Success

When Selfish Is Okay: Selfishness From A Perspective Of Abundance With Gary Pinkerton

TWS 69 | Abundance Mindset

 

Selfishness isn’t always bad. When your selfishness comes from a perspective of abundance, it becomes the kind that gives value to people instead of taking something away from them. That is just one of the amazing facets of the abundance mindset that we don’t get to hear about every day. You can hear these facets resound mightily now in this conversation between Patrick Donohoe and his amazing guest, fellow wealth strategist, Gary Pinkerton. Listen in as they take a deep dive into a far-ranging conversation on abundance, empathy, growth and success.

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When Selfish Is Okay: Selfishness From A Perspective Of Abundance With Gary Pinkerton

On my show, I try to focus being an optimist and Gary‘s goal to be in the title of the show. I want people to focus on creating their own success and seeking inward for their security, self-worth and guidance. Continue to do self-improvement so that you can continue to move to a higher level. I want to surround myself with people and teach people how to set up all aspects of their lives so they’re not beholden to somebody else. They’re not worried somebody else is going to take something away from them. They can focus on what their goals are and get the happiness from inside, not from outside.

You’re onto something that a lot of people try to figure out by going to the outside, whether it’s a business success, investment success or more money. I don’t know about you, but in my experience with myself and with people, you get to those moments that you thought were going to be existential. It’s like, “That’s it.” For me, I’m curious about myself. There’s a huge part of me that’s like other people. A little bit of me is crazy, but I’m always curious about why I do what I do, why I think what I think, why am I compelled to do this, compelled to do that?

I’m curious about the experience of others and what they’re trying to get as well because I’ve made the connection and I’m not sure when it was. I have to continue to make the connection. The best for me comes from providing the best to others. For instance, my kids, talk about altruism. As you define raising kids, but you put a lot of money into it. There are lots of resources given. It’s like a smile, a small achievement. It’s worth everything. I look at how easy it is for me to experience success by having a conversation with my kids.

It’s simpler than people realize to get what they want. It’s this never-ending pursuit. It doesn’t end. It’s not like you accomplish or achieve a milestone and suddenly that’s it. It’s this constant improvement and growth. I don’t think it ever ends. I don’t think the material world, the outside world will ever conform to exactly what you want if that’s the condition that you require in order for you to be happy or fulfilled.

You’ve said a few pretty interesting things there. I agree that the outside world is never going to conform to the perfect result of what you’re looking for. That’s a pursuit that is guaranteed to bring sadness. If you’re looking for validation for your self-worth on the outside. I do agree and we’ve talked about this before. You have an amazing perspective on this. I’ve struggled with this idea of individualism and being uniquely selfish. You make some good points that the actions we take in doing charity for others, helping other people and helping our children succeed is a selfless act. Even though we’ve been led to believe that being selfish is bad. If you act in your own best interest, you’re showing your absolute best to other people. You’re adding the most value to other people.

There’s a way in which you can frame selfishness as a bad thing and a way you can frame it as a good thing. There’s a cool book called Power vs. Force that I’ve read a couple of times by David R. Hawkins. He passed away a number of years ago, but something that resonated with me is that there’s this force energy that’s out there. It comes down to taking more than you give. The selfishness that comes from that mentality where it’s a net zero, meaning you take more than you ever contribute. It doesn’t lead to anywhere great. Most people can judge as far as selfishness is concerned in that arena. It crosses a line at some point.

The line starts when you produce more than you consume. You contribute more than you take. You’re always going to take. If you’re contributing, serving, giving, influencing, improving others, it’s way more gratifying than when it’s net zero or net negative. It’s way more gratifying. That gratification is you experiencing it. There’s that line that some people cross, but I go to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where people are driven for their own survival, their own experience. It starts with physiological needs. It goes to safety needs. It goes to relationship needs, which other needs. It goes to self-esteem and ego needs.

If you're looking for validation of your self-worth from the outside, it’s guaranteed to bring you sadness. Click To Tweet

People recognizing their worth and value in the world, which sometimes they need to be a little bit egotistical or selfish to discover, “I’m special. I’m unique. I can contribute something.” It crosses into that self-actualization arena where it’s not about you. It’s not about the self or the ego. It’s about what’s right and what’s good. That’s where a lot of the fulfillment of life comes from when you get there. At the same time, it’s like you have to go through those other stages first. You can’t just skip right to self-actualization and enlightened self-interest.

You have to grow up through them. There’s no shortcut. As you were talking about that, I thought back to the awesome book about growth mindset. It was from Carol Dweck. It’s an amazing book. I related it to this thinking that selfishness from a scarcity mindset, if your mindset is wired to be scarce, then your version of selfish is, “If he gets that, I don’t get it. If that person gets to speak, I don’t get to speak.” If you were using selfishness from what I now understand Ayn Rand and others in her culture, believed was that it’s from a perspective of abundance. If you give more, you get more. It’s okay to be selfish in that perspective. An example is I want to travel the world. If you help enough people on all corners of the world, all around the globe, you can do that. Your selfish motivation is coming from a perspective of abundance.

Ayn Rand is way smarter than I ever was. She had some intellectual people that surrounded her. By no means am I going to ever try to put words in her mouth or try to describe what she means. What it means to me, and I think where she was coming from, is this place where altruism is where there are force and coercion. Where people are forced to give up or coerced where it’s negative. There’s a force. There’s not a voluntary act. When there’s a voluntary act to produce, to serve and to give, that’s when you have a net positive, not when you’re forced to do it. That’s what she meant. That’s how I’ve come to interpret it in a simpleton’s way.

We’re talking about this after the general election and probably several weeks before this thing is called. As a person who loves the republic, I’m quite inspired by the fact that our judicial system is going to allow this to play out whichever way it goes. We’re in trouble if we don’t allow it to play out and gain the confidence, but that’s on the US republic side of things. There’s so much passion, so much hate. People get in that situation when they are in a position of fear. They’re afraid that the outside entity that has been providing for them, whether that’s food, shelter, clothing or its sense of worth. Going back to what we were talking about at the beginning, I’ve experienced that people who are confident, they have the self-confidence. They can provide for themselves. If they want something different, they go get it or they figure out how to get it. That’s different than being in a complete state of fear when you believe that you will be provided for by somebody else, and now that’s in question.

It’s been an interesting observation of how this election and 2020 in general is the year where there are a lot of stirred up emotions and energy that is chaotic in a sense. That what amplifies it is social media. First, there are two dominant fears that people have. Number one, they don’t want to change. Number two, they don’t want to be wrong. That’s seen everywhere. You try to speak rationally to somebody and even one hint of them having to change or them being wrong and you being right, it ignites a bonfire.

I look at our ability to have rational conversations, and it’s seldom when you have two differing points of view. They’re able to come together, have a rational argument, a civil argument and go their separate ways without begrudging one another. I look at that type of person, that self-actualized person where they’re not defined by somebody else or they’re not defined by the opposite of what somebody else believes. They’re defined based on their own internal sense of worth, fulfillment and identification. That doesn’t come easily. The environment that we’re in right now is very ego and selfish driven. It’s not like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs again. It’s in the self-esteem where people want to be validated. People want to feel good.

They want to be a part of a group. That’s what motivates them. It’s hard to get them to figure out a different way. I’m not going to go down that path. At the same time, we all get caught up in it. Families and close relationships are impacted by it. By no means am I saying that I’m enlightened or I’m not affected by what people say or do. I try to be in there as much as possible, but the moments are few and far in between. I am impacted. At the same time, I try to catch myself and be able to rationally think through it, and also have a discussion rather than have banter back and forth.

TWS 69 | Abundance Mindset

Abundance Mindset: If you act in your own best interest, you’re showing your absolute best to other people and you’re adding the most value to other them.

 

I’ll give you an example of my brother-in-law. Cynthia, my wife, is from Mexico originally. I was talking to her brother. He was very upset that he felt judged and racially biased. I let him talk. I let that emotion come out. I asked permission, “Would you mind if I give a different perspective? What if that guy that did this or said this, what if his wife died that morning? What if his child died in a car accident? What if he has been fired from his job? Would you have a different opinion about what he said or what he did to you?” He’s like, “Yes.”

I also asked, “What is racism as you boil it down?” We both agreed that it was a judgment. I said, “Isn’t judging him that he’s a racist, the same thing as him judging you as being Mexican.” It was a good conversation, but what it took was you can’t attack and banter back and forth. You have to step back and try to find common ground so that emotions are tempered. That’s when you can have a more enlightening conversation, even if emotion does exist at a high level to begin with. I believe that’s possible for human beings. At the same time, one person has to understand the tenets of a meaningful conversation and direct the debate, direct the conversation in that arena. It’s a challenge but if we had more of that, it would be being a different state, but yet most people are very compelled. They’re affected. They’re triggered based on a lot of political opinions, one way or the other. It’s sad sometimes.

