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How To Order From The Universe Written by Steve Pavlina This free sample is an excerpt from the 22-chapter 226-page full length book available at Amazon.

Table of Contents How to Order from the Universe How to Manifest Money Happiness First, Then Everything Else Money and Your Path With a Heart Take the Red Pill Is This Heaven? The Best Place to Invest Your Money This book was edited by Ilya Alexi, author of Mind Over Money: How to Program Your Mind for Wealth. Get a free digital download of this book at

How to Order from the Universe The universe you live in works very much like a popular restaurant. You go in, you decide what you want, you order it, you receive it, and you digest it. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't seem to know how to order. Some are downright inept at it. They walk into this restaurant, behave like complete idiots, and they end up hungry and disappointed. Then they complain about the restaurant and post negative reviews online, despite the fact that the restaurant has received rave reviews from the most experienced food critics.

The Universal Restaurant I can't tell you how many times I encounter people who set goals like, "I want a romantic partner," or "I want a stable job that pays more money," or "I want to lose weight." I've heard enough of this drivel to last a lifetime. It's reached the point where I may start carrying around a squirt gun and shoot people in the eye when they say stuff like this. Those are crap goals. Don't waste your time on them. And definitely don't say them within earshot of me. Setting such goals is the equivalent of walking into a restaurant and proclaiming, "I'm hungry. I want some food."

First, people will look at you like you're an idiot. They're only doing that because you are. Second, you won't get fed. If you're lucky, someone might hand you a menu and ask you what you'd like to order. You can order off the menu, or you can concoct something creative, but either way you have to be specific. If you stand there asking for food, you'll remain hungry. Is this happening in your life right now? Are you standing at the Universal Restaurant, waiting for your desires to manifest, and receiving only static in response? Might the reason be that the wait staff can't figure out what the heck you're actually trying to order? The Universe is extremely adept at fulfilling your desires — but only if you have the wherewithal to decide and order what you want. If you can't do that — and it matters not what excuses you have — you will remain hungry. Sometimes the universe will take a stab at bringing your what you ask for. Then you reject it because, although it's what you asked for (such as a generic "romantic partner"), it isn't what you actually want. Then maybe the universe tries a few more times, and you continue to send back whatever it brings you. So eventually it gives up, concluding that you're an unreasonable customer and that it's better off spending its time and energy serving the patrons who

know how to place an order properly. It says, "Ok, we're done for now. Call me back to your table when you've figured out what you actually want."

How to Order When you set goals and intentions, place an order. Don't ask, "Please can I‌?" Simply order, much like you would in a restaurant. Say, "I'll have the ‌" Then expect to receive what you order. Don't be timid or cowardly or uncertain. Just state your order, and expect to get it. If you screw this up, no soup for you. Take as much time as you want to decide what to order, but when you place your order, accept what you ordered, and know that you're going to receive it. You may have some buyer's remorse if it's not as good as you hoped, but that's okay. Receive it anyway. There will always be other meals, other orders. Not everything you receive will taste like ambrosia.

Be specific in asking for what you want. Don't ask for more money. If you want $50K cash, then order $50K cash. Don't ask for it. Order it. Don't ask for a better job. If you want to be a fashion blogger who travels around the world and gets free invites to major fashion shows and has 500,000 monthly readers, then order that.

Don't ask for a romantic partner. If you want a geeky, vegan, bisexual, happily jobless girlfriend who loves to travel, then order that. Order it loudly enough so your waiter can hear you, and people at nearby tables will say, "I didn't know that was on the menu. I'll have one of those too‌ with a twist of lemon." One of the best ways to get what you actually want is to take your best guess, and order it. When you get what you ask for, it may not turn out quite right. That contrast between what you received and how you feel about it will give you a better sense of what you actually do want. Then you can make a better guess and take another stab at placing an order. As you repeat this process, you'll gradually hone in on what you actually desire most at a very deep level. And then you'll get a chance to receive and experience it fully. Realize that this is an iterative process. Don't be a perfectionist. That's like sitting in a restaurant for hours, trying to decide what you want, while impatient waiters periodically refill your water glass and pressure you to order something. It's just a meal, so make a decision, get fed, and get out. Even if it turns out to be less than you hoped for, there will be plenty of other meals. The occasional bad meal is inevitable.

How to Be an Idiot Who Can't Order at a Restaurant

What happens if you change your order before you receive it? Same thing that happens in a real restaurant. What would happen if you grabbed the waiter and changed your order before it arrived? No problem, but you'll have to wait even longer because the waiter has to cancel the original order and then submit the new one. And if you keep doing that over and over, you'll piss off the waiter and will never receive a meal. Have you been doing something like that in real life? Blue‌ no red‌ no blue! Ahhhh! What happens if you order something, and then when you get it, you don't like it? You can eat it anyway, or you can send it back. Either way, there will be other meals. You can always order again. Learn from the experience, and do your best to make a more intelligent choice next time. You may need to sample a few items from the menu to figure out what you like and don't like. Your first order at any new restaurant may very well be your worst experience there. What happens if you complain about the way the system works? It's not fair! I can't figure out what I want! I keep going back and forth between two possibilities! Stop pressuring me! You're free to do that, but the system will process you like an idiot. Again, that's only because you are. If you rail against the system, it's not going to work for you. If you can't follow the simple rules, the system will process you like an idiot customer till you figure it out. Here are the rules: Decide what you want, order it, receive it, and

digest it. It's not rocket science. Don't make it complicated. It's easier to follow the rules than it is to break them. Even a child can do it.

Your Choice Despite the obvious drawbacks, you're still free to behave like an idiot customer whenever you choose. You're free to make a vague request. You're free to change your mind every 5 minutes. You're free to reject your order after it arrives. But of course all of those actions have consequences. If you behave stupidly, you'll get stupid results. Technically speaking, this isn't a problem. The Universal Restaurant is robust enough to handle people like you. It will process you without prejudice. However, you won't have a very good experience, and in the end you'll be disappointed with the food and/or service. Other members of your party will also be disappointed, either with the restaurant or with you personally. No one at your table will seem to be having a good time unless you order properly. If you screw it up, you'll ruin everyone's evening. This restaurant, however, is perfectly capable of preparing the most amazing gourmet meals you could ever fancy. You just have to order properly. Be specific. Be clear, direct, and confident. Be audible. And don't keep changing your mind after you've placed your order. When you receive your order, accept it with gratitude. Smell it.

Taste it. Savor each delicious bite. Share it with others at your table if they'd like a taste, and taste some of their food too. It won't be perfect, but it's better than going hungry. Learn from the experience, and allow it to inform your future ordering decisions. Eventually you'll become a master connoisseur of the Universal Restaurant. Work with the rules of the Universal Restaurant to enjoy the best meals of your life. Don't rail against the system. Don't be a clueless customer. And don't post negative reviews about it online. Note: The Universal Restaurant is not to be confused with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I know that's what you were thinking. :)

How to Manifest Money The previous chapter should tell you all you need to know to get the Law of Attraction starting to work in your life, but in this chapter I’m going to focus specifically on the how-to aspects of manifesting money, simply because that's what everyone always asks about first.

