First I have two stories for you. We’ll call Susan’s story — Magic Wands. Lee’s story is aptly named —Precious Gems.
Next we’ll talk about making the the explosion (ie. magic) happen and what it takes to ignite the magic.
Susan: How to make your wand work
We were visiting with my brother’s family while he customized our fifth wheel, and I asked his grandchildren, Cadence 10 and Ansel 6, to show me the Harry Potter wands their grandpa had made them. Cadence didn’t have hers with her but she described it in detail — owl handle with vines climbing up the wand — and Ansel’s was as close a copy to Harry Potter’s wand as my very talented brother could get it.
I asked Ansel if he’d done any magic with it yet, and he answered — “Oh, it doesn't work. It’s just for pretend.” I told him I believed he could work magic, and that I knew how. Now I had Cadence’s full attention too. I told them the story of building the house we wanted to live in on the picnic table out of blocks when we were camping and how we found that exact house the following Monday morning — and the story of buying our fifth wheel RV and returning home to find it was the exact RV we’d had posted on our refrigerator for months.
They wanted to know how that happened. I said, “This is how the magic happens. First, you decide EXACTLY what you want, and then you draw it or build it or collect pictures of it and imagine as hard as you can EVERYTHING about it and then you let yourself FEEL how it would be if you had it. If you do this long enough — never doubting that it will arrive — either exactly what you imagined, or something even better, will show up. Your wand will work.”
They wanted rooms of their own — so I started asking question after question. Cadence’s room was going to be round with a dance bar and gymnastic equipment (and she wanted a curtained off section with a composting toilet so she didn’t have to go all the way to the house to use the bathroom) — and she wanted to have a tin roof so the rain would sound cool. Ansel's room is underground with one whole wall that is glass with a river flowing by. More importantly, there’s another wall dedicated to displaying his Lego creations. ( Ansel wasn’t worried about a bathroom.)
When we go back, I fully expect to see models or at the least drawings of their amazing rooms. They’re young and they may soon move to a home where they have their own rooms, and something else may become their primary passion.
Still I believe that if Cadence and Ansel held their focus, got specific, shared their dream, did their research on the ideal room, felt the joy of ownership in advance of living in a room that expresses precisely who they are — that they would walk into that room someday. Like MAGIC.
So, as a friend of ours likes to ask: If you had a magic wand, what would you want to conjure up?
Your ideal life — have you imagined it down to the most minute detail?
Have you researched EVERYTHING about it, have you found pictures, built models, told your encouragers all about it?
If it’s an intangible dream — like mine was to come home from work 20+ years ago and usher my kids through childhood — you can still FEEL the freedom and the joy in your imagination as often as possible. Anticipating the joy and satisfaction is the Number One most important part of making the magic happen!
Lee: Showing the Plan to Joseph, the Miner
I had shown two plans that day when we arrived at Joseph and Jennifer’s home. Lee took the lead on this one, and immediately started asking Joseph questions. Joseph had been a miner in Kenya before coming to this country for a complicated medical procedure. Now he was working as a security guard and his wife as a nurse. At first he was a little guarded and inexpressive — UNTIL Lee started asking him about mining.
Lee told him his dad had described how a mined was framed and how charges were set, and Joseph started to open up. Lee kept saying, “Does that sound right?” And this kept Joseph expanding on his mining experience. Then Lee asked if he had any samples of gems he’d mined or pictures of gems, and Joseph was up and bringing samples out and passing around his phone with more examples of what he’d mined. Suddenly dead-pan Joseph was very animated.
Lee asked, “Joseph, what would it cost for you to get all the equipment you need to get back into mining?” There was another long discussion of this — with Jennifer participating even though she had said she couldn’t sit down because she was running from one job to the next.
I could see our partners listening to all this — and maybe wondering, “When is Lee going to get to the point?! When is he going to show Joseph and Jennifer the compensation plan and invite them into the business? We only have so much time here…”
Then Lee asked the question: “Do you have a way to get the capital together to open another mine?” The answer was either “No” or “Prayer!” — I can’t recall, but from here the plan was very brief and simple but the critical ingredient was present: Joseph’s absolute conviction that Lee was there — the team was there — to help him get what HE wanted most.
When Joseph wanted to know how the business actually worked, Lee answered, “It’s like mining — except you’re mining for people, and some people are ready to be precious gems and some are just rocks (at least right now.) In our business, one good “gem” can generate great profit, right?” (Joseph really loved that we have Rubies, Emerald and Diamonds in our business.)
