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7 Conversations to FREEDOM! a manifesto Walt F.J. Goodridgeauthor of Turn Your Passion Into Profit, and Living True to Your Self
Dedication Dedicated to: my mother, Thelma Rose Goodridge my father, Nyembane Ndobe Goodridge to my grandfathers, Clement Nicholas Golding and Charles Frederick Goodridge and to my grandmothers Isolene Rebecca Golding and Gladys Eunice Goodridge AcknowledgementsI wish to thank those special people in my life: Reina Joa,Christine Karmo, Kenneth McRae, Joe Hill, AngeloVillagomez, Chun Yu Wang, Preeyaporn P. Jompeang, RonMcFarlane, Ashley Moffatt, Ernest & Kim Capers, MonicaAfesi and Aaron & Stacey Spencer-Willoughby and the usualrecurring cast of main characters in this and previous lives.
TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION: “Something different is possible” CONVERSATION 1: “What is freedom?” CONVERSATION 2: “Your purpose is where it all begins” CONVERSATION 3:“You CAN turn your passion into profit” CONVERSATION 4: “The trouble with capitalism” CONVERSATION 5: “The Tao of Shawshank” CONVERSATION 6: “The carrot conversation” CONVERSATION 7: "The freedom to love true to your self" Conclusion About Walt
Thank you for downloading this book. It is alsoavailable at minimal cost for your Kindle or Nook, or inpaperback for about a dollar above the actual cost of printing. If you like even just one of the ideas in theseconversations, you are invited to spread the word: 1. Send this pdf file to a friend. 2. Send them a link to www.passionprofit.com so theycan download it themselves. 3. Visit www.waltgoodridge.com for more free stuff. 4. Visit my exclusive Amazon page at:http://www.amazon.com/Walt-FJ-Goodridge/e/B001JRXNXY 5. Print out as many copies as you like! –Walt OTHER FREE BOOKS Search Smashwords for How to Become a Nomadpreneur In Search of a Better Belief System and go to betterbeliefsystem.com to learn more aboutDucks in a Row??? Please. How to find the courage to finally QUIT your soul-draining, life-sapping, energy-depleting, freedom-robbing JOB now...before its too late..and live passionately ever after!
INTRODUCTION “Something different is possible!” The Big Idea Heres my idea: Freedom is Achievable. This freedom is essentially the freedom to live true toyour self, and includes the following five individual freedoms: 1. The freedom to live a life of greatness that is inalignment with your purpose. 2. The freedom to profit & prosper on your own termsdoing what you love. 3. The freedom to escape whatever restrictions andlimitations you feel have been imposed on you. 4. The freedom to love honestly and true to your self 5. The freedom to live a healthy life and actually ageless than you do now. Thats the simple idea. It may not be easy to achievegiven how much of the society is geared towards keeping uspoor, enslaved and unhealthy, but it is achievable. Here’s how: First, you must reclaim your power. Then, you must use that power to break free. Then, you must strive to live true to your self. The journey—not the pursuit, but the journey—offreedom and happiness starts inside you. Over the course of these seven conversations, I’mgoing to share some ideas, strategies and books that promotethe various components of what I call “achievable freedom.”First, however, let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Walt F.J. Goodridge. I know we’ve justmet, but I believe we have a lot in common, and because ofthat, I think we need to have a little talk. What I’d like to do inthese conversations is share some information, inspiration andideas that might help you achieve some of the goals I think weshare in common. Specifically, I’m going to suggest someideas to help you live true to your self, turn your passion intoprofit, and achieve the freedom you desire. First, though, as
promised, I want to share the short version of my life story. “Once upon a time, there was an unhappy civilengineer living in New York, who hated his job. More thananything else, he simply wanted the freedom to live true to hisself. So, he followed his passion, started a series of sidelinebusinesses, made enough money to quit his job, escaped therat race, ran off to a tropical island in the Pacific, andcreated a tourism business so he could give tours of the islandto pretty ladies every day and see the world. He now lives hishappily reinvented, dream life as a "nomadpreneur"somewhere in a land far, far away.” Now, the reason I’m telling you my story is to make asimple point: wherever you are, and however your life iscurrently progressing….. Something different is possible! My Gift: Recognizing Patterns I have a great memory, an attention to detail, and theability to recognize patterns and make connections. When Iwas younger, I enjoyed the game of Concentration. The object of the game is to collect the most matchingcards. You lay 52 cards face down on a table. Each playerpicks up a card, and then a second. If the two cards match(say, an 8 of hearts and an 8 of clubs), the player keeps thetwo cards and plays again. If they dont match, the playerreturns the cards to their places and the play moves to the nextplayer, who then picks two cards. Of course, at the beginning of the game, no one knowswhere the matching cards are. However, as the game proceeds,and as each person draws and replaces cards, you start toremember where on the table you might have seen a Queen ora King, so the next time you draw a Queen or King, you relyon your memory, attention to details, your ability to recall thepatterns and make the connection to locate the matching card.The player who makes the most connections wins!
That simple skill served me well in college—where Iphotographically memorized my way through exams. It’shelped in other areas of life, too. I recognize patterns andmake connections in peoples behavior, in relationships, inbusiness trends and customer feedback. Thats why, I believe,Ive been able to create products that people want. Ode to the Gurus That skill also serves me in the search for truth. As Iread and research different self-help, spiritual, inspirational,motivational texts and teachers, I recognize the patterns, thesimilarities and make connections between them. I recognizewhere one gurus philosophy complements anothers. Irecognize where one strategy omits a critical component andanother doesn’t. Over the years, Ive also noticed that people seemafraid to combine and connect certain philosophies andconcepts for fear of diluting their message or fear of beingridiculed. For example, the business guru doesnt feel qualifiedto talk about health. The health guru wont be listened to onmatters of relationships. The relationship guru wont be able tosell a book on Internet success and so on. We tend to compartmentalize our gurus. While suchspecialization is a great strategy in business and branding,weve been led to believe that such segmentation should beapplied across the board. I believe that is a mistake. Our lives arent (or at least shouldnt be) similarlysegmented. We are whole beings. Our physical, mental,emotional and spiritual selves are all moving together as one. You are the same you in relationships and business asyou are in career, health and finances. In other words, acomprehensive plan for your happiness and fulfillment mustaddress all of these aspects of your self if it is to be successful.If not, your life will be unbalanced. So, you get the money, butyour health is all messed up. Now what? So, you achievedgood health, but you limited your growth in relationships andnow have no one to love. Now what? So, what I bring to you is simply a reminder that you
can and should address all these components as a single path. The freedom Ive personally been able to achieve in myown life has been a result of recognizing and making theconnections between financial freedom, health freedom,relationship freedom, physical freedom and the freedom toseek greatness through my lifes purpose. So, this book, therefore, is an expression of mygratitude to the teachers Ive had along the way, the kings andqueens of the deck of inspiration and personal developmentwhose messages Ive been able to connect as I concentrate oncreating the life of my dreams and winning the game! My own belief system, philosophy formula andstrategy are based on these connections Ive made, and now Idlike to share them with you. So, let’s focus first on the concept I’m most known for:turning your passion into profit. Now, I think I know whatyou’re thinking: Could it really be possible to do what I love,and making money doing it? The answer is yes! Yes, you can turn a hobby orpassion into profit, and make money doing what you love.Yes, there is a way to profit from your passion! There is a wayto live true to your self. Even in a down economy, people aredoing it. Im going to share some very valuable informationwith you in this conversation. However—and I mean thisseriously—this information is not for everybody, and may notbe for you. So, first Id like to ask you a few questions. A few questions Are you a student seeking to make critical careerdecisions? Do you feel like youre in a dead-end job? Do you feel trapped on a career treadmill goingnowhere? Do you realize youre not cut out to work for someoneelse? Is a little piece of your soul dying each day you go towork? Do you need extra money to supplement your current
income? Do you feel you were meant for something moremeaningful? Do you have a unique business or product idea? Do you want to profit from your passions? Do you want to live true to your self? Do you want the freedom to run away and start allover? and, Do you have the discipline to do what it takes tosucceed? But even beyond that... Do you have a "Plan B" for your income? Beyond chasing a dream of independence andfreedom, there may be even more practical, day-to-dayreasons you might need this information. Think about this.Youve worked hard all your life. Youve been a goodemployee, a good parent, spouse or provider. However, withjust one phone call, one decision, one staff meeting, onecatastrophe or pink slip, your life could change overnight. Thats what happened to my friend, "Amanda." Herhusband decided to leave her, but her love of antiques—alifelong passion—saved her. She used my philosophy to findthe hidden value in her life. She set up a simple website, andmade $4,000 her first online sale! These antiques were itemsshe had been collecting all her life. What if your income stream dried up tomorrow? Doyou have a plan "B?" How would you make money to supportyourself or your family? My "Passion Profit" concept is pretty simple: take apassion—something you love to do, something youre good at,something you already have a certain amount of expertise in—and use it as the basis of a way to make money. Its a simplestrategy that could be your plan B. But even beyond that... Do you have a plan for REAL self-sufficiency? Now, this next topic is a tricky one to discuss, and
we’re not going to tackle it in these conversations, but the pathof financial self-sufficiency and living true to your self willeventually lead you to contemplate issues of real self-sufficiency. By that I mean how would you survive aneconomic meltdown? I’m neither a pessimist, nor a doomsdayprovocateur. However, it simply makes sense that youshould strive to be more in control and/or ownership ofyour food supply, your living situation, and other aspectsof your survival should your dollar no longer be able topurchase the things it once did, or if those things are nolonger available in the marketplace. Again, I’ll let you ponder those thoughts on your own.The point is that ownership, control and self-sufficiency arenecessary components of freedom, turning your passion intoprosperity and living true to your self. So, let’s talk. How I did it Many years ago, after I graduated from ColumbiaUniversity with my Bachelor of Science degree in civilengineering, I was, like many people, destined for a career inmy “chosen” profession. I say “chosen” because I wasn’treally the one who chose it. Like many people, I only endedup in engineering because my counselor in high school said Ishould do it, and being a good student, I listened to her. Then, immediately after graduation, I accepted a job inthe Design Division of the Port Authority EngineeringDepartment on the 73rd floor of World Trade Center One.However, within the first fifteen minutes of this my first job incorporate America, I realized, beyond the shadow of a doubt,that I absolutely hated it! I saw the future, and the prospect ofworking a monotonous and restrictive nine-to-five job for therest of my life, scared me to the core! So, from that moment on, I did everything I could tocreate the freedom I desperately wanted and to escape.However, during all my years of formal education, no one hadever asked me “what’s your passion?” or “what do you love todo?” I now had to ask those questions of myself. Fortunately,however, I did have some clues to the answers.