Playfulness The most important aspect of manifesting money is to approach it from the right heartset. Think of your heartset as the overall vibe of your relationship to the activity of attracting money. How would you describe that relationship? Is it greedy, needy, excited, hopeful, etc? If you approach this process from a place of neediness, clinginess, scarcity, or too much seriousness, you’ll most likely fail. That’s the right vibe for attracting nothing — or for making things worse by attracting unwanted expenses — but it’s not the right vibe for attracting money. So if you come at this from a place of saying, “I really need $1000 to pay my rent next month, so I’m going to focus hard on manifesting it via the Law of Attraction,” well… good luck with that. But I’d bet against you. A slightly better vibe is that of hope, but this is still a pretty weak

vibe. Hope won’t get you very far. A much better vibe is to come from a place of curiosity and experimentation. Go into a state of childlike wonder. With this vibe you may begin to generate some interesting results. An even stronger vibe is to generate feelings of playfulness and excitement. This is a great vibe for manifesting money. In the next section, I’ll share a story to illustrate how I do this with my daughter.

Knowing When you want to manifest money, it’s important to know that it’s already there. If it’s hidden at all, it’s hiding in plain sight, waiting for you to notice it and pick it up. This applies whether we’re talking about cash found on the ground or opportunities that will generate cash. Know that the cash and the opportunities are right in front of your face. You just have to adjust your “eyes” to see them. You do this by shifting your vibe — your frequencies of thought and emotion — to one that’s capable of detecting the money. It’s fun to think of this vibe-shifting process as shifting dimensions, as if you’re tuning in to a different perceptual frequency spectrum. That other reality was there all along. You just couldn’t see it before because you were tuned in to incompatible perceptual frequencies,

frequencies that made the money invisible and undetectable by your senses. Maybe you were stuck on the red part of the spectrum, while the money was hanging out in the blue part. Obviously your senses pick up a lot as you go about your day, but you only notice a puny fraction of all that input. In order to manifest money, you need to tune your senses to bring to your attention useful input that you’ve been subconsciously dismissing as irrelevant background noise. This tuning process takes some time, but you can definitely do it. Lately I’ve been teaching my daughter Emily (age 10) how to manifest coins. I do this by turning it into a game. When we’re out walking together, I challenge her to see if she can find more coins than I can. The first time I did this, she was really bad at it. I found several coins during our walk together, often coins that she walked right past without even noticing. Instead of finding coins, she didn’t notice anything. The coins didn’t register within her perceptual reality. Later on she began noticing things that were close to coins, but not coins. She found bottle caps, paper clips, scraps of paper, and coinlike smudges on the floor — everything but coins. I kept pointing out to her that there are coins everywhere, but you have to tune in to the “coin abundance frequency” to see them. Each time I found a coin and showed it to her, I could tell it was gradually helping her

tune in to the right perceptual frequency. One reason she was bad at this game was that she was tuning out the possible existence of coins everywhere she walked. She just didn’t think there could be that many coins hiding in plain sight. By demonstrating to her that the coins were indeed there and that she was simply failing to notice them, I helped shift her beliefs. She stopped thinking of the game as something outside her control (relying on luck or chance), and she began thinking of what she could control (her open-mindedness and attentiveness). At first when she would walk past a coin, and I’d pick it up and say, “Look at this, Emily. There was a nickel there, and you walked right past it! Your eyes definitely saw it because you were looking in that direction, but the coin didn’t register in your mind. You still need to adjust yourself to the right vibe. Remember — the coins are everywhere! You just have to command your eyes to notice them.” Initially this surprised her. She could dismiss it as luck… or as some kind of trick… or as a momentary lapse of her part. Then when it kept happening, it began to frustrate her. I helped her shift that frustration to amusement by pointing out that she was really good at finding bottle caps and smudges, and we had some laughs about that. She just needed to adjust her mind a little bit more to notice the coins. Finally she began to accept that yes, there really are coins everywhere, and she only has to notice them. It seemed like she was

beginning to tell her eyes and her mind to get with the program and start noticing the coins. Emily has a competitive side, so I played to that by challenging her to find more coins than me, which boosted her motivation and desire to get good at it. She knows that technically it’s a fair game, and she even gave herself an advantage by walking in front of me, so she could be the first to spot new coins. And since she’s only 4’9″ inches tall, she’s a lot closer to the ground than I am. Gradually she got better at the game. We went out yesterday and played again. In an hour of walking around some hotels on the Vegas Strip, she found 46 cents: 1 quarter, 3 nickels, and 6 pennies. In that same time, I found only 6 cents. She won the game for the first time and was pretty excited about it. And of course I gave her lots of accolades for it, so as to encourage her to keep improving. I dare say she’s probably better at finding coins than I am now. She now knows there are coins everywhere, but she also really gets into the playful and competitive spirit of the game, which is much more exciting for her than it is for me. I think partly she likes knowing that it’s a fair game that either of us can win, and there’s no reason she can’t be at least as skillful as I am. When it comes to creating a vibe of playfulness and excitement, children can easily be more masterful than adults. This is the same vibe we need to recreate as adults in order to manifest whatever we desire.

It may sound silly to do this as an adult, but it’s a game worth playing. When you’re out with friends sometime, have a contest to see who can manifest the most money. You may not get too excited about finding coins, but you may generate some excitement about trying to best your friends in a silly contest. That silliness will actually help you get the right vibe, thereby improving your ability to manifest money.

Detachment People often get confused about the relationship between desire and detachment. Aren’t they diametrically opposed? How can you have both at the same time? Isn’t desire a form of attachment? No, these aren’t in conflict. They coexist perfectly. Let me ‘splain. Desire is about what you wish to create. You could describe this vibe as passion, excitement, or even lust. It’s a delicious pool of emotions you summon by focusing on a new target. The stronger your desire, the better, so amp it up! Detachment, on the other hand, is about how those desires ultimately manifest for you. When you become too attached to when and how your desires show up, you screw up the manifesting process. Instead of holding the vibe of playfulness and abundance, you start sending out signals like concern, worry, and stress. Don’t do that! Would you become stressed and worried if you couldn’t find enough

coins on the ground? Would that vibe improve your performance? No, that would only lower your performance. When you notice that you’re getting frustrated, pause, breathe, and go back to the desire side. Hold that vision of the creation you wish to experience, and wallow in the positive sensations of being there in your heart, mind, and spirit. Know that physical reality will soon catch up, as long as you keep holding the right vibe. When you feel moved to take action from a place of passion and excitement, not stress, then go ahead and let those actions flow through you. It will seem to be more work to stop yourself — you’ll feel like you’re chickening out and holding back if you stay still. Follow your impulses. But don’t worry about the immediate results of those actions. There may be some twists and turns along the way.

