Money & Happiness Over Service And Creation Leads To No Money & No Happiness

It’s like all the money and savings experts say about how to actually save money, “Pay yourself first.”

If you don’t make the conscious, deliberate commitment to produce before you consume, you’ll be sucked into the current, and you won’t come out alive.

 

Money is important, it’s just not the most important thing. When we put money first, before virtues, it will never last. Whatever strategy where money comes before virtues, it may last for a while, but not for the long term.

When we put happiness first, before virtues, the happiness will not last either. Happiness, like money, is a by-product of the path, not the path itself. Money and happiness can indicate how we’re doing, but they’re not the path itself.

First virtues, then the by-products of those virtues. That’s the only way to sustain being ALIVE.

Life is short, and we’re all going to die, so why not go for every virtuous thing we want? Either way, we’re already dead.

So go for all of it. Don’t buy your own excuses. Learn how to sustain your passion and your joy. Cut out the bullshit and incorporate the good shit. Run toward your fear, and if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk then crawl, and if you can’t crawl toward your fear, then at least be willing to look in its direction.

Drop those things that drain you and adopt those which fuel you.

It’s a rather simple equation, but it’s virtually impossible unless we have help from people who will hold us accountable and challenge us to see more and to be just a little truer than our current self-concepts would have us believe we are.

The comfort strategy will work for a while, until it doesn’t anymore.

The comfort strategy will work just great until you wake up one day with a crisis. Maybe your adrenals are burned out and you’ve only got 1 hour of energy a day, and, apparently, it’s time to either die or to change, to adopt new strategies and to shed the old ways that just aren’t working anymore.

It’s not always pleasant to die to the old. People often say that the truth will set you free, but what they often don’t say is that it might hurt when the chains come off.

People think fear is the enemy, but it’s not. Our avoidance and resistance to fear is the enemy.

Death is great. The natural fear of death we all have is great.

Why? Because the fear of death is so great for human beings that it will sometimes outweigh even our complacency to stay whom we’ve been. And in that case, there might be room for transformation.

Transformation can happen when we feel enough pain to consider that maybe we don’t know everything. We become so uncomfortable that we consider trying something new. We get so fucking desperate that we’ll turn off the TV, open a book, take a course, get a coach, anything to feel some relief.

There’s a thin, fuzzy line between courage and desperation.

And that’s ok. Whatever it takes to help us move. To motivate us. Pain can be quite the motivator.

As long as we’re no longer stagnating, rotting, festering in our old, warm, moldy putrid stories that used to lend us so much comfort.

Me? I want everything. I want it all. I want to be infinitely powerful. I want to experience myself as the universe, as the One and All, as everything and as nothing. As God.

And maybe that’s what we’re doing here on this tiny little speck in the Milky Way. It what we’re doing here on this one small planet, on one rather ordinary solar system in a relatively ordinary galaxy containing 500 billion other solar systems in a rather ordinary universe of 2 trillion galaxies, each with around 100 billion stars.

Compassion is in order.

The answers are in the questions, the movements, the stories, the searching, the experience, the stillness, the observation, the humility to admit conviction, uncertainty and desire.

The answers are in the experience and creation, and even in the destruction.

So go create something. Or, fuck it, go destroy something. Either way, it feels nice.

Love,

Aaron

P.S. For a limited time, I’m offering special discounted life coaching. E-mail me at aaron@reallifeconnectioncoach.com if you’re interested in some deep, powerful, intuitive and life-changing coaching. If it seems like we might be a good fit (based on your e-mail to me), I’ll block off a complimentary 1-2 hours for you. It will be great fun for me, and potentially life-changing for you. If it feels right, at the end of the call I’ll make my offer.

February Blues And Staying ALIVE

dead tree

I feel like such a hypocrite writing these posts sometimes. “Impostor syndrome” I’ve heard it called.

Fucking ALIVE.

Awareness
Love
Integrity
Vitality
Excellence

All the things I most want, my highest values, my priorities, my truth. And I feel so far away from them so often. They say we teach what we most need to learn.

