Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Betwixt and between. That's what this moment in time feels like. And this was brought home to me when I got off the phone after two hours with an AT&T technician. It was obvious my Internet connection was awry last night when I tried to load a TV show on to watch during dinner. The video kept stopping every few seconds. And all websites took forever to load. I doublechecked that it wasn't my MacBook Pro by plugging in my IBM ThinkPad and encountering the same problem. So the call to AT&T today.

And what is it with these big international companies and their broken English-speaking technicians? I've met a lot of citizens of India in my life, have been friends with a few, and one thing I've admired about most of them is their command of the English language, quite often with a very attractive British accent. So how come the ones these companies hire for tech support have such difficulty with the language. Where do they find them? And are they really so inept at English, or do they teach them broken English so as to slow things down and lower our expectations, or so frustrate us that we'll give up?
In limboland, one often finds oneself going off on tangents like this.
A technician will be by tomorrow to fix my connection, I hope.
Also, I await a response on a major project to promote my Moneylove Club audio subscription series to a huge audience specifically interested in self-development. If this happens, it will occupy much of my time getting it all organized and getting prepared for a huge surge in business. Thus I am reluctant to start any other projects until I know how this will turn out. Again, a sense of limbo, of being sort of lost in space.
My time in prison was like this in some ways, in that I could make lots of plans, but most of them had to wait until my release. And right now I have some offers and plans that involve traveling outside the U.S., but I won't be able to do that until September at the earliest, when I may get off my parole status and be able to obtain a passport.
So what does one do with this limbo time? For me, it's a time to reflect, to research, to read and learn, and to laugh as much as possible. I feel like one of those little racing car toys that you hold while pressing the wheels down and rev them up, then holding it down aware that it will take off rapidly when you let go. My wheels are revved, but I do feel like I'm being held down, and someone or something has to let me go.
I had this feeling about a whole country when I visited and did a number of talks and seminars in South Africa in 1989. Mandela was still in prison, but everyone knew he would soon be released. Apartheid was still in effect, but everyone knew it was about to be dismantled. And it was election time, with the Liberals planting signs all over with their slogan, "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears", a sentiment that would have landed someone in prison just a few years before. My host and I drove past a college in Pretoria and saw a black female student walking along holding hands with a white student. My host said, "Two years ago that would have been a felony offense." So a sense of change was in the air, but it hadn't fully happened yet. In other words, limbo. It wasn't an unpleasant feeling, in fact it was exciting. And to some extent, my current state of limbo is exciting. Maybe not quite as comfortable as I would like to be, but definitely with a sense of new adventures and opportunities coming.

And as with everything in life, how I choose to experience and react to this state will decide whether it feels good or bad. Right now, I've decided to vote my hopes rather than my fears.


Saturday, April 3, 2010


So, I recently discovered that I was not the first to come up with the title:

In my daily Google Search on Moneylove, the above book on eBay came up. Of course, there is no way to copyright titles, which why so many duplicate ones appear in publishing. And, after all, most books get a fairly small audience, so that people are often not aware that another book has been published with the same title as the one they are reading. This 1928 novel (the eBay bidding started at $29 and, no, I didn't bid) was by the author of Sally's Shoulders and The Flapper Wife.

I think the point here is that there is very little original in the world. But what is original is one person's creative take on things, his or her own unique perspective. One of the most vivid statements Ray Bradbury ever made when we were both on the faculty at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference back in the 1980s was that you didn't have to be absolutely original to be a creative and innovative writer. He even suggested taking one of his short stories and turning it around so it had a completely different ending. He said that was just as original as starting from scratch with an idea for a story.

There's a facetious but real statement often made around the National Speakers Association about speakers quoting other speaker's lines. This explanation says that first someone will quote something you said by saying: "As Jerry Gillies said,......."
Then, the next time they use that material: "As someone once said,......"
And, finally: "As I always say,......"

This is understandable and actually flattering to the originator of whatever material is being repeated. At least that's my feeling about it. I get a lot of credit for coming up with new ideas about prosperity in Moneylove, and certainly the huge number of hits and quotes you get when you Google my name indicates that these ideas strike a responding chord in a lot of people.

But the truth is, like all writers of nonfiction and self development books, I am acting as a filter. I took all the ideas I absorbed from my mentors, people like Leonard Orr and Napoleon Hill, and juggled them up in my creative imagination and came out with my own perspective with a few new twists. People who quote me, or even use my material to teach prosperity courses as many do, including the late Reverend Ike, are merely taking that filtering process a bit further. Maybe at worst, they are doing a poor imitation of me, but at best they are adding their own creativity to the mix and coming up with something new.

Meanwhile, it's an exciting and fun challenge to come up with lots of new material. The one thing I don't want to have happen is to be accused of stealing ideas from someone out there who has been "stealing" mine first. And I try to keep my presentation skills at their peak, as another uncomfortable event for me would be to find someone who was presenting the Moneylove material better than I do. But this isn't something I worry about. My experience has been that most people are great about giving credit and acknowledging the original source when they know it.

I had a lot of fun creating my latest post on my prosperity blog about Very Rich Ugly People.