Power When manifesting money, it’s especially important that you don’t give your power away to money. This negates your creative ability, and the money probably won’t arrive if you do that. This is a VERY common mistake. You can’t effectively wield the power of manifestation by believing that you can manifest something you desire (i.e. money) while simultaneously believing that something you desire has power over you (i.e. Money).

If you want to manifest money, you CANNOT believe that money is a power source. Money cannot give you wealth or abundance or happiness. It really can’t give you anything. Money just sits there — all the power comes from you. If you believe that having more money will give you any additional power at all, then you’re actually holding the vibe that says, “I’m too weak to attract money.” You’ll have to get a job instead. Think of it like this. If you want to manifest money, but you believe that money is its own power source, then deep down you’re giving money the power to say no to you. If money has power, then it can refuse to show up. Instead of this crazy wrong approach, in your mindset and heartset, you must KNOW that you’re completely 100% dominant over money and that money is completely 100% submissive to you. You’re in total command of it. If you order it to show up, it must obey you. It has no power of its own. It cannot refuse you. When you manifest money, you are COMMANDING it to come into your reality. You’re the CREATOR. Money has no choice but to obey you, but only if you wield your true power. If you give your power away to money, then you empower money to deny your requests. Money will say, “Well, if you’re letting me decide, then no, I’m staying over here.” If you approach money like a power source of its own, then by trying to manifest it, you’re really trying to overpower it, and in such a

contest you’ll usually lose. That contest, however, is completely internal — and pretty much insane. It’s like trying to arm wrestle yourself. How can you win? It’s a false reality you’re projecting because you aren’t ready to fully wield your own power yet. Remember that money is nothing but a number. Or it’s pieces of metal and paper. How could it possibly be more powerful than a conscious human being such as yourself? If you think that once you have money, you will become stronger, you’re crazy. Absolutely deluded! More likely — if you actually did manifest money from that kind of vibe — you’d grow even weaker. This would be a bad outcome for you, even though it seems like what you want. You’d be a weak-minded, weak-hearted person with more money, and you’d still see the money as more powerful than you, even while it’s in your possession. You’d then become attached to it and afraid of losing it because you’d still mistakenly see it as a power source. It would become a source of security for you, a constantly vulnerable one. The more money you had, the more paranoid you’d become about losing it. This would really mess you up big time. So be very, very glad that you naturally attract less money when you think of money as a power source. If you invite money into your life from that crazy frame of giving away your power, then money will become your Master, and you will be forever its slave. Don’t even go there! If money has no power, then why manifest it at all? In truth, you don’t need to. But if you wish to manifest money, then do it as a

game. Money is a just toy you can play with. Get excited about the experience of manifesting money, but don’t put any attention into what you’d do with the money once you have it. It’s merely a number. If you desire something you think money will give you, then focus on that desire directly, not on the money you think you need to get it. Money may or may not be part of the manifestation process. Only focus on manifesting money directly if you’re capable of seeing the money as a plaything, like a video game score. It’s only something to manifest for fun, not something to get all worked up and stressed about. Once again, do NOT give your power away to money. You must know that money is completely powerless. All the power is within you, never out there.

Upgrading When manifesting money, start small and work up to larger amounts. See it as a score you’re aiming to increase, but don’t put larger amounts on a pedestal by assuming they’re more difficult to manifest. I started with manifesting pennies in the Summer of 2006. Then I graduated to nickels, dimes, and quarters. I focused on quarters for several weeks. Then I progressed to dollars to $100 to $1000 to $10K

to $50K. Overall it took less than a year to go from manifesting pennies to manifesting $50K. After that point I become more interested in non-monetary manifesting and had some especially fun times with manifesting in my social life — friends, mentors, and other yumminess. In fact, I honestly feel that manifesting money is a bit boring compared to all the other cool stuff you can manifest. It’s like playing a video game and obsessing over the score. That can be fun for a while, but eventually you want to focus on more interesting aspects of the game world. If you can get good at manifesting coins, you can manifest larger sums too. The process is the same. Only some limiting beliefs of yours may stand in the way. But as you gradually upgrade to larger sums, you can collapse those false beliefs. Once Emily gets good at manifesting coins and feels comfortable and confident with it, I’ll start challenging her to manifest larger sums. She may not find money on the ground as often, but it will show up in other ways. Money comes to you through the filters of your beliefs, but you don’t have to change your beliefs radically. You just have to open enough of a portal in your beliefs to allow different sums to come to you. Coins may be found on the ground while you’re walking around. Bills will sometimes be found on the ground too. Larger sums may manifest in the form of exchanges, business deals, inheritances, inspired action, and other ways. Assume that those larger sums are

right in front of your face, staring at you and screaming at you to notice them. You just have to tune your vibe to the right frequency to pick them up. I’ve noticed that as I’ve shifted my vibe to manifest larger sums of money and to manifest new experiences in other parts of my life, I seem to fall out of resonance with manifesting smaller sums. I’m not as good at manifesting coins as I was in 2006. That’s because my vibe isn’t tuned in to the coin manifesting frequency as much. These days I’m spending more time using the LoA to manifest cool social connections and travel experiences. I’ve tuned my vibe to focus on that part of the perceptual frequency. I also feel more excited and playful about manifesting in these other areas as opposed to adding to my financial score.

Congruency Every relationship in your life contributes to the overall vibe you’re putting out. This includes all the different ways you relate to money. For example, if your job sucks and doesn’t pay you very well, and you try to manifest money on the side, that probably won’t work so well because each time you go to work at your job, you risk retriggering the vibe of feeling financially under-appreciated. This is where lots of people get stuck with the LoA. They put out conflicting vibes every day. They may visualize having more money and feeling abundant and grateful, but then they go to the grocery store, and they buy cheap, low quality food because in the back of

their mind, they’re saying to themselves that they can’t afford the good stuff. And that naturally cancels out the vibe of abundance, so the result is no change. If your current circumstances cause you to emit conflicting vibes, then even as you go through the motions of acting in accordance with a scarcer financial situation than you’d like, keep your vibe focused on that of abundance. The best way to do that is by holding the heartset of gratitude. So even if you buy cheap, low-quality food, hold the vibe that you’re grateful for it and that you appreciate it. Feel appreciative that such food exists and that it’s within your budget. And then look at the high quality stuff, and emotionally invite it into your life. If possible, find one way in which you can splurge for higher quality items, like buying a few organic apples, and feel grateful that you can do that. And when you eat those apples, really enjoy them, and intend to receive more of the same. But do NOT beat yourself up for not being able to afford what you desire. That will only lower your vibe. Do like I did with Emily when she kept finding bottle caps and smudges. Praise yourself for succeeding at what you’re already manifesting, and then command your senses to adjust to a more abundant part of the spectrum of reality. Be patient with yourself — you’ll get it. Whenever you start feeling bad about your financial situation, see

that as a form of feedback. Let it become an immediate trigger to refocus on your desires. Say to yourself, “Okay, obviously I don’t want this. So what do I want instead?” Then think about happier alternatives; allow your mind to go there, and let the resulting new vibe flow through you. Manifesting money is a fun challenge. It’s definitely doable if you approach it from a place of playfulness, knowing, and power. It does involve some discipline, but the discipline is mental and emotional, not physical. You aren’t going to let a 10-year old girl kick your ass at this game, are you?