There’s a quote out there that I have no doubt I will get wrong or not even get close, “If you want to understand another person’s perspective, first, walk a mile in their moccasins.” I’m sure I’ve thrown 2 or 3 of them together there. You and I both have good friends and I’ve spent a lot of time around Robert Kiyosaki. I don’t think he invented this, but he talks about two sides of a coin and then the edge. He’s talking about it from a perspective of a sophisticated investor where you can see both perspectives and make your own decision. I found myself blown away. I found it interesting and also somewhat stressful that people that are very dear friends of mine have gotten caught up in the emotion. I probably have to and I can’t fathom what I’m missing. It’s been quite interesting to go and read news articles things that I don’t normally read because I’m trying to figure out. I deeply care for this person. I’m trying to walk that out. It has been quite enlightening and not easy to do.

There’s a twist to that saying, which is interesting as well, “If you want to understand a person’s view of life, try to walk a mile in their shoes,” or something. It was Roy Rogers or someone said, “If you try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you’ll find yourself a mile away in somebody else’s shoes.” At the same time, we want to do that. It’s not to understand where they’re coming. It’s more to have empathy. There are many different events that mold a person’s psyche, how they drive meaning from life, their opinions of this, that or the other. We all have that unique aspect of our lives. Most of those experiences come when we’re younger and get reinforced when we’re adults. It’s hard to see how a person views things. Empathy and valuing somebody else’s life, their emotions and their opinion is a good place to start. At the same time, I go back to those primary fears. When you’re afraid of something and you have a lot more experience in fear, as you have been in certain positions in your life that are life and death situations.

I haven’t been in those, but you could be conditioned to approach fear a certain way. Fear is something that you anticipate and know how to show up in, or fear can be a trigger and completely out of the blue, your natural response is fight or flight. In 2020, we had an earthquake here. I was right sitting in that chair and the whole freaking building was shaking. I was by myself. That fight or flight mentality, it’s totally real. There are degrees of it. It’s one of those things where if you’re not conditioned, if I live in California my entire life and felt earthquakes every three days, it would have been a different response because I would have been conditioned, but it wasn’t.

It was the first time I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t know how to react. It was my body that took over. My point in that is that as people look at whether it’s a political opinion, or a current event, or something that happens that disagrees with their blueprint of life or what they define as right or wrong, good or bad. They don’t want to be wrong. It’s a natural thing. We don’t want to be wrong. We don’t want to be proven wrong. We don’t want to look stupid. We don’t want to look inferior.

When somebody tries to prove us wrong or alludes that we’re wrong, it’s like that same fight or flight mentality. That’s where I look at its conditioning. It’s recognizing being aware of it first and recognizing that your opinion is your opinion, and others have their opinions. Others shouldn’t define what you think about yourself and what you think about life. It shouldn’t impact you the way that it typically does if there’s no conditioning.

It’s okay to be selfish if it’s coming from a perspective of abundance. Click To Tweet

I was thinking also when you were talking about that where I thought you might go is fear. To boil down what I think of fear. It is when you’re in this position. It’s instinctual. It’s been vital for human survival or the survival of all animals. If you distill it down, it is you not believing that you can control the outcome, that you’re out of control which is causing the fear. As we work on ourselves, as we build confidence, hence, let’s take this financial. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I saw this thing that said for CNN, that those who back Trump, you need to think about what impact that has on your ability to get employment from a future employer who knew that you back Trump. It was bizarre. It may have been totally made up.

My point in using this example is that a lot of people freaked out on the comments below that because there was fear there. They didn’t have control. Thinking about it from a financial side, if we can help others and we can help ourselves, first put our own house in order and set up your life so that you do have control. You are not susceptible to others. What I’ve learned in meeting with hundreds of clients since March 2020, and the other members of our team have learned the same thing, that those that are calm, those that understand and those that are asking questions like, “I wonder if good opportunities in investing will be a result of this.” As opposed to those that are like, “None of my tenants are paying. What if I don’t have my job?” Those are real fears. The difference has been that the people have been able to set up their own lives in a way in which they have confidence, a lot of money are sitting on the sideline, their own business and things like that. Something in designing a business in a resilient industry. Things like that help them have confidence and stay away from fear.

There’s a lot that you can do to reinforce the different areas of life that you have anxiety about. At the same time, I wouldn’t call those absolute measurements where you set it up and it’s going to work and help. In the end, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is a profound book because it shows that in the face of death, a man can either give up and concede but it’s not forced. He has to be the one that makes that decision or you can have someone say, “That’s the last of my freedom.” It is to choose how I feel regardless of what happens. That famous quote, “That response is growth and freedom.”

I love that because of the circumstances that he was in. This was some like rich kid, trust fund baby. Given the circumstances of this person’s life, being able to say something as profound as that helps to understand our experience of life where we have this reinforcement of cash. We have cashflow. We have investments. We have a financial education. We make good decisions in business. We would hope and we do hope, that’s where people get hooked on hopium is that if you have all of those things, suddenly you’re going to have a fulfilling life. That’s not true. How I’ve learned to look for myself because I want what most other people want. I want a happy life.

I want meaningful relationships. I want to have amazing experiences. We live in a world and a society where we live in abundance and in amazing times. When I look around me, I don’t have to ride a horse home in this snowstorm that’s outside. I don’t have to have buffalo skins all over me because it’s winter. I don’t have to go home and make sure that I chopped enough firewood two months ago to last the winter. I’m able to go home with an amazing set of comforts that wasn’t even experienced by kings a hundred years ago. When I’d take that view of life, it puts me in this state of gratitude where I go home. I have a great conversation with my wife. I get to see my kids happy. What else?

If we find the joy and the fulfillment in those types of moments, and don’t necessarily require as contingencies of life aligning a certain way in order for us to be, feel and experience a certain way. What it does is it gets the things that we want. Those goals, those achievements, those ambitions, it gets them quicker. You’re not attached to this specific thing that’s going to make you feel a certain way. You’re able to experience that now. There’s so much of that around.

I’ll use Eddie, my brother-in-law again. I’m like, “You have two kids and you’re an amazing dad. You can see it. How many people out there don’t have kids, but they want them. They’ll have a wife and they want them, or a husband. It’s an amazing life that you get to live.” You have challenges here or whatever, but once you’re able to focus on what’s there as opposed to what’s not there, your life starts to change. It took me a while to understand that. I would be lying to say that I’m 100% that way. I’m able to catch myself when I have those moments where I’m triggered. I’m able to snap myself back into a perspective that I have an amazingly blessed life. I know Gary Pinkerton. I say that not as ingest. I say that I feel honored to know you and have a friendship with you.

TWS 69 | Abundance Mindset

Abundance Mindset: If you want to understand another person’s perspective, you have to first walk a mile in their shoes.

 

Thank you. Me too. I said this a couple of episodes ago, but it’s amazing to me that life could be this simple where it comes down to positive. I’ve had this goal to be in a mindset of abundance. I heard people talk about this for years. I’ve seen people who are Pollyanna-ish about life. That’s not what this is about, but then I read Dr. Joe Dispenza‘s book. He made this comment that I was like, “It can’t be that simple.” It was also in the master key system from 100 years ago. One is you can only truly hold one thought in your mind at once.

I tied that to Dr. Frankl’s book because when I read his, I’ve read it 3 or 4 times. I remember the first couple of times, I’m like, “That’s easier said than done especially in the middle of a concentration camp. How do you choose?” I’m going to choose differently. That’s hard. How do you get to that? There’s some positive brainwashing going on. You have to keep thinking. First of all, you have to recognize that for most of us, it’s true. You can only think one thing. If you’re about to flip somebody off and say something nasty to them, but if you force yourself to think about something positive about what they’re wearing or whatever, it’s hard to do that. If you can understand the limitations of the machine we’re operating here, it’s very helpful to train yourself.

You’ve practiced this a lot. It becomes a habit and that habit is recognizing the trigger, recognizing that it’s coming and shifting out of it. Recognizing that it’s possible. It’s a very simple thing to do. It takes consistency and then building enough habits so you recognize when it’s coming on. Those are big keys and it has been hugely successful for me. I learned most of this from you and from my good friend, Aaron Chapman, and many others. It has made a big difference.

You hit the nail in the head. Part of that Frankl quote, the beginning part is between stimulus and response. There’s very little we can do to control stimulus. Stuff’s going to happen. It’s in the space between stimulus and response. It’s trying to shorten that where your response is conditioned. The type of person that operates in that zone, you can tell. There are many people that I’ve been fortunate to not learn from directly but indirectly. Whether it’s through their books, video or going to seminars where they demonstrate that.

It gives you confidence that you are able to do that as well. The type of person that shows up that way, there’s a feeling about them. There’s a sense about them that leads to lots of success. From a business perspective, from an investment and money-making perspective, there’s a common factor that is evident, apparent in all, which is relationships. The relationship between one person to many, one person to another person. It’s the ability to show up in a certain way. That leads to lots of opportunities. If you show up in a certain way, the net zero or net negative way, you’re not going to have many opportunities. It’s not just in investment and business, but it’s in relationships. It’s the way you are as a parent. It’s the way you are as a neighbor.

I try to pay attention to that. How am I showing up? Where is my mindset? Where is my mentality? The way in which I show up I’ve connected to the opportunities I’ll have throughout life as well as the growth of my experience, fulfillment and happiness. As you do it, you start to show up as a different person. You show up with a different part of your personality. That’s where there’s so much magic in that if you can strategically figure that out. It leads to so much in life.

