you’ve got to listen with the mind of a student, like

your life depended on it, OK?”

As someone who‘s used to giving orders, I found Myron’s tone quite

objectionable to say the least, even inappropriate. Who does he think he’s

talking to? Yet at the same time I was able to sense something beyond the

attitude and actions and I heard myself saying, “OK I didn’t mean to upset

you.” I cautiously took another sip of tea, sat back and listened.

“What I’m going to share with you Robert, are truths that have been handed

down through the ages and are sacred. In order to grasp their meaning, you

must open your mind, have no expectations, listen to what I’m going to tell

you and follow directions. Like you, I ran a successful company back on the

East Coast until we were bought out by a large conglomerate. Since we are

both businessmen, I’m going to put the information I’m going to share with

you in a business context. That way you will be able to relate to it in a very real world sense, OK?”

“I’d like that very much,” I said as I was beginning to think that maybe he

wasn’t so crazy after all. He sat back in his chair and proceeded, ”The

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business world you live in Robert is unfriendly and competitive, wouldn’t you

agree?”

“Yes! Every time I turn around I’m either fighting a new competitor,

dealing with shrinking margins or having to pull a rabbit out of a hat in order to maintain my stock value. I’m constantly fighting to keep my head above

water. So yes, it’s pretty unfriendly out there.”

“Well Robert, what if I were to tell you that your unfriendly, competitive

universe is just an illusion? An illusion that results in the lowest form of

existence because it feeds on itself and continues to produce more of what

you don’t want …more competition, continued shrinking margins, lower stock

valuation, etcetera.” He takes another sip of tea and continues.

“The truth is that the world is a friendly place with an abundant supply of

everything you want and need and it is not necessary to fight or compete in

order to share in its abundance. As opposed to competing for a limited supply, you can choose to create from an unlimited supply and by doing so, cease to be a victim of your circumstances,” he said while rising from the

chair and walking across the room to the massive book shelf that lined his

walls.

Myron removed a small, worn-looking, leather bound edition from the

shelf, looked fondly at it and began flipping through the pages. “Many years

ago, a man who had been an abject failure most of his life, developed an

understanding of this perspective and wrote a wonderful little book. Up until

it’s writing, Wallace Wattles had spent most of his years searching for the

answers that would turn his life around. Finally, in 1903, Wallace “got it” and wrote the 1903 classic, The Science of Getting Rich, a brilliant treatise on manifesting wealth which served as the prime motivating force behind the

powerfully enlightening movie, The Secret. In one of the chapters, Wattles discusses the distinction between competition and creativity: ”He read aloud

from the book: “There is a thinking stuff (energy) from which all things are

made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the

inner spaces of the Universe.

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A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the

thought.

Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon

formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created. In

order to do this, man must pass from the competitive to the creative mind;

otherwise he cannot be in harmony with the Formless Intelligence, which is

always creative and never competitive in spirit.”

Closing the book he approached me and said, “Robert, I would like to

loan you this book and between now and next Saturday I want you to read

this passage over and over until you are crystal clear about its meaning.”

“Next Saturday? You want me to come back?” “If you are really sincere

about learning, then yes. What we’ve discussed today is just the tip of the

iceberg; the beginning of what could become a whole new you. I’ll see you

next Saturday at 8 o’clock.”

He then gave me the book, abruptly turned, walked towards the door,

opened it and bid me goodbye. His brisk dismissal reminded me of my

long-gone college days when one of my professors decided to end the class

abruptly. I stood and replied to my surprise, “Thank you Myron, I’ll see you

promptly at 8:00 a.m. next Saturday.”

As I walked away I couldn’t help but feel like a wuss. Here I am, a

successful businessman, and I’m taking orders from this odd little old man as

if he were my boss.

For some strange reason, I didn’t seem to mind.

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Creativity Vs. Competition

Opening the door at precisely 8 a.m., Myron broke out into his pirate

laugh and cheerfully welcomed me in, “Ah, good morning lad. Anticipating

your promptness, I have already prepared some tea for us.” He looked up at

me slyly as I entered, “How have you and Mr. Wattles been getting along?”

I sighed, “Myron, why in the hell do I need to know all this just to read

this book?”

