Tag Archives: Luckman’s Laws

What Do You Deserve?

8 Nov

 “I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”

-Jessie B. Rittenhouse

There is a chapter in my book Overpowering Fear: Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life entitled, Littleness versus Magnitude: Your Choice. I developed my beliefs about this choice from the book A Course in Miracles. In ACM God says that each of us are given free choice; we can choose a life of Littleness or a life of Magnitude, which I prefer to call Greatness. For most of my life I didn’t believe that I deserved greatness, and so by default, I accepted littleness. Sure, there were moments in time where I did achieve greatness, but to me they were just flukes, nothing to pin the hopes of my future on.

I am happy to say that I don’t believe that anymore.

Like me, too many people have been raised with the conviction that they don’t deserve to have everything that they want. That others are more deserving. That they have to settle for less. Or that life is a zero sum game where if they get everything they want, somewhere, someplace others will have to get less. If you’re one of these people who believe this then you are absolutely wrong. In fact, you deserve to have everything, be everything and do everything that your heart desires. You are a child of God and God denies himself nothing and he did not create you to struggle and have less than you desire.

Let the poem above be your guide. Life will pay you any price you ask if only you believe that you deserve it. I want you to take my word for it, YOU DO DESERVE IT!  Ask God, Spirit or the Universe for what you want, believe that you deserve it, and have faith that it will materialize in your life. And it will.

It is not that you ask God for too much, but that you ask Him for too little! ~ A Course in Miracles

Love,

Michael

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I Don’t Know What to Say

4 Nov

A couple of months ago my mother passed away. I posted a short message to my friends on Facebook and was soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of messages of sympathy and comfort I received back. In difficult situations like this social media really comes in handy.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with an old friend about a year ago. He shared with me that he had heard that the wife of an old friend that we used to work with years earlier, had recently passed away. Neither of us had spoken with this friend for a quite a while, and, when I asked him if he had called to offer his condolences he said, “No, I haven’t but I really want to. But I never know what to say in these situations.”

This seems to be a very common occurrence. You don’t know what to say even though your heart feels the emotion you so want to express. It’s happened to me. In fact, when I was a younger man I almost always felt uncomfortable speaking with people older than myself and expressing my sympathies or just my concerns. Why, was that? I’m really not sure. But obviously I felt fear around it.

Maybe I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing. That would definitely get my face to glow red. Or, maybe I feared that whatever I said would be taken the wrong way. Then for days afterward I’d be beating myself up about what an idiot I was.

I remember once, I was on this board, and one of the members approached another and expressed his sympathies on the death of that man’s wife. I hadn’t heard that she died but I was afraid to even mention my sympathies for fear that maybe, since we didn’t know each other that well, my words would sound counterfeit and insincere. And so, to my shame, I did nothing.

As I’ve gotten older I realize how crazy all of this is. It’s was my crazy thoughts that were keeping me from reaching out to another human being with emotions that were both heartfelt and genuine. I learned to overpower my fear of doing this by just doing it. I learned not to be afraid of what to say. Just about anything you say will be greatly appreciated. I know because I have been on the receiving end.

But, if you need something to say try these. For a death: I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I know this is a very difficult time for you. So if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. For an illness: I am so sorry to hear about your wife’s illness. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know you’re probably going to be stretched thin in dealing with this. So, if I can be of any help I would welcome your call.

With just the changing of a few words either of the above statements can be altered for any situation and give voice to whatever it is your heart is saying.

Love,

Michael

Fear is Like Gravity – It Holds You Down

1 Nov

Be thankful for gravity. If not for just the perfect amount of gravity we would all be floating around uncontrollably, which could be a real problem as we dodge other people, cars, trucks and virtually anything not nailed down.

Fear, on the other hand holds us down too, but unfortunately in a more insidious and harmful way. Fear, when not faced and overpowered, will often freeze us in place. Afraid to make a decision, afraid to make a choice, afraid to take a chance, we often do nothing.

I have a very close friend in that position right now and I’m not sure how to help him. Brent has been married for around 30 years to a woman I’m not sure he ever loved. They have 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren. Brent was never a great father but he’s making up for that now by being a wonderful grandfather.

