What matters most in life

I have a week to live.

So, I want to use my final days here to share with you what matters most in life.

I begin by laying the groundwork. Observe that you have thoughts and feelings. For example, you may have the thought that you are reading something strange. Or you may feel hungry.

But how do thoughts or feelings exist? Why does the world contain any thoughts or feelings?

When we reflect on our thoughts and feelings, we can discover something significant about the foundation of all things. In particular, we can see that the foundation must be rational.

Think about this with me. Suppose you have a particular rational thought, T. Now T either exists eternally as part of the foundation of things, or T is not part of the foundation. If T exists as part of the foundation, then rational thought exists at the foundation of things, since T is a rational thought. (The thought that no thought is rational defeats itself–because it is rational only if it is false.)

But you probably remember the beginning of T. So, let’s say T has a beginning. In that case, T either came into existence from nothing, or T was preceded by some existing thing. If T came into existence from nothing, then T cannot be a rational thought, since rational thoughts come from rational reasons, not from nothing. Therefore, the ultimate basis of T is rational.

The basis of a thought is only rational, though, if it doesn’t have a non-rational basis itself. For example, if the basis of rational thoughts came from nothing or something non-rational, then the basis is not itself rational. Therefore, the ultimate rational basis of thought didn’t come from nothing or something non-rational. In other words, the ultimate rational basis of thought is itself foundational.

We have just discovered–by reflection on thoughts–that rationality must be foundational. Otherwise, no thoughts that emerge from non-rational causes could be rational.

This discovery is fundamental to the question at hand: what matters most in life? The very question is meaningless if the foundation of the world is not rational. For if the foundation of the world is not rational, then meaning is not part of the foundation, since it has no thoughts or purposes. Without meaning at the foundation, however, no meaning can ever arise. For meaning cannot come from non-meaning anymore than a rational thought can come from a non-rational basis, or that something can come from nothing.

Yet, the question–what matters most in life?–is meaningful.

The question is also answerable. What matters most are thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings are the architects of the world. They are the source of all visible things. They are the basis of all valuable things.

To be more precise, what matters most are the beings who have thoughts and feelings. YOU matter because you are the sort of being who has thoughts and feelings.

In the battle over ideas, people fight against each other to win an argument. Yet, people matter more than any argument. In fact, the noblest purpose of all arguments is to serve people. This purpose is noblest because it is a purpose that serves what matters most.

What I want to leave the world, before I depart, is a signpost to what matters most. Thoughts and feelings are that signpost. They point to their own value and to the value of the one who has them. They also point to the value of the foundation of the world, for only a supremely valuable foundation could provide a basis for rationality, meaning, and value itself.


How to get the life you want in 2 years

Have you ever imagined having a better life?

There is a one fundamental difference between those imagine a better life and those who actually have a better life.

That difference comes down to one thing: vision-setting.

There are two ways to create a vision. One leads to consistent failure, while the other takes you up steps of success. The foolish vision caster has nothing but images and ideas of their dream life. You have a dream. You tell others about it. You draw it. You hope for it on your happiest days. But you never actually live it.

Those who dream foolishly invent a make-believe world. These people include both pessimists and optimists. Pessimists in this group think they can’t succeed. Their imagination confirms it. They imagine that their dream life is unattainable. They also imagine that those who do succeed are either secretly miserable or just lucky.

Optimists, on the other hand,  deceive themselves into believing that their dream life is around the next corner, or that God is “preparing” them for the next stage. The dream life of an optimist is merely a mirage.

Those who actually step into their dream life do something radically different with their vision. Instead of imagining only what they hope to get out of life, they create a vision of what they will do. They decide to take action.

Don’t take my word for it. Financial consultant, Tom Corley, did a study of his most successful clients, and he found some common habits. I am going to recommend you read his book at this end of this blog, because the habits he mentions have been essential to my own successes. Plus, his book is an ideal start for anyone who is serious about creating a path toward their dream life.

I focus here on a most important habit: vision setting. I have found vision-setting to be a root habit that leads to the discovery of all the rest of the habits.