While in college, I had been a radio deejay on WKCR-FM, and I loved music. So I went in the direction of thatpassion and first did some graphic design for an album, thenbecame an artist manager, then record label owner, until, by astroke of chance, I found my true calling for sharinginformation and wrote my first book, Change the Game.Through the success of that single book, I was able to matchmy civil engineering income, and walk away from my careerto become a full-time “passionpreneur”–a phrase I coined. I am now a full-time passionpreneur, and Im able tofulfill a life- long dream, of being a nomadpreneur (DownloadHow to Become a Nomadpreneur atwww.nomadpreneur.com). In other words, I turned mypurpose for sharing information and my passion for writinginto profit. I offer my story as an example of just one strategyyou could use to achieve your own independence. Its not your fault My story is just one among millions. If youre nowwhere I was then, then you might feel trapped inside aparadigm you didnt choose. Thats typically how the worldworks. We’re raised to see the world the way our parents andteachers do. We make choices that others think are best for us.And we end up spending our lives living lives that are notfulfilling us. So, again, if you find yourself feeling trapped likeI was, its not all your fault! However, thats no excuse for putting up with yourcondition! Just because everyone else is settling for that kindof life, doesnt mean YOU have to. Its important to know thatIT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE to escape and get on thetrack your life should be on. I did it. So can you! Right now, as I travel through Asia, Im living in Chinaand blogging about it. I can do this because I discovered a newway of thinking about my talents, a new way of turning theminto streams of income. I redefined my life and created formyself a new way of living. I’m living true to my self. Before
I share more of the philosophy, belief system and strategy thatI used to accomplish this, let me tell you why this new way ofthinking is absolutely essential to creating your freedom. "Its Impossible to Raise Your Standard of Living Working aJob" I know that statement might be a little shocking, so letme put it this way: Its impossible to make the sort of moneyyou are ultimately capable of making at a job because, even ifhe or she wanted to, no employer can or ever will pay youwhat youre worth. Now dont get me wrong, it IS possible to make moremoney at a job. You can beg for a raise every year, work morehours, or go on a constant quest for the next higher payingposition in an effort to increase your income, but conditionswill invariably only improve slightly. The only way to reallyraise your standard of living is to leverage your talents, yourgifts, your interests and your hobbies to create a product orservice you can sell to increasing numbers of people and freeyourself from the cycle of trading time for money. “The only way to REALLY raise your standard ofliving is to leverage your talents, your gifts, your interestsand your hobbies to create a product or service that you cansell to increasing numbers of people and free yourself fromthe cycle of trading time for money.” If you dont believe me, heres an experiment. Simplyfind someone who has worked his or her entire life at a job,AND who has retired wealthy as a result. A few CEOs andWall Street investment bankers may have done it, but the vastmajority of employees—70%, according to statistics—retiredependent on family, friends or the federal government forsurvival. If you dont want to be among that group, then youneed to do something different. You can only improve so much by working overtime,or waiting for a raise or promotion every year. Furthermore,with each raise in pay, or each increase in responsibility comes
more demands on your time and an overall decrease in thequantity and quality of free time you have available to reallyenjoy your time here on the planet. So, what’s the point? No, the only way to really raise your standard of livingwhile enjoying the life you were meant to is to leverage yourtalents, gifts, interests and hobbies, and create a product orservice you can sell to increasing numbers of people and freeyourself from the cycle of trading time for money. Those talents, gifts interests and hobbies are what I callyour passion. And yes, you do have one. Maybe several. Youhave been given something that sets you apart from everyoneelse; something you can do better than others; something youcan use to not only survive but to thrive. You owe it to your family, your parents, your children,your community, and most especially to yourself to discoverwhat that thing is, share it with the world and—with apologiesto no one—use it to improve your standard of living, yourquality of life, and live the passion-centered lifestyle of yourdreams! Theres more Once youre convinced you need to start a businessaround your passion, the next logical question is "what sort ofbusiness should I start…especially in this economy?" Heres a little secret. The same economic conditionsthat bring uncertainty and upheaval also create different needsin peoples lives. People are now looking for different things.As quiet as its kept, the rampant consumerism that economistswould like us to indulge in is on the decline. There is a newparadigm taking shape. In this new paradigm, certain businesspeople will be more successful than others, and certain typesof business models will be more sustainable than othersprovided those new business owners truly understand theneeds of the people in this new paradigm. Theres more to turning your passion into profit thanstarting a business. As you apply my Passion ProfitPhilosophy & Formula, youll discover what sort of product orservice fits best with your talents and your purpose in life.
Trust me, this is not about building the next Microsoft.Its about starting on a straightforward, and common-senseprocess of thought, and implementing a step-by-step actionplan to help you gain a little more control, security andfreedom in your financial affairs. If that sounds like a goodidea, and if you want some insights into how to succeedwhether you simply want to make a little extra money tosurvive, a lot of extra money to prosper, offer a valuableservice to the world, or simply live a lifestyle that makes youhappy, then, as a first step, take the personality test to discoverwhether you are a creator, savior, guru or guide, and what thatmeans to your ability to succeed! You can find thePurpose/Passion Personality Test on www.passionprofit.com. So, does all this sound like something YOU might beinterested in talking more about? Good. Let’s talk some more! Let’s define freedom!
