but first, coffee

The Buddha.
Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius.

These are the original self-help gurus.  Think of the themes they taught.  Self-reliance, responsibility, faith, perseverance, tolerance.  Compare them to the gurus of more modern times.

Dale Carnegie
Tony Robbins
Larry Winget (if you haven’t heard of him, go right now and google him.)
The Pope
James Arthur Ray (The Secret)
Deepak Chopra
Even Billy Banks counts (Insanity workout anyone?)

What do they preach?  Self-reliance, responsibility, faith, perseverance, tolerance.  A myriad of other qualities are coached and encouraged, but the point is that they are timeless.  You don’t need The Bible to know you should “love they neighbor”.  You don’t need Tony Robbins to let you in on the little known secret that personal growth comes by first taking personal responsibility.

Nobody can claim ignorance.
So why isn’t the world populated by selfless millionaires with six pack abs?
Are we lazy?  Sometimes.  Are we stupid?  Partly.  We are also too busy, hungry, tired, and in general don’t have the discipline to make the changes that would result in having something worth having at all.
You can include me.  I would like to have the freedom (time, money, etc) to be able to travel 3-4 months of every year.  I would like to remove my ego from the equation and to leave my business in the very capable hands of my management team.  I would like to spend time on my mind and body.  I would like to learn to take great photos.  I would like to learn to cook from scratch.  I would like to drive every major racetrack in America in the Porsche 911 I have in a purpose built trailer, pulled behind a purpose built truck.
Instead, on most days, like everyone else, I wake up early, go to work, manage the miniature fires of life, eat a couple of meals, spend a little time in front of a screen, and go to bed mostly exhausted and unsettled.
Why do we do this?  There’s a favorite quote I heard a while back:
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
  – Ellen Goodman
It’s time to get started.
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