Here is how I used vision-setting to step up my own life. I created a map of the outcomes I wanted to produce for the next year. I divided the year into twelve months. At the beginning of each month, I broke apart the outcomes into sub-outcomes per week. At the beginning of each week, I broke apart the sub-outcomes into one single outcome per day. I stayed focused on one main outcome, and all the outcomes fit together like a puzzle. I design my vision for producing value for others. The result is that in one year, I achieved more in my particular career than anyone I personally know.

Did I make mistakes? Of course! Did I have feelings of confusion or failure? Who doesn’t? But I persisted.

That year of achievement returned fruit the following year. After two years of vision-setting were completed, I stepped into a life I had previously only dreamed about — to make a living as someone who develops and shares ideas. That dream is now real.

Once you reach your dream, you’ll create a foundation for another dream. Life is a series of adventures.

Do you want to own the adventure of your life? Then you have to action. No amount of hoping is going to get you there. No one else will is responsible for your life but you. The universe will cooperate only once you decide to take charge. You must decide.

I offer you two resources to assist you on your plan for success. First, the best book I’ve seen on the habits of successful people is Rich Habits. Get it. Copy the habits. Watch your life change before your eyes.

Second, get Escaping the Ordinary Life, where you will gain knowledge about how to intentionally design an extraordinary life from the inside out.

How your belief about income inequality can poison your future

When you hear the phrase “income inequality,” what comes to mind? If you are like most people, you think of unfairness. Rich people have unfair advantages over the poor. Your stomach churns over how the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer by comparison. It is not fair. It is wrong.

If those are your thoughts, I have good new and bad news. The good news is that you have a noble, compassionate heart. The bad news is that you have been poisoned. It is not your fault. And, fortunately, there is an anecdote: the truth.

Here is the truth. Inequality of income is not what you were told. Imagine an ideal world, where everyone has equal opportunities to grow and flourish. Everyone enjoys income mobility – the ability to rise high. In this world, your income at the start of your life is not equal to your income later in life. In other words, income mobility predicts an inequality of income across your life in a good world! The more you climb, the more unequal your current step is from your first steps.

Now you might be thinking, “We don’t live in an ideal world. In our world not everyone has equal opportunity to rise.” I’m with you. The thing to notice here, however, is that if everyone did have equal opportunity to rise, then different people would be at difference stages along their journey upward. Some people would be just starting out, while others would be farther along. The result is that income mobility predicts an inequality of income across a population of free and flourishing people. I feel the need to repeat that: income mobility predicts an inequality of income

So why do people associate “income inequality” with a lack of mobility? It is because when they hear “inequality” they think “injustice”. Their noble heart hates injustice. Injustice is the real problem. But just as it would be a mistake to put your money in a river bank, it is equally a mistake to think income inequality is a form of injustice. Don’t let the word “inequality” mislead you. The opposite is true: in a just society, inequality of income is predicted by income mobility. That is hard to hear if “inequality” has been deeply associated in your brain with injustice. Your brain has been poisoned.

Inequality is not equal to injustice. Injustice can produce income equality: imagine a boss paying workers the same for unequal performance. And again, the more people can rise, the greater the income distance between early and seasoned risersIn fact, the more income mobility in a society, the greater the potential income distance in a just society. Once you see this clearly, you are ready to flush the poison out of your system.

Here is what will happen if you keep the poison in your system. You will risk hurting the poor and yourself. You risk hurting the poor by reinforcing the powerless and misleading mindset that poor people cannot rise out of their initial income bracket. (In fact, most do.) And you risk hurting yourself by reinforcing the powerless and misleading mindset that you cannot rise up much higher. According to the studies in the book Rich Habits, what matters most is your mindset and habits, not where you start on the ladder. You must flush out the poisonous mindsets that invade the lower rungs. If instead you associate rising to the higher levels of the ladder with greed and injustice, then you will block your own potential to create more value. But if you see that justice and mobility go together, then you will be free to bring your noble heart into the project of creating more good for everyone.

Will you take the anecdote?

3 years after deciding to become rich

It’s been three years now since I decided to become rich. Although I have yet to make any major breakthroughs, I have accomplished three significant things:

  1. I have steadily increased my networth to past $200k (using auto-investing).
  2. I made it to step 3 in a 4-step path to financial independence by taking actions on the books I read here: 4stepstofreedom.com
  3. I filed my first LLC! More on that later…




How to Build a Money Machine

How would you like to have an ATM machine that gives you money each month, forever? How much would you pay for such a machine?