CONVERSATION 1: "What is Freedom?" Barriers, Borders and Brainwashing In the quest for this thing called freedom, we find thereare barriers, borders and brainwashing that often stand in theway challenging our success. Some of these challenges are within our personalpower to overcome simply by choosing to adopt a new beliefsystem and by exercising the courage and discipline to stick toit. Others of these challenges represent entrenchedparadigms and customs that society as a whole will need toaddress, but are restrictions on freedom nonetheless. In essence, I believe that as individuals, we have • The freedom to be purposefully great (live yourpurpose) • The freedom to profit and prosper (turn passion intoprofit) • The freedom to love honestly (to love true to yourself) • The freedom to escape and roam the planet (see theworld) • The freedom to live a healthy existence (to age less) You cannot achieve total freedom unless you recognizewhere you are not free in all areas of your life. So, let meexplain each of these a bit further. • Freedom to be purposefully great is the freedom todiscover and fulfill your lifes purpose, because you are notfree if you are limiting your talents and the full expression of
your mission and purpose on the planet, and if you are livingsomeone elses idea of what your life should be about. • Freedom to profit and prosper is the freedom to earnmoney doing what you love on your own terms—to turn yourpassion into profit, because you are not free if someone else—a single employer, for instance—controls your income, or ifyou are doing something you do not enjoy doing. • Freedom to love honestly is the freedom to lovewithout fear of judgment or recrimination, because you are notfree if you dont have the freedom to construct the type ofrelationships that really make you happy. • Freedom to escape and roam is the freedom to travelwithout fear and restrictions, because you are not free if, byvirtue of the arbitrary lines that governments place around theplanet, you cannot freely roam and interact with the othercitizens of the world, and because you are not free if you—asan adult—have to ask someone else for permission to take avacation. • Freedom to live a healthy existence is the freedom tocontrol your health, age less and live free from the fear ofdisease, because you are not free if, by virtue ofmisinformation, you are living in fear of disease and illness. These are just some of the ideas Id like to suggest toyou. The full range of the limits to our freedom are far beyondthe scope of this ebook. However, this is not intended to be atreatise on the global revolution in thought and action requiredfor true freedom. For now at least, this will be about seekingto carve your own path towards an ideal. Whats Possible We often hear that freedom is something elusive thatmust be “pursued.” Im suggesting here that with a few
adjustments to how you perceive freedom, and how to achieveit, that you can make a significant difference in your life. As Gabor Mate suggests, the very notion that freedomis something outside of yourself that you have to pursue isalready setting you up for embarking on a losing quest. Thesignificant barriers to freedom exist in your own mind. And,as Bob Marley sang, "Emancipate yourselves from mentalslavery. Not but ourselves can free our minds." Freedom is achievable if you decide it is not a pursuit,but a choice. Freedom is achievable if you detach from associatingfreedom with money. Freedom is achievable if you divest your happinessfrom the existence of a completing significant other. Freedom is achievable if you develop the courage tobelieve and act on what is in your best interest rather than themasses. Freedom is achievable if you dispense withneeding the approval or permission of others. The single cause of unhappiness is the unmetexpectation. Youve been led to believe, and therefore expectthings to be a certain way, and when that expectation does notplay out in reality, you become unhappy. The secret tohappiness, therefore, is to reevaluate and replace theexpectation. So, what do you replace it with? Yes, I know it seemsnatural to replace it with something. You can achieve the freedom to profit and prosper ifyou reevaluate and replace your concept of the currentlypracticed brand of survival and capitalism with what peopleare referring to as "individual capitalism." You can achieve the freedom to escape if youreevaluate and replace what you expect from your currentsociety with the awareness of what already exists in othersocieties. You can achieve the freedom to love more honestly ifyou reevaluate and replace your notions of monogamy,marriage, relationships, sexuality, etc, with ideas that are more
in alignment with your biological wiring. You can achieve the freedom from fear of disease andactually age less if you reevaluate and replace your notions ofthe body, health, wellness, illness, aging, and food with onebased in truth and simplicity. You can achieve the freedom to be great if youreevaluate and replace your notions of career and employmentwith a purpose-focused and passion-centered approach to life,career as well as business. Let me give you an example of the sort of reevaluationand replacement Im talking about. I once read a post about meon a website. After reading about my six-month, multi-cityadventures as the Jamaican in China, a forum member of apopular community forum posted the following: "I dontconsider someone who stays in $20 hostels to be successful."He was talking about me. Of course, everyone has the right to define successhowever they choose. It appears that the poster on that forumchooses to define success by the cost of the hotel room hestays in. I, however, define success as the freedom to stay inany hotel room, at whatever price I choose, for as long as Iwant without having to return to a job I hate. (By the way, youcan visit my Jamaican in China blog and search for "Hainan"to see what those rooms look like. In my opinion, this individual is making achievingfreedom more difficult than it needs to be. Lets suppose heand I are co-workers at the same job—a job we both hate—and were working hard to save up enough money to executeour escape. Now, since a $20US hostel is good enough for me,once Ive saved my $20, Im outta there! My co-worker, on theother hand, who refuses to stay in $20/night hostel, has to stayenslaved a bit longer to save up more. Its a personal choice, of course, but can you see howsimply changing your requirements can set you free faster?No, its not lowering your standards. Its simply re-evaluatingand replacing them based on what is the real priority. Whatsmore important? Staying in a $100/night hotel, or having thefreedom to stay in a $20/night hotel. Its your choice.
Paying the Price of Freedom (more to freedom thanmoney) The point is that when I talk about freedom, I’m nottalking about money. There are many entrepreneurs and manyemployees who earn much more income than I do who feeltrapped in aspects of their lives they wish to change. When I talk about my personal definition of freedom,I’m talking about the freedom from working a nine-to-fivejob, and the freedom to live in a location that suits my tastes,but what I’m primarily talking about is freedom from fear.What traps many people in their lives is the fear that comesfrom their belief system. There’s a wise saying that goes: "the only way tocontrol someone is to lie to them." In other words, you can’tbe controlled by the truth. A person’s belief in falsehoods,therefore, is what traps that individual. Therefore, the more you know the truth of certain,specific things, the freer you become. Let me explain bygiving you an example. First, however, let me say that thereason you’ll always hear references to health and diet in mybooks is because those references are really about takingcontrol of your body–your physical manifestation here on thisplanet–by choosing a different belief system that empowersand frees you rather than one that controls you by lying to youand causing you to live in fear. As a trillion dollar industry,health care is obviously a very important aspect of life and anarea about which people feel the most powerless and mostfearful. So, let me ask you a question. How much moneywould you need to earn each month, and how much would youneed to have stashed away in a savings "nest egg" account inorder to feel "free?" Have an answer? Good. Now, here’s thenext question: How would that number change if you didn’thave to worry about paying medical bills? It would probably
be less than originally stated. Like many people, your beliefsabout, and thus your fear of falling ill determine what youbelieve is required for you to be free. Imagine you were a person whose family members allgot cancer, and you worried continuously about getting ityourself. Now, let’s suppose that instead of what you currentlybelieve about your body, and about health and sickness, thatyou absolutely knew and were convinced of a different truth,say, for example that cancer is preventable and curable, andthat keeping the body alkaline (instead of acidic) preventscancer cells from developing in the body. Can you imagine how much freer you would feel (andthen, by extension, how much freer you would act) once youheld a different belief about cancer? That’s what I’m talkingabout. Think about it. Considering how expensive medicalcare can be, especially in the U.S., no practical amount ofmoney would free you from the debilitating effects (financialas well as physical) of buying into a belief system that sellsyou the falsehood that your health is a random effect of luckand chance, and/or that the only way to cure your afflictions iswith chemicals, radiation or by cutting off the afflictedappendage. So, you see, that’s how one belief can have atremendous effect on how free we think we are, or how easywe think it is to achieve that freedom in financial terms. Again, that’s just one example. People are trapped bytheir beliefs about many things including beliefs about theirroles, their nationality, their gender, about people from othernations, religion, spirituality, life and so on. Make no mistake about this: It’s not a lack of moneythat keeps people trapped. And make no mistake about this:it’s not the acquisition of money that makes people free. Ialways tell people that I made the decision to walk away fromcorporate employment on a Sunday, and then actually quit myjob the following Tuesday. My financial position had notchanged by a single penny in those two days. In fact, I had nosavings, I was in debt, and I was behind in my rent. Whatchanged was my belief system about what I believed waspossible for me, and what action I believed was required in
order for me to be happy. So, my point is this: You’d be surprised just what ittakes to be truly "free." You can’t achieve freedom unless youchange the beliefs that are keeping you trapped. You might besurprised just how little money is actually required to live freeand travel once you adopt a new set of beliefs (and prove themto yourself) about you, about the world, and about the universeyou live in. For there’s more to freedom than money. Now that we’ve talked a bit about defining freedom,the next thing I’d like to talk about is purpose—for that’s thebeginning point, as well as the entire journey of freedom.
CONVERSATION 2: “Finding your purpose is where it all begins!” Have you ever asked, "Why am I here? "What am Ihere to offer the world?" or "Whats the meaning of my life?" The answer to that question—your purpose—is acritical part of turning your passion into profit. Everyone ishere to experience, to grow and to become. Without anunderstanding of this underlying spiritual component of yourjourney here on earth, you may find that everything you doleaves you unfulfilled. Achieving freedom requires living a life that is inalignment with your purpose In my book, The Tao of Wow, I explore a conceptcalled "life themes" (introduced to me by Sylvia Browne’sbooks) based on the teachings and insights from a variety ofspiritual perspectives. According to the life theme concept,each and every one of us is here to live out a particular theme. In analyzing your life, have you noticed that certainsituations and circumstances seem to reveal consistent,repeating themes? Its no accident or mere coincidence. Manytraditions hold that you are most likely living out one or morethemes, challenges or roles in this lifetime. Take a look at your life. Based on the opportunities,decisions, circumstances that have taken place in your life, areyou here to build? Are you living out the poverty theme? Areyou an artisan? Are you an experiencer? Do you seekharmony? Are you a survivor? Is the theme of serving others,or of being an advocate, seeking justice, and making adifference one that comes up often? These and 37 otherthemes offer keys to what your purpose here is all about.Finding out the dominant themes in your life is an importantpart of finding your purpose. Other questions to ask to determine your purposeinclude: Whom and how will I help? What change am I hereto enact? What solutions am I here to offer? Whatcontribution will I make to the world?