I’m fascinated by that moment and Victor Frankl’s quote about the time between stimulus and response. I was smiling when you were talking about that because my youngest, he used to have this phrase. I don’t hear it too much anymore, but it was awesome. He would do something stupid or make a mess or something. He would say, “That happened.” He’s not mad. I used to think it was so funny. I’ve been pushing my kids, my boys, and I know this is crazy. It’s a little out there, but I always say, “Try to take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Own everything that happens in your life.”

Focus on yourself and look at life from a new perspective. That is what’s going to lead you to happiness. Click To Tweet

My eldest was like, “Dad, how is that one my fault?” I have found that we all need this little trick to get between stimulus and response without responding. Somehow you need to convince yourself or train yourself to pause. Not just do the reaction, but rather do a measured response. I’ve trained myself to say, “How was that one of my faults?” You figure it out. I asked myself that question and not be sarcastic but like, “How did I cause that?” It causes me to pause. I don’t cut people off or flip people off. I will fully admit that’s what I used to do. It makes a difference. It’s a good point.

There are many different scenarios where that example is evident. You hit on something that I’ve learned in 2020 specifically because everybody has spent a great deal of time with their family. I’ve come to have so much respect and admiration for my kids. Their life is completely shut down. There’s an unintended consequence of everything that’s going on. You can look at the lives of kids being impacted the most if you think about it. I won’t get into details there, but what I’ve noticed in my kids, they have incredible resiliency and an incredible way in which they look at life. I don’t know if I did it. I think they were way more mature than I was at their age.

It’s allowed me to understand one of those paradoxes of life where children are the ones that in a lot of ways are much smarter than adults, from an emotional level, if you think about it. There are lots to learn from dogs as well. It’s one of those things where I’m grateful that we get to talk about this because I get to learn based on me speaking and voicing things that are inside my head and inside me. Also, to do with others that have a similar open mind to how things are, and discovering even better ways to enjoy life despite the circumstances.

You have a stimulus, money printing, the Federal Reserve, you have the President and these hints of socialism that’s happening in politics. You have this person saying this and that person saying that, and you have this evil conspiracy. It’s one of those things where a lot of that stuff is out there. There’s probably truth to a lot of things. At the same time, a key to life is to pay attention to what you focus on and then correlate that to the amount of control that you have and influence that you have. Once you realize that there’s not much you can do, you’re able to skip over that.

Start to focus on yourself and ways in which you can look at life from a new perspective because that’s what’s going to lead to happiness. The other way of doing it is net negative or net zero, where there’s nothing to gain. If you look at the world around us and how we live in an incredibly abundant times, there is so much to be grateful for. There’s so much going on that doesn’t make the news headlines that if we look for it, we’ll be inspired. Peter Diamandis is someone that I follow all the time because he was the first person that snapped me out of all the crap that was going on in 2008, 2009, 2010, where it felt like the world was falling apart.

His book, Abundance, opened my eyes to how much innovation, how much growth, how many people were being saved, the lifespan of people in other parts of the world were being extended. There are so much positive things going on that don’t make the headlines that if we were to step back and maybe put a little bit more effort into researching, we could see the world is transforming in a positive way. If we focused our attention there, it allows for a much better momentary experience. Overall, it’ll be conditioned so that we’re not as susceptible to the anger, the hate, the divisiveness that is super easy to find if you turn on the TV.

Peter’s book would be a great one to have at the bedside and read 5 or 10 pages before you go to bed because it is an inspiring book. Ending on that, looking for the positive, keeping yourself in an abundant mindset has been a theme of this episode. One of the very easy places to do that is to think about the positive aspects of what’s different about our lives now. We talked about how our children’s lives now. That’s your worst nightmare, especially for teenagers to be stuck with your parents and not around your friends and unable to play sports. Think about the lot they got in life. Think about the lot we got in life.

TWS 69 | Abundance Mindset

Abundance Mindset: We have to put our own house in order and set up our life first to help other people.

 

I have been trying for years ever since. While I was in the military, it was not reasonable. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to have family dinners at least on the weekends. I succeeded with a Saturday night, but I have to take my family out to eat somewhere to pull that off. COVID-19, starting in March of 2020, we had dinner together during the weeknights, almost every night of the week. The conversations because our kids are sitting around us with not a lot to do, are very amazing intellectual conversations. Throw an election year in the middle of it and some good conversations about the Constitution and the Republic, what it means, why this is important, why that person would say that. I take those opportunities. It’s amazing. I’d written off that I was going to have weekend nights with my kids or any evenings. I had said, “I wasn’t that kind of parent,” but I love it. However, you can reflect on your time and see the advantages that are there, it’ll keep you in the right mindset. That’s how you move forward.

A good ending point is life is happening for you. It’s giving you the opportunity that despite the circumstances, you can experience an amazing life now. It doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be proper discipline, systems or a pursuit of a career. There are some foundational elements to life that makes the experience easier. You hit on some things where you can create a foundation from a structured tools standpoint. At the same time, that doesn’t guarantee a meaningful life. It could help to amplify or accelerate, you experiencing life at a different level. It’s cart before the horse. I’m not saying that a cart is always behind or it could be sometimes in front. I don’t know. In the end, just because you have a lot of money, protection, safety and certainty, it does not guarantee you a meaningful life. If that’s where 100% of your focus is, chances are you’re going to lose the things that are meaningful to you in the process of accumulating that side of it.

I had over half a dozen clients get divorced within a couple of months of one another. This was several years ago. It was humbling because of the varied emotional conversations. I did everything for them. Everything I was doing, the seminars I went to, the videos, the education I got, putting money away and investing. It was all for them. Along the way, that wasn’t necessarily the nonverbal message that was being sent. You got to have a good mix of life all along the way. The typical retirement planning, financial planning is all geared toward this. Someday in the future, all the sacrifices, all the time, all the missed dinners, it’ll all be worth it. That’s not true in my experience. You can challenge me on that. I’m totally grateful for you to do that at the same time. The experiences that we have with ourselves, as well as clients affords us some lessons, some principles. One of those is the mix of life starting now, not sacrificing the different elements of life so that you can enjoy all of them one day.

I used to think that for sure, putting stuff off. You see evidence of that not going well. The only people driving the expensive cars are the 60-year-olds who can’t enjoy them or 70-year-olds. I now believe that you can have everything in life you wanted. To steal from Zig Ziglar, you help other people get what they want, and you make people around you happy, and your happiness comes from that. I would personally start with your spouse and your kids. I’ve made it a focus at one point for myself to all my only purpose in life was that my wife would be happy, whatever that meant. Do you know what happens? I was super happy. The silly little bumper sticker that’s on the fridge that if mom’s not happy, no one’s happy. That stuff is true, but it’s true for anybody in a relationship. If you derive your happiness from seeing happiness coming from others, you’re on a successful path. Patrick, it has been amazing.

I love having these conversations especially with you. Thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate it.

I have many friends who have reached out. It’s like who’s who of people that I truly care for and got to spend an hour with one of them. Thank you.

It was my pleasure. Thank you, Gary.

We’ll see you next episode.

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About Gary Pinkerton

TWS 69 | Abundance MindsetGary earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991 and a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1993. He spent 26 years serving as a Submarine Officer in the U.S. Navy, including commanding the nuclear attack submarine USS TUCSON from 2009-2011 and retiring as a Captain. His career was rewarding both personally and professionally with unforgettable opportunities to work with highly trained teams employing state of the art technology in support of our Nation and its ideals. It was the type of work that left no doubt it directly contributed to the balance of power across the world and the sustainment of personal freedoms across the globe. But as with any intense calling or career, two decades in the Navy and many deployments had stressed things at home and delayed other important pursuits. In 2011 Gary began a process of replacing his traditional earned income with passive cash flow by purchasing income producing real estate properties.

Today, Gary is a wealth strategist, professional speaker and real estate investor. He first learned about the Perpetual Wealth Strategy and Wealth Maximization Accounts (WMAs), then more commonly known as the Infinite Banking Concept (IBC), while purchasing his first income property in 2011. Utilizing Paradigm Life’s education process, Gary established a WMA to fund this first investment and has repeated the process as he works to continue building passive income sources. This journey had a huge impact on Gary’s understanding of what personal financial security and success are and how best to achieve them – he recognized how far he and most Americans had moved away from sound financial principles that emphasize building a strong foundation focusing on safety and security, and pursuing dependable, consistent growth of their assets. Wall Street convinced families to hand over their hard earned dollars and all control, to hold on through frequent, turbulent market swings and exorbitant fees – it hasn’t worked for most Americans, and it won’t work. Gary joined Patrick Donohoe at Paradigm Life to help educate others and reverse this trend.

Originally from a dairy farm in rural Southern Illinois, Gary now lives with his wife, Sue, and their two sons on the central New Jersey coast.

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The Wealth Mindset: The Difference Between Being Wealthy And Being Rich

TWS 58 | Wealth Mindset

 

Mindset is what differentiates being wealthy from being rich and mindset is not a buzzword; it is something concrete, something you can take action upon. We are so used to thinking that success is dependent on strategy and tactics. We want the shortcuts. We want a step-by-step formula that we can follow to the letter. But all the brilliant strategies and tactics in the world will not give you what you want if you are not in the right state to experience a wealthy life. Ultimately, success is a function of you – of how you perceive, optimize and utilize what you have at this very moment. Listen to Patrick Donohoe as he explains why so many of our beliefs around wealth and success are turned on their heads and how we can put ourselves in the right state to build efficiency around what we have at this moment.