“Do you want a little cheese with that wine?” He closed the door and

motioned for me to take a seat as we both took our respective places on the

sofa and chair. “The truth of the matter Robert, is that what you understand

to be reality is hogwash. You don’t know what you don’t know. In order to

understand a book on reality in its true state, you have to know what the hell reality is. If I’d known you were looking for something easy, I would have

sent you packing the first time I’d laid eyes on you. What we’re going to be

doing over the next few weeks is simple but not necessarily easy.

Remember, you called me. If you want to walk around with your head in the

sand for the rest of your life fighting one problem after the other in your

competitive world, it’s no skin off my nose. Just walk out that door and we’ll call it quits.”

Here was my opportunity to make life easy and leave. After all, I had a

successful company, a good marriage and my kids liked me. But something

was missing and a little voice inside was telling me that if I stuck it out with Myron I just might find out what it is.

With all the face saving energy I could muster, “You’re right Myron; I’m here

to understand reality so let’s go to work. But tell me, why is “truth” or

objective reality such a mystique? I mean, shouldn’t reality be obvious? Right off the bat you hit me with a concept that is so totally contrary to everything Copyright ©2009 Dare 2 Be Great All rights reserved

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I’ve learned in school and in life.”

“Robert, there’s an old adage that when the student is ready the

teacher will appear. Up until now you weren’t ready to know reality. Besides,

in order to know the truth, you first have to know the lie because everything is relative. Can you write with white chalk on a white board? No. Can you

distinguish the summer without winter? How about day without night? The

fact that you don’t like what I’m telling you is irrelevant to me and just

demonstrates the necessity for you to listen with the mind of a student with

no expectations.”

“But Myron, how can you prove what this Wattles character is saying?

You know, I’ve read his words over and over and what I got out of it was

simply that creation begins with a thought and if you continue that thought

you can create what you’re thinking.”

“Bravo, you’ve got it!” “I’ve got it? I’ve got what? I’ve had high hopes

and expectations as to what success was going to bring me for the last ten

years; like more time with my family and the opportunity to pursue my

hobbies and travel but when my dreams met reality, reality usually won out

and I just kept on working harder each year.”

“Robert, let’s take it one step at a time. I think you’ll find that you

yourself are the proof of what Wattles is saying. Let’s take a look at what

primarily occupies your thoughts each day. Like most people, you think about

what you need or what you don’t have; is that right?”

Although I didn’t care for the way he worded the question I had to agree, “I

suppose.”

He leaned closer as if speaking about something that was only meant

to be heard by me, “One of the tendencies of the unempowered is to link their

dreams and desires with fears, doubts and insecurities about their abilities to achieve their dreams. Every time they think of something they want, they

subconsciously begin having corresponding feelings of doubt and insecurity

about their ability to get it. Since feelings trump thoughts, their mind cuts

them off in their tracks and nothing manifests other than more insecurity.

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Based upon what Wattles purports and science has proven, your thoughts and

your focus always provide you with exactly what you focus on. As you told

me the first time we met, you’re constantly dealing with maintaining market

share, your competitors, shrinking margins and increasing the value of your

stock. Since your mind is designed to bring you whatever it thinks you want

and is totally ignorant of your intentions due to its extremely literal and

simplistic interpretation, it can only bring you more competition, shrinking

market share, etcetera. Once you understand how the mind works and are

respectful of its power, everything will begin to change.”

“OK, I think I’m starting to get this. I see what you’re saying. So if I

want to get ‘X’, then ‘X’ had better be what I focus on irrespective of my

current reality,” I smiled, nodding my head in agreement and feeling a little

more confident.

“Exactly,” he smiled back, like a teacher whose student was showing

signs of progress.

“And what about the residual doubt and fear that I experience about my

ability to get ‘X’?”

“Here, my friend is where faith comes in. Now this may seem a little odd

because this is a scientific process, so why do we need faith? The answer is

that in the initial stages of working with this new technology, irrespective of Wattles or science, you don’t know it works. The only way to compensate for

this is through faith. Over time, you will see that this process works like gang busters and you won’t have the necessity to have ‘blind’ faith. You will,

however, develop ‘true’ faith as you begin to successfully manifest what you

want,” he sat back with confidence and sipped his tea.