Dont overlook this important aspect of the Passion toProfit process. It is absolutely essential that you have a cleareridea of your lifes purpose. I sincerely believe, and you willdiscover as well, that turning your passion into profit is reallya spiritual journey at its core. To help you with this step in the process, Ive created apersonality/purpose test that you should now have access to.The password and link were in the sign up confirmation email.If someone has forwarded you this ebook, youll need to signup at www.passionprofit.com to get it. Now, once you have an idea what your purpose is, thesecond part of achieving freedom, requires committing toconsistently living true to that purpose! I’m going to share a few excerpts from my book,Living True to Your Self, to explain how I define the livingtrue concept for myself. [begin excerpt] What it is For me, living true means recognizing those areas inmy life with which I am dissatisfied, and then doingsomething about that dissatisfaction, and not allowing inertiaor procrastination to keep me stagnant and settling for less. For me, living true means identifying the aspects of mylife that make me happy, and giving my self more of those. For me, living true means constantly assessing both thedissatisfaction and the elation, and using them both to evolvetowards my higher self. For example, once I recognized thatliving in New York and working at a job I hated felt like aslow death, no amount of money or status could keep methere. To stay would have been to condemn my self tounhappiness. That would not be living true to my self.Therefore, in order to live true to my self, it is necessary thatmy choices—everything I believe, think, say and do—achievethe following: They must support my survival. They must help me in discovering who I am. They must help me grow physically, mentally &spiritually.
They must help me perform my function. They must help me fulfill my purpose for being here. They must help me be creative. They must provide a certain amount of fun and joy. They must help me offer unconditional love to self andothers. Therefore, for me, living true to my self is defined as: "Making the daily choices in all areas of my life thatare in the best interests of my survival, evolution andprosperity, that aid the ongoing achievement of the highestphysical, mental and spiritual objectives of which I amcapable, that are based on the most correct assessment ofreality I have available, and that honor the evolving truth ofwho I am and who I choose to be, all in the personal pursuitof freedom, function, fun, as well as the highest good of all." But, Im getting ahead of my self. Let me share withyou how I arrived at that definition. Word by word: Defining living, true & self Before I could live true to my self, I first had to decidewhat that really meant. Now, at the time I made my earliestdecisions in my journey, I didnt actually sit down, plan orcontemplate that this was what I was doing—at least notconsciously. There was no conscious awareness that the way Iwanted to live my life was in any way going to be viewed as"living true." Its just something I did as a natural outgrowth ofwho I am, and what I want for my life. Its only in analyzing it now, years later, that theconsistent, underlying themes of my decisions have becomeclear. It has only now become clear as I attempt to find alogical sequence of thought and action that might be of benefitto others who want to do the same. In any event, my point is that I cannot "live true to myself" unless and until each word in that idea has beenadequately defined. In other words: 1. I cannot live true to my self unless I am clear whatliving is. 2. I cannot live true unless I know what truth is. 3. I cannot live true to my self without a clear concept
of self. So, the critical questions become: What is Living? What is True? What is the Self? Living Truism: In order to live true to your self, youmust seek definition and clarity. [end excerpt] I don’t want to give away too much here. Living Trueto Your Self helps you to define exactly what that phrasemeans to YOU! Not my definition, mind you, but yours!
CONVERSATION 3: "You CAN turn your passion into profit" (The Freedom to Profit and Prosper on your own terms!) The Freedom to Profit Here’s the underlying belief of my Turn Your Passioninto Profit Philosophy and Formula: “The only way to take control of your life, raise yourstandard of living and move beyond merely surviving is tocreate your own unique product or service that you offer toincreasing numbers of people in exchange for the things ofvalue that you desire. This simple formula applies to countriesas well as people. A self- sufficient economy has its ownproducts or services of value to export to the world. Similarly,a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchangein the global marketplace. That thing of value is based onyour natural talent, skill, or interest-in other words, yourpassion!” Your passion is not just any entrepreneurial businessidea that makes you money. There’s a big difference betweenturning your passion into profit, and simply turning a profit.Any business can make you money, and there’s certainlynothing wrong with finding a lucrative business and using it tocreate the reality you dream of. In fact, if more people wouldsimply do that, the level of happiness in the world wouldincrease tenfold. However, a passion-centered business answers to ahigher calling. Even a profitable business ventures may fail tosustain your interest, and eventually fail simply because it isnot meeting your spiritual needs. You may have some success,but may still end up looking for something else later. Its thatsomething else that we seek in this discussion.
A passion is also not someone else’s idea of what youshould be doing. Even though you can and will use otherpeople’s observations about your talents and strengths infiguring out your passion, the final choice should besomething that you decide is important to you. "My dad thinksId make a great doctor" is not a valid reason to pursue thatprofession. A passion cannot be an obligation or someone else’svision for you. It must be yours and yours alone. A JOB, by any other name One of the most common tendencies people have whenthey start thinking about doing something they love is to startlooking within standard professions. They hold out the hopethat changing professions will offer them a means of escapefrom the monotony and lack of fulfillment of their presentform of incarceration, er, I mean employment. Unaccustomedto thinking about making money in ways other than those withnames like lawyer, social worker and accountant, they makechoices within those pre-defined boxes. Its time, however, to think outside the box. As yousearch for your passion, dont make the mistake of simplytrading one form of employment for another. While its truethat some jobs may be more satisfying than others, and thatyou can achieve degrees of fulfillment from various forms ofemployment, what were doing here is something completelydifferent. Were not looking for an existing box within whichto fit ourselves. Were starting with our dreams, and makingour own box from scratch. "Your desire is your degree; results are your resume!" To live the Passion Profit lifestyle, no resume isneeded. There are no pre-qualifications, just your natural gifts,talents and interests. The lack of formal education or degreeswill not exclude you as long as you have a willingness tolearn. Your desire is the only resume youll need. Theres no degree required for what comes naturally.Your ability to deliver the results you promise is the only
validation and certification that others need to feel safe buyingfrom you or hiring you. Results matter. "What if I have too many passions?" Here is my best advice for those who are overwhelmedby the many things they like to do. In choosing a passion topursue, it’s not important what you choose, but simply thatyou choose. You are not obligated to stick with any decisionfor the rest of your life. Following your passion is like taking ajourney. Each decision is a step or station along the way.Each choice is a single step in a thousand mile journey. That’swhy it’s vitally important to simply head in the direction ofyour passion, because the journey is the most important thing. Six months from now you may be an entirely differentperson with different needs, desires and motivations that mayrequire completely new passions to express. Dont beparalyzed by thinking that today’s decision is written in stone,or that you are excluding all the other things that interest you.You are simply taking a critical first step. Go forth boldlyknowing that you can change your mind and your direction atany time! Feel better? "What if I dont have a passion?" The answer: EVERYONE has a passion. The fact thatyou exist is your guarantee that you do. Your passion is whoyou are. Everything about you is an expression of yourpassion. Your love is the expression of your passion. Yourenthusiasm is the expression of your passion. Your fear is anexpression of your passion. Your desires are the expressionsof your passion. Every thought you’ve ever had of new waysto express yourself is your passion speaking to you. Everyfeeling that has ever passed through you that beckons you tobe, do and have more is an expression of your passion. Yourpassion is the reason and rhyme for why you are here. Itreveals the underlying theme of your life and the role you havechosen to play in this drama of living. Your passion is whatguides your decisions in all of your choices. Your passioncommunicates its existence through that still small voice
within you when you choose to listen to it. The opposite of alife lived on passion, is a life of desperation, misery andfrustration. It is a life that appears confusing, chaotic and outof control. It is a life perfectly described by Henry DavidThoreau, who said "the mass of men live lives of quietdesperation." Therefore, if you’re experiencing any of thosefeelings, it’s not that you don’t have a passion; it’s anindication that you do, in fact, have a passion seeking attentionand expression. The question, therefore, is not whether you have apassion, but how do you discover it. You can discover yourpassion if you know which questions to ask, and answer themhonestly. That is what the "Discovery Exercises" in Turn YourPassion into Profit are designed to do. Any single one of thoseexercises may hold the key to helping you find your passion. Many people report they experience breakthroughssimply by asking themselves the question in the first exercise:"What do I want?" For many people, that question is one theyhave never really asked of themselves. Allowing their owndesires to be brought to the forefront of their minds, opens uplimitless possibilities that, quite literally, changes lives! "Step-by-Step: Purpose, to Passion, to Product toProfit!" Theres so much I want to share with you in thisconversation, but, because I know were all busy, Im going tocondense it into a few ideas that will help you betterunderstand the purpose behind my book, Turn Your PassionInto Profit, and give you some valuable information you canstart applying right away. There really is something muchdeeper going on here than simply starting a business. What you bring to the table The whole concept of turning your passion into profitis one that I developed back in 1999 when I coined the term"passionpreneur" to describe someone who has turned ahobby, talent or passion into a business. (i.e. passion-basedentrepreneur)