And so we persist. Gravitating towards the edges of what we recognize as most nearly real and sustainably pleasurable.

All this energy in our heads serves us well until it doesn’t anymore. Until we realize that our above-average intelligence is a by-product of feeling unsafe in our bodies. The underlying story: “My body is not safe, so I’ll refocus awareness in my head where I can figure things out.”

But that’s not working so well anymore.

What I hate sometimes is that it takes so much energy to heal.

It takes energy to heal.

I’ve paid thousands of dollars over the last few years to begin seriously healing. (Money ~ Energy –in case you hadn’t gotten that one yet.) I’ve invested LOADS of time into practicing healing.

I feel sad and hopeless when I think of my friends whom I doubt will win the battle. I imagine they’ll die before they realize they’ve mis-invested their energy. Better luck next life, I guess.

The truth is I’m bitter against my creator for setting it all up this way. Why did you make it so damn hard!? Did I want it this way? Did I really ask for this? Maybe I was so fucking bored with whatever I was doing before that I dreamed up this new “challenge mode” to play. Goddammit.

But at least we have each other. And we have a shot. I’ve been hopeless before, and I’m not hopeless in this moment. The whole world now seems to be teetering on the edge of the point of no return. What’s that physics term they use? Total capacity? Breaking point? Melt down? I don’t remember.

Oh yeah, “critical mass.”

Either way, death is probably just a new beginning.

It’s February again, could you tell? Fucking February.

This is the longest I’ve gone without alcohol or weed since I first used the substances in college.

I know the only way out is through. It’s the lesson I’ve been learning the last few years.

But god dammit it’s the patience part that sucks.

A dream here, a voice there. A few days of release followed by weeks of silence. A burst of anger, lost friends, several new friends who might not walk away when I show them my pain. #blessed.

I forgive you for turning your back on me. It hurt, but I needed the practice with the pain. And it’s all for the best, right?

All is well.

And it’s probably just February.

Love,

Aaron

Imagine Your Body As A Business Organization, And YOU Are The CEO

fallavlIMG_1103

Everybody wants the gold. Everybody wants the resources to travel freely, to eat at the best restaurants, to soak up the sun on the beach without a care in the world.

Everybody wants it!

If you deny that you wouldn’t love to have tons of resources right at your fingertips, then you’re kidding yourself. The specific things that you want are likely different from the specific things that I want, but we all want abundant RESOURCES and RESOURCEFULNESS. And we all have dreams and desires, however varying those dreams and desires might be from person to person.

Sadly, one of the greatest hindrances we encounter in realizing our dreams is that we often don’t allow ourselves to fully feel the intensity of desire we have for them, pretending and convincing ourselves that if we don’t really want it, then maybe it won’t hurt as bad if we don’t get it. Low expectation, low disappointment, right?

We can deny our truest, deepest desires because we might reason: how badly would it hurt if we really allowed ourselves to feel the full intensity of those desires but never get them?

But who would turn down more resourcefulness, more abundance? Who in their right mind would turn down a real, actual no-strings-attached $100,000 check? No sane person would.

See, it’s helpful to understand that money is just energy once removed. Money is a physical representation (or often a digital representation) of how much we have helped other people.

Tai Lopez calls money “reciprocal altruism units” or RAUs. The basic philosophy here is that when we do something nice for someone, they give us money, as a physical certificate showing how much value we traded for those RAUs. It’s an idea also heavily popularized by Rabbi Daniel Lapin in his practical book Thou Shalt Prosper.

But money ain’t free, is it?

Well, the US government and the federal reserve seem to think so or at least act like it is, but for us, the people who don’t have the guns or the twisted sense of morality to forcibly take money from others, money ain’t free. (And yes, that’s another whole discussion.)

People get money by serving people.

(See a previous article I wrote here on Money & Happiness.)

The more and better we serve others, the more money we get in return.

So here’s a simple first step for acting more like a CEO in order to have more resources like a successful CEO (and not just monetary resources): Become the CEO of your body.