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The Wealth Mindset: The Difference Between Being Wealthy And Being Rich

It’s been fun for me to talk about what’s on my mind, what I’m experiencing, what I am perceiving in the lives of clients and the business, and my general observations about the environment that we’re in. I hope you have found value in it. I’m going to wrap up a lot of those thoughts in this episode. I had the opportunity to attend Tony Robbins’ Virtual 360 Business Mastery. It’s an event I’ve attended about half a dozen times. It’s the first time in a virtual format. It was good and I want to frame the last couple of episodes with what Tony incessantly talks about, which is state, story, and strategy.

First, I hope you are doing well. I hope you are seeing the environment that we’re in and you’re finding opportunities. You’re finding things to be grateful for. You’re essentially putting yourself in the right mindset and state to capitalize on opportunities because it’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to be frustrated. It’s easy to look at the environment and use it as a scapegoat for falling short of what you are trying to achieve, your goals, what you wanted for 2020, your business, your profession, and etc. As much as I look at those frustrations out there and potentially, they are more extreme now than before, in the end, it’s those things that we achieve and accomplish that are most meaningful to us. Right now is an opportunity to dig deep, understand what you want, what you want to achieve, and then find within you the strength to pursue and overcome what those challenges are, which stand in the way of getting what you want and achieving the life that you want.

I know that’s why you’re here. I have titled this episode Being Wealthy Versus Being Rich because there is a difference. Being wealthy is finding the opportunity to live life at a high level whether things changed or not, and regardless of the environment. It’s understanding that deep down in our day and age, there’s so much to be grateful for. There’s so much that we are able to experience. Oftentimes, we succumb to this disease of abundance where we forget and have this short-term mentality of how we live versus those that live 50, 60, 100 years ago. I believe that being able to find that opportunities are an interesting paradox. The more you’re in that mindset, the more likely you are.

The mindset of being content, satisfied and happy with where you’re at, with what your life is about, whether things changed or not, that mindset is most likely to get you what you believe is the environment that will make you happy. I’ll talk more about that paradox here. You’re probably saying throughout all of these episodes, what does this have to do with wealth? Why don’t you just tell me what to invest in? Why don’t you tell me where to put my money and give me a shortcut? In the end, wealth is a mindset. The tools, tactics and products and these are what I find interesting. There’s so much debate out there regarding the difference between this product and that product. This has higher fees and this has lower fees. You should invest in this thing and that thing.

In the end, I would say successful investing and becoming wealthy is a function of strategy, but I believe strategy comes after you understand the mindset of what I talked about. It’s interesting, there are many people, whether it’s a real estate project that has been successful, whether it’s single-family homes, multifamily, industrial or storage. There are many different aspects of real estate and people advocate for one or the other, pros and cons, but there have been people that are successful in that area. You also had people go bankrupt in certain areas.

I had the opportunity to go to Southern Utah with my family and some neighbors. It was a huge lake. It’s the Grand Canyon that was dammed up. It’s called Lake Powell. It’s such a unique place. There are hundreds of feet of water and you have these big rock walls. The water is 85 degrees and it’s hot. It’s in the hundreds every single day. When we were there, there were these beautiful boats and it was a new brand. I know some of the executive team. I did not necessarily experience them with high favor in regards to their business practices years before. Typically, during 2008, 2009 when I knew some of them. Yet they had these beautiful boats and they are all over. They’re the most expensive boats on the water, only to come to find out that there were some practices that they had where there are lawsuits, embezzlement charges and several other things associated with it.

Mindset comes first before strategy. Click To Tweet

What I’m trying to say is on the surface, some things look like they are successful. Some strategies and products and investments look like they’re going to bring you success, but there’s so much below the surface that if you’re uneducated, you ultimately learn the hard way. Whether it’s business, stock market, real estate, commodities, gold, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, those products are important, but they’re not the most important. In fact, they’re the least important. We had several episodes in years past about the Rich Dad B-I Triangle. They talked about successful business as well as investment in the business. The least important thing in that triangle is the actual product itself. Yet that’s where all the focus is.

The State Paradox

For me, I look at what creates success and ultimately success is a function of you. That’s where I want to frame the context now with the equation that I’ve talked about in the past or the formula I’ve talked about in the past, which is state, story and strategy. State is a function of your language, your focus and your physiology. State is ultimately what everybody wants, but they think that some environment is what’s going to give it to them. “If this happens or if it weren’t for COVID-19, I would be this. If it weren’t for the stock market, I’d be this. If it weren’t for the job market, I would be this.” There are all these contingencies that stand in the way of getting what people want in their minds because they believe that strategy and environment have to align in a certain way in order to experience what people want, which is all internal for me.

That’s the irony and that’s why there’s a paradox. I believe that understanding yourself and your mindset, and being mindful of yourself, self-concept and there are other terms for it. The idea is the experience of achievement is a feeling. There’s a focus there and there are also words used to describe it. This is the paradox, being in that state is most likely going to get you closer to what you want or think you want, as opposed to thinking that what you want is ultimately going to give you this specific state. It’s a paradox in a sense because I believe that if you’re content, happy and fulfilled based on what you have without anything being added to you, it is most likely going to attract the things that you want. They will get you and grow you to the next level.

Emotionality Vs. Rationality

Hopefully, that makes sense. I’ve spoken to these principles in a couple of previous episodes. That’s where I look at whether it’s the parody of The Opposite George and Seinfeld or all the different paradoxes that are out there in relation to some of the most important aspects of life. It applies to money as well. That’s the difference between wealth or being rich. What I would say is when it comes to what you want, being in that state is going to help you to have the right focus, the right language in order to perceive the right strategy for you to get what you want. What I would say is, as I’ve mentioned in one of the episodes, a big part of wealth is winning those battles between your emotions, reality, logic and rationality.

There are such heightened levels of emotion regarding what’s going on. Elections are part of it. There are also states that are doing specific things. You have the debacle with the post office. What I’m going to do is I’ll use the example with the post office. What people place as meaning under the post office is that it should exist, be funded and get money so that there’s fairness in the elections. If you remove the post office, you don’t allow that to happen, then there’s somehow not going to be fairness and justice. There’s a couple of different ways to approach that argument. There’s an emotional side of things that typically aligns with a political party and how you think things should be run in our country, but then you also have a rational side of things. I would say that wealth is understanding both sides, then being happy whether it goes one direction or another direction.

If it goes one way or the other way, then your happiness is now contingent on something that’s outside of your control. With the post office and don’t confuse the former Postmaster General with me because his name is Patrick Donahoe. It’s spelled with an A instead of an O. How I look at what the post office as far as service is concerned is the amount of money that the taxpayer has given to them over the last ten years, which is upwards of $100 billion. That’s $100 billion that needs to be given to them because they’re not creating the revenue as far as expenses are concerned. There’s a $100 billion shortfall if you measure out all the different bailouts they’ve been getting over the last ten years and specifically the $25 billion.

TWS 58 | Wealth Mindset

Wealth Mindset: Being in a state of fulfillment gets you closer to what you want, not the other way around.

 

If you look at the service of the mail and what it specifically does. This is where there’s a proper role of government when you break down the fundamentals of it, but the government has taken this role in solving everybody’s problems. If you look at it going to the rational side of why the specific government was created and what its role is versus what it is now, that’s the rational side of things. There is so much emotion and I might even get you blowing up on me, unsubscribing, and giving me hate mail. That again proves my point where there’s so much emotion involved with these discussions that people do not peel back the layers of reality and rationality. Ultimately, the post office provides us with service in an incredibly unprofitable way. $100 billion of opportunity costs where that money could have either not been taxed printed by the Federal Reserve.

The private sector has solved a lot of those problems anyway. We can deliver things to people’s houses. There are some technical things involved in that, but look at what we’ve been able to do as a human race, especially in the last few years with technology. There’s so much complexity in the different innovations that have occurred. The iPhone 12 is about to come out. There’s so much computing power and so much below the surface of that screen that is brilliant. Sometimes you step back and think about what went into that and how was that created, all the different supply chains, materials, the innovation and the design. It’s incredible. The complexity of that shows that human beings can get together and provide a product and service that is way more efficient than typically a government can provide because that’s not necessarily their role

The rational side of things is what’s being displayed now, but emotions are attached to this argument because it’s associated with elections. Elections go into the different parties and then it goes into who’s right and who’s wrong. It goes into all of these deeper levels of emotion. I’m not saying from an emotional standpoint that this party is right or this party is wrong. Going into a rational conversation, you have to understand where your emotions are and specifically as they relate to potentially being wrong. Maybe there’s another opinion that might be important to understand. Having those stifled or muted for a moment to understand the logical side of things or even another perspective. If you can win that war, that’s true wealth. The last thing is having a lot of money and having a miserable life.

I’m going to use another example. There are more people that are planning on leaving California because of the proposed income tax hike, which taxes the wealthy, the higher echelon of society there because quarantine has impacted the lives of many people. At the same time, if you think about the rational side of things, the buzzword is justice, social justice, economic justice and wealth inequality. I’m not going to get into the details here because these are highly emotional topics and I’m bringing them up because I want you to discern between the emotional side of things and the actual logical side of things in order to come to a conclusion. Hopefully, in most cases, you realize that most of the stuff you get emotionally stirred by, affected by and influenced by has little meaning to the quality of your life which was fascinating to think about. I won’t go down that tangent. As far as taxes are concerned, the understanding that people are affected by COVID-19.