Brent has been out of work for approximately 2 years and has not found another job. And I’m beginning to believe he doesn’t want one. Money is now tight. Very tight. I have suggested to him that with the kids all grown and his marriage an empty shell to just walk away from the life he’s lead, and begin a new life, one of his choosing.

But Brent can’t choose. He can’t make a decision. And actually as I look back on his life, he’s always let others around him make the decisions for him. I wonder why that’s so. He grew up like me in Chicago, but I don’t think his parents or his siblings had problems making a decision, only Brent. Brent has always been paralyzed by fear.

Recently, I read an article about a study of how people respond to emergency situations and it described an airplane crash with survivors. Some people would get up immediately and head for the exits. Others would instinctively look around for other survivors and help them to escape. And then there were those who just sat in their seats, paralyzed with fear, who did nothing. And that’s where rescuers found them. Dead in their seats. And there were more of these people then you would imagine.

I’m stymied. I love Brent like a brother and I’m at a loss as to how to help him. If I just gave him money he’d use it to pay his immediate bills, but in a matter of weeks he’d be back to where he is now.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I can’t help Brent. Maybe all I can do is offer him the tools, the encouragement and the support, and the rest is up to him.

Love,

Michael

Can Fear be a Gift?

30 Oct

The majority of my blogs and articles about fear describe it in negative terms. How fear prevents us from truly living the life we wish for ourselves. How it keeps us from having, being and doing the things we most desire.

Today, I’d like to talk about the positive side of fear. And yes, there is a positive side. You see if our ancestors hadn’t experienced fear there is a good chance you and I would not be here today. No blog and no readers.

Like most animals, we of the human species have a built in early warning system to protect us from dangerous situations. It’s very much like the burglar alarm systems many of us have in our homes. It starts with the alarm itself found in the oldest part of our reptilian brain, a nodule known as the amygdala. The amygdala receives signals from our five senses very much like the burglar alarm that is connected to the windows and doors in our homes. When any of those doors or windows are breeched signals are sent to the alarm and it begins to ring.

The amygdala is always working monitoring what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel. If any one of these sensors suspects danger it immediately notifies the amygdala to prepare the body for what we refer to as, fight or flight. Perfect for when a wild beast looks at us and thinks dinner, or a hostile neighboring tribe is looking to conquer our village, make us slaves and steal our wives and daughters.

The first thing that happens when our amygdala suspects danger is to determine if the danger is real. This takes but nano seconds. If it does sense we are in danger it goes into action: The body is bathed in hormones, most notably adrenaline. The heart beats faster. The lungs take in more oxygen to mix with the sugars in the blood to produce more energy. Our senses sharpen. And, the blood supply is redirected away from the digestive track to the muscles. Our body is now ready to fight for our very lives, or run to escape our attackers.

When this happened to our ancestors they survived. We are living proof of that. So fear is definitely good, a gift.

But here is the weird part. Your amygdala doesn’t know the difference between a signal from your five senses, or a delusional thought you hold in your mind. So if you’re a salesperson who has to call a prospect and you’re afraid they’ll get mad at you and hang-up, your body will feel the fear and respond in a similar fashion to being chased by a pit bull. If there is someone you want to meet at a social gathering and you’re frozen in place by fear that you’ll be rejected and humiliated, your body is feeling the same stresses it would if you were confronted by a mugger on a dark street. This certainly doesn’t make much sense now, does it?

So, learn the difference between real fear that protects you from danger, and delusional fear that robs you of all the things that would add joy and happiness to your life. Once you do this, your life will never be the same.

Love,

Michael

Check Your Ego at the Door

24 Oct

Check your ego at the door and check your gut instead. Every right decision I have ever made has come from my gut. ~Oprah Winfrey

If you read my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life you’ll know that I don’t think much of the ego, yours or mine.

Your ego is not your friend. Its sole purpose is to compare you to others. And when that happens you’re either going to win or lose. If your ego finds you superior to another or another’s possessions, you feel good about yourself. If your ego finds you lacking compared to another you feel terrible. There is no in-between.

Whenever you make a decision based upon what your ego is telling you the probability that you’ll make the wrong decision is at its highest. But when you allow intuition to guide you, you can almost never be wrong.