By the time we were leaving, Joseph was openly talking about being part of “the team” and asking for photos with all of us. A couple of days ago, Lee called Joseph from The Rim of the World near Yosemite and said, “Sounds like you’re ready to get started, so when we get back, we’ll talk about the next step.” Joseph’s response? “Yes sir! Thank you!”
Joseph is anticipating the joy of owning his life again. Step One of MAKING THE MAGIC HAPPEN.
THE NEXT STEP
For us, with Spring Training coming up in San Rafael, California on May 14th, there’s a very simple answer to “What is the next step?”
Get the wizards-in-training around the Master Wizards so they can learn to make their own personal magic happen.
Just as fanning the flames of Joseph’s true passion came before spinning the circles in Lee’s plan, inspiration — or inflammation of belief -- takes precedence over registration this close to a conference.
I remember asking Bruce Bond many years ago, “How hard do I promote for the next conference?” I’ll never forget Bruce’s answer: “Til they bleed!” He said, “We’re saving lives here!” I learned that he was right. Certainly Bruce’s better life was saved from the settle-for version. And ours. And Suzanne’s and the Sudduth’s and the Humphrey’s. The list is long.
When I talk to someone about buying a ticket to the conference, I always reference their dream say, “if you want to start moving towards your dream home, towards your mine, towards traveling the world, towards personal freedom, this is the next step. This is where the change begins — otherwise everything keeps going the way it has been up until now.” I think of it — not as pushing — but as loving them a little harder.
Lee says, “It all starts with your thinking. You start changing how you’re thinking by being around people who think differently — and then your life begins to change.”
If your life is already changing, it will accelerate the process -- add some jet packs to your wings!
For those who chose and dare to dream, come May 14th —the MAGIC will be ignited!
Nothing Behind/Everything Ahead
So many of us are held hostage -- by our employers when we request time off, by our insurance companies when we need a procedure they question, even by our service providers when we attempt to make a change before our contract is up. Sometimes it feels almost as if we are dragging the chains of past transgressions like those weighing down the Morley brothers in Dicken’s A Christmas Story.
Recently Lee and I shed some of these chains. We have no jobs, no landlords, no mortgage, no service contracts, and soon no debt. We do have insurance -- which sometimes seems even more inescapable than death and taxes -- but by and large, we’ve become both light on the planet and much less rooted.
As many of you know, over two weeks ago we completed a six-week marathon of divesting ourselves of possessions -- furniture, clothing, a truckload of surplus electronics, another truckload of kitchen paraphernalia as well as garden tools, wheelbarrow, bench, barbecue, fire pit, two cars and a truck. First our three children came through and carted away treasures, then we had an “estate sale” during a weekend deluge, followed by a large donation to a local non-profit -- and finally the junk men came and hauled away what remained. We were continually amazed at all the things we had housed -- in some cases for decades -- and yet felt no distress shedding. Why do we keep things we never look at and don’t miss -- often paying storage fees greatly exceeding the value of replacement?
The most difficult part-- and the most rewarding part of this shedding process for both of us -- was going through family photos and memorabilia. We continually asked ourselves, “Will anyone else EVER want to look at this?” We scanned photos for days, and still have a large box to complete -- at our leisure while we linger in the woods, the desert or the canyons of our new “neighborhoods.” For me, the surprising bonus was integrating all parts of my past with my present, so that I can move unencumbered into my future. Nothing behind, everything ahead.
As I write this, I’m looking out the screen door of our RV at purple and yellow wildflowers at the base of a respectably aged redwood, and I’m listening to an avian concert too diverse to parse into individual calls.
Lee is resting--not having successfully severed all employment shackles quite yet. I find it admirable that he won’t allow existing clients to go down with their foundering databases. I also find it gratifying that he is holding to his decision to rescue through referral from now on.
Friends have asked whether we’ll be bored, whether we’ll be idle or get tired of just gratifying the next moment’s need. I think we wondered too. This is a transitional period so far. We’ve actually been too busy! We’re working on carving out MORE time for gratifying the next moment’s need.
What has become very clear is that our sense of purpose, of adding value to the lives of people we know and people we meet, is alive and well. And now, we can focus with much greater concentration on what really counts, and what we want to stand for.
We want to stand for offering people a chance at greater personal freedom, at shedding their chains -- not their responsibilities but their limitations -- so that they can discover and express what they stand for.
So far, this new life feels very much like an adventure, and what is adventure if not NOTHING BEHIND/EVERYTHING AHEAD.
Susan is a published writer and motivational speaker with 30 years of experience, dedicated to guiding people to a life of financial invincibility and peace of mind.