“I have to admit, this is pretty interesting stuff,” I was now getting

energized as it began to make some sense for the first time when another

thought occurred to me. “But what about the real world problems and

challenges that need handling every day? Should I just ignore them and

focus on getting ‘X’?”

“Quite the contrary, as Ramdas says “Being-Here-Now” is the name of

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the game. Do all that you can do each moment to deal with the challenges of

the day to the best of your ability while at the same time maintaining a

positive, confident vision of what you want in the future.”

“Well, I can see that this isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but whatever it takes to master this technique, I can make it happen.”

“That’s what I like to hear. You know, people who embark upon this

type of work are called warriors, in that they are constantly dealing with the conflict of perceived reality - what they have, for actual reality - what they want.” “So is that it? Is that all there is to it?”

“Close but not quite. Being-here-now in dealing with the challenges of the

day and being vigilant of your thoughts of the future is a good start, but

that’s just the first of many aspects to this process. For example Robert,

what do you want, what is your vision for the future?”

“You know, the usual; continued success, the ability to spend more time with

my family… to be happy.”

“That’s what everybody wants, but what is your definition of success,

and how much more time with your family do you want and what would you

do if you had it and what exactly makes you happy? Remember the mind is

simplistic and literal and you don’t want it to have to guess for you. What you want needs to be spelled out in great detail using as many of your senses as

possible.” “Then I guess I don’t have a specific, detailed vision for the

future.”

“And that’s what next week assignment is all about. In preparation for that, I want you to write down what your life looks like in detail in a perfect world.

This is a no holds barred description of your perfect life including where you live, who you are living with, what kind of house you live in, what kind of car you drive, what color it is, how much discretionary time do you have and how

do you spend it, etcetera, etcetera. Keep it as short and concise as possible

with as much detail as you can.” “Anything I want no matter what?”

“Anything, providing

1) it’s physically possible and 2) it’s what you really want and not what

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somebody else wants for you and please Robert, GO BIG, and have fun with it. Don’t write down what you think you’re capable of having, write down what

you want as if anything were possible and you couldn’t fail and I’ll see you

next week.”

As I left Myron’s house my head was swirling. I’m amazed I have been

able to accomplish as much as I have. I can’t imagine what I’m going to be

able to accomplish using these tools, but I guess that’s what this week’s

assignment is all about.

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The Quest for a Worthy Ideal

The week seemed to fly by and before I knew it I was walking up to

Myron’s front door. I took a deep breath and knocked. The door opened a

few moments later and there stood the strange little man who I have started

to become so fond of.

“Good morning Robert. Have you come with a vision, or are you still

flying blind?” He let out one of those great pirate laughs and then motioned

for me to come in as we both made ourselves comfortable in our respective

seats.

“I’ve been working very diligently on my vision and am looking forward

to discussing it with you,” I said with some degree of pride.

“So, you’ve decided what you want and what your vision is, but are

you passionate about it?” He reached over to the teapot sitting next to him

and began to pour the tea into two cups, passing one to me.

“Yes and yes,” I chimed in like a kid winning a spelling bee. “What’s weird

is how much work it took to get clear on what I really wanted. Even though I

have projections and goals for my company, I realized that on a personal

level I was pretty much reacting to life as opposed to it responding to me.”

“Excellent observation,” Myron said as he took a sip of tea and

pondered for a moment as if deciding whether or not the flavor suited him.

“Over the years I have had the privilege of speaking to many business

leaders and inevitably many of them acknowledged the same situation and

consequently agreed that they were unsatisfied and unfulfilled even though

they were financially successful,” he raised a knowing eyebrow at me.

Wanting Myron to hurry up and review my vision for the future I eagerly

responded, “Should I go ahead and show you what I’ve come up with?”

He let out another one of his pirate laughs and smiled, “Sure, on one

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condition.” He then looked me in the eye, “That you are willing to give up your life for what you want.” “Give up my life? You never said anything about

that!” “Well of course not. I wanted you to think through what you wanted

first. Now that you’ve done that, it’s time to put it in perspective. Remember when I said, ‘go big? ’” “But I never thought you were talking life and death big.”