Your body is the instrument through which you can serve others. Your body is the organism that holds your energy, which is your capacity to move and act and LISTEN to other people. Your body is the constellation through which you interact with the world.

And your relationship with your body determines your relationship with others. You are limited in your connection with others by the limits of your connection with yourself. (Read that last sentence again.)

As Deepak Chopra says in The Book of Secrets, “The universe is in you.”

Now, imagine your body as a business organization.

Your body has hundreds of different parts, even trillions of parts at the cellular level.

And YOU are the CEO.

And your job is to take care of your organization. If you don’t take care of your organization, as the CEO, what’s going to happen to it? It’s going to fall apart! So in order for your organism to function optimally, you’ve got to make sure that each member is doing it’s job, that it has what it needs to do it’s job, and that each member is being heard properly and also held in balance and in check with proper accountability. Don’t let any one member take over the show. You’re the CEO.

Now, imagine a business organization where several important members really had some important messages to say to the rest of the company, but the CEO wouldn’t allow them to speak.

In this case, there would probably be some turmoil in the business, right?

Our emotions can often be like these muted members of the organization. If we don’t allow ourselves to listen to each part of ourselves, then our organization is not going to be cooperating. It will be more of an oligarchy or dictatorship than a coherent, successfully operating culture.

Which type of organization is going to last longer and be more effective? A dictatorship where the members of the body/business are subjected to whatever the “ruler” decides, or a more democratic organization where each member of the body gets a voice, gets to be heard, gives its message?

Now, again, this doesn’t mean we allow any one member to take over our organization.

Here’s one crucial piece of this which is easy to misunderstand: You are not your thinking mind.

YOU are something beyond your thinking mind.

Don’t let your mind be the autocrat of your organism. Because it will if you let it.

YOU are the awareness that inhabits your body and can listen to your thinking mind, if you so choose. You are the CEO who recognizes the importance of the thinking mind, but doesn’t allow it to run the show.

You, the aware CEO, can also listen to your heart.

And to your guts.

And to your fingertips, and hands, arms, shoulders, neck, eyes, ears, nose, feet, toes, legs, knees, hips, genitals, chest, nervous system, electromagnetic sensors, etc.

You’ve got a lot of parts in your organism.

And they’ve all got messages at different times. Don’t let any one part take over the show, especially not your thinking mind, which LOVES to take over the show and pretend it’s the CEO.

You–your awareness–that’s the part of you that is most YOU, and that’s the part you can think of as the CEO.

So with this understanding and metaphor, the next step is to cultivate more intimacy with all the parts of your organism/organization, so that you can be a more effective, resourceful CEO. You’ve got to get in there and balance things out.

Not in a despotic way, but in a compassionate, perhaps lovingly and fatherly way.

And you begin to do this better by listening better. You practice listening, because listening is a practice.

Listen to your organism, your organization, your constellation of beautiful parts. Hear the messages. Let the members of your body speak to you for as long as they need to.

 

Here’s a simple meditation for you to practice listening better, so that you can cultivate more awareness and therefore more resourcefulness, more abundance and more compassionate CEO-ness.

Sit or lie down comfortably, and begin to place your awareness on different members of your organism.

Feel your awareness in your stomach, in your guts. Let your awareness rest there, slowly beginning to notice what sensations are there in your guts.

And just notice.

If you’re paying attention, what you’ll probably notice is that you’ll start to have some thoughts.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, remember: you’re the compassionate CEO.

Just recognize that you’ve had a thought and that the thought isn’t you, and bring your awareness back down to your stomach.

And do this process over and over again. Your mind will give you thoughts, and you’ll notice this, and bring your awareness back to your stomach. And you do this over and over again. Awareness expansion, notice the thought, come back to awareness.

After doing this for a few minutes, bring your awareness to your heart.

Feel the sensations in your heart. “Listen” to them. Often when I’m doing this, really becoming aware of my heart, I feel some pain there, but also love.

Whatever is there, especially if it’s pain, be with that pain as much as you can, as if you’re being with a distraught child who’s hurt, holding the pain in the compassionate embrace of your awareness. Do your best to not get lost in it or indulge in it, or allow it to masquerade as you. Remember that YOU are something beyond the feeling. Ideally, you have the feeling, the feeling doesn’t have you.