As individuals or human beings, we seek comfort. It’s natural for us. It’s part of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We see seek safety. What’s interesting is when safety and comfort are given to somebody without any effort on their part, what it does is cancels out the experience of comfort. It also robs the individual of one of the primary things that separate us from the animal world or the animal kingdom, which is our ability to rationalize, problem solve, think through things and come up with solutions. When somebody achieves, especially an achievement that puts their economic wellbeing in jeopardy when somebody overcomes that. They find another job, they move to a different state, they get training and learn something new and are now more valuable and get a different job. The impact that has on the human soul and what a person is able to feel about themselves and the confidence that they have, that is what human beings are capable.

It’s essentially being robbed by providing stimulus, unemployment benefits and a Band-Aid to what’s going on. I know some people are down and out more so than others. At the same time, you stifle the experience of life that’s most meaningful when you rob people of being able to figure out their own problems and overcome their own challenges. This now goes into the proper role of the government. Is it the government’s job to tax more and then give to those that are impacted by this? I understand the arguments on both sides, but my point is to bring up this high emotional conversation. It helps you realize how much that impact the quality of your life, especially when it comes to the things that you can’t control and don’t have much relevance to your specific environment and your specific life.

There are ways to be more efficient with what you already have. That’s where all strategy should start. Click To Tweet

That being the case, this goes to the state. You look at what you want from your life, where you’re at right now, and the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Inside of that gap is a state. There’s a story that comes from the different states that you’re in. Usually, the state is it’s the stock market’s fault or it’s my employer’s fault, or my colleague got a raise and I didn’t, and it’s not fair, or this happened or that happened. We always have excuses. We always have a story about why we’re not in the place that we want to be. That’s unfortunate but looking at a state shift, being able to change your state and there are three variables to state: different physiology, different focus and different language. When you start to use a different language, you start focusing on what you have, not what you don’t have. You’re able to think back on the times where you have achieved, overcome and succeeded. That then is going to be a different story and the way in which you perceive strategy, tactics and things to do.

I know all of you want shortcuts and want the things to do, want the strategies, want the tactics, but without state and story, those will rob you of the experience and most likely, it will not help you even if you did get them. I believe that most people with the wrong state and the wrong story will not be able to use strategy in an effective way to get them from point A to point B and overcome that gap. It’s natural for us to respond to the circumstances of life with excuses, “This happened, this person left me, this person cheated me, my employer this, my employer that, the government this, the government that, the president this, the president that.” When we started to take accountability for our life, that’s when our state can change and doors of opportunity open up to apply a strategy.

The Efficiency Formula

Now, I’m going to give you some strategy. I do tactics but I’m going to give you some simple ones as an example. Many of you had read the season I did on capitalism. If you remember Hernando de Soto, which I tried to get him on the show two dozen times. He’s old and was sick, but he wrote the book, The Mystery of Capital. It’s a fascinating read. I’d encourage all of you to read it. It’s written in a simple way where most people without an economic background can understand and benefit from. Capital comes from the word cattle. The reason why it comes from the word cattle, in and of itself a cow, he didn’t say it was where the value was. Capital is created as a byproduct of the cow. What that means is here’s the cow, now how do we optimize the different elements of a cow, the meat, the leather, the milk, it keeps going on and on, the different types of meat. My wife is from Mexico and they eat cow tongue there and intestines. There’s an optimal way to look at all of the different elements of a cow and essentially derive additional value more so than what’s experienced on the surface, which is just a cow.

It’s the same thing with petroleum. Petroleum was just oil. It was this nasty stuff in the ground that bubbled up and ruined crops for farmers. We’ve learned to make many different things as a derivative of that. That’s capital. What I’m trying to get to here is in your specific life, there are ways to be more efficient with what you have. That’s where I would start. That’s where all strategies should start. It’s not adding, but being more efficient with what you already have and deriving opportunities from what’s going on. Let me give you some examples. Interest rates have been extremely low and I was able to refinance all my rental properties. I have a small mortgage on my home but other than that, no personal debt. I carry mortgages on all my investment properties. I was able to increase cashflow by thousands of dollars by refinancing with very little money out of pocket. I was able to skip some payments as well.

It’s finding ways to be more efficient with what you already have. That’s a great example of doing that. If you have personal debt, refinancing personal debt and ultimately paying it off, student loan debt and car loan debt. It’s being more efficient with your cashflow. The second thing for me is being forced based on what has happened with shutdown and quarantine. You’re not spending as much because you’re forced to not spend in a sense. Many of you may have an Amazon addiction, but it’s looking at what comes in and what goes out. From a spending standpoint, I know that there are record levels of people paying off their personal debt because of this increase in discretionary income. That’s another thing, it is to pay attention to what’s coming in and what’s going out. I’ve referenced you need Budget, which is a software I use for my personal finances. Go over to the website, TheWealthStandard.com. There’s a link there. You’ll get a little discount for signing up, but you need Budget.com.

Now that you have maybe some handle on where your cashflow is and an efficient spending plan, you’re going to find equity. You’re going to find the difference between what you make and what you spend. That’s cashflow. One of the things, and this is a very simple way of doing it, it’s a psychological shift, which is setting up a separate account. I call mine the Donohoe Family Fund and it has rules associated with it. Out of that fund, no money is spent on consumption. It’s all investment or putting money into a financial product. This fund is completely separate from your checking account and operational account. Sometimes people have found it useful to have those accounts at different institutions. I have mine at the same institution but what it is, is to separates. It creates rules around it and stick to those rules.

TWS 58 | Wealth Mindset

Wealth Mindset: Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have.

 

Looking at that, when money comes into this specific account, I usually advocate six months of liquidity, whether it’s in a specific liquid guaranteed safe environment product, not a bank account but more of a product. We use insurance with my company, Paradigm Life, but even inside of this fund, it’s having at least six months of liquidity. That’s even before paying off personal debts. I would say having that liquidity, those reserves, there’s something psychological that happens when you know that you have money in the bank that can last you six months. There’s something that happens that triggers something and creates a level of safety and certainty that allows you to operate a little bit differently. You then essentially go through what to invest in and what type of assets.

There are two things I’m going to bring up. I’ve been working on ways in which we can do some online technology applications that are more self-assessment in nature. I’d love your help. One of them is specific to what I’m talking about. It’s called the Financial Independence Calculator. It’s in an Excel spreadsheet. I would love for you to access that. I’m going to ask for your email address because I want to request some feedback. I’m developing some software and getting some feedback from you will help with the whole user experience that people have. If you would download that, check it out. What it does is it gives you a Financial Independence Day. It is a function of your saving, your investment cashflow, as well as your ideal scenario in which you produce and work. I hope you like that one.

That’s a great first investment but there’s a second part, a second calculator called The Hierarchy of Wealth. This is something I talked extensively about in my book, Heads I Win. Tails You Lose. If you don’t have a copy of that, that’s also available for free, both the PDF and the audiobook in TheWealthStandard.com. You can go to Amazon and buy the book or download an Audible book. There’s Kindle as well, hardcover, softcover, but this is a way in which you can get access to it for free. You can learn about The Hierarchy of Wealth there. There’s a calculator that they developed. It’s in an Excel spreadsheet. What it does is it helps you to identify all the different assets that you have and it ranks them in a specific hierarchy.

The hierarchy that I came up with is a function of risk and control and you will see that in there. That will help prioritize what I call your opportunity fund. Once you have money that goes above and beyond your liquidity, your six months or some of you may want 12 months or 18 months, depending on your comfort level and what gives you that feeling, that psychology of certainty. When there’s money above and beyond that, it becomes your opportunity fund. An opportunity fund is to make an investment. Making an investment, you want to know, “Where are the opportunities to invest?” What I would say is to understand where your other investments are first. That’s where The Hierarchy of Wealth comes from.

The Hierarchy of Wealth will help categorize all the assets that you have and then give you some insight into potentially where are some types of investments to think about first. For me, one thing I am adamant about regardless of where my investments are and how my assets are allocated. As I mentioned, Business Mastery by Tony Robbins. I’m huge about personal development and investing in myself to become a better leader and to understand business strategy, leadership strategy, operational strategy and financial strategy within the business. I believe that’s where the most control that you have and where you can ultimately find the best returns. I believe your business and your profession is what creates liquidity. That liquidity is then invested, which creates cashflow and subsequently degree of wealth, and more options when it comes to money.

This is a shorter episode but I’m glad that you are on. Please go to TheWealthStandard.com to access those two free self-assessment spreadsheets. I’d love to hear your feedback. That’s it for now. There are going to be some cool guests. One specifically is going to talk about education and what’s going on with our kids and options you may not have thought about before. We’re also going to probably get into some other libertarian type of topics. It’s going to get juicy. Thank you for your support. If you like what you read, head over to iTunes, Spotify and give the show a good rating. That always helps to get the word out. Share it with friends and feel free to share all these apps and other resources with your friends as well. I will talk to you next time.

