Thursday, November 24, 2011


It's Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful for all the good things happening in our lives. But even now, there are literally tens of thousands of blogs, media outlets, and politicians spouting a constant stream of negative predictions and horrific expectations. In many of my seminars over thirty years, I have talked about the little negative voice we all have inside our heads--I call him Stanley--the voice Buddhists call "Monkey Mind." The voice that chatters away, telling us why we can't, shouldn't, and mustn't be hopeful and optimistic. The only way I have found to take away Stanley's power to hold us back: drown out his voice in a crowd of positive voices. This has to be a positive decision followed by positive action.

For example,there are many websites to be found that focus on good things. One of these is:

another is:

and of course there is this blog, and my other blog,
focused on prosperity consciousness and positive self-programming:

So let's get something straight:

If you believe life is a mess, with little hope for the human species, it has more to do with the crap you are paying attention to than reality.

And if you complain about the glass being half empty after drinking half the water and enjoying every drop, you're an idiot.

Feel free to share the above two sentences. I know they don't apply to any of my spiritually evolved, brilliant, and inspired regular readers.


Monday, November 14, 2011


I recently came upon a journal essay I wrote in 1998 while I was an inmate at FCI Tucson. It was about the uncertainty of not knowing what is coming in the future. I wrote:

"Perhaps it is an illusion to ever think that we know what is coming up in our lives, but there is solace and comfort in thinking we know what the next year holds for us. In most lives it is not unreasonable to suppose that life will go on pretty much as it has, or that some short-term goal we are aiming toward will be fulfilled. But here I sit in federal prison on this Arizona summer day that is bound to reach over a hundred degrees, and I just don't have a clue. That is disquieting and forms a small undercurrent of discomposure over my normally placid persona."

At that time, I had no idea whether I would win my appeal and be able to avoid a twelve year prison term and had not really come to terms with the possibility of losing the appeal, which I subsequently did. As a learning experience, an adventure in personal growth, however, that uncertain few months was extremely valuable. It taught me the necessity of going within to create a stable internal consciousness no matter what was going on outside myself. I had no control over the external, but could determine my immediate experience in real time:

"At this juncture, it seems to be that the most effective way I can prepare for any possibilities is to keep on writing, keep on walking, keep on focusing on staying calm and centered and productive."

We hear a lot nowadays about businesses worrying about economic uncertainty to the extent of hoarding cash that otherwise could be invested in job-creating activities. It is always a myth to think we know what the future holds, so we may as well act as a current event based on current reality. The inner strength I build in that period of what could have been a fear-ridden, anxiety-producing time for me allowed me to triumph over my incarceration, emerging on the other end with more creative energy, optimism, and inner peace than I had going in. This wasn't brilliant or heroic on my part, just the most sensible path to take considering my realistic options. I ended my short essay by writing:

"I will accept that there are going to be moments of fear and sadness, but this will be the ultimate test of my ability to create my own internal environment despite whatever is going on around me."

You might also enjoy my prosperity blog at:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Wall Street and the major financial institutions that populate it have been coming under increasing attacks by political figures and observers in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. But this, in my opinion, is a bit misfocused in that the disparity of wealth is not the major danger to our system posed by Wall Streets. Yes, it's good that so much attention has been placed on how vast the gap has become between the lowest income groups and the wealthiest Americans, while middle income earners have seen their purchasing power go down and stagnate. But Wall Street, and its big banks, brokerage firms, hedge fund managers and all the other manipulators in the international financial markets are not even the only factors in creating this disparity. Many of the free trade policies since the Ronald Reagan administration have sent thousands of jobs overseas, so that more and more Americans are shuffling paper rather than inventing, engineering, building things, and providing physical services.

The most disturbing trend I've heard about in recent weeks is the fact that such prestigious universities as M.I.T. have seen their most promising graduates take jobs on Wall Street rather than go into science and engineering as had been usual in the past. The reason is simple, there are more jobs on Wall Street in which a young, clever graduate can start making big bucks almost immediately. This involves moving financial instruments around, and contributes almost nothing to the public welfare.

For two years back in the 1980s, I earned my living mostly by playing poker. It was a very good living, and it was fun and exciting to do. I stopped doing it as a full time activity when I realized that I wasn't contributing anything real to the world. It's a sort of soulless existence, just moving money around rather than producing anything of practical use or beauty in the world. This is what these smart college graduates going to Wall Street to make their fortunes have chosen to do for themselves, to become soulless money-changers. And it takes something out of you, some important and vital part of what it means to be a fulfilled human being.

I think we'll figure out some ways of dealing with the disparity issue, but it might be a lot harder to figure out how to inspire bright young students that earning a lot of money easily and quickly is not the greatest aspiration one can have. Some years ago, I was hired as a consultant for a group of twenty women who either were or had been successful call girls. I worked with them on developing entrepreneurial skills, as their big issue was transitioning back into a normal lifestyle when they had been making an average of $100,000 a year by having sex with strangers. There were hardly any jobs available for women that paid near that amount, and most of them weren't educated for high-paying jobs. Six of them ended up starting a house cleaning business, and it did quite well. This, of course, was the same issue facing these college graduates who might be looking at some more creative and productive career than shuffling money on Wall St.