I discovered a new book, Escaping the Ordinary Life, that gives examples of how to obtain a money machine for free. They give one example of how they used someone else’s money to buy something which they rent out, creating a win-win-win money machine. They give another example of how they taught themselves how to make something for their kids which they now sell online. Brilliant! They also give examples of how to buy money machines through investments that generate higher rates of return than you’d normally get in stocks. They show how anyone can find and generate their own money machines by having a certain way of thinking, which wealthy people practice every day.

The authors have advanced degrees (Ph.D. and M.S.) from the University of Notre Dame. They bring their minds to real world application and show how certain strategies of prospering people are causing them to prosper.

How to have the life you always wanted

First, you have to imagine the life you want…

Today I turn 35. It has now been one year since I began my journey to create massive wealth. I’ve been learning much by studying the lives of successful people. If there is a theme message, it is this: those who create wealth develop a specific vision of what they want, and they decide to add real value to the world in exchange for that vision.

When I started this blog, I imagined I would share my journey to great wealth. I still plan to do that. But I would like this blog to add value to people. Thus, rather than merely offer updates on my progress, I will regularly post insights I’m learning along the way, and share value-adding creations.

Today, on this one year anniversary, I put a stake into the ground. I declare my future:

1. I am a creator of valuable things that display insight.

2. I have a big (2000 square-feet+) beautiful house with large windows, arches, big yard, Spanish roof tiles in Southern California.

3. I am the owner of Creative Play, which is a flourishing company that empowers creativity for kids of all stripes.

4. I own 10 things that together generate $5k/mo of passive income while I sleep.

5. It is the year 2020.

In exchange for this future, I shall create:

  1. Four books, eight conferences, ten articles, fifty videos, and one course pack that help one million people have insights about things that make their lives better.
  2. Five online environments that empower powerful, productive thinking and creativity.

The value of my creations will be 100 times the cash value of what I receive.

Leading up to today, I created a website (version beta) to help people plan their success: thinkaheadforsuccess.com This is online environment number 1 (and it’s free).

The way to have the life you always wanted is to plan to do so.

Faith over fear.

4 easy ways to gain money

There are exactly two methods to increase wealth: (1) increase income, and (2) decrease expenses.

My primary strategy to increase my income is to build a business I’m passionate about. I’ve been making slow and steady progress, and I will be excited to give an update in time.

But I’ve also discovered a few additional ways to increase income without much work. Here are four:

Money Market:  I discovered EverBank, which offers 1% interest. It’s not much, but it’s a perfect place to put my emergency money. Simply by shifting my emergency money (about $15k) into EverBank’s account, I get an increase of about $150 at the end of the year. It only took me about 15 minutes to set it up (all online). Exchanging 15 minutes for $150 is not bad!

Car Rental: I exchanged driving to work for a 10 minute bike ride. (A couple years ago, I made it my mission to find a way to live close to work. It wasn’t easy, but the advantages are incredible.) Next, I uploaded a picture of my 2002 dodge to Relayrides.com, and now I’m renting it out! They insure the car, and pay me $68/week. 🙂 Let’s say I average $30/week (taking into account gaps in renters). I also save about $3/week in gas.  So for a little healthy exercise, I get paid $1700 in a year.

Renter: We combined the kids into a room to create a spare bedroom, and we stuck a renter in there. That’s $500/mo = about $5000 (minus renter gaps) for the year. At first, the thought of a renter in our own home seemed intimidating. But that was just fear of the unknown. Now we love it — an extra family member!

Tutor: I now get paid to play with my own kids! How? Simple: my wife tutors through WyzAnt, while I hang out with the kids. Right now we are at once per week at $50 = $2500/yr.

Total increase: $9,350 for the year.  It’s not a super-inspiring number. But it’s easy money.

P.s. I don’t get paid to advertise for EverBank, RelayRides, or WyzAnt. so the above report is motivated purely from my interest in sharing helpful tips from my journey toward massive success. I wouldn’t mind learning more tips from any of my readers. (I’m not sure I have any readers at this stage though…)