And as your thoughts come in, simply notice this and bring your awareness back to your heart, your guts, your legs, your arms, the rest of your body that is likely crying out for some compassionate listening. Your body that wants so badly to be heard.

I do this for 20 minutes every day, rarely missing a day.

It’s a simple meditation, in the vein of what’s commonly known as Vipassana meditation, if you want to research it more on your own.

What you’re doing here is cultivating your awareness. You’re taking care of your body organism by compassionately listening to it. And as one of my life coaches often says, “ABC–Awareness Brings Choice.” The more choices you have, the more resources you have.

And as you consistently listen to your body, you might start to notice that your body–all parts of your organism–are on your side. Each part, when held in compassion and balance is an important member that has messages for you to take into account, so that you can operate more effectively and resourcefully.

“In an abundance of counsel, there is great wisdom.” -Hebrew Proverb

So listen to the wisdom of your body.

Each individual part might not be telling the whole story–by definition, it’s not telling the whole story. But by taking its counsel and listening to its message, you will be more aware of what is really going on in your “organization.”

You’ll have more resources.

And from this place of more resources, you’ll be better prepared to meet life’s challenges.

You’ll also likely have more energy! Because when your body is operating on all cylinders, like a healthy V-8 engine, it’s going to have more power, more capacity to move and get things done in the world.

I challenge you to start acting more like a compassionate CEO. After all, you are the owner of a massive, complex organismization. (That’s your new word for the day 😉 )

And the better you start listening to your whole organization, listening to the counsel of the different members, the more they’ll love you–they more they’ll love being a part of the organization, and the more they’ll give back to you. AND, the more you’ll be able to listen better to other people. So that you can hear between their words, and maybe even deeper than they can even hear themselves sometimes. And when we can hear others deeply, we can also serve them more powerfully. We can help them  more!

So stay with the practice.

Do you think you could try this for a week? 15-20 minutes a day listening deeply to your personal organismization?

If you want to give it a shot, I’d love to hear about your experience with it and what you notice–whatever you notice.

Let me know in the comments section below if you’re going to take on this challenge, or if you’ve already been practicing something similar, and what effect it has has on you.

And if you’d like me to coach you through some of these simple practices, head over to the page Life Coaching, and drop me a line!

In love and service,

Aaron

3 Ways That Getting a Sales Job Can Change Your Life

Money

Breaking News: Most people suck at sales, and it always sucks to be on the receiving end of some sucky salesperson’s sucky fucking salespitch.

But here’s the deal, love, when it comes to making money, you’re either making sales or you’re WORKING FOR SOMEONE who makes the sales for you.

You are not in business until sales are being made. And someone has got to do the selling.

So why do so many of us shy away from sales? Why do so many of us proclaim shitty beliefs like, “I don’t like sales” or “sales is just not my thing.”

Sales might not be your thing. But what about job interview skills, people skills, and COMMUNICATION SKILLS? Are any of those important or useful to you at all?

One of the reasons you might walk into that job interview nervous as fuck is because you have little to no experience selling anything at all, and now you’ve got to somehow magically know how to sell YOURSELF!?

Selling is a skill, my friend. It’s a communication skill. And like all other skills, it can be trained. And after being in sales for a decade, I can tell you that the rewards of having excellent communication skills are BOUNTIFUL.

So here are 3 ways that sales can change your life:

1. YOU CONTROL YOUR INCOME LIKE NO OTHER JOB

In sales, when you work harder and smarter, you make more money.

The problem is that most of us don’t push through the learning process until our brains figure it out for us.

But if you’re willing to persist, you’re going to eventually figure it out and make WAY more money than you would have by WORKING FOR SOMEONE who’s making the sales for you. You CANNOT increase your income working harder and smarter for an hourly wage. Unless you call a $0.50 raise every 6 months an increase in income.