Since then, Ive devoted my life to developing apractical philosophy and a workable formula for using anypassion as the basis of a money making venture. For the record, the reason why I make no wild claimsof specific amounts of money to be made is that themotivations, the personal energy, the commitment, and thusthe results a person achieves when she turns her passion intoprofit vary widely. I helped one woman from a wealthy familylaunch her antiques store business online—using my WebsitesThat Sell™ strategy—and her first sale was $4,000! I helpedanother fellow launch an ebook and he never made more than$900/month before he sabotaged it and ran it into the ground. In other words, the amount of money that can be madedepends as much on whats done and how it is done, as it doeson the law of attraction (i.e. the individuals thoughts, mindset,expectations, and what they are accustomed to). So, the only thing I can offer you is a strategy that hasbeen proven to work. The rest is up to you. I know it worksbecause not only am I living the life I advocate and reapingthe benefits of these strategies, but Ive helped others do thesame. That’s the way nature planned it I know what youre thinking: "I dont have anythingunique about me—a passion—that I can use to start abusiness." To help you dispel that belief, think about this: Everything in nature has been endowed with what itneeds to survive. There is no living thing that isnt inherentlyequipped with the skills and abilities it needs to secure itscontinued existence. Whether through instinct, size,camouflage or speed, no gazelle, lion or giraffe has to go totrade school to learn how to survive. Thats the beauty of thedivine plan. We, as humans, are part of this plan and therefore,each one of us is given something that sets us apart fromeveryone else; something we can use to ensure our ownsurvival. Before industrialization sent hoards of us to the citiesto work on assembly lines in factories, we all used somethingwe did or owned and exchanged it for the things we couldnt
do or didnt own. Experts say that before the IndustrialRevolution, 80% of us where entrepreneurs. The fact is,everyone has unique and extraordinary potential. Unfortunately, because we now live in a capitalisticsociety, we rarely have a chance to be rewarded for theextraordinary potential we bring to the universe. Instead, asemployees, we are rewarded for our lowest commondenominator--something we share with just about everybodyelse: our time and our presence. Think about it. In your job,youre usually paid simply for showing up to a position for acertain number of hours to do a job which somebody elsecould just as easily do; Its this replaceability that ensures thatbig business--which competes on price--can stay in business. As I said, if people were compensated based on thereal value of their skills, big business couldnt survive. So the fact is, you do have a passion, perhaps several,whether you realize it or not. To help you discover, develop and ultimately profitfrom that passion, you need to know the Passion ProfitPhilosophy and Formula. The Actual Formula The Passion Profit Formula is a four-step process: Step1. Discover your purpose (which we’ve already covered) Step2. Develop your passion Step 3. Create a product Step 4.Market it for profit. Step 2. Discover Your Passion Once you have a better idea of why you are here on theplanet, your next step--discovering your passion--will actuallybecome a little easier. Why? Because youll discover, likemany people before you, that your passion (the thing you aregood at and love to do) is perfectly designed to help you fulfillyour purpose (the thing you are here to do). Ive said before: "Everyone has a passion. " The fact that everyone has a passion means that we allhave something that were good at; something that wereexperts in; something that provides us an inner sense offreedom, happiness, fulfillment and personal expression.
The three types of people I encounter in my PassionProfit workshops are (1) individuals who dont know whattheir passion is, (2)those who have too many, and (3)thosewho have a passion and dont know what to do with it. Type 1: Dont know where to look to find yourpassion? Your passion may be hiding in your hobbies; it maybe in your desire to make a difference; it may be a childhoodwish. Ive created exercises for discovering your passion.Wherever your passion is, the Discovery Exercises can helpyou find it. Type 2: Dont know how to choose your passion?Dont worry. The choice of which passion to pursue is LESSimportant than simply choosing. The important thing to realizeis that youre not making a FINAL choice, just the FIRST one.In other words, whichever passion you decide to pursue is justthe first step in a journey that may lead through differentexpressions of your passion. Like me, you may choose topursue say, a passion for music, which might then lead to youbecoming a writer, which may lead to public speaking andeventually coaching. I couldnt have predicted where I wouldend up (I wasnt always called a passion "Prophet"). But, I doknow that I wouldnt have gotten here had I not taken thatFIRST step. Type 3: Dont know if your passion has real value?Well, fear not. I have an entire chapter in Turn Your PassionInto Profit with insights just for you. For now, check out thenext section entitled "Develop a Product." Step 3: Develop a Product The fact that every passion has value means thateveryone can be rewarded for the pursuit of something thathas special meaning in his or her life. In order to do that,however, you must transform that talent into a product orservice that represents value to the rest of the world. YOUR PASSION AS PRODUCT I prefer creating products, because that way you havesomething that can sell even if youre not physically present.
Essentially, your passion is going to be a book, CD, DVD,invention, work of art, or some repackaging of an existingproduct. Ill show you how to create a tangible product,regardless of what your passion is. In order to create a winning idea, you need to knowwhat questions to ask in order to isolate the value of a passion.And you need to be able to determine what physical form orconceptual angle to attach to your passion in order tocommunicate that value to the world. And you need access tothe means to manufacture, print or assemble your product.YOUR PASSION AS SERVICE On the other hand, there are some passions that arebetter expressed as services. The trick here is knowing how toprice your service so that you remain profitable. So Iveprovided information on how to price your services so you cansurvive and thrive in business! The only thing you WONThave, once you finish reading Turn Your Passion Into Profit isan EXCUSE!!! Step 4: Market it for Profit Finally, step 4 is to sell your product. There are onlytwo ways to make money in business: charge more, or spendless. Ill show you how to do both, plus how to create streamsof repeat-business income from your current customers! From part-timers who make a few extra dollars, toMILLIONAIRE passion seekers who get nominated for theErnst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award (profiled inthe book), the skys the limit as to how much money you wantto make from your passion! REALLY! Its all possible! You NEED Money!! Dont let anyone fool you. Aslong as youre living in a capitalistic society, most of the goodthat youll do for others, the fun that youll have, and thesecurity youll achieve will come from the money you earn. But, Im sure youve also heard, that its not how muchyou make, but how much you keep. In order to keep more ofwhat you make, you need to maximize your profit. In order todo that, youll need to set up a legitimate business, launch it on
the Internet if applicable, and market it creatively andeffectively. That is what I did to be able to execute what Iaffectionately call my "escape from America," which you canread about in my books (see appendix). (For now, Ill simplytell you that I am literally on the beach on an island in thePacific as I write this chapter.) However, this series of conversations is not simplyabout money, and it isnt simply about escape. As I said in theintroduction, there is something much more serious underlyingmy encouragement for you to turn your passion into profit.There is something very significant happening in our worldthat is not being widely discussed, and if you are going tosurvive and thrive in the coming years, you need to knowsome truths that no one is talking about. Are you ready for afew of those truths? What everyone else is afraid to tell you My books and products are unique. I can say thatconfidently, because I know that I introduce concepts andideas that other business authors would never dare put in printor say in public. Many of these ideas Im referring to are notnew, nor did I originate them. You can hear some of them onso-called "fringe" websites, but the books that reach themainstream, the books sold by the major publishing houses,simply couldnt say these things. It would be economic suicideif they did. Youll understand why in a moment. You might besurprised how many mainstream books are edited to conformto political and religious beliefs of the owners and/or majorshareholders. I already shared with you one truth—that it isimpossible to raise your standard of living working a job. Itsintuitively obvious, but no one ever comes right out andadmits it. They cant. It would destroy the whole "AmericanDream" fairy tale. People have to keep believing that getting agood job and working for someone else is the key to achievingthe American Dream because if they didnt, the consumer-based, worker-dependent capitalist structure would crumble.