Intuition communicates through your gut. When you make the right decision your gut speaks to you through your heart, and makes it sing. It’s at that moment that you know you made the RIGHT decision.

Love,

Michael

Am I my Brother’s Keeper?

18 Oct

After Cain kills his brother Abel God asks Cain where is Abel. And Cain replies, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Implying, how should I know. When in fact he did know. He just killed him.

Those five words are probably the most quoted in the bible.

Am I my brother’s keeper? I personally believe so. All men (and women too) are my brothers. We look different. We act different. We speak different languages. We celebrate different cultures. But if we were to remove our outer skin and never spoke, there would be no way to tell us apart. And that’s because we are the same.

And if we are monotheistic, as Judaism, Christianity and Islam are, we believe in one God. We pray to the same deity, although we call him by different names it is the same God. The God of Abraham.

So, if we are all the same, and are our brother’s keeper, why do we hate our brothers and sisters so? Why do we fear them instead of loving them and watching out for their welfare? As God wishes us to do.

We do it because we are afraid. We want to blame others for the things we no longer have control over. We wake up with fear and we lie down at night fearing tomorrow. And knowing how afraid we really are politicians and pundits take advantage of our fears to convince us it’s not us, but THEM. And if we can just eliminate them everything would be alright once again.

They convince us that our president is not one of us. He’s not a Christian he’s a Muslim. He wasn’t born in “our” country. He doesn’t think like we do. What they are really saying is he’s black and we should return to the days when it was accepted belief that blacks were inferior to us. They want us to fight back against the inevitable; we’re going to lose our white Christian America. Get over it. We’ve already lost it in California and lo and behold, nothing has changed.

They convince us that corporations are just like people. When we know they’re not! People have consciences. Corporations do not. Corporations think only short term and they think only of making a profit and to hell with the people of this country or any country for that matter.

They convince us that contrary to the fact we got screwed by the big banks on Wall Street, that we shouldn’t add any new “big” government regulations, practically assuring all of us that we’ll probably get screwed again.

They convince us that even though the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, demanded that their suppliers move their manufacturing to China so that they could offer lower prices to their worldwide customers, it was OK that millions of Americans lost their manufacturing jobs. And what is even more incredible is that the very people who were put out of work – still shop in their stores.

They convince us that we don’t want a government run healthcare system. But those on Medicare (including me) love it, and demand that legislators keep their hands off of it.

Obviously, I did a little venting of my frustrations here. But isn’t it time we put away our fears and began to see and love our brothers and sisters as ourselves? After all, wasn’t it God that wanted us to be our brother’s keeper?

With love,

Michael

A Power Greater Than You

16 Oct

Early morning every day, I have a conversation with God or the voice for God, the Holy Spirit, as described in A Course in Miracles. Or as I like to address Spirit, Infinite Spirit. The first thing I ask for is a perfect day. And what do I mean by a perfect day? A day where everything comes my way and one where everything goes my way. I am always open to receiving all the wondrous things the Universe holds in store for me.

Another thing I ask for is that I am always in the right place at the right time. Doing and saying the right things at the right time. I have asked for this for as long as I can remember. In my studies of A Course in Miracles I came upon the following quote on what to ask of God:

“Where would You have me go Father?”

“What would You have me do?”

“What would You have me say, and to whom?”

And then just let go.

They say that whatever problem you are facing; just turn it over to God. Let go of it. Let go of the worry. Let go of the outcome. Just let God, Spirit, the Universe do their work. But we don’t always do that and I’ve often wondered why.

I think its fear. We grow up believing we need to be self-reliant. That it is okay to ask God for the big things, but when it comes to our everyday lives and the things that cross our path daily, we should take the initiative and solve our own problems. Some of you may have grown up in homes where you were admonished not to ask God for the little everyday things. She was too busy and you were bothering her. Not so.

A Course in Miracles also says: “It is not that you ask God for too much, but that you ask him for too little.”

Each of you has a power greater than yourself who is ready and willing to bring you all that you ask for. Don’t think of yourself as too tough, too smart or too macho to reach out and develop this most wonderful relationship.

I guarantee you it will change your life.

My love always,

Michael