“Well what did you think I was talking about? A big house, an expensive car,

massive amounts of money? That’s not big in my book. Big is that which you

are willing to give up your life for because that’s what you’re actually doing each day – giving up your life for what you want. Every day you spend

working for something is a day of your life you’ve traded in the process.”

As Myron spoke, I sank lower and lower into his couch as if it were

eating me for breakfast. Just when I think I understand what he’s talking

about, he pulls the rug out from under my feet and I’m back to square one,

but perhaps that’s just part of the learning process. As I was folding up my

goals and putting them back in my pocket, Myron let out another hearty

laugh.

“Robert my boy, don’t be discouraged. This ‘E’ ticket ride you’re on is

guaranteed to take you places you didn’t even know existed and will change

your life forever. You’ll not only know how to read the book, you’ll be able to write your own. The key to not being upset or discouraged is to not have any

expectations as I’ve cautioned you about before. Eastern philosophy teaches

that without expectations, you’re never upset, but we’ll discuss that more in

depth next week.”

He walked over to one of the book shelves, combed the titles with his

index finger and removed one. Holding it in his hand he turned to me and

started walking back. “For now, I want you to upgrade your goals to what

Earl Nightingale calls a ‘Worthy Ideal’ in his definition of success; Success is the progressive realization of a Worthy Ideal. Naturally, in order to do this, you have to have a Worthy Ideal which works as a compass in setting

lesser goals. You do know who Earl Nightingale is, don’t you?”

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“Of course, he’s the cofounder of the Nightingale-Conant Corporation.

They publish all kinds of personal development materials.” Myron sat back

down in his chair and cleared his throat, “Now, what does Nightingale’s

statement mean to you?”

“OK, well, let’s see, Progressive means the feeling of moving forward and getting closer to what you want. Realization is the act of bringing into concrete existence. Worthy is having some moral worth and/or deserving respect and Ideal is an idea or image with heart, soul and passion –

something of true worth or value.”

Myron slapped his hand on the side of his thigh and grinned widely, “Give

that man a cupie doll! As you develop your Worthy Ideal, you’ll find that it will be driven by an unrelenting force and a passion that cannot be denied and

will provide you with a level of inspiration like nothing you’ve ever

experienced. By living according to your Worthy Ideal, your business will grow at a faster rate, your relationships will be strengthened and what you thought you wanted out of life will pale in comparison to your reality.” He picked up an ornate piece of stationery, “Here are some clues that will assist you in

developing your Worthy Ideal,” as he handed it to me. I began to read it.

Your Worthy Ideal is soaked with emotion, powered by passion, driven

by destiny and forged with the fire of the heart. You’ll know when you have discovered your Worthy Ideal (or heart ’s desire) because you’ll feel it in your guts. Your Worthy Ideal will inspire you to accomplish tasks well beyond

what you have achieved in the past.

Your Worthy Ideal will afford you the opportunity to become more

aware of your true nature. No matter how dificult your challenges, your

Worthy Ideal will provide you the encouragement to carry on. A Worthy

Ideal will have great spiritual value to the extent that you’ll be willing to

trade your life for it. I put the paper down and slowly looked up at Myron.

He started to rise, “Now before my couch totally consumes you, let’s call it a day.”

As I left Myron’s house that morning, a feeling of excitement mixed with

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wonder was surging throughout my entire being. I was beginning to feel

something; a change. It wasn’t like anything I had ever experienced, yet it

somehow felt strangely familiar, like something that I had once known but

forgotten a long time ago.

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Gratefulness

The week was hectic with the usual challenges of running a thriving

company and family obligations which always seem to play second fiddle to

business. Yet, with all of my responsibilities and time challenges, I still

managed to read the Wattles book and think about my Worthy Ideal.

On the drive to Myron’s house I realized how happy I was. In fact, I

couldn’t remember the last time I felt this way. Was I feeling happy about

going to see Myron or was it something more? As I walked up to his door I

realized that yes, I was happy to be seeing my new-found mentor but more

so, for the first time in quite a while I was just happy to be me. I was being exposed to a lot of new concepts and I had this feeling of rightness which seemed to substantiate Myron’s teachings.