Be warned, Im about to cover some topics that people dontreally like to think or talk about, but they are vital if you are tocreate and execute a sensible, effective strategy for survivingand prospering in the future. Truth: There is a limit You cannot sustain infinite economic growth on aplanet with finite resources. Let me explain what I mean bythat statement, and rest assured, you dont need a degree ineconomics to follow along. The underlying premise and prime directive ofcapitalism is infinite growth. In other words, companies areexpected (and corporations, are mandated by law) tocontinuously increase profits. It seems perfectly plausible onits face: Make more money this year than you did last quarter,last year, year after year. It seems to be doable, as there arealways new markets to reach, new generations of consumerscoming of age, and consumable items that need to be replacedwhen they run out or get worn out. But what happens when you grow and grow and grow,and you cant squeeze any more productivity out of yourminimum wage workers? What happens when the oil supplyruns out? What happens when the market is saturated? Theseare not mysterious questions. You already know the answers.Just pick up a newspaper and youll see exactly what happens.To maintain infinite growth year after year, you must:- move your jobs offshore to places with cheaper labor - consolidate and merge with other companies - lay off some workers - cut corners and compromise quality - sacrifice the environment And that is exactly what is already happening.Companies are outsourcing. Airlines are merging or filing forbankruptcy protection. Jobs are being lost every day. Cars arebeing recalled due to poor quality. Oil spills due to negligencedestroy the environment. This is not something I have toconvince you of. Infinite growth is not sustainable. Everythingreaches a limit eventually. Some may argue that the recession,
and the banking crisis are evidence of us reaching that limit.Some argue, in fact, that the economy is already shot, and thatwere actually already in a depression. However, you wonthear any serious mainstream discussions about this. A healthy economy is based on healthy consumerconfidence, so, there is an unspoken agreement in the media,among Wall Street pundits, and in government, that certaintopics will not be addressed publicly so as not to cause adecrease in consumer confidence. Truth: We are too dependent on "the grid" Do you remember when fears were rampant that thechangeover to the year 2000, would cause massive disruptionand chaos due to computer systems no having been designedfor that year? People feared that banking records would belost, that airplanes would fall out of the sky, and othercatastrophes would ensue. Some of the reactions were prettyextreme, but it highlighted the realization that we asindividuals and as a society are entirely too dependent oncertain systems that our not under our control. Recently, in 2010, air traffic was shut down throughoutEurope due to volcanic ash in the air. Fishing and tourism inthe Gulf of Mexico are being affected by oil spills. Heres a very simple question: What would you do ifshipments to your local supermarket, or fuel delivery to yourlocal gas station suddenly stopped? Many of us, especiallythose in crowded cities with no access to other food supplies,are 100% dependent on in-bound deliveries for our survival. You dont have to be fanatic about it, but it would bewise to have a plan for survival for any unforeseencontingency that disrupts the food supply or flow of anynecessary commodities. I dont cover the specifics of such a plan in Turn YourPassion Into Profit. However, one of the ways you can reduceyour dependence on the system the way it is currentlystructured, is to create streams of income that allow you to bemore independent, and to secure access to means ofsustenance that others who are too pre-occupied with basicsurvival do not. Other strategies include: simplify, reduce,
grow your own, stock up... Again, this is not meant to scare you, but think aboutthis for a minute. Do you think the people with means andmoney arent doing things to prepare for future recessions,depressions and other contingencies? Do you thinkmillionaires are less concerned about keeping their economicadvantage? They are MORE concerned, and they are doingthings in anticipation. However, no wealthy CEO or celebrityis going to go on Oprah and say "Im investing in gold," or"Im setting up a residence in Costa Rica just in case." Dont let the absence of this discussion in themainstream blind you to the fact that it is a real concern. Truth: The Truth of Escape The whole underlying premise of both Turn YourPassion Into Profit and Living True to Your Self is to help youprepare, plan and execute your "escape." Escape takes manyforms. You can escape the rat race. You can escapedependence on employee income. You can escape your nine-to-five. You can escape your current lifestyle. You can escapeyour dependence on the grid. However you define it, the onlyway to execute that escape is to begin to create separate,independent, grid-free streams of income that canprogressively free you from the trap you are currently in. You need a plan. Putting it all together in a sensible plan So, what does all this mean? Again, Im not trying to scare you. Im simplysuggesting that, given some of the truths Ive presented andwhat you already see happening around you, you need to havea plan of action and escape. Given that it is impossible to raise your standard ofliving working a job, whats your plan? Given that you will likely never be paid what yourereally worth as long as you are an employee, whats your plan? Given that infinite growth is unsustainable, and thatrecession is inevitable, whats your plan?
Given that it is possible your current source of incomemay be affected by such a recession, whats your plan? Given that the average persons spending power isdecreasing, whats your plan? The Short Term Plan Everyones plan is going to be a little different. Imgoing to suggest, however, that any short-term plan youdevelop should include the following: 1.Dont compete for money When you are offering something that another personcan offer, the most logical strategy is to compete on price.Once you decide to do that, your business is doomed. Thatswhat happened to the airlines. Competition based on price isnot sustainable. 2. Instead, create for money. In other words, create something new such that youcan set your own price and for which there is no competition. 3. Sell to the people with money In the short term, one of the best ways to make yourincome recession-proof is to sell to the people with themoney--the people who are affected last and affected least bythe overall decrease in consumer spending power.4. Increase your income streams Its been said, many ways: Create multiple streams ofincome, diversify your portfolio. Good advice. Having morethan one channel of income is absolutely essential for yoursurvival. The Long Term Plan In the long term, you must: 1. reduce your dependence on systems outside of yourcontrol.
2. spend your time doing what you love. I sincerely believe that you never fully enjoy life to itsfullest, nor really have the sort of fun life was meant to beunless youre actively pursuing your passion!! Solution: Start a business based on your passion! But you cant just start any business. If you simply starta franchise for example, based on what you read in thebusiness magazines, youll find yourself in the samepredicament that other businesses now find themselves in. Ifyou start a business that competes with others, youlleventually run into the same wall, and find that competing onprice is unsustainable. If you start a business that depletes theenvironment and is dependent on minimum wage workers,youll run into the same limits that others are facing. Theremust be a new paradigm. So, what sort of business to start? One based on yourpassion. Quite simply, turning your passion into profit allowsyou to begin executing a plan that can help you - make a little extra money OR attract massive wealth, - create money, rather than compete for it - sell to the people with money - achieve the freedom to position yourself for thefuture - reduce your dependence on the existing structure - live the lifestyle of your dreams Many years ago, when I found myself hating my job,feeling like a little piece of me was dying every day, my secretplan was to free myself from corporate America, createstreams of income that didnt require my presence, escape tosomewhere less dependent on the grid, live a life closer tonature, meet unique and interesting people, while still makinga contribution to society. The only way I was able to achievethat was to execute a strategy that started with turning mypassion into profit. Its not for everybody. That was MYplan.....whats yours?
CONVERSATION 4: "The Trouble with Capitalism" Contradiction? So, here I am encouraging you to turn your passioninto profit, while every now and then, if you read my column,and writings, youll hear my ethical opposition to capitalismand its effect on the world. Is there a contradiction here?Perhaps, but first some definitions are in order. Capitalism defined "Capitalism" is defined in the textbooks [andwikipedia] as: "an economic system in which the means ofproduction are privately owned and operated for a privateprofit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price,distribution, and investments are made by private actors inthe market rather than by central planning by the government;profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, andwages are paid to workers employed by businesses andcompanies." The operative word in that definition is "profit." Incapitalism, the motive for producing goods and services is tosell them for a profit, not to satisfy peoples needs. Thecapitalists prime directive could be stated as: "We do WHAT we do, we do all that we CAN do, andwe do what we MUST do, in order to earn a profit. Nothingelse matters." This is a very important point to file away in yourmind for future reference. Capitalism practiced With that said, what we commonly experience as theeffects of capitalism, and the profit motive behind it, is a bitless clinical, and has very noticeable and often severeconsequences. Admittedly, people on various ends of theideological spectrum will define capitalism and its effects
quite differently. Heres my take on some of the distinguishingfeatures of capitalism as practiced in our society. 1. Exploitation/class distinction The capitalist exploits the wage earner for her laborand pays her the lowest wage possible as a percentage of thevalue she creates for the private capitalist owners. In acapitalism-as-practiced system, you can never be paid the truevalue of your time and labor. That would negate the wholeprofit motive. Similarly, the land and its natural resources areexploited by capitalists who take, deplete and destroy, butrarely replenish. As a result of this exploitation of people and planet,capitalism, as it is allowed to be practiced, invariably creates aworking class and a capitalist class-i.e. the "have nots," andthe "haves." 2. No real value created The most glaringly obvious fallacy of the wholesystem is that in the greater scheme of this concept we call lifeon the planet, theres no real value being created by capitalism-as-practiced. In other words, theres activity, theresdistraction, theres buying and selling, and what passes foreconomic growth, to be sure, but very little of real value istransferred from seller to buyer. Theres no inherent value to a high-priced luxury carthat costs $200,000, is there? Its value is a figment of onesimagination. The seller has convinced you that you need suchan extravagance. The buyer is convinced that he does. Even among the basics of food, clothing and shelter,the value in most of the things we strive for are totallycontrived! About 99 percent of what exists to be sold in theaverage supermarket has no real value. The frozen dinners, thecanned goods, the preserved, colored, flavored, pesticide-sprayed food has limited nutritional value and is, in manycases, actually harmful to your health. It is destructive and hasnegative value. However, these products were all created or
