Friday, December 28, 2012



We hear a lot of references to happiness and its synonyms during this time of year, and we are seeing an interesting phenomenon throughout the year and throughout society. Happiness is becoming more relevant. In part this is due to a number of research studies that have shown that people are healthier and live longer and are even more financially successful when they feel happy. 

There was just a study reported on which shows that grumpiness is related in men to a lowering of testosterone levels, so that the term "grumpy old men" is pretty accurate. And grumpy is pretty much the opposite of happy. Twenty years ago, when college students were asked about what their major aspiration was, a large majority said it was to make lots of money. Now, when the same question is asked, the answer is that they want to be happy and make a difference in the world.

More than a few people have asked me how in the world I could have been happy during my  time in prison, how I could smile and write cartoon gags and notes for a humorous prison memoir and future stand-up act in the midst of that depressing environment. I think just asking that question indicates more about the person asking it than me no matter how I answer. It reveals someone who doesn't understand the basic truth about states of mind, moods, and psychological balance and well being. To put it as simply as possible, happiness has nothing to do with one's external reality. It is an inner experience, and as such can transcend even horrible physical environments and situations. We are happy when we choose to be happy no matter what else is going on around us in that outer world. 

Lots of people are struggling with financial anxiety, worried about the debt and deficit and government dysfunction in dealing with the economy. But none of that matters, or has to have anything to do with whether we are happy or unhappy. Unless we choose to make it matter, unless we choose to stay focused outside ourselves on something that may or may not occur. 

If you didn't see or feel or remember at least a dozen things today that made you feel happy, then you are not paying attention to what is really going on, but rather choosing to focus on limited, negative, disappointing, frustrating fantasies about what is going on.

You may not have the same view on this as I do, but I'll guarantee you one thing--if not, my smile as I write this is a lot bigger than yours as you read it.

Check out my prosperity blog at:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Though I am sometimes envious when I read something I wish I had written, even if it's not a literary masterpiece, I mostly just appreciate and share it. This is an unusual post in that I am doing just that, and it's an article or essay from a commercial site, International Living, which I follow because it is focused on Americans moving to wonderful places around the world and provides lots of useful free information. This appeared today and reconfirms my decision to move to Panama at the end of January.

26 Ways to Know You're Living in Paradise...
By John Curran
During the recent Powerball hype, a friend asked me if I won the lottery, would I move somewhere else? Sure I would! I would move anywhere...but only if you can find me a place that has...
  1. Good weather, the kind that doesn’t require a furnace or A/C to cope—just a T-shirt and a sweatshirt.
  2. Beautiful scenery...because life’s too short to live someplace ugly.
  3. Access to plenty of clean water all year round for cooking, cleaning, and drinking—because I tend to do all three year round...
  4. The proper mix of sun and rain so flowers, plants, and trees don’t just grow, but flourish. (I lived in the desert as well as the snow and cold for far too many years.)
  5. Internet access where I can read, watch, or download whatever I want or need.
  6. Decent roads (I’ve traveled in the outback of Kenya...)
  7. Fresh fruits and vegetables available year round—full of flavor, not chemicals— because I tend to eat year round.
  8. Airports, so I can leave when I need to and, more importantly, come back when I want to.
  9. A healthy environment because I don’t want to live in a place where I’ll need the most expensive health care in the world.
  10. Friendly people who view their life as a privilege, not a right—and live accordingly.
  11. A government that minds its I can get on with mine.
  12. Decent public transportation, even in rural areas, because sometimes theburro (donkey) is in the shop.
  13. A teeny-tiny police force because that’s all that’s required.
  14. Peace and quiet.
  15. A news media that doesn’t think the Kardashians are news.
  16. Clean, crisp air so the sky really is blue during the day, and at night, I can see all the stars I remember as a kid.
  17. Good food... because I like to cook and bake.
  18. Good restaurants... because I don’t always like to cook and bake.
  19. Lots of holidays—because, well, why not?
  20. An appalling lack of mosquitos because I’ve lived in Wisconsin.
  21. A low-stress environment. I’m a firm believer that stress causes bridges, buildings, and especially people to fail at their weakest point.
  22. Airports where I can go through security with a full bottle of water and my dignity.
  23. Adequate health care because you just never know, somebody I care about might need it one day.
  24. Low property taxes because I don’t like paying for my house...twice.
  25. A lot of chickens because when you have chickens around, you’re already halfway to a laugh.
  26. People with a "you only go around once" attitude to life. "I wish I had spent more time at work" were never anyone’s dying words.
Now John lives in Ecuador not Panama. And there are a few differences between the two. For one, though still low crime, I think Panama has more than a "teeny-tiny" police force. Also, one thing, and this is much more important to me, is Panama has no earthquakes or volcanoes, both very present in Ecuador. They do share the happy fact that neither country has hurricanes. All in all, we all can use all these items as a checklist as to whether we are really living the best lifestyle we can be living.
I equate lifestyle with prosperity, and you can check out my prosperity blog at:

