Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Puff the Magic Dragon…

…lives by the sea; and so do most of the assholes that try to sell you get rich quick schemes, wealth without effort, manifesting secrets etc, etc, etc.

They live in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and San Diego. Some live in the mountains and lush desert resorts, but you get the point. All I'm saying is that if they're living the high life it's probably due to much more than just wishing, and hoping, and manifesting, and positive thinking. Once in a while someone wins the lottery, but most of the recipe for success consists of 10 parts hard work with equal parts failure, frustration, disappointment, doubt and fear blended vigorously.

Oh, and some of the assholes I've seen in this world simply inherited money from their parents and haven't blown it all yet. If they're good marketeers they may even expand their inheritance several fold. It's easy to "go with the flow" when you were born on the river of plenty. By the way; you can sell anything if you've got enough capital to sustain a global marketing campaign.

Before I launch into my tirade; there is something to be said for "going with the flow." If you're relatively relaxed, open to new ideas and experiences and enjoy a relatively balance life you're going to be healthier, more engaged and more energetic. Your brain will generally work better so you'll make better decisions. You'll see abundance and opportunity where others might see scarcity and danger.

My mission today is to make sure you don't throw good money down the tubes on teachers, seminars, books and DVDs that promise to reveal the secret technique to success, health and wealth.

If you really want some secrets, here they are for free:

  • Find someone who was successful doing what you want to do. Do what he did.
  • Once you fully commit to a goal; keep going until you reach it.
  • Accept failure as part of the game.
  • Recognize small successes along the way and reward yourself for them.
  • Do the right thing and you'll always feel better than you would if you did the wrong thing.
  • Two heads might not be better than one, but two brains are. Make sure to surround yourself with good brains.
  • Treat people with respect. All people; those above you, below you and around you.
  • Work really, really, really hard.
  • If you really want the easy life, find something you really love to do and work really, really, really hard at that.
  • Give unconditionally; especially love, respect and wisdom. Giving is what you do now; rewards are what might come later.
  • You're not entitled to anything but opportunity.
  • Be here, right now and enjoy.

I may have just saved you several thousand dollars and many hours of study and research! That's how I learned these secrets. Many of these secrets came to me from ancient martial arts masters who were experts at doing things very well and maximizing human potential. Others I learned from generous teachers, bosses, mentors, peers and small children.

So…I'm saying you should never buy motivational books, attend self-help conferences or watch inspirational videos, right?

Wrong. I also learned many of these "secrets" from seminars, videos, great speakers and my Dashboard University.

Invest as much time and money as you're comfortable with on books, programs and seminars. Just be sure you're spending with your head and not just your heart; particularly when your heart is empty. Moments of emotional, spiritual and material poverty and desperation are not the best times to commit resources you don't have on promises that may or may not be realized. You may have more fundamental work to do first.

Make sure your expectations are realistic and that your motivation is internalized and sustainable. Start with a practical inventory of your resources and invest your time, money and energy based on a rational assessment of your current position. I encourage big goals and grand adventures; just be sure you prepare and provision for the expedition!

Finally, beware of the bullshitters! There is no authentic success without hard work. These days the most co-opted and exploited philosophy is the Law of Attraction. Can you really expect to manifest wealth by cosmically aligning your energy fields and mental state with the quantum field of the universe? Is the universe really some kind of psycho-metaphysical vending machine?

Come on. Think about some of these claims and apply your bullshit detector.

The Law of Attraction does work. You do tend to attract more opportunities when you're in a positive frame of mind. Negativity is blinding and narrowing. Positivity opens you to possibility which in turn improves probability of success. If you're a positive, creative and energetic person you're likely to find other positive, creative and energetic people; and those are the people who get the work done!

The Law of Attraction, however, is dependent on one ancient principle the great Chinese philosophers called "kung fu."

A good translation is: WORK.

The Law of Attraction is an action philosophy. At least that's what Napoleon Hill taught and he was the one who coined the phrase. The Law of Attraction is the result of a process of self-perfection. Making yourself a better person creates value for yourself and those around you. People are attracted to you because you offer greater value when you're a better person. You're open to greater opportunities because you train yourself to recognize them and you're constantly preparing to take advantage of them.

Self-perfection is hard and endless work. Enjoy it; it's worth it!

Here's what you should reasonably expect from motivational teachers, seminars, books and other materials.

  • Inspiration and stories that motivate you to action. The first action is to internalize the motivation.
  • Examples for what to do and how to do it.
  • Systems and techniques that may make your journey to success more efficient or less painful.
  • Validation of feelings of pain, suffering, frustration and failure. The knowledge that you're not alone and that successful people have these same feelings.
  • Encouragement to continue on your path if it's the right one.

If you're willing to invest blood, sweat and tears along with a few bucks, then find a teacher, coach, book or seminar that makes sense to you and go for it!

If you're looking for a shortcut to fame and fortune; go to Vegas; you've got just as much of a shot as anyone else.

Jim Bouchard
Speaker, life-coach and author of Think Like a Black Belt and Dynamic Components of Personal POWER!


The Write Now! Coach said...


Thank you for a wonderful post. I get tired from all the hype out there. As a writing coach, I am constantly connecting with folks who want to write a bestseller without having to actually DO the work! Not possible!

You've encouraged me! And I will send my clients to this wonderful post!


Jim Bouchard said...

Thanks for the kind words Rochelle! I sincerely hope this article will help!

Best thoughts,

Nelja said...


Thank you. This is exactly what no one else talks about, because they are scared people will not fall for their schemes. It makes so much sense. Thank you once again.