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David Neagle: What It Truly Means To Be Wealthy

TWS 16 | Wealth

 

Just as we thought we are doing just fine with the bare minimum, life happens. After a near-death experience, David Neagle woke up to the realization that he has to do something with his life and make the most of it. Now, as the best-selling author of The Millions Within and is known as one of the architects of the coaching and personal growth industry itself, he has been impacting people to live their purpose and affect others as well. David shares his perception of the world and his attitude. He also talks about how we express ourselves or deal with negative situations in a productive way as he correlates everything to what we know about being wealthy.

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David Neagle: What It Truly Means To Be Wealthy

TWS 16 | Wealth

The Millions Within: How to Manifest Exactly What You Want and Have an EPIC Life!

It’s quite the honor to have my guest on. His name is David Neagle. He’s the best-selling author of The Millions Within: How to Manifest Exactly What You Want and Have an Epic Life! He has a number of things going on. The book was written a couple of years ago. We’re going to also talk about some of his presence online, the courses that he has and other resources. David, maybe give us an idea of who you are, what your background is and what you’re all about.

I’m from Chicago, Illinois. As a teenager, I was headed in the wrong direction, quit high school at seventeen, got married early, started having children young. Creating all the responsibility that goes with that without any way of being able to fulfill it. I was working two jobs. I was working at a dock six and a half days a week and driving a truck. Right after my son was born in 1989, I had a water-skiing accident. I got separated from a boat and I was sucked through the dam, broke my back. I was only one of two people that ever survived going through that dam up until that time. It was a rough day. That day woke me up to the idea that we don’t know how long we have here. I was playing small. I was not fulfilling my commitments. I didn’t know what it was to be a responsible man, husband, father. My parents split up when I was thirteen. My dad wasn’t around a whole lot. I didn’t have a whole lot of guidance.

That woke me up to the idea that if I was ever going to do something with my life, I need to stop procrastinating and start doing something now. I learned a lot of lessons from that day. As far as the story of where I was and where I’ve come to, that was the main story that changed for me that day, that I need to do something. I didn’t know what to do. I had an idea in my mind that if I’ll let this happen, something was going to break open and my life was going to change in some way, which turned out not to be true. It did cause me to start thinking differently. Once I got back to work and I was okay, I was working so much I was just exhausted. We were living in a bad neighborhood next to a drug dealer. My self-esteem was going down on a consistent basis. I was ashamed of where we were living and that we had to be exposed to that.

On a Tuesday morning in February, I had a complete emotional meltdown in the back of the trailer that I was loading on this dock. I was just praying to God, “Show me a way out. How do I get out of this? What do I need to change?” A little voice in my head said, “Change your gratitude.” I didn’t even know what an attitude was. I began to think about what is an attitude. I picked the person that owned the company that I worked for and I asked myself, “What’s the difference between him and I as far as our attitude? He’s so much further than I am and I would love to be where he is. What is the difference?” I broke it down to three main things that I noticed about myself and him as far as the difference. He must have loved what he did because he started the company in his garage and he was the largest food importer in the country at that time. He treated everybody with total respect. He would very often come through with other business people through the warehouse.

He would always stop and say hello, shake your hand, thank you for working for him, ask how your family was if he had time. He acknowledged people. I figured he also must have done a great job. That’s how he built the business. I wasn’t doing any of those three things. I hated what I did. I was angry internally so I was taking it out on other people. I didn’t hear about the quality of my work. I decided I’m going to change those three things. At that time, I was making $20,000 a year working two jobs, six and a half days a week, all the overtime I could take. I was trying to find a way to get to $40,000. I thought if I get $40,000, that will solve all of my problems. After I changed my attitude and I made this commitment, no matter what, I am going to stick to this. Thirty days later, I tripled my income. I went from $20,000 a year to $62,000 a year.

There were a couple of things out of that that was extremely significant for me. One was I knew that some way somehow, I caused that to happen. I just didn’t know how. Years later, my mentor told me I was an unconscious competent, which is fine until something changes and then you don’t know what to do. I was blown away that this kind of a change could happen this fast with relative ease. It wasn’t like I went back to school. It wasn’t like I was working harder. It was an internal shift in how I was showing up every day. That’s what made the change happen. The other thing was that I was stunned when I realized that the opportunity for that to happen was around me for two years and I couldn’t see it. Later on, I had been reading Think and Grow Rich. In the beginning, he talked about the sly disguises of opportunity. I immediately resonated with that paragraph where he said, “Sometimes opportunity shows up as fortune or temporary defeat or just being unfortunate.”

I thought, “This opportunity was around me for two years and because of my mindset, I couldn’t see it.” That caused me to start studying. I studied for seven years and then I started working with a mentor. From there, I went on to create my own business and became a multimillionaire. Nothing outside of that original attitude change changed all that much. I didn’t go back to school. I didn’t get a degree. I just kept working on myself and applying myself the best that I could at every opportunity that I had. I found out what my purpose was that I’ve wanted to teach other people how to do this. I like working with entrepreneurs, which I still do now. I’ve worked with people all over the world and continue to do so. It is my passion and my joy to wake up other people and lead them to their purpose and the freedom and the expansion of what it is that they’re here to do to affect the people that they’re meant to affect. That’s what gives me the greatest joy of all being able to do that.

How we view things is largely a function of the past. Click To Tweet

The first thing I see is the perception of the world, how we view things is largely a function of the past. Opportunities are probably all around us. It can’t be seen because it’s our past perception unless we start to make changes. That’s a big thing. Napoleon Hill talked a lot about this, which is taking on a mastermind group and essentially an archetype of someone else that represents or an archetype way has characteristics, traits, attributes that are desirable to you and start to act that way. If you act the way you act, you’re just going to get what you’ve always got. It’s the perception. As you wake up every morning, how has that adjusted your perception of the world? When you wake up, how do you view the world?

I view the world as an amazing place. We’re probably at the most amazing time in history. I view the world with an incredible amount of potential that is slightly misguided at the moment. We’re in the midst of a major change. Anytime you see a lot of change occurring, you usually will see a lot of confusion simultaneous to that or parallel to that. That’s what we’re seeing right now. We’re seeing a lot of confusion in values, a lot of confusion in where we’re going as human beings, what’s important to us. I also think that there’s a lot of delusion out there that goes along with it. I’m very optimistic about what we’re doing. One of the things that keeps me optimistic is how many people are showing interest in a positive change for our world and getting involved and working on themselves and trying to make a difference, versus the way that we did it 50 years ago in the ‘60s. We had a great idea back then but I don’t know that we have the emotional tools or the psychological tools to pull it off. We made some progress but people now are starting to show a little bit different and realize, “I’ve got to change me in order to change what is a representation of me, which is the reality that I live in.”

How do you see the correlation of your perception of the world and your attitude?

I can tell you that it is so vastly different from what it was like before I went through that data. I felt very unempowered. I felt very victimized. I felt like I lived in a world where there was nothing that I could do to control my outcome or my destiny. The world that I live in now, just because of the changes that I’ve made personally, is 180 degrees different. The people that I know, that I work with, that I come in contact with are nice, friendly and they want to help. They want to make a difference. That’s not what I used to see before. I saw anger, victimization and entitlement. I know that those things are out there but it’s not part of what my experience is now. I hope I’m answering your question. It’s very different because I changed that.

TWS 16 | Wealth

Think and Grow Rich

This goes to the relationship idea. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I know you’ve spoken alongside Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor and a few others in the personal development world. Something I have learned through just study and education is the idea that having a lot of money doesn’t equate to what people think it does. People are seeking an emotion. They’re seeking a way of feeling about something and proof of that is the people that take their own life even though they have a lot of money. The correlation to attitude and to this is all money and all wealth is an exchange. When you have a lot of money it’s because you’ve affected in one way or another a lot of people. I believe attitude is that connecting piece, which I find fascinating. I never thought about it like this. It’s fascinating to think about how you come across with a perception of like, “We’re the most amazing time in the world or we’re in the shittiest period of history.” You could see it both ways and sympathize with it in a sense. The attitude and how that connects with other people based on that perception is curious. With a person in a perspective of the glass is half empty, you don’t want to be around that person or do business with them. If it’s the other way around, you do.

You’ll hear people talk about what it’s like to go visit different countries. I’ve been to a lot of different countries. I’ve had people say, “The people are rude there. They’re not nice,” and I go and have a completely different experience where the people are warm, friendly, helpful and wonderful. I don’t have that experience. The money part of it, what you’re saying is so dead-on. Every dollar that we spend or that we earn benefits the lives of other people. Money is just a tool. If I’m spending money, I’m contributing to the people that bought or own the companies of the products that I’m buying, which benefits them and their families and their kids. They can send their kids to school. If I’m earning money, I’m building a business which provides jobs and income for people’s families so that they can grow. When I first started off, I didn’t know I was going to have that experience of how much joy I’d get in contributing to the lives of other people in that way. Not just with the products and services that I deliver to the world, but the fact that I provide jobs, I’m doing something that’s meaningful in a very holistic way with everybody that I come in contact with.

There’s a correlation there more than we think. You can do something that’s not meaningful and get money from it. The idea of being wealthy or fulfilled or have that sense of emotion of achievement is because you have both, which is you’ve done something and you feel that. You also have impacted the lives of somebody else because they’ve given you a lot of money.