Happiness First, Then Everything Else If you accept a job, a relationship, or a lifestyle that you merely tolerate — but don’t appreciate — you’re putting other concerns ahead of your own happiness. Social conditioning may have convinced you that sacrificing your happiness to maintain a certain bank balance, to send timely payments to corporations to which you’re indebted, or to pay for someone else’s needs and expenses is the proper way to live. Perhaps your parents played a role in this conditioning as well, teaching you the importance of being responsible and holding down stable employment. If you do these things well, then according to this conditioning, you are successful. You’re doing what’s expected of you, and no one could fault you for that. But sooner or later you’ll come to realize that successfully paying the bills and satisfying other people’s needs, while depriving yourself of a happy life you’re truly passionate about, is no success at all. In fact, it is complete and utter failure. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then you’ve terribly misunderstood the game of life. While you may have been convinced that these duties are important,

the truth is that they’re of no particular importance to people with high self-esteem and a positive sense of self-worth. Such people do not care how much money you make, what kind of provider you are, or how long you’ve been married to the same person. They’re much more curious about something else: how you feel about yourself and the path you’re walking. I have many friends who earn very little money, can’t or won’t hold down stable jobs, and have constantly churning relationship lives. And yet, if they are happy with themselves, I typically find them fascinating and valuable people to have in my life. I also have friends who’ve been blessed by tremendous financial success, with brilliant, decades-spanning careers and deeply loving, committed relationships. If they too are happy with themselves, I find them just as fascinating and rewarding to connect with. When, however, I connect with people who are responsibly doing their duty, but who haven’t yet cultivated a life of happiness, I can’t help but notice the sallow desperation in their eyes, the numbness with which they speak, and the damned-if-I-do-damned-if-I-don’t game of self-deception they play each day. They feel trapped and lost to the point where they label feelings like depression and frustration with words like “fine” and “okay.” If you find yourself in such a situation, there is a way out, and it begins with finally acknowledging the truth to yourself and diving into the dark places where you think it may lead. Accept your

situation as it is, and most importantly, accept how you feel about it. The reality is that the darkness you fear is really nothing to fear at all. Yes, you may face some challenges, but that is how you’ll grow. Do you love and appreciate your work? Do you love and appreciate your relationships? Do you love and appreciate your lifestyle? What is the truth? You cannot get unstuck so long as you remain in perpetual denial. No external rescue will appear. But there is indeed a path to freedom, and it lies on the other side of denial and self-deception — on the side of truth and acceptance. What does happiness look like? Happiness is waking up feeling optimistic and expectant about the day you get to live. Happiness makes it hard to stay in bed once you awaken. A rich day full of new experiences and creative expression awaits you. It is an exciting thing to behold. Happiness is the stillness that exists within energy and movement. When you are happy, you can still pay your bills on time, but you’ll make better choices about what bills are worth incurring. Some of your current bills and expenses might never have been created, had you been living a happy and inspired life to begin with. When you are happy, you can still support others if you wish, but this will be done because you truly want to do it, not because you feel

obligated to do so. When you are happy, you can still enjoy a stable career, but you’ll produce significantly more value in less time because happiness inspires creativity and action, and creative action is a wellspring of opportunity — a wellspring which can, if so desired, produce abundant income for you. Rest assured, your world will not explode simply because you’ve decided to make your own happiness a real priority. More likely, the response from the universe will be akin to a sighing, What took you so long? When I’ve made decisions that were aligned with my own happiness first, I’ve heard the occasional (sometimes frequent) outcries of those objecting to my choices, but these objections invariably came from those who weren’t happy with their own choices. My decision was a painful reminder of that, and hence I can understand, empathize with, and forgive the momentary insanity on their part — the insanity which presumes that their wallowing in unhappiness could possibly persuade me to join them under any circumstances. But far worse than the vocal objections of others are the simulated objections that exist only within your mind — the simulated fear of disapproval. In all honesty which is more important to you: the approval of others, or your own happiness?

If you aren’t happy, you don’t approve of yourself, and hence no one of consequence can approve of you anyway. They will recognize plain as day that your priorities have produced a dismal and wretched failure of a life. If you place approval above your own happiness, you ultimately end up with neither. You’ll be unhappy, and you cannot expect anyone to truly approve of you for that. Whatever approval you do receive will be as fake as the contentment you pretend to harbor. The approval of others is inconsequential, but if you successfully create a happy life for yourself, you will have your own selfapproval, and that is worth something. This self-approval will in turn appear to unlock the approval mechanisms of the universe itself, and it will flood your reality with plenty of validating evidence. When your happiness becomes a true priority, you’ll soon notice a conspiracy of ridiculous abundance, including happy relationships with other happy and attractive people, strong motivation to express yourself creatively, and a lifestyle that yanks you out of bed with a “Wow!”

Money and Your Path With a Heart There’s this idea that if we want to experience more financial abundance, we must identify and rewire our limiting beliefs about money, such as “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “money is the root of all evil.” But the people I know who have lots of money usually didn’t bother to fuss over their beliefs. In fact, current brain research tells us that dwelling on limiting beliefs can be selfdefeating since you’re still reinforcing the same neural patterns by thinking about them, thereby making them stronger. A more effective approach is to largely ignore your so-called limiting beliefs. Put your focus on what you desire first and foremost. The tricky part is figuring out what you actually desire. I found that the best approach for me, financially speaking, is to follow my path with a heart and to admit that money just isn’t that important to me in the grand scheme of things. So I actually seek to minimize the role of money in my life, making it mostly irrelevant. I create enough financial abundance that I don’t have to devote much mental bandwidth to fussing over money. Money is there when I need it; otherwise I can largely ignore it. This frees up my attention to express my creativity, to explore relationships with people, to travel, to read a lot, and to generally enjoy and experience the aspects of life that matter to me so much more than money ever will.

When I tried to center my life around money, it didn’t make me happy. I found it pretty stressful actually. It set me up for a competitive relationship with others. And I wasn’t very good at making money for the sake of money anyway. I didn’t find myself particularly motivated to do the things that would make me more money. I would procrastinate on seemingly profitable work and spend time learning about personal growth instead, which for much of my life was just a side hobby. Eventually I saw the folly in investing so much energy into trying to make more money, especially when I wasn’t doing a very good job of it anyway. I realized that I don’t actually want to fuss or stress over money in my life. I don’t really want to make a lot of money. That isn’t a true desire for me. A more genuine desire is that I’d like to live without giving much attention to money. I’d like to live as if everything I desire is free. Growing up, I was inspired by the characters in the universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They didn’t seem to need money. Technically they did have money in their universe, but money was so unimportant that hardly anyone talked about it — except for one race that everyone made fun of. The people in that universe worked because they wanted to work, not because they got paid. Money was irrelevant because they lived in a universe of abundance. They had unlimited food, cozy quarters, quality healthcare, and speedy transportation. Having all their needs met gave them the freedom to focus on other parts of their lives: hobbies like music or painting, recreation, intimate relationships, reading, exploration, and more.

They lived in the ultimate personal growth playground. I was inspired by that idea and asked myself how close I could get to it in the real world. Obviously this reality isn’t the same idealized fictional universe, but I could at least get closer to it if I tried. I realized that one step was to earn a certain threshold level of income in such a way that it wouldn’t require me to do a lot of grunt work to maintain it, and then all my expenses would be covered. That’s what got me interested in passive income. I’ve been experiencing that reality for many years now, and honestly… I love it. In order to play the game of life this way, I made decisions that many people would consider foolish. That’s because their priority is to make more money. My priority is to have a life. I’m not interested in getting rich or retiring. I’m already doing what I’d do if I were retired. So I deliberately pass up many opportunities to earn more money, so I can give less attention to money and more attention to personal growth, relationships, and more. I’m very pleased with this trade-off. I don’t want to waste my life fussing over money. I did that during much of my 20s, and I think it was a mistake to live that way. What may surprise you is that I learned to live this way even when I was broke. The key is how you focus your mind. To really enjoy life, focus your mind on what you love most, and bring that into your life

now — not later, not when you have more money. Whatever you think money will add to your life, you’re probably wrong about that. Add those elements to your life now. So if you think money will allow you to travel more, start traveling now, even if you’re doing a lot of couchsurfing. Realize that you already have the means to do what you tell yourself you’re going to do when you have the money. You’ve just been programmed by social conditioning to think you need more money, but you don’t. And besides, you aren’t really going to be more motivated to earn extra money if you aren’t already following your path with a heart. Take time to experience the simple pleasures of life. Put more attention on what you can enjoy and experience right now. That doesn’t actually require money. You can enjoy a long walk for free. Long walks are still one of my favorite pleasures. When I couldn’t afford to buy books, I would go to the library and check out five or ten personal development books and audio programs and go through them. I very much enjoyed doing that, and it was free. I still do this today, typically averaging about one audiobook per week. Today I can buy the best organic produce. I don’t have to look at prices when I shop. I like to shop as if everything were free. Whatever the bill is, I know I have plenty of money to cover it. When I couldn’t afford the best food, I bought the best that I could afford and learned to appreciate it. I tried different foods. I learned

to cook. I expressed my desire to have growth experiences through whatever level of abundance I could muster. That approach was very motivating. It gave me a reason to actually earn some money. My reason for earning money was to help express my desired life path — a path centered around personal growth, exploration, and relationships. The real shift happened when I stopped using a lack of money as an excuse for not pursuing that path. I released the fear of not having enough. I started pursuing this path when I was broke. The money came later. In my experience, needing money has usually pushed it away. When I don’t adopt a needy relationship to money, I seem to attract plenty of it. It flows to me quite naturally as a result of following my path with a heart. When I’m on this path, I’m feeling good about my life, my self development, my connections to people, and my contribution to the world. That state of being is very attractive. It attracts people, opportunities, business deals, and more. And that state of being doesn’t depend on having any particular level of income. What if I want to increase my income? Trying to increase it directly seldom works. What works for me is to expand my path with a heart first. Internally I must open my heart to greater challenges or new levels of experience. If those experiences require more money, then the money will flow into my life — but only when I take the first step and get moving.

Quite often when it seems like money is a block to having certain experiences, that’s a false belief. We block ourselves because we aren’t ready. We’ve turned our backs on our light. In truth we are very powerful and creative beings, capable of summoning wonderful experiences into our lives when we’re finally ready to embrace them — and all their rippling consequences. I used to think that traveling overseas was a really big deal. I turned it into this behemoth of complexity. I definitely used a lack of money as a reason for not traveling more. I also used the excuse of being in a relationship with a woman who didn’t like to travel. But once I realized that those limitations were just excuses and that of course I was a powerful enough being to summon the experience of travel into my life, I simply made it happen. It felt like there was a push to get moving initially, but afterwards it felt more like allowing than pushing. Once I started traveling more, I began getting a lot more free travel invites. As I shed the belief that I needed money to travel, I found myself being able to enjoy amazing trips while spending very little money. For instance, people would invite me to speak at their events, and they’d pay for my travel expenses and provide a place to stay. I recently received an invite for my fourth free trip to Europe within the past two years, to speak at the Lifestyle Design Convention in Zurich in January 2015. I haven’t been to Switzerland yet, so I’m really look forward to it. But of course this wouldn’t be happening if I wasn’t following my

path with a heart. Part of that path involved facing and overcoming fears. I used to really dislike public speaking. Now I love it! It’s such a beautiful way to share a positive message and connect with people. I’ll probably be getting speaking invitations with free travel opportunities for the rest of my life. I love speaking, I love traveling, and I love meeting new people, so this adds a lot of happiness to my life. This unfolded very gracefully by following my path with a heart. I didn’t have to push myself to do work I disliked to earn more money just so I could travel. I made travel a part of my life first, to the extent that I could afford it, and then it expanded, including the expansion of opportunities to fuel it. You may be assuming that money is the ultimate fuel, the ultimate enabler, the ultimate resource in life. If that were true, then people with lots of money should be so much happier, shouldn’t they? But the data shows that once you get passed about $75-80K per year in income, happiness doesn’t increase with additional income and often decreases. I have many wealthy friends who earn 10 to 100 times as much as I do. Most of them, however, actually seem less happy than I am. Some of them have told me they’re jealous of my lifestyle. They have empires to manage. They travel 150-200 days per year because they believe they have to. Otherwise they wouldn’t make as much money, and they might have to start laying people off. They often seem worried about potential threats to their revenue streams.

Some of them are disturbed by the fact that I’ve uncopyrighted most of my work since they believe that intellectual property is their most valuable asset. But what does their income matter if they aren’t as happy as they could be, if they’re experiencing chronically higher stress levels, if they spend a lot of time worrying, if they wrap their self-esteem into their achievements (which sets them up for an inevitable fall)? I think that especially in the U.S., we undervalue what actually makes us happy in life. We push ourselves to earn more, but why? If the path to get to that next level of income isn’t fulfilling, and if the money isn’t likely to fulfill you either, then why expend so much energy on an unfulfilling path? Why not put happiness and fulfillment first in our lives — and then see what it does to our incomes? The approach that worked for me was to surrender the socially conditioned path. I gave up the path that said I have to earn lots of money first, and then I can do whatever I want and be happy. After trying that for many years, I found it foolish and unfulfilling. I actually resigned myself to being broke, figuring it would be worth it to be perpetually broke if I could at least spend a lot of time doing what I found fulfilling and enjoyable. But much to my surprise and delight, that path with a heart turn out to also be the path of abundance. :)

Take the Red Pill I've often mentioned that I believe there’s some kind of linkage between thought and reality that bypasses direct action. In this chapter I’d like to clarify what I mean by that and why I believe this. First of all, recognize that this is a field in which we cannot apply the Scientific Method. Why not? The Scientific Method has four steps: observation, hypothesis, prediction, testing. The underlying assumption to this methodology is that the observer and the object of the experiment are separate entities. The Scientific Method presupposes the existence of an external reality separate from the consciousness of the observer. So it can only be used effectively within such a reality. What I’m saying, however, is that we do not live in such a reality. If we live in a reality where the thoughts of the observer can influence the object of the experiment, then the Scientific Method will not work. Why not? First, the process of observation is corrupted. If you try to use the Scientific method to observe reality, you won’t be passively observing it as something separate from yourself. You’ll actually be creating some of the reality as you observe it. There’s no way to completely separate yourself from it. Secondly, when you form a hypothesis based on your observations, you’re again creating with your thoughts instead of assessing something objective. Prediction is another creative process. And by the time you reach the testing stage, the object of your experiment

has become so corrupted by the influence of your own thoughts that you’re measuring a combination of the object plus your creative impact on it, not the object itself. Every additional test conducted by other “impartial” testers will likewise be affected by the creative powers of their thoughts, beginning with their initial reaction to hearing of your results. So if this is indeed the reality in which we live, then the Scientific Method is not what it appears. Instead of being a pure process of measurement, it is a combined process of measurement plus creation. There is no pure act of passive observation for conscious beings — every one of our thoughts has a creative impact. The observer cannot be separated from the experiment. Think of this as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle applied to consciousness. Whatever we try to measure is changed by the act of measurement. What if you firmly belief that there is an objective reality separate from your thoughts. Am I saying then that the Scientific Method is bunk? After all, look what it has given us. We’ve discovered all these laws of physics and created all kinds of useful things with them. How can I say it’s useless? I’m not saying the Scientific Method is useless. I’m saying that it isn’t a process of measuring objective reality. It is actually a process of creation. So while you might say that we discovered the laws of physics, I’m suggesting that we created them. Set aside your skepticism for just a moment, and consider the possibility that you’re right now living inside a thought bubble

created by your own beliefs and expectations about reality. Now if that were true, then if you believe in an objective external world separate from your thoughts, then that will become your reality. So if you don’t believe there’s any direct linkage between thought and reality, then you’re not going to experience that linkage in your life. You won’t be able to see it. It won’t exist for you. Your thought that it’s impossible will form a reality for you in which such things are impossible. You’ll interpret my words in such a way that they’ll be congruent with your reality — most likely you’ll just conclude I’m mistaken (although you may choose a less kind word for it). And this is exactly how I reacted to anyone who suggested there was no objective reality when I was in a similar thought bubble. But after many years of living within that thought bubble, I began getting curious. Was I indeed living within a thought bubble of my own creation? Did I have the ability to step outside of it simply by changing my beliefs and expectations about reality?

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! I decided to go for it. I wanted to know if changing my beliefs would actually change my experience of reality in such a powerful way that I felt I was actually changing reality itself. If I was wrong, reality would slap me back. Assuming I began with changes that wouldn’t prove fatal if I was wrong, it seemed a reasonable risk. But what if I was right? I took the red pill and opted to find out.

The mere act of making this decision seemed to have an effect. My first obstacle was that I didn’t really know how to recondition my old beliefs. I couldn’t see a way to convince myself to believe something that I didn’t think was true. After all, I was going into this experiment with skepticism — I doubted it would actually work. And that would corrupt the experiment because those doubts would hold my beliefs about reality fixed. So I needed a way to really believe something new, almost like a way to hypnotize myself. It was around this time that I discovered NLP and learned how to do exactly that. I needed a way to recondition my beliefs, and it suddenly appeared. Hmmm…. Through NLP I learned how to interrupt the pattern of old beliefs and condition new ones. These techniques are often used for overcoming fears and phobias. So first, I learned that it was indeed possible to intentionally reprogram my own beliefs, and I learned how to do it. A good book on this subject is Using Your Brain for a Change by Richard Bandler. The next step was to think about what new beliefs to install and which old ones to erase. I wanted to begin gently, but I also wanted to change big global beliefs that would affect my experience of reality. We’re talking years of experimenting here, which is far more than I can write in a blog entry. And if you’re in a certain type of thought bubble right now, you probably won’t even believe me. I guess the question is what should I share that will get you curious enough to try this experiment yourself and start pushing to expand your current reality vs. what will freak you out too much and make

you afraid to try it or just conclude I’m nuts. The hard part is explaining all of this within the confines of a thought bubble that says it’s impossible. So I’ll keep it gentle for starters. One of the first experiments I tried was to reprogram my religious beliefs. I was raised Catholic, and then went atheist for several years, but I was somewhere between atheist and agnostic when I started these thought experiments. This was around 1993. I didn’t believe in the Christian idea of God anymore, but I was open to the idea of there being some kind of higher power at work, although I had no clue what it’s nature might be. So I started with some of the more interesting new agey belief systems and adopted some of their beliefs, many of which conflicted with my previous beliefs. These included beliefs about the interconnectedness of all conscious beings and the existence of other astral realms populated by conscious beings. As soon as I installed these new beliefs, it was like a floodgate opening. This first thing that happened was that I attracted into my life other people whose beliefs were congruent with my new ones, people unlike any I’d ever met, including my future wife. When I was Catholic it was as if such people didn’t exist — they never seemed to intersect my reality. Now they were suddenly the people with whom I was spending the most time. That alone was strange. I learned about lucid dreaming and astral experiences, and out of nowhere I suddenly started experiencing them frequently.

Lucid dreaming means having a dream where you become consciously aware that you’re dreaming, thus able to take control of the dream and do whatever you want — fly around, create characters, wield superpowers, etc. Incidentally, if you want to start having lucid dreams yourself, then expand your thought bubble by reading Stephen LaBerge’s books: Lucid Dreaming and Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. But the most important step to begin lucid dreaming is just to decide to start having them. Eventually you’ll be dreaming, and you’ll wake up within your dream and become aware that your body is asleep on your bed, and you’re inside your own dream. But it will feel like you’re wide awake. Then you’ll most likely freak out and wake up within a matter of seconds. But with practice you can learn to do some pretty cool stuff. I’m getting pretty good at flying without crashing into trees. Sleep is just as restful when you lucid dream. An astral experience is a form of OBE (out of body experience). Near-death experiences are one example. It’s a feeling of leaving your body and traveling somewhere else, possibly on earth, but most often for me it was the feeling of being in some alternate reality, full of other conscious beings with whom you can communicate. In some ways it’s similar to a lucid dream, since you remain conscious while it’s happening. I don’t think we have adequate words to explain the difference between lucid dreams and astral experiences, but I don’t know anyone who’s experienced them both who can’t tell the difference.

Usually the astral stuff would happen while I was sleeping, but sometimes it would even happen while I was awake. I documented many of these experiences in my journal, especially because this stuff seemed so unreal at the time. But for certain people I met, it was no big deal — they’d been experiencing similar things their whole lives, even taking steps to develop their abilities to do interesting things while having astral experiences or lucid dreams, like communicating with other conscious beings and coming back with answers. Of course, this is nothing new for people who have such beliefs; it’s just a normal part of their lives. If you’re in such a belief system right now, you’re probably just nodding along as if I’m describing a piece of lint. If you’re in a belief system where such things are impossible, then you’re obligated to conclude I’m nuts or that I’m misinterpreting reality because your thoughts prevent you from ever having such experiences yourself (either that or you’ve already stopped reading). But these experiences are just a belief away. After a few months of this stuff, I’d had my fill of leaving my body (most of the time it would happen unintentionally), and I shifted my beliefs again, this time going in a more Hindu/Buddhist direction. And lo and behold, my reality changed too. All those freaky astral experiences died off almost immediately, and I started having very different experiences. After several years of these kinds of belief-shifting experiments, it became clear to me that there was something happening that went

beyond anything I could explain as a form of reinterpreting an objective reality. Stuff was happening “out there” that had to be more than tricks being played on my senses. I began to experience events, even with other people, that would just never happen to me in other belief systems, stuff I used to believe was impossible. It was as if the mere decision to allow the impossible to become at least possible not only make it possible but invited it into my daily reality. One of the milder examples was telepathy — like picking fairly unique full sentences word for word out of people’s heads before they said them and having others do the same to me. Shared dreams (having the exact same dream as another person) was another. Creating money when I needed cash was yet another. Eventually I came to understand that whether you’re an atheist or a Christian or a Buddhist, you’re right. But instead of your beliefs being based on reality, they’re creating your reality. If you don’t believe in stuff like ESP, you’ll find none of it anywhere in your life. But if you do believe in it, incontrovertible evidence of it will be everywhere. I can’t prove to you that you’re in a thought bubble right now. But you can prove it to yourself if you have enough curiosity to make the attempt. You have to decide to swallow the red pill. The only way to prove you’re in a thought bubble is to consciously change your thoughts in such a way that you contradict at least one of the foundational beliefs that form the bubble. This begins with opening your mind to the possibility that your thoughts are shaping your reality. You think your thoughts are actually based on some reality

“out there,” but they’re really creating your reality. If you believe in an objective external reality, then that will be true for you. But are you aware that you don’t have to subscribe to this belief? And that doing so unnecessarily limits your experience of life? Start to challenge some of your beliefs and see what happens. Actually expect to experience something that contradicts one of your beliefs this week. Just open yourself up to the possibility, and even invite it. Dare the universe to prove you wrong; ask it to show you which of your beliefs is limiting you the most. Then see what happens. Don’t challenge your belief in gravity. Start small. Pick something that you know isn’t going to hurt you if you’re wrong, something that won’t make you gullible and do something really stupid if you’re wrong, but something that will open you up to fun new experiences if you’re right. To what degree do our thoughts create our reality? That I don’t know. I’m convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that our thoughts have a strong and powerful effect on creating the reality we experience. But I don’t know how strong this factor is. I don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes. I’m sitting in a thought bubble of my own, and as such my own reality is being shaped by the nature of that bubble. In my current thought bubble, I experience a reality where my thoughts combine with those of others to create a shared reality, yet we each experience that reality through a different lens. Every time I shift my beliefs consciously, I can see my reality changing faster

and faster to reflect the new beliefs. So I think my increasing comfort with this process allows the changes to manifest faster. One of my current thoughts is that we cannot adopt beliefs that would contradict the realities of others. So if everyone thinks it’s impossible for me to fly, then I can’t do it because it would conflict with their reality. But whenever there’s the possibility for a personal experience which people can easily explain within the terms of their own thought bubbles, there’s no conflict. That means personal experiences like ESP and astral stuff can be had abundantly without any contradiction — if there’s no physical proof, then other people with different thought bubbles can just dismiss them. Of course, what I really wonder is whether my beliefs about these limitations on our shared reality are themselves part of a thought bubble which can be escaped by conscious choice, and if I go that way, then what? I’m not quite ready to try that just yet, since I’m still getting a lot of mileage experimenting within these limitations, but someday…. Changing your beliefs is a powerful concept. Even though I’ve been doing this for well over a decade, I still feel I’m just scratching the surface of it. There are so many interesting beliefs to try, and I’ve mostly been experimenting with high-level philosophical and spiritual beliefs. If you opt to go this path, do be careful though. If you change too much too quickly, you can easily lose perspective, fall into a prolonged funk, and wind up meditating in a cave the rest of your life. And just as a word of caution, I don’t recommend challenging any beliefs that include the word “alien” for your first attempt unless you’re really brave. They don’t exist, OK. :)

Is This Heaven? If you maintain a negative limiting belief about your reality, such as a belief that this reality is insane, crazy, violent, indifferent, apathetic, etc., then your attitude will absolutely cream you. You can't expect to get anywhere good with a belief that this reality is anything less than heavenly. You're not actually judging reality with such beliefs because you only have access to your limited perceptions of it, and those are 100% within your mind. So by labeling reality negatively, you're actually labeling a part of your own mind in the same way. That's a trap — a huge trap that you must avoid at all costs.

The Trap of Labeling Reality Negatively Subconsciously your mind will respond to such beliefs by crippling your self-esteem and strangling your ability to leverage your skills and talents. Some people who go this route even kill themselves in the end. It's a completely foolhardy way to deal with reality. No good can come of it. Well‌ no good other than the eventual realization that it was a rather lame idea. Once you realize that your perceptions of reality are all you have to go with, the most sensible approach is to permanently rule out the idea of casting aspersions on your reality, since you're actually

ridiculing your own perceptions, which can only make you go a bit insane. You can't afford to do anything of the sort. That cannot possibly do any good whatsoever — it can only take you down a path of self-destruction and ruin. What's the alternative? Do the absolute best you can to cultivate a harmonious and supportive relationship with your reality. Settle for nothing less. If anything conflicts with your efforts there, ignore it as best you can, and refocus your attention on re-establishing a harmonious and supportive relationship with reality. You cannot get anywhere in this life if you do otherwise. Some people have the belief that this reality is something of a proving ground between heaven (bliss) and hell (torture). They're mistaken. When those people experience physical death, if their consciousness continues, they'll only continue recreating more of the same flavor of experience they had here. They won't suddenly ascend or descend just because they drop the connection to this particular physical plane. When you disconnect your computer from the Internet, it doesn't suddenly upgrade or downgrade itself. If you want to upgrade your life experience, you must be the upgrader.

How to Take Control of Reality This reality is actually as good as it gets. You're already in heaven now, if you believe such a thing exists. There is nothing better. Whatever you think you can create in heaven, you can create and experience here. This doesn't require magical powers or magical

thinking. It does require taking full responsibility for how you relate to this reality. Since that relationship exists entirely within your mind, it's under your control‌ but only to the extent that you believe it is. If you think that's a Catch 22, you're also right, since that's just another belief. The benefit of a Catch 22, however, is that you can choose to be on the side that cheats, so no matter what happens, you win. I maintain the belief that reality is 100% on my side. This is not based on evidence. It is based on choice. The evidence comes after the choice, not the other way around. I even believe that reality conspires to go out of its way to help me, and I see evidence of this constantly (again, only after I chose this belief). And so this is what my experience of reality becomes. It's full of pleasant surprises. Today, for instance, I received an extra $900 out of the blue that I didn't even know was coming. Reality loves to bring me gifts like this — financially, socially, experientially, etc. And because I maintain this belief, people frequently help and support me on my path. No one is going to do that for someone who thinks this reality is somehow lacking or damaged — that belief will only get you drained, beaten down, and abused. If you seem to have a love-hate relationship with reality, then who's the abuser? It can only be you. If you wish to continue suffering, then by all means, do so. I won't stop you, especially when you do it

in an entertaining way. What if the whole time you've been here, reality was conspiring to bring you the most heavenly experiences imaginable, and all this time it's been waiting for you to get with the program? Reality was functioning perfectly — within established parameters. But perhaps you've been slacking off in the imagination department. Have you been dwelling on what you'd love to experience and summoning it, or have you been muddling your mind with thoughts of perpetuating more of what you don't want? If you love what you're experiencing right now, you can just keep observing that, and it will self-perpetuate; if that's you, you're already golden. But you can't afford to let your mind dwell on your observations and their extended predictions if you've already established the pattern of creating experiences you don't desire to continue. If you want to break the pattern of what you're already experiencing, you need to shift your energy from observation and prediction to unfettered imagination and creation. Essentially that's a time management challenge — spend less time observing and more time imagining. Have you thought about what heaven might actually be like? It's surely not all harps and angels and clouds like you might see depicted in a movie. That might be fun for a few hours, but then you'd be bored for eternity.

This Is Heaven

Here's how I define heaven for me. Heaven is a state of existence that let's me experience the following: Beam - Enjoy my life immensely; feel deep appreciation and gratitude for this experience; laugh and smile Harmonize - Maintain a deeply positive, loving, and supportive relationship with my reality Shine - Develop my skills, talents, and habits to genius level; shamelessly express and share my creativity and brilliance Explore - Search, study, travel, learn, and discover, guided by my curiosity, desires, and intuition Open - Open my heart; actively invite and experience delicious connections that I desire Grow - Become more capable and free; release and shed fears and limitations Prosper - Create and enjoy tremendous prosperity and abundance

No need to wait for an afterlife. This is achievable here and now. What's your version of heaven? Do you have to wait till you're dead

to experience it? What makes you think death will be any better than this anyway? Would it really be easier to create heaven in some astral realm vs. right here, right now? What are you waiting for? If you need permission, you can have mine.

The Best Place to Invest Your Money The best place to invest your money is in yourself. The rate of return from investing in your own knowledge and skills will be much higher than anything you’ll see from stocks, real estate, or other investments. In some cases you can even measure the rate of return. Say you buy a book. Even add in the cost of your average hourly rate multiplied by the time it took you to read it. Many books will be lousy. But every once in a while, you’ll get one good idea that gives you a huge rate of return. Like 10x the cost in a matter of months. This is especially true with business and personal productivity books. But often it isn’t a breakthrough idea but rather the continuous exposure to the same ideas presented in different ways that produces a steady return over time. And the results go way beyond monetary. If investing in your own knowledge finally gives you the idea you need to quit smoking, you can measure the lifetime financial savings in the cost of cigarettes, but what is the increased level of health worth to you? What is the idea that allows you to meet and connect with your future spouse worth? What is shedding 50 pounds of fat and knowing you can keep it off the rest of your life worth? What is building a career that totally fulfills you worth? A trick I learned from Brian Tracy is to invest 3% of your income on

your own personal development. I don’t know why he specifically uses 3%, but that seems about right to me. So if you earn $5000 per month, you’d invest just $150 per month on your own personal development. You could buy about 10 paperback business or selfhelp books; those are typically $12-16 each (but that’s a lot to read in a month). Or you could order about 3 six-cassette or six-CD audio programs. Or that $150 could go toward the cost of a seminar or conference. I find it best to mix and match different types of learning. For example, last month I bought an audio program, a few books, and went to a 3-day seminar. You don’t have to spend that exact percentage every month. It’s fine to underspend one month and overspend another. But aim for about 3% for the year on average. If that amount makes you uncomfortable, start with 1% the first month and build up gradually. Or just start with a fixed amount like $20 until you get the hang of it. You can use this budget to invest in improving yourself any way you like. So that includes not just knowledge, but also equipment and services — anything that helps you grow and improve. For example, I used this budget to put together a home gym with a weight station, an exercise bike, and lots of free weights. If you’re feeling stressed, you could use the money to get a professional massage (in my area those are usually $40-100 for an hour). My wife likes spending half a day at the Luxor Spa now and then. If you feel it would be a growth experience for you, go for it. Take sky-diving lessons. Tour a museum. Join a club or association. Buy software to learn to type

faster. Take flute lessons. Take tennis lessons. Get a PDA. This is a pretty easy habit to develop too. Just write on your calendar on the 1st of each month: “Invest 3% in myself.” Then when that date comes up, figure out how much money you made the previous month, and then decide how you’ll spend it. If you can, spend it right away — easy when you order online. Remember that this is an investment; the money you spend here will be repaid in the long run based on how you invest it. If you run your own business, you can decide whether you want to invest a percentage of your gross or your net income. I use the gross, which obviously gives me a higher budget. Use whatever figure you feel most comfortable with. Even though I’m shopping-challenged, this is the kind of shopping I enjoy. You can give me a $10,000 shopping spree at the local mall, and I won’t be able to find anything I want. But when it comes to investing in knowledge and skills, suddenly I have no trouble coming up with a wish list. It’s fun to think, “OK, I have $X to spend on my own personal growth. How shall I do it?” Let’s buy 30 shares of better health, 10 shares of financial prosperity, 5 shares of communication skills, and 20 shares of relationship building. Happy spending! :)

This free sample is an excerpt from the 22-chapter 226-page full length book available at Amazon.

Edited by Ilya Alexi, author of Mind Over Money: How to Program Your Mind for Wealth. Get a free digital download of this book at

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