At precisely eight o’clock I knocked and as usual I didn’t have to wait

long before the door flew open and I was greeted by a smiling and

eager-looking Myron indicating with a wave of his hand for me to enter. As I

passed through the doorway he said, “All right Robert, now that you’ve had

another week to have a go at developing your Worthy Ideal, what have you

got for me?” “Well good morning to you, too,” I couldn’t help but get in a

playful jab.

“Oh, good morning,” he replied with a big smile, indicating that he got

the hint that perhaps he was rushing into “teacher mode” a little too quickly.

As we took our customary places on the sofa and chair he handed me a cup

of tea and I leaned back and got comfortable. “Robert, you seem to be in

an inordinately good mood today. May I ask why?”

“Let’s just say that the world I’m living in is getting to be a friendlier place”, I replied with a smile. I knew Myron was just eating this up. “Today I’ve come to discuss my Worthy Ideal which is based upon my values, beliefs and

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emotions and what I believe to be the primary motivating factor of my life.”

“You’ve got my attention”, he smiled warmly.

“First, I realized that my Worthy Ideal was a place to come from, not to go to. I thought about those times when I was at my best and then I asked myself, ‘what was present for me? Then I thought about when I was at my

worst and asked myself, ‘what was missing?’ At the end of all this, I deduced

that my Worthy Ideal was to be proud of myself and the work that I do. To

make a difference in the lives of those that I love and care about and when I

look back at my life at the end of the road, to feel as though the world was a better place for what I had contributed.”

“Excellent! Robert. I’m really proud of you. I can tell that a lot of

heartfelt thought went into your Worthy Ideal. Now, let’s go back to the goals you developed and see how they stack up against your Worthy Ideal.” He

leaned back closed his eyes, sipped from his cup and intently listened.

“OK, well, my primary goal is to sell my business for enough money so

that I can semi-retire, work on only those projects that I deem worthwhile,

spend quality time with my family and travel a little. “Robert,” he stopped sipping his tea and looked at me. “I think that all of your goals fit right in line with your Worthy Ideal, however, they all break the laws of goal setting.”

He put the cup down and leaned forward as if to make a point.

“Remember when I said that your mind is simplistic and very literal? That

means that you have to paint an in-depth picture of what you want. If you

want to sell your business, you need to specify when and for how much. You’ll

need to delineate what projects you might work on after you sell your

company, and decide how you will spend your leisure time with your family

and to what destinations you will travel.”

“OK, so I have to define the specifics of the ‘what,’ establish the ‘when’

and forget about the ‘how’ because that’s the job of the Universe, right?” “Not only are you right, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Now Robert, your

Worthy Ideal and your goals are living entities which you’ll continuously

change as you change. By continuously being cognizant of what you want on

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a daily basis you will become a veritable magnet for all that you desire,

providing you maintain a positive perspective and have a little faith it will

happen in its own good time, ergo, no expectations.”

As Myron poured himself another cup of tea, he gazed deeply into his

cup as if he was searching for something. “Robert, now that you have

created your Worthy Ideal and your corresponding goals I want to talk to you

about the concept of gratitude. How often do you take stock of all the things in your life that you’re grateful for?” “Hmm, I don’t know. Who keeps track of such things? When it happens it happens.” “But how often does it

happen, daily, weekly… a couple times a month?” He stopped in mid sip as if

waiting for my answer.

My brow wrinkled as I thought about it, “I don’t know, maybe a couple of

times a month.”

“Well Robert, as a warrior, it is imperative that you write down and

consider all that you are grateful for on a daily basis. In order to appreciate the value of this, let me give you some background on its significance to your success.” He took a slow sip and then continued.

“You see, I have known many great business leaders in my time who

never reached their true potential. They worked hard, read veritable libraries of books on success and business, joined all the right organizations and

kissed all the right fannies,” he let go with a hearty laugh, “but never

achieved what was possible". And why you ask? Because of a lack of

adherence to the Law of Gratitude.” He picked up the Wattles book, opened it to a passage and read, “According to Wattles:

There is a Law of Gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you

should observe the Law, if you are to get the results you seek. The Law of

Gratitude is the natural principle that action and reaction are always equal,

and in opposite directions. The grateful outreaching of your mind in thankful praise to the Universe is a liberation or expenditure of force; it cannot fail to reach that to which it is addressed, and the reaction is an instantaneous

movement towards you. ‘Draw nigh unto the Universe, and It will draw nigh

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unto you.’ That is a statement of psychological truth.