harvested using the time and labor of individuals who are paida minimum wage, and using the resources of the land, which isexploited but not replenished. In other words, the things ofreal value that we have (our time, labor and the planetsresources) are traded for, or converted into these things ofcontrived, imaginary value (money, status), and are then soldto us for more than the real value used to create them...for theultimate benefit of the private capitalist owners. Capitalism in a nutshell So, essentially, you have an economic system and away of life fueled by advertising which encouragesconsumerism, and that consumerism is based on the desire fornon-essential goods of imaginary (and even negative) value,all built on the premise of exploitation. Said another way: In order to survive, people areconvinced to trade their most valuable asset of real value—their time—for pieces of paper of fluctuating, and ever-decreasing value, so that they can purchase things of lowerand negative value that they and others have created. To keepthe whole system going, they are encouraged to buy thingsthey do not need, to eat food that provides no health benefits,and to drive cars that pollute the air, and wear clothes that areproduced in ways that exploit those who do the work to createthem, that deplete the Earths natural resources and ultimatelylower the quality of life for the planets inhabitants. But its all prosperity, isnt it? At this moment, Im looking out of my hotel room at ahigh-rise building construction in a huge lot across the street.Theres the buzz of activity that says capitalism all over it. Lets assume its another hotel. Is this a sign ofprosperity? Sure, everyone benefits in some way. Architectsand engineers are rewarded for their design. Constructionworkers earn a salary. Suppliers sell their lumber and concrete.The owners of neighboring restaurants and shops benefit fromthe mealtime activity. Furthermore, when the hotel opens,even more workers are employed, and the citys leaders canboast that the economy is boosted based on the number of jobs
created. Hotel profits increase, shareowners reap dividends,and everybodys happy! Thats prosperity, isnt it? Perhaps.But, look, theres a flaw in the foundation. The foundational flaws There are a few beliefs and practices Ive identified thatpoint to flaws in the foundation of capitalist thinking1. Ive already alluded to one: the concept that no exchange ofreal value is required to be successful at capitalism. Thisviolates a basic ethical principle of true prosperity thatrequires that equivalent value be exchanged such that bothparties benefit.2. Infinite growth. Economic growth in capitalism-as-practiced is based on the belief that every month and everyquarter, the capitalist corporation can (and must) post higherand higher profits. This is flawed thinking. You cannot sustaininfinite growth on a planet with finite resources. Somethinghas to give. So, how do we reconcile our wish to turn our passionsinto profit, without violating our ethics, and/or without fallinginto the trap of an essentially flawed business premise? Revolution! I recently watched Capitalism: A Love Story, the filmby Michael Moore, which highlights the more evil aspects ofthe greed, the callousness, the exploitation and disregard forhumanity that have been encouraged and elevated to an art bycapitalisms "profit at all costs" mentality. This, to me, is the most glaring downside to the wholepursuit of business within a capitalist ideal: that peopleconfuse and equate exploitation with survival and prosperity.The truth, however, is that survival and prosperity are allpossible without having to resort to capitalisms dark side. One key point made in the movie is that if we are tochange the system as it is practiced, such a change needs to beglobal and total. In other words, nothing short of a revolution,a complete dismantling and overhaul of the entire system will
work to stop the exploitation and save the planet. However, there are many obvious, and not so obviouschallenges to such a revolution. First of all, according to thefilm: "The system has built into it propaganda: the ability toconvince people who are victimized by the system to supportthe system and see it as a good." In other words, some of the most vocal resistance tochanging the system will come from those at the very bottomof the systems hierarchy—the workers—who have beenconvinced that their future success is tied in to maintainingthings as they are. Rethinking the paradigm Therefore, we must first dispel many misconceptionsabout what capitalism is, and also and see it clearly for what itisnt. We must uproot a fundamental belief system about whatit means to be successful within this paradigm. This may bethe greatest challenge. In fact, even now, as you read this, youtoo, may be experiencing thoughts and words like"subversive," "un-American," "dictatorship," etc. as a result ofthe emotional connection many people have with what itmeans to strive within a capitalist ideal. However, here are some new ideas, among manyothers that one needs to accept and realize as true: • Capitalism does not provide for the well being of allpeople.• Capitalism enriches one class at the expense of another.• Capitalism does not equal democracy and freedom.• Capitalism is not holy and just.• Success in business need not be a win-lose proposition.• Harm is being done to others as well as the planet.
Remaking the paradigm As these changes in thought take hold, we can thenbegin to change our behavior. The things we create and sell,how we create them, and the underlying basis of it all can beremade according to some new ideals including: • Refuse to create or sell anything that destroys life,lowers the quality of life, infringes on the rights and freedomsof others or that is manufactured in ways that do so.• Practice "fair exchange" (not exploitation) as the basis ofprosperity. • Create value for the consumer in the form of aproduct (definition of a product: "a high quality object orservice in the hands of the consumer, in exchange for avaluable.") • Implement democratic ideals in the marketplace. Oneenlightening feature of Moores film focused on businessesthat are actually owned and operated by the owners in a truedemocratic one-person, one-vote fashion. What it will require This new paradigm will require new ways of being:• It will require being an independent thinker.• It will require having an inviolable set of beliefs andbehaviors, and the courage to act on them despite how themasses act.• It will require sticking to those beliefs and behaviors and toaccept the consequences of those actions.• It will require developing a long-time perspective. In otherwords, it means realizing that your activities haveconsequences on others and on the planet, and choosing to actbased on the long-term consequences of your actions.
The reconcile Admittedly, the above is a gross simplification of acomplex topic. However, if such a revolution in thought andpractice is to come, it must be adopted first by those on alocal, individual level. Such a revolution will only come whenthere are sufficient numbers of people who are thinking andacting differently about themselves, about their goals, and therights and freedoms of others, and the sustainability of ouractions and practices on the planet. Only then can we trulyreconcile our pursuits of "profit" so as not to lose our souls inthe process as we pursue true prosperity. As the title of a book, Turn Your Passion intoSustainability doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, butperhaps those of us who consider ourselves enlightened canunofficially choose a new mantra: Turn Your Passion Into(True) Prosperity! Now THAT has a nice ring to it! CONVERSATION 5: "The Tao of Shawshank" (12 Rules for Escaping the Rat Race & other limitations) Tao is a Chinese word which, loosely translated, means"way." The letter "t" is an approximation of a Chinese sound withno exact English equivalent. The most accurate rendition would be acombination "t" & "d" sound, as in "Tdhow." Many pronounce it"Dow", as in "Dow Jones" (to rhyme with "how" or "now"). I giveyou, therefore, The Way of Shawshank One of my all-time favorite movies is The ShawshankRedemption which stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.Robbins plays Andy Dufresne (pronounced doo-FRANE), aman wrongfully imprisoned. Freeman plays "Red," a fellowinmate who becomes Andys friend and confidante. While others cite the themes of "transformation" aswell as "maintaining integrity in places and situations whereintegrity is lacking" as the movies primary messages, its
immediate appeal to me was what I recognized and related toas the themes of escape and freedom—concepts that figureprominently in my own world view and experiences. With no intention to trivialize the stark reality andprofound experience that one goes through when one isactually physically incarcerated, I submit to you that many oflifes situations can be likened to being confined, restricted,caged or otherwise imprisoned. When I was employed in the corporate world, I felt asif I was in a sort of prison, as if a part of me was dying eachday I showed up for work. I felt trapped. Confined. Caged. I hate to give away the plot of a movie out of respect ofthose who have not yet seen it, but The ShawshankRedemption is a perfect metaphor for life. The movie offers ablueprint for what 90% of us in the world should know, shoulddo, and should become in order to survive, thrive, prosper, andbe free. Watch it (again) so you can fully appreciate the Wayof Shawshank and the following 12 lessons one can gleanwhen applied to a career, relationship, lifestyle etc. in whichone feels trapped, stuck or otherwise restricted:12 SHAWSHANK RULES FOR ESCAPE: 1. Sometimes life and its circumstances can be like aprison.2. Even the innocent can be imprisoned. [SCENE: At thebeginning of the movie, despite his innocence, Andy isimprisoned based on circumstantial evidence.]3. Knowing the truth about who you really are (your guilt orinnocence), or about the world around you, is sometimes notenough to set you free. Sometimes justice comes only to thosewho help themselves. [SCENE: Later in the movie, he is keptat Shawshank by an uncaring warden, despite the discovery ofnew evidence that might prove his innocence.]4. Some will attack you. Some will discredit you. Some will“screw” you over. You may have to put up with a lot of that
on a regular basis. Do not let it change you. Bide your time,and build your castles in your sleep. Endure. [SCENE: Shortlyafter arriving in prison, Andy is attacked and raped by TheSisters a gang of bull queers who terrorize and almostbreak Andys spirit. This continues for two years until a strokeof fortune (for Andy, at least) ends it.]5. Plan your escape. Keep it a secret while you work on it, foreven your good friends may dissuade you from having andacting on your hopes and dreams. [SCENE: We learn laterthat Andy has been methodically and diligently orchestratinghis escape for 10 years. At one point, his friend Red, who hasbeen denied release for twenty years, discourages Andy bysaying that hope is a dangerous thing.] 6. Sometimes it is necessary to construct a fantasy or afacade that others see, to hide your true intentions. But justbehind it, on the other side of your fantasy, behind the passionthat others see, often lies your path to escape. [SCENE: Andyrequests a poster of the latest sex symbol of the day. Behindthe huge poster that adorns his cell wall lies an escape tunnelhes been constructing for ten years.]7. One of the best ways to maintain your sanity while trappedis to find what youre good at (a passion) and do it, even if itbenefits those who are your jailers, but never, ever lose sightof your ultimate goal. Sometimes its necessary to work withinand support a flawed or evil system in the process ofmasterminding your eventual escape from it. [SCENE: Andystalent for accounting and tax law allows him to earn amodicum of freedom and good favor from the prison officialsand guards by providing tax consulting, trust/investmentadvice and filing services for the guards and warden. Later,he provides bookkeeping services for the warden to launderillicitly obtained funds the warden is receiving.]8. Feel free to break the rules of confinement on occasion, aslong as youre aware of, and prepared to suffer theconsequences. Do not live in fear of punishment or retaliation.