Monday, December 10, 2012


If mosquitos didn't have those four rows of teeth that allow them to suck out your blood, they would be harmless, just mildly annoying occurrences in life. This is exactly how I view the obstacles, challenges, and setbacks that pop up in my life, as they do in all of our lives from time to time. 

I have been exuberant of late, preparing to move to Panama on February 1st, where I have already met a terrific group of new friends and have a great support system in place for my efforts as that nation's first English-speaking stand-up comedian, as well as continuing as a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator. The ten days I spent there in October convinced me that all the glowing reports I had from my friend Tony Busse about living in that tropical country were being seriously understated. 

But in recent days, I've been dealing with a sore back, probably due to overdoing it in sorting through all my accumulated stuff, lugging some of it out to the recycling bin, deciding what to take, what to give away and what to throw away.  And just minutes ago, my so-far-very-dependable two year old high definition 24 inch computer monitor just up and quit on me. Technical nitwit that I am, I haven't a clue. 

I see people all around me, and even posting on Facebook, allowing even less significant events to cause anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, and general mood damage. Notice I say, "allowing," because we do have a choice when these occur. Perhaps the factor that helps most is that I am on a path I am passionate about, work and an upcoming lifestyle that fill me with excitement and joy. So in the larger scheme of things, little temporary setbacks won't get in my way. If you have not gone for your passion, then even very petty events can throw you for a loop. 

So I am headed for my chiropractor in about an hour, who just happens to be across from In-N-Out Burger, which I feared I might not get a final visit to before I leave February 1st. And I will either stumble upon a way to get my monitor back on, or someone will give me a suggestion that will get it going, or I will just have one less bulky object to take with me to Panama, and will buy a new, maybe even larger once once I get there.  

Oh yes, I am human and I got severely pissed at both back and my monitor...but just for about a minute each. I gritted my teeth and growled in upset and frustration, for exactly a minute, intentionally, forcefully. It feels good, try it the next time something doesn't go your way. I did it in prison every single day, railed and ranted against the terribly dehumanizing unfairness of it all, for one single minute, and then went on to plunge into creative projects and daydreams and meditation and visualization. We all need to remember that we control the balance of things, and all mosquitos can be toothless if that's how we see them.

Check out my prosperity blog, too:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I just came across a great quote from the Dalai Lama:

"Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are."

This is so profound on so many levels. As an author, motivational speaker, and teacher over many years, it always has been most significant for me when a student uses what I offer to improve, expand, or accelerate his or her alreadyness (my newly coined word of the day). 

There are many who teach others to become almost clones of themselves, as there are institutions that teach participants and devotees to become regimented followers. Many organized religions would be appalled by the Dalai Lama's advice, having as their main focus the idea of worshippers becoming good whatever-the-church-wants-and-expects-you-to-be. One of the spiritual teachers I most admired was Jiddu Krishnamurti, who had some two million "followers" or disciples worldwide as a young man, but disavowed them and disbanded the organization he led to become what he termed a "simple teacher". 

It can be very heady stuff having followers or even fans. When Moneylove first gained major recognition, I was approached by a number of people who wanted to become apprentices or disciples of my prosperity teachings, little Jerry Gillies mini-mes. I discouraged them all. One went on to become one of the leading lights of the prosperity teaching movement with a bestselling book, even appearing in the movie, The Secret, so I evidently was right in turning him down at the time. He found his own way, as we all ultimately must do. 

When I taught meditation and was running the Biofeedback Institute in New York with two partners, I always was careful to teach that meditation is not going off in a corner or a cave and putting all your attention on your breathing or your mantra. That's just the preparation for meditation. A true meditator has learned to absorb those skills into his or her everyday life, so that everything becomes a meditation, so that meditation is an enhancement to what they are already doing, to what-they-already-are.

Check out my prosperity blog too: