Life 2.0

ALONG in his 40s, the American male often plunges into strange fits of black depression. He wakes in a sweat at 4 a.m. He stares at the dim ceiling. His once bright ambitions creep past like beaten soldiers. Face it: he will never run the company, write the novel, make the million. He feels fat and futile; his kids are taller than he is.

Second Acts in American Lives, Time Magazine Essay, March 3, 1968

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Wild abandon

Buddhism teaches that selfish desire is at the root of all suffering. So to proceed with Right Intention, we should seek to free ourselves of desire. This intention in itself, is a selfish desire. To want to rid our selves of something is still a want. To seek nirvana, enlightenment, the Kingdom of Heaven are all selfish desires, no matter if we tell ourselves it’s in the service of a greater good. We are wanting machines. We are created out of desire for the purpose of desire; food, comfort and procreation. To deny ourselves these things is to deny our very purpose. Continue reading

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Life, on your terms

I recently spent an afternoon with a friend of mine in China, who is the Communist Party Secretary of small city. Whenever we get together, we always share a few pots of tea and talk candidly about our two governments. This time, we discussed at some length whether the purpose of government is to control (his idea) or to serve (my idea). He said, “We serve people by controlling them, otherwise there would be chaos. After all, life for most people, is not easy. Continue reading

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In praise of responsible drunkenness

The UnboundedLife is about what it means to be free, which in itself is paradoxical. Many people see freedom as an escape: to get away to a better place, to remove themselves from the constraints and unhappiness of everyday life. But escape isn’t freedom, it’s just a temporary respite from dissatisfaction that in the end still leaves us stuck. While drinking is a popular way to escape stress or to forget, for others, it’s the freedom of a pleasurable indulgence that enhances the experience. By “others”, I mean me. And by “pleasurable indulgence”, I mean getting drunk. Continue reading

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Sweet spot

“It’s a zero sum game, sport. Somebody wins and somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred…from one perception to another, like magic”. — Gordon Gecko in Wall Street

I’m preparing to give a workshop (playshop) in June at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat called, Breakthrough Strategies for Attracting Wealth. While the name might suggest it’s all about money, it’s really about self-awareness. The Get Rich gurus of the world would have you believe that by teaching you some secret laws of money, you can master the zero sum game. This post is for those who believe that there’s more to wealth than money and reveals strategies of the inner game we can use to enjoy the process of creating it. Continue reading

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The celestial emporium

In Chinese traditional culture there is the belief that success requires three conditions: Tian Shi 天时 (right time), Di Li 地利 (right place) and Ren He 人和 (right people). All three of these things, more specifically, the will of heaven (Tian Shi), material resources (Di Li) and the harmony of people (Ren He) must be present and aligned. While it may sound like an ancient way of perceiving the world, most of us make the same assumptions about what is possible, based on what is available. As I teach in my personal leadership workshops, success is about enjoying the process of actualizing a self-owned vision. Instead of waiting for the right time, place and people, there is a formulaic process that each of us can apply to purposefully manifest our desires, rather than adhere to the dreary cliche that success comes only to those who work hard, or worse, the lucky. Continue reading

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Thrown clear

These shards of memory embedded, fragments
lodged too close to the heart to remove.

A jagged-edged memento lies deep, splintered
evidence of impact scarred over.

Its shrapnel threatens something vital, tearing
open wounds with each recollection.