Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Great Negotiator

Travelling to other countries, it quickly becomes appearant that nearly everything is negotiable.  This concept is foreign to many Americans as we pay "sticker price" for most items without thinking about it.  Sure, there are times where negotiation comes into play, but by and large it is not part of our culture.  Travel to China or India however, and its a completely different story, where you negotiate for nearly everything from food, to merchandise, to cab fare, and more.  While the skills of constant negotation are intricate take time to develop, one rule prevails over all others:  You have to be willing to walk away in order to get what you want.

The key to getting what you want is successfully negotiating in the ultimate game of life.  If you want to be rich, you have to negotiate with Life the terms on which to acheive that.  If you want to live on a beach on a tropical island, you have to negotiate with Life the terms on which to acheive that.  If you want to travel the world, you have to negotiate with Life the terms on which to acheive that.  If you want to live in a cabin in the woods, you have to negotiate with Life the terms on which to acheive that.

And while the skills of constant negotation are intricate and take time to master, one rule prevails over all others:  You have to be willing to walk away in order to get what you want.  Let me elaborate.

Many people are stuck in their lives, not knowing how to achieve their dreams, desires, and ambitions.  In their mental scripts there are a million reasons why it won't work, and few if any reasons why it will work.  That is a poor position from which to negotiate your own terms.  The reason one cannot successfully negotiate is because they are not willing to walk away from what they have in order to achieve it.  Perhaps you have the (false) security of a 9-5 job, or you have a decent house.  Perhaps you are poor, but get by just fine.  Perhaps you run a small business, and can make ends meet, but haven't been able to expand to the next level.  These things are all great, but often hold us back because we are not willing to walk away from them.  We are not willing to walk away toward something greater, and we are not willing to walk away risking losing it all.  But if you want to be successful you must be willing.  And in your journey toward success at some point you will be willing to walk away.

Note that I say willing to walk away.  Its not always the case that you will have to, but if you don't put that as an option, you have no levarage in your negotiations with Life.  You will be willing to walk away when moment comes because it will lead to your success in the adventure you pursue. You will get the best deal from life only when you learn to negotiate with the Great Negotiator.  Getting what you want out of life requires you to choose a direction and negotiate until you reach your destination getting the best deal you can along the way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It is beneficial to have a direction in which to go.  It does not matter what that direction is, but it is important to choose one and start going that way.  You may be side-tracked, lost, or turned around in the process.  No matter.  It is important to go anyway.  By standing still, you fade away and lose the great experience of Life.  Pick a direction and start your journey.  Take action to acheive what is in your heart and what you feel in the essence of your being.  Become yourself.  The advancement you will bring to your life, and to the world will change you for the better.  This is a garauntee.  However, if you stand still you will get nothing.  Begin your journey in the direction that you have chosen and become yourself. 

This is a direction in which only you can travel, and it will be slow-going, bringing almost imperceptable gains, but in time you will see that you have begun to master your life.  It does not matter the direction as you will find the way during your travels, but you must pick a direction and start going.  Take today to start travelling in the direction of your choice.  Be your own master.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


A lesson I have learned in my practice of Ba Gua is to learn balance through imbalance.  I have recently been reflecting on this lesson and it has reminded me of the ying-yang symbol.  The ying-yang symbol is very ancient and developed according to the observed principle of balance.  Everything ultimately results in balance.  Combined with the notion of constant change, you begin to see that there are ups and downs to everything.  The circular shape of the ying yang represents the flowing change, and the black white dimensions show the contrast between dominant energies.    The circle of the opposite  color within each domain shows that everything has a tinge of its opposite within it.  This simple symbol becomes quite complex when analyzed over time and takes on an almost divine meaning.  But how does one use this meaning in daily life? 

I recently wrote about sustainability, and the ying-yang symbol represents the balance I touched on in that post.  Not just in the environment, but in everything.  For every excess, there is poverty, for every euphoria, there is depression, for every good day, there is a bad day.  These are the trials and tribulations of our life.  Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to believe in imbalance.  We want constant excess, euphoria, and everlasting good days.  Instead of appreciating and embracing the balance of things, we fight it at all costs.  But its important to realize that in order to understand excess, one must experience poverty.  In order to understand happiness, one must experience sadness, and in order to appreciate a good day, one must have experienced a bad day.  The opposites give meaning to eachother.  While its important to experience the imbalance of excess in order to understand balance, it is detrimental to continually seek imbalance.  Work on bringing balance into your life.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tale of a Preacher

A man walked into the woods to get relief from the relentless sun.  As he walked he noticed the life around him and had a moment of enlightenment as the spirit of the woods imparted to him a message of the way life is meant to be.  As he continued walking, he came upon a path leading up a mountain and decided to climb to the top.  Looking out over the valley after his long journey to the top, he noticed that the sun was nearly setting and the world was nearly quiet.  He himself could not be quiet however, as the message imparted on him by the woods had been turning in his head for the entire climb, and he knew that he had discovered a sacred secret about life.  On the mountain top he realized he was alone, with no one but himself and the mountain with which to speak.  He decided however that his newfound message was too valuable to keep to himself and proceeded to speak the meaning of life he learned from the woods as he understood it.  As he finished speaking this divine secret, he made a deep etching capturing the essence of his words on a giant stone next to where he was sitting, and the sun fell behind the horizon just as he finished, leading to a quiet stillness in the valley and in himself.  He realized the world had just been changed by his words, by his message, even if only in the smallest sense.  He slept a long deep dreamless sleep and when he awoke, the valley had also been awakened, buzzing and humming its own message in return.  The man quickly descended the mountain, and exited the wood, to breathe the fresh sun-drenched air.  He had only his message to give henceforth, and understood the little miracle that he spoke changed the world everywhere he went.  He understood the importance of his impact as his message was imparted to others so that they, after a long journey of their own, could speak it as they understood it.