I don’t. That’s fucking bullshit. $20 more a week?! (before taxes)

In a mediocre sales job you close 1 more sale and make $500-1000 more per week. I repeat, a MEDIOCRE sales job. $20 vs $1000.

It takes 50 weeks of $20 to equal $1000. There are 52 weeks in a year. That’s a year vs a week!

A $0.50 raise is disgusting, insulting and pathetic. But we just bend over and take it sometimes, don’t we? Do you just love it in the ass like that?

2. LEARNING HOW TO SELL IS AN INCREDIBLY POWERFUL TOOL FOR SELF DEVELOPMENT

Your level of income will seldom exceed your level of personal development.

And when you meet thousands of people, you start to see the patterns. You see the patterns of communication in yourself and in them.

You start to ask better questions.

You start to see through the bullshit. Through your own bullshit little fearful beliefs and the bullshit excuses and beliefs of others. You start to develop more empowering beliefs. Your intuition becomes incisive.

And just like developing any other skill, if you’re committed, you get to fall on your face over and over until you figure out how to stop falling so damn hard.

Give yourself some patience and compassion throughout this process, please!

When a baby learns how to walk, do you expect it to just jump right up and start running around? NO! Of course not! That little fucker’s got to learn how to sit, then crawl, then wobbly stand-glide…. all the way through the whole process.

Do you ever see that baby fall down and say, “Well, I guess this one’s just going to be a CRAWLER! I guess walking is just not his thing. He fell down! You know what that means… He’s just not a good walker!”

Ludicrous.

But somehow we find ourselves using this exact same line of reasoning  with ourselves when learning a new skill.

I want you to realize that selling is a skill, and if you’re not good at it, then that’s just how it is and you won’t ever be good at it unless you make a decision to GET GOOD AT IT.

And it can be a crucible, baby.

I’ve been in sales for almost a decade now, and it can be brutal sometimes.

I’ve cried. I’ve laughed and shouted with joy and elation. I’ve gotten angry, frustrated, confused and even ashamed at my lack of competence at times. I’ve also persisted with dogged determination from one no-sale to the next no-sale for WEEKS at times.

But after all this time and practice, I’m starting to master the process. And guess what? It’s fucking awesome. It is. fucking. awesome.

It’s awesome to know that I can go out and MAKE MONEY HAPPEN. I can go out confidently knowing that I’m going to help people get something that they probably weren’t even thinking about before that’s going to be valuable to them and MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEIR LIVES and then I get financially rewarded as a result.

And no one can take away that confidence from me. I’ve earned it.

And so can you. I know it.

3. LEARNING SALES SKILLS IS THE FIRST STEP TO RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Like I wrote in the beginning of the article, you’re not in business until you make a sale. If you dream about having your own business one day–helping people in your own unique, beautiful way, you won’t EVER have a business unless you’re selling something.

So make a decision to learn how to sell masterfully.

There are always sales jobs available. So you can start right now.

Step into the crucible of communication.

Refine your ability to CONNECT with people, to BUILD TRUST with people, to bring VALUE to people’s lives. That’s what good selling is all about, y’all!

I believe in you. I believe you can have everything you really want.

So if you want it, come and fucking get it.

Love,

Aaron

 

Money & Happiness (Part 1)

The purpose of this article is to clearly define money and happiness in the way that most successful people understand them. I will demonstrate how they are the same and how they are different. But beware, you may have never thought about money and happiness in this way before.

Studies consistently show that low income levels are correlated to high stress levels, but does more money really make you happier?

Too much stress can be a killer. The long-term health effects of stress not handled properly are devastating.

The cool part is that it is true: getting out of that low-income zone makes life less stressful, and improves your life and general sense of well-being.

However, after a certain point of attained affluence, after your basic needs are met and you’re not freaking out every day about where you food and shelter are going to come from tomorrow, studies do show that more money does not necessarily make you more happy.

Personally, I love money. I don’t believe the bullshit that the love of money is the root of all evil. I’m not sure what the root of all evil is, but I’m convinced that money itself is not it. Here’s why:

Money is the result of one person doing something nice for someone else. Money is the certificate saying that John raked Joe’s yard, and it represents the energy that was put in to the work.