They cant take your “music” away from you. [SCENE: Andylocks himself in the wardens office and plays an opera recordover the prison public address system. He does it to offerhimself and his fellow inmates a brief but welcomed bit ofhumanity and beauty in their drab, dehumanizing existence.He is punished with two weeks of solitary confinement in thehole. Upon his release, reunited with his fellow prisoners, hecomments, Easiest time I ever did!]9. Sometimes, it may be necessary to accept that some peoplehave been in prison for so long that they neither can nor wantto function outside of its walls. Not everyone is seekingescape. Do not let this fact change you, or have you resign inyour determination to be free. Use it to empower your self towalk a different path. "These walls are funny. First you hateem... then you get used to em... after a while you start todepend on them. Thats what it means to beinstitutionalized."--Morgan Freeman as "Red" [SCENE:Brooks, a fellow inmate who spent 50 years in prison beforebeing released, is reluctant to be set free and, after failing tomake the adjustment to life on the outside, ends up taking hislife.] 10. When the time is right, execute your escape. Takeaction. In executing your escape, you may have to go througheven more dirt, filth, and "crap" to get to the other side. Bringa bar of soap. [SCENE: In the movies climactic escape scene,Andy has to crawl through 500 yards (the length of 5 footballfields) through a sewer pipe with human waste to finallyemerge on the outside of Shawshank Prison and to freedom!]11. Once on the other side, you can live the life youve alwaysenvisioned, and live true to your self. [SCENE: Once free,true to the vision of the dream life he held on to while inprison, Andy escapes to a Mexican coastal town to restore oldboats!]12. If you want to double the fun, bring a friend and
confidante along. [See the movie!] The plot of The Shawshank Redemption mirrors aneffective three-part strategy for escaping the rat race: 1.Reclaim your power. 2. Break Free. 3. Live True to Your Self.How do you reclaim your power? In order to reclaim your power, you must first knowthe truth that there is, in fact, power to be reclaimed. Thispower is the nature of your being. You were born with it.However, for most of us, it is being suppressed. What power am I referring to? Im speaking of thepower to create—the power to envision a specific reality andthen to make that reality come true. That power can be appliedto your career, your social life, your financial situation, andoverall prosperity. You have the power to envision somethingother than what you are currently experiencing, and then totake steps to move towards that vision. A new, morerewarding career? More money? Fulfilling relationship? Adifferent lifestyle? Purpose? Passion? Profit? Its all withinyour power. If you do not believe this, then someone has liedto you. Its said that knowledge is power. In order to fullyreclaim your power, therefore, you must discover what you arebeing deceived about in all areas of your life. As each layer ofdeception is exposed, your power increases.How do you break free? In order to break free, you must take action. Once youknow there is another way to be, another reality "on theoutside," you can then break free from the cage you are nowliving in. You must take "risks." However, armed with theawareness of the power you have reclaimed, you will nolonger see these actions as the risks they once appeared to be.They will seem to you the only course of action that makesany sense.How do you live true to your self? The answer to that question will be different for each
person. Everyone seeks a unique payoff; everyone seeks aunique experience of living, a unique experience of truth, anda unique experience of the self. However, if you are not currently living the life youwish to live, then I suggest that you must first (re)defineliving. Then, as indicated above, (re)define truth. Then(re)define the self if you are to gain clarity about what lifemeans to you. Remember, also, that these steps are non-linear. Inother words, they are not executed sequentially but as parallelprocesses. You will always be reclaiming more and more ofyour power, you will always be breaking free in different waysevery day, and on many levels you will always be improvingyour definition of what it means to live true to your self. One Day Ill Fly away "I have to remind myself that some birds arent meantto be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when theyfly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock themup does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that muchmore drab and empty that theyre gone." Those words from the movie, echo what MorganFreemans character, Red, felt in his heart towards his friend,Andy after his escape. Your decision to empower, escape andlive true to your self may remove you from the day-to-dayreality of those whom you have to leave behind. However,perhaps too, like Andy Dufresne, your escape will offer a paththat others can follow to find their own happiness! You owe itto your self—and to them—to lead the way. See you on theoutside! ### [end Tao of Shawshank]
CONVERSATION 6: "The carrot conversation" (an excerpt from The Ageless Adept) Our first health freedom talk: The CarrotConversation In order to understand the philosophy behind agereversal, it is necessary to redefine a few concepts, includingthe nature of food. This is typically the first conversation Ihave with people concerning the nature of real food. I call itthe Carrot Conversation. [Excerpt from the Ageless Adept] "Remember, nature is perfect and foolproof, right?Therefore, the presumption is that everything that the bodyever has or ever will require for sustenance has always existedand was provided at the beginning." "So how do we know what was here at the beginning?"I asked. "The answer to everything is in what I call the OriginalScene, my friend. So to answer your question, lets do a littleexercise in observation. Close your eyes. Now picture alandscape without supermarkets, delicatessens, restaurants, hotdog stands or vending machines. What do you have left?" "Starbucks," I said jokingly. Focus, my friend," the Adept said. "Grass and trees," I said. "Anything else?" asked the Adept. "The sky?" I said. "Anything else?" he asked again. "Rivers, mountains, flowers." "And?" "Animals, birds, fish. Stones, rocks," I continued. "Anything else? Look in the ground, on the plants andon the trees." "Oh, fruits, vegetables, nuts," I said. "Good, youve described just about everything that
existed in natures perfection. Youve just described real food." "Im confused," I said. "Thats what I eat now. I eatfruits. I eat vegetables, nuts, seeds. But Im still sick. And so iseveryone I know. What am I doing wrong? Are you telling meIm eating them wrong?" In a way, yes," the Adept said. "Lets go back to ourscene. Close your eyes again." "Now, imagine that youre hungry. Walk over to a fruittree and pick the fruit. Youll notice that there are no cans, noboxes, no preservatives, no concentrates, no pasteurizationvats, no other processes or people in- between you and yourfood." "I got that." "Now, reach into the ground and pull out a carrot." "Ok. Got it." "If you place this carrot in the ground, will it sprout?" "Yes," I replied. "If you steam it, even for just a minute, and then put itin the ground, will it sprout?" "Um, no," I replied. "I dont think so." "If you dehydrate it, pulverize it into a powder andthen put it back in the ground, will it sprout?" "Definitely not," I said. "Correct. Can you see, therefore, that steaming orpulverizing changes something fundamental in the carrot? It isno longer a carrot. It may taste like a carrot. It may feel like a carrot. But it no longer has all theproperties of a living carrot." "So are you saying that cooking our food is whatskilling us? That we shouldnt eat anything cooked?" "Im saying that to sustain life," the Adept replied,"you must eat live food. Remember, you are always free to doanything you wish. Just remember the Essential Truth thatthere are always effects from that cause. Look to nature foryour answers. If it isnt in the original scene, it isnt food, andtherefore, not part of the original code. Do you see cows stir-frying their grass before grazing?" he asked. "The more real food you can include in your diet," he
continued, "the more in sync with nature you will become.And whatever is of nature will remain young because nature isconstantly renewing itself. Thats an important point. Did youcatch it?" "Whatever is made from nature stays young becausenature renews itself," I repeated. "So eat. But before you do, simply ask yourself, whatis my intention? Is it simply to experience the pleasurabletaste of a meal? Or is it to create health and renewal?" "To be honest, Adept, I really have to think about thatone. All my life Ive basically thought of great- tasting food asone of lifes inalienable rights and pleasures. Im not sure howI feel about giving that up." "Well, you dont have to. The two are not mutuallyexclusive, you know. You can in fact, have great taste withgood health. Have you been enjoying the meals Ive beenpreparing?" I nodded. "Absolutely!" "So, you see for yourself that it is possible. We justhavent been taught how to choose, prepare or eat food in thatway. So heres a test. Based on what you now know, you cananswer this question for yourself. Are potato chips real food?"he asked. "Well, you cant put them into the ground and growsomething, so I guess the answer is no. A shame too, causethey taste soooo good!" "Remember, you can eat anything you like. Thequestion is: are you prepared for the effects? One of the effectsof a high-sugar, high-salt, processed diet is stress on the body,an increase in the activity of free-radicals and an out-of-balance system. "Think about your body and its code like a cardesigned to operate on a certain grade of fuel. You can use anygrade fuel you like, but you wont get the optimumperformance. But even with substandard fuel in our bodies,natures foolproof mechanism compensates and still allows usto operate fairly well for many years. You might say the bodyis almost fuel-proof. But, in time, just like your car, youll startto see the effects of using low-grade fuel. So, again, youre an