If your gratitude is strong and constant, the reaction in Formless

Substance will be strong and continuous; the movement of the things you

want will be always toward you. You cannot exercise much power without

gratitude; for it is gratitude that keeps you connected with power.”

He closed the book and slowly looked up at me, “So what do you get

from this?” “Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t know what in the hell he’s talking about. I mean ‘Draw nigh unto the Universe, and It will draw nigh unto you.’ What’s that all about?”

I could see that Myron had some appreciation for my lack of

understanding as he sat back and smiled. “You know Robert, I have read The Science of Getting Rich so many times, I have forgotten what a pain in the butt the early 1900’s jargon is to someone just starting to read it. Years ago I took the trouble to edit Wattles book, bringing it up to contemporary

standards. I’ll give you a copy of my edited version before you leave today.”

“For right now, however, let me break it down for you. The Law of

Gratitude states that ‘action and reaction are always equal and in opposite

directions.’ Giving thanks or being grateful to the Universe for what you have today and what you want to manifest tomorrow creates an action. The

Universe then responds in kind with a reaction which causes you to receive more of what you are grateful for.”

“I’m not sure I understand why I would be grateful for the things that

I want in the future.” “You see part of the process for manifesting or

creating what you want in the future is giving thanks for it today. This Law of Gratitude is so powerful, that you can do everything else right and by not

adhering to the Law of Gratitude, never reach your full potential.”

As I thought about it the pieces started falling into place and a smile

gradually began to replace my look of confusion. “Make sense?” “Actually,

it does,” I proclaimed.

Myron then handed me his edited version of The Science of Getting Rich

and said that next week we’ll keep pushing the envelope while lightening the

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load a little as he abruptly bid me good bye.

“See you next week Robert, you’re doing a great job,” he said and

patted me on the shoulder.

“Thank you, Myron,” I replied. I felt a new bounce in my step as I

walked to my car. This was going to be a great weekend.

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Expectation and Non-resistance

Before I left last week, Myron told me that today’s lesson would both

lighten my load as well as expand my horizons which would be welcome

information to say the least. Although I have tremendous responsibilities and

most of the time I’m under a lot of stress, all-in-all I have a great life. My company is successful, my wife and I have two beautiful, happy children, I

have great friends and I have good health. So I have to ask myself, why is

my relationship with Myron such a boon to my existence?

Over and above trying to understand these new concepts, I’m fifty

years old and although I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life, I’m starting

to realize that there is more to life than what I previously believed. I attended a seminar recently and the person leading it had us do an exercise whereby we

closed our eyes and pretended we were lying on a hospital bed. The lights

were turned down low; we were to pretend we were all alone and had only

three minutes to live. We were asked to quickly review our life and the

question was then posed, “how do you feel about it?” And you know what? I

didn’t feel so hot. In fact, tears welled up in my eyes when I thought about all the things I wanted to do but never got around to it. I thought about all the

places I wanted to take my family but was too busy building my business and

I thought about the dreams I once had when I was younger which seemed to

fall by the wayside as I had gotten older.

My experience at that seminar has made me realize that my meeting

Myron was very fortuitous. As I pulled in front of his house, I saw him

trimming some bushes which was pretty impressive for a man of his years.

As I approached him he greeted me warmly “Good morning Robert,

how are you doing this fine day?”

“I’m doing great, sir. I’m suprised you haven’t hired somebody to do

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your yard work.” “Oh hell, I’ve never found anybody that could do the job

nearly as well as me. I do all the yard work myself; can’t you see how young

it makes me look?” Myron gave me a big smile and let out one of his

trademark laughs. I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to ask him

something I’ve wanted to know since I met him but felt uncomfortable

asking. “Exactly how old are you, Myron?”