Money is energy, once removed. It represents energy. It represents influence and value. John can now trade this certificate of energy with his other neighbor Sally, who makes the tastiest apple pies you’ve ever put in your mouth. John would rather have the apple pie, and Sally would rather have the money, because she wants to trade these certificates (saying she’s done something nice for someone else) for a new red party dress.

More money creates more abundance. When John rakes Joe’s yard, not only does it free up Joe to spend time doing something nice for someone else, something that Joe himself is really good at, but his yard looks nicer, he’s happier, and John is happier, too, because he spent his time in his craft being creative, productive and exercising his mental abilities. Essentially, people are trading their expertise of the expertise of others.

Everybody is doing things they like to do, providing value for everyone else, and abundance is flourishing. People who provide value to others are rewarded for their efforts, people who do not provide value to others are not rewarded. Virtue is rewarded, vice is not. This is what money does when it is traded freely and not corrupted through the use of force. It is awesome.

I’ve never worked for a poor man before. My employers and/or business owners I’ve contracted with have always had plenty of money from the value that they created for others. Because of their situation of having plenty of money, they were willing and able to bring me in to create even more value for their customers, which, of course, results in more money.

The value that you create for others is generally going to be proportionate to the money that you get in return.

Happiness is a lot like money. It’s the result of actions and effort. High levels of happiness, just like high amounts of money, are rarely an accident. Deep fulfillment is usually the result of much effort, mental and physical.

If you just sit around all day or lie on the sofa all day, your body will rot and you will be unhappy. You must get up and move around. For sustained, long-term health, you must exert yourself physically often and consistently. You must balance your nutrition and avoid products that harm you like chemicals, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, etc.

If you aren’t providing value to the people around you, not only will you be broke, but soon you will have no friends (read: lower happiness). People generally flock towards value and flee from neediness. Maybe someone will see your need and try to fill it, however, they will be expecting value in return for that. People want a return on their investment, and if they know they can get a better return somewhere else, they will go there.

There are many forms of value. Maybe you are broke, but you are hilarious and fun and relaxing to hang out with. You will probably still have friends because they enjoy (read: get value from) hearing your jokes and rejuvenating themselves around your calming energy.

Happiness or peace or fulfillment or whatever you want to call that good feeling inside is what happens when you do things that fuel you. Happiness is success. Your version of what makes you successful is different from my version. I like to write blog posts, for example, maybe you like to watch football. And, of course, there are many other things we could name that make us happy.

Again, value can come in many forms.

The point of this first article in this series is incredibly important to understand: Money and Happiness are similar because they are both RESULTS. They are not gained directly, but are secondary products of specific actions. They are both values which are generally measurable in proportion to the value those actions provide.

The biggest difference between money and happiness is this:

Money is an exchangeable value and is NOT an end unto itself. Money REPRESENTS value. Happiness is not exchangeable, and it IS an end unto itself. Happiness is itself valuable.

You’ll Never Be Done!

Retirement is a myth. It’s a lie told to you by people who try to appeal to your monkey brain wish that one day you’ll be done.

The truth is, that as long as you are alive, you are not done.

Life takes energy.

Life takes effort.

Life takes MONEY (read energy).

Now you might say, “Come on, Aaron! You know that there is such a thing as retirement! One day, I’m going to retire.”

Well, let me ask you something. Then what? What will you do with your time?

Maybe you’ll even have saved up enough money to be able to live extravagantly well. However, you’re still going to have to brush your teeth if you want to keep them clean. You’ll still have to take out the trash if you want to keep your house smelling good. You’ll still have to work out conflicts and misunderstandings in your relationships if you want to grow in them.

There is no such thing as maintenance. You can not maintain your optimal circumstances at all times.

You’re either growing, or you’re dying.

So accept the fact that you’ll never be done until you die. Start taking even better care of your health, your goals, your relationships, your self… live as if you”ll have something special to give back to people for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Cuz, son, you ain’t done ’til you die.

Love & Peace,

Aaron