It’s interesting what people think about money. I remember before I was wealthy, the thought was about what I would do when I was wealthy, what I would spend money on, houses, cars and trips and stuff like that. Then you become wealthy and after you buy things for a little while, it’s not about what you’re going to buy next. You’re not coming from that place. It’s about how you’re going to serve more. For me, that’s what it is. To watch the light go on in somebody’s eyes when you make a difference for them, the psychic income that you get for that far surpasses any financial income that you could. If I wanted to stop working now, I could. I get to get up and do this every day. It’s not something I have to do. The whole attitude behind the fact that I get to get up and make a difference, I make choices in my life that allow me to do that. I get to watch other people have those breakthroughs. That to me is absolutely amazing.

It’s like the accelerator. I was observing a dinner conversation and the net lottery was a huge amount. I was just listening and observing but they were like, “We’re going to be able to do this and do this.” It’s interesting because most people think that way. If you get to that place and you have those things, you realize that it’s an emotion that you’re after, then the acceleration piece is you get to that point. From my perception of those that are wealthy, you’re on a different gear where your drive doesn’t come from having more money. It comes from having more of those feelings, which is serving and helping people.

People want to feel good. One of the problems that we have as a society is that we’re having difficulty keeping up emotionally with how fast everything is changing. The answer that we have to that is drugging people. That causes a major problem because it doesn’t allow them to grow. When we’re seeking those feelings, when we want to feel good, you mentioned about wealthy people taking their own life. I’ve seen that and we’ve also seen some very prominent people commit suicide that you would think to yourself, “They’ve got everything. They’ve got dream careers and they hanged themselves or something.” I did a podcast about Anthony Bourdain after he hung himself because he was one of my heroes. There was no other way for him to get that feeling, whatever it is that was missing in his life. There’s something to be said for finding why you’re here and having the appreciation and the gratitude for that.

If you act the way you act, you're just going to get what you've always got. Click To Tweet

We do an exercise that we do as a company and I also do it with my family. That is every day you have to say three things that you appreciate about yourself and three things that you’re grateful for in your life. The hardest part for adults is to sit around at a dinner table with a bunch of adults and say, “Tell me three things that you appreciate about yourself.” They go blank, they have a hard time with that. If you ask a five-year-old to do it, they’ll be like, “I appreciate my nose. I appreciate my coat.” They come up with things. They have no problem with it whatsoever. It’s almost like it’s taught out of us as we go through life. It’s like waiting for the other ball to drop or whatever that saying is. It’s like there’s always an air of disappointment ready to come into somebody else’s life because they don’t feel they have control over where it’s going.

It’s like you’re selfish or you’re self-centered if you appreciate yourself for something. It’s interesting, it’s like a social stigma. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the school that teaches. It affects a lot of people because I know a lot of people like that, even myself to an extent.

It starts off with the idea that part of our value systems is to put other people first. We’re never taught a healthy balance of putting ourselves first, taking care of ourselves, giving ourselves what it is that we need first and making that okay without being shamed for it. We’re not born with shame and guilt but it is used as a correction tool from the moment we’re born almost and then all through life. Once you pass that on to somebody, we do it ourselves. If my parents shamed and guilted me for my behavior, I don’t need them to continue doing it. I’ll do it for the rest of my life unless I correct that. If I’m doing something that would be outside of what was acceptable for them, I’ll immediately go into shame or guilt and automatically correct my behavior to go back to stay in that pattern. That’s where it has to start to change. Plus, the other thing is this. We’re the only form of life that adjusts our behavior for the appreciation of other forms of life. It happens in nature. The way that we were trained to do that is by limiting the way we can express ourselves.

I’ll do seminars and I’ll ask by a show of hands, “How many of you grew up in a household where it was not okay for you to express your anger?” 90% of the room will raise their hand. We were taught to express ourselves in a way that our parents were comfortable with, but not necessarily based on what we were going through emotionally or how we were feeling. In order to set ourselves free, we have to get back to that baseline of who are we and accepting ourselves for who we are and where we are. Not to say that we can’t get better, but not shaming ourselves for what we haven’t done yet and learning how to express ourselves authentically. Anything that would be considered a negative emotion, like a lot of people, consider anger a negative emotion. I suppose that it is when it’s expressed in a negative way. We’re human beings. When we do have those emotions, how do we express it in a positive way so that we can get it out of our body instead of suppressing it, then at some point blowing up where it does get expressed in a negative way?

We do tend to deal with it. It may seem so subtle on the surface where there’s this little issue and it’s like, “I’m not going to deal with it.” Even though we don’t think that it affects us, it does and it stays. Then the next time something happens, that it’s a little bit more and then a little bit more. That compounds out of control. I’ve thought about a lot of this about how we express ourselves or how we deal with especially negative situations in a productive way. I don’t know if I have the answer to it. I’ve been aware of it and I’ve thought through and I’ve had difficult conversations or had to have difficult conversations. What do I do in order to not subconsciously come across as a jerk?

TWS 16 | Wealth

Wealth: The natural progression is that whatever the dysfunction in life is, it’s going to continue to get worse until we have one of those radical wakeup call moments.

 

Part of it is evaluating how much a person has the ability to accept responsibility for themselves and talking to them based on that level of where they are. If you’re dealing with somebody who is projecting that they’re victims and that they’re entitled. You come like, “No, in order for you to change your life, you’ve got to accept responsibility.” They’re not going to be able to hear you. We have to get back to a place where we were teaching what responsibility is in society and holding people accountable for that. The difficulty that we have is that’s great for kids. A kid’s mind is not programmed yet to blame other people for their actions or where they are in life. When you’re teaching children, all they have to do is make up their minds. That’s the truth. That’s the direction that they’re going to go. They’re relatively okay with that with some guidance. Adults have to change their mind. You have to get them to accept a different idea about how life is based on what the problems are that they’re experiencing and where do they ultimately want to go. The truth of the matter is some people just don’t want to change it.

Also, there are layers upon layers, years upon years that is on top of what the core issue is. It’s typically what’s manifesting those core issues. You’re right, it’s dealing with that. In adults, especially, it’s difficult. Also one thing in relation to what you said, which is this understanding where we put others first before ourselves. The connection that I made years ago and I would say I still have issues with it, which is the best way to take care of others, is to first take care of yourself. If you don’t do that, then you’re going to show up less than what you could for others. You’re hurting others regardless of whether you put them first or not. If you put yourself first, that at least puts you in the optimal position to be of most benefit to others. These are all attitudes. It’s interesting it still seems very counterintuitive to what the overarching universal belief is. I see signs of it changing and adjusting. It’s years, decades and repetition of what’s held as a social belief or an American belief or whatever. It’s going to take a lot of work. It seems from your perspective, I would agree with it that there’s a momentum there.

I was listening to Oprah in an interview one time a couple of years ago. They were talking to her about racism and where we are as a society as far as racism. It was an interesting interview. There was nothing new being said. The question was asked, “What do we do with people that are above 55 years old? They were raised in a different generation with different beliefs. How do we change their minds?” Oprah’s response startled me when I first heard it. She said, “They just have to die.” At first, I thought to myself, “That’s crazy.” Then I was thinking from a realistic perspective, there are some generational beliefs that people are not going to change.

You can tell a person that racism is wrong and it’s ignorant and it’s passed down from one generation. You can bring all the logical argument to someone. If they don’t want to change the belief, they’re not going to change it. They’ll just shut up their mouth but they won’t necessarily change it. That’s what Oprah was trying to say. If you look at other things, it will pass away as those generations of people with beliefs as they transition. New generations of people come up with a more loving mindset or a liberal mindset or however it is that you want to put it. People are becoming more aware of the truth every day. It starts to become more obvious. We’ve pushed the button so far in one direction and there’s too much information that is readily available at everybody’s fingertips. It becomes difficult for the people to try to carry the light from one generation to another to be able to continue to do so.

We’ve been talking about how individuals suppress. Once it’s a group or a collective that’s suppressing something, it’s even stronger. Going to your story and your awakening when you went through that dam, catastrophic events oftentimes disrupt that mindset. Look at 9/11 or you look at the different hurricanes and natural disasters, they tend to bring people together. In those very disruptive environments I would say is where you have this inkling of people are putting aside any differences, political, social and race to help one another. Then a month goes by and it’s back to normal. It’s interesting to see how those types of disrupted events break down those social barriers that are evident.

Every dollar that we spend or that we earn benefits the lives of other people. Click To Tweet

We do a program that’s called Date with Your Darkside. The whole idea behind it is that if you have something in your life that is showing up dysfunctional or a problem that just keeps persisting. My belief is that the universe is always trying to correct us individually, trying to get us back on track with what our purpose is. We don’t readily see all of those signs as we’re going through life. The natural progression is that whatever the dysfunction is, it’s going to continue to get worse until we have one of those radical wakeup call moments, whether it’s the trauma in our own life or we’re seeing it as a society. I’ve told people you don’t have to get to the point where you have a near-death experience to change if you can recognize what the signs are ahead of time. Then unravel or unpack what the patterns and the roles are that you’ve taken on from your parents that are continuing to cause those problems. You can proactively change and then learn the tools and the skill sets that you need in order to literally take your life down a totally different path and have a completely different result.