He lowered the clippers and looked at me, “How young do you think I

am?” OK, I asked for it. How do I tactfully get myself out of this one? “I’m going to say… seventy.” It came out sounding like a question. “Humph. Not

even close,” he said and went back to trimming the hedge. “Eighty?” I

asked, now certain if I done the right thing.

He lowered the clippers once again and turned to me. “You’re getting

warmer. I’m going to be ninety-seven years young next month,” he bowed as

he said it. My mouth dropped open in astonishment and all I could say was,

“Wow.” “What are we jawing out here for? Let’s get some tea and go to

work.” As I sank down into that couch which I’d grown to love, Myron

poured me a nice hot cup of our traditional green tea.

“Robert, today we’re going to talk about a couple of things that will

definitely lighten the load. As a warrior, you might think that life is all about fighting reality, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, a warrior’s life is easier than most because of their perspective.”

Myron then began searching through the hundreds of books that

occupied his bookshelf, floor and desk. “Aha, there it is.” Finding what he was looking for he removed an old-looking leather bound book from one of the

shelves.

“Robert this little book is called the Tao Te Ching which was written by Taoist sage by the name of Lao Tzu in the 6th century BC and translated by a

brilliant author by the name of Stephen Mitchell. Lao Tzu had never intended

to document his wisdom, however, when he was making his way to the

mountains to die, he was held captive at the border by the ruler of China until he wrote all of what he knew of life.” He opened the book to a marked section.

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“His writings contained 81 precepts. In his 2nd precept, Lao Tzu writes,” as he reads aloud:

“When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly.

When people see some things as good, other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each other.

Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other.

Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying

anything. Things arise and he lets them come; things disappear and he lets

them go. He has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect. When his

work is done, he forgets it. That is why it lasts forever.”

He closed the book and looked up at me, “I have read this to you

Robert because of two words, ‘expectation’ and ‘non-resistance, ’ which are the bane of our existence. Unlike many western motivational speakers who

preach that one should ‘expect what you want,’ I can tell you with 100%

certainty that expectation will get you nothing but disappointment and

heartache. The truth of the matter is that without expectations your life will be much happier and joyful. Now this is not to say that you don’t have goals,

because you do, but it’s all about creating them, not expecting them because

they will come at their perfect time and you don’t know when that is.”

Myron began to move closer as he continued speaking, “The point here

is that instead of arguing with reality or what is, you can utilize another Universal Law, the Law of Polarity. The Law of Polarity which is discussed by Lau Tzu states that everything in life is like a coin with two sides; a ‘good’

side and a ‘bad’ side and in many instances you don’t know which is which.

It’s kind of like the story about the sparrow and the cat. Once upon a time,

there was a nonconforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the

winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started

to fly south. In a short time ice began to form on his wings and he fell to

earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on the little

sparrow. The sparrow thought that it was the end. But, the manure warmed

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him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breath, he started to

sing. Just then a large cat came by and heard the chirping, investigated the

sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird and

promptly ate him. The moral of the story:

Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.

Everyone who gets you out of the shit is not necessarily your friend.

If you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.”

With that, Myron let out a great pirate laugh, slapped his knee and said, “I

love that story!”

He then winked at me, patted me on the shoulder and said, “See you next

week, Robert.”

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Personal Freedom

On the drive over to Myron’s house I was tempted to pull out my cell

phone and cancel our meeting due to the foul mood I was in, but that little

voice inside kept nudging me to keep my appointment. I find it funny how

difficult I can be at times. I swear, I fought myself all the way up the brick walkway to Myron’s front porch until I finally called it a truce and knocked,

once again, at precisely 8 AM. The door opened and Myron greeted me with a

big friendly smile.

“Good morning Robert, how are you doing today?” and gestured for

me to come in.

As I walked past him and into the living room I replied, “Well not so hot.” We took our seats as I relayed to him the circumstances over the last couple of

days. Myron poured the tea with a wry smile on his face and I wondered

what the little elf was up to.

“Robert, one of the subjects I wanted to cover with you today is the

works of Don Miguel Ruiz entitled the Four Agreements. Based upon what you just shared with me, it would appear that my timing is excellent.”

I took my cup and settled back, prepared to hear some new pearls of

wisdom I had become so used to experiencing. Myron also settled back in his