We’ve been doing that for a long time with people. The results are absolutely astounding that they get from that. For me, it came out of the idea of, “What happened in my life that caused me to change and what have I watched thousands of people do to precipitate change in their life? What caused that? What were the precursors that they experienced that said, “This has got to change now. Something different has to happen.” It doesn’t have to be that somebody dies or gets hurt. It could be something proactive, following something that inspires us, a desire that we have, an inspirational person or book or art or something like that. There are a lot of things in this world that are pointing in the right direction, we just have to wake up to what they are.

What does this have to do with being wealthy? This is a topic of your book and something I think a lot about. Let me first address this notion of awareness. That’s the keyword that you brought up is when these disruptive events happen, you have a new awareness. Your perception has changed. I was having a conversation with somebody and they made an observation about me, which was fascinating. I’m still trying to process it. My parents were both teachers in the same school system that I went to school in. My middle brother and I, we realized early on that we couldn’t get away with anything. The discipline level of normal teacher-student was enhanced because if we did something bad, they went to our parents. It was an extra layer.

You’re always trying to make sure that things look good. Whether it’s the right connection or not, I just found it fascinating that we have all these experiences in the past. It’s everybody. It’s not just me, it’s everyone, where we’ve had certain experiences that we put meaning on and we’ve just continued to grow and enhance whatever that is until it exists now. It’s not like everybody was watching me then. We may have gotten in trouble or whatever. It doesn’t apply or has meaning if you’re aware of and you know how to process it, which is a whole other set of things when you approach the dark side, as you put it with your event. When you show up in life, the value you create to the world is represented in a couple of ways. One of the ways is with wealth, with money which is, “Here’s what you’ve done for the world.” If you don’t have a lot of money, you can be a victim about it and say, “It’s because this didn’t happen or this person is this way, this person is that way.” If you take stewardship and responsibility for it, it’s becoming aware that and then figuring out how to show up different, how to change your attitude and control what you can control. What does any of this have to do with being wealthy or achieving what we define as wealth?

What I believe the way that this is connected is that money itself is very interesting when you take into consideration. If everybody was aware of how to earn whatever amount of money they needed whenever they needed it, which is my definition of wealth. It’s not stacking up money in the bank or in a mattress or whatever. Not that investing or saving is a bad thing. It’s a good thing, but that doesn’t define wealth. Wealth is your ability to bring that resource in. If everybody was aware of how to do that beyond working a job, understanding how money moves and how to bring it into their life then they become uncontrollable. It is one of the ways that society still can control the masses because if they are dependent upon everybody else for the money, then they have to conform to everything that is required in order for them to earn money.

TWS 16 | Wealth

Wealth: Wealth is a mindset; it’s not something that you achieve. It’s not this end result. It’s a way of being.

 

There are one or two reasons that people look at becoming wealthy. One is so that they don’t ever have to worry about money again, which is a negative viewpoint. That’s built out of fear. The other one is, “I am born to be a success. I have a purpose. It is going to require a lot of money for the fulfillment of that purpose and that purpose is going to benefit a lot of people and money is going to have a role in that.” In our website, we have a free download that’s called You Were Born to be a Success. It starts people off in that direction. It’s like turning the corner for that individual in their life. The key is that if we come from this place of, “I don’t have to worry about money because I’ve mastered my ability to bring finances into my life,” you totally change the direction and the purpose and the capacity for a person to expand their life because they’re no longer fixated on, “I’ve got to spend this much time or trading my time for money, working in a job that I don’t like, which makes people unhappy. Working with people I don’t like.” You should do what you love with people that you love and master being able to bring money in your life so that it’s not an issue. Everybody can do it.

My belief is that everybody on the planet has the same amount of money. They’re just either ignorant to that, meaning that they don’t know that that’s the truth or that they don’t want to change to be able to do the things that are required to bring it in. Earning a lot of money is not difficult. There are homeless people that understand that more than there are people that work that understand that. Homeless people are believably resourceful. There are people that walk around free, they talk about all the reasons why they can’t do something and we have people in prisons that are able to get drugs, pornography, cigarettes, all kinds of contraband and they’re in a 9×11 cell, 23 hours a day. How is it that they’re able to be more resourceful than a person who’s free? It’s the change in your mind that binds you. If you think about it in those comparisons.

You have a person that says, “I can’t do this because I don’t have the money.” The problem is that they don’t have the urgency. If you change the urgency in a person’s life in order to get the money, everything changes. If somebody said to you, “If you don’t come up with $10,000 in the next seven days, your kid will lose his life.” That I guarantee, the person will find $10,000 in seven days. That will be the same person that won’t go out and buy a self-help book because they say that they can’t afford it. Or they’ll be late on their payments because they literally stop with the imagination in their mind or the story in their mind that they can’t do it, it can’t be done or they have toleration as to what’s acceptable and they don’t raise their standards in their lives. But if you change the circumstances, they’re able to do it. They’ll break through whatever barrier that they have in order to make something happen.

The word “can,” what an amazingly controlling word that is, which is totally false. You’re hitting on things that just resonates so well. That’s probably what you meant with the title of your book, The Millions Within. Humankind shares very similar attributes as far as who we are, maybe not the physical environment in which we live but who we are and our ability to create and our ability to think. Going back to what we talked about, which is John Locke who lived in a time where there wasn’t electricity, there wasn’t plumbing, where life was very at a rudimentary level. He saw what a human being could create with the right mindset, with the right environment and so forth. As you alluded to in the beginning, we have more opportunity now than ever. Also, you could see a perspective where people think it’s all going to end. It’s all going to end.

What we’ve been talking about here, wealth to me is a mindset and it’s not something that you achieve. It’s not this end result. It’s a way of being. You don’t have to have a lot of money in the bank to think and believe that way. I believe that true wealth is going to come about by first believing and thinking that way, which will create a specific attitude which will then bring you around the right people and get you away from the wrong people. That right there altogether is that state that people are seeking. It’s not a state that you achieve, it’s a state that you are working on all the time.

There's something to be said for finding why you're here and having the appreciation and the gratitude for that. Click To Tweet

It is a state, it is a way of being. It is how you show up every day. Anybody can do it. It starts with this. If you’re willing to take responsibility for everything that’s in your life, you take your power back, which allows you to change your perception and see what you couldn’t previously see before. All the opportunities, everything that you need is here for everybody. It’s not to pick or choose. You don’t see the worry. You don’t see the fear. You don’t see the dysfunction anywhere in nature unless human beings get involved. Nature just flows with life and intelligence. It knows exactly what to do. Think about a beaver building a dam. They don’t go to building dams school as little beavers. That’s instinctual knowledge that they have. It’s the same with birds building a nest. Those are very intricate things if you’ve ever looked at one up-close. How did they know how to do that? We have the same guidance inside of ourselves. We’ve got to stop following the dysfunctional stories that we’ve been told that are not based on any truth and start following what is true. The truth is you have to study a little bit to get to those things. If you’re willing to do that, you can change your life for the better in a very short period of time.

David, this has been enlightening for me. This has helped me connect a few things. I appreciate that from a personal level. We’ve been talking about all of your elements of this. We brought it together well. Thank you so much for helping us do that. I know you have not just the book but there are a lot of other resources that you have that speak to practical ways of implementing some of what we’ve been talking about. Would you mind speaking about that?

All anybody has to do is go to our website, DavidNeagle.com. There is a free download there called You Were Born To Be A Success. There are also a lot of other resources. Our events are all listed on the website if you want to come to participate with us. You could give one of our coaches a call. That information is on the website and they’ll help you work through any problem that you’re having and help you with what is the next step from there.

Are you active on social media?

Yes, we’re on absolutely everything and always communicating there.

David, we’re going to have to do a follow up to this. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your experiences with us. We appreciate it. I’m sure we’ll touch base and talk soon.

Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

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About David Neagle

TWS 16 | Wealth

In September of 1989, what was supposed to be a rare relaxing day with family cruising down the Illinois River in a roomy boat, quickly turned into a nightmare.

David Neagle was pulled deep into the gates of a dam that shredded his flesh, broke his back, and nearly drowned him. No one expected him to survive the accident, and rescue workers even told his family he was already dead. (Entire boats had been sucked into this same dam, without survivors.)

What happened instead is that David, a high-school dropout and dock worker, awakened to the potential previously untapped within him. He made a decision that day to begin the journey responsible for changing his entire life, and now the lives of thousands of others.

David Neagle knows how to help you achieve whatever dream your heart desires – no matter where you’re starting from.

After his brush with death, David began to study his own potential. In the 12 months following his accident – despite being unable to walk for more than a month – he tripled his income. By December of 2000, David had expanded to become an executive corporate manager, a stock investor, and a business owner.

Over the years, David continually sought new mentors with each new level of success he attained. He began to study every great person in history. But it wasn’t until David began studying “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D. Wattles, that he fully understood the transformation he’d undergone. Wattles’ book uncovered the exact change in David’s thinking and in his attitude that had gotten the ball rolling to create his unstoppable success.

Today, David Neagle is the best selling author of The Millions Within and is known as one of the architects of the coaching and personal growth industry itself, having worked alongside other well-known mentors like Bob Proctor, Marianne Morrisey, Tony Robbins and the like for decades.

 

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