You might not know that I have a lot of trouble coming up with material to write here. I wonder how my few words will make a difference for the American People. It's not that I don't make a difference. I help thousands of people have better relationships, with girlfriends, parents, kids, in-laws, co-workers. I help them have better lives, whether it's around romantic relationships, jobs, or building relationships for business. Somehow that's really easy.
But it's one thing to coach a player, another the team, and another altogether when you are running the league. And unlike the Major League, where the schedule is set and the teams show up, government, for the most part, can only set up the field.
I just finished reading Tony Robbins new book, Unshakeable. It pretends to be about money, and if you read it just for that, it will point you down the road to financial freedom.
But Tony makes a point after all the money stuff. He says if you are not free in your head, if you don't “master your own mind,” you will never really be rich, even if you have a billion dollars.
The thing is we suffer. And most of us don't realize or believe that it is of our own making. And maybe we can see it when we strip everything else away, but there is all this stuff that distracts us.
I'll go back to our field. All you need is to give kids a dirt lot and a ball. They'll come up with soccer, or rugby, or dodgeball. Add a couple of old brooms, and it's some version of baseball, or hockey, cricket or croquet. And they'll have a great time.
But turn it into a gridiron, give a group of big, strong, fast kids full gear, and then tell the rest of the kids to play against them, and there's no fun anymore.
All of a sudden, you'll have people complaining it's unfair, or going up into the bleachers, or out behind them getting high, and blaming the system, and suffering.
And our government is even worse. For four years they build a baseball field. Then field a football team. Then comes a new commissioner who says we're going to play tennis on it. Four years later, someone orders volleyball nets. And the few left on the field make up their own rules, and make up some screwy game that only they can play while everyone else falls behind.
And to keep the rest from throwing a revolution, and taking back the field, they give those on the sidelines a little food, maybe a place to live, and mostly just keep them enough off-balance that they never become a threat.
And we end up living in fear. Will we have a job, or healthcare, or a home, or ever be able to pay off what we owe? Can we even speak our mind without getting shouted down? So we find an echo chamber, and then start yelling at each other as groups.
I think we forget that the other also loves his country, and his children, and wants to see a better tomorrow. But we are too busy accusing to ever really get where he comes from.
So we suffer some more. We get stuck in a delicate game of give and take, whether it's work and assistance, building a business and getting slammed by a regulation, freedom and security, and in some cases - way too many - going to school and our lives.
We suffer the thought police. Instead of arguing about what matters and coming to solutions, we pick a team, and yell at the ref when the calls are against us.
So, I read Tony, and I want to extend his mission. He says we should end suffering. I agree. And the way I see it, we do this by getting out of people's way so they can create for themselves, so they can be grateful for every thing they brought to their lives with their own hands.
Tony calls this place without suffering a Beautiful State. It starts with gratitude. It starts with appreciating what we have, not looking for what we don't, or how we don't match up to others, but mostly how we didn't achieve our own dreams and expectations.
And when we come from this place of gratitude, when we create this beautiful state, we start rich. We are clear that we are the authors of our own lives, and know it's in our power to create any life we want.
This is the country where anyone can become president, but not really, because right now the game is stacked. It's easy to say that we are our own worst enemy, but it doesn't often take too much discouragement to turn us against ourselves. I'm about neutralizing those outside forces.
And there are things we can do in the meantime. Together we can tear down that screwy football diamond with the funny nets and send the kids out to play again, and when it gets toward evening, go out and play with them.
And that's where I come in. My mission is to create the space in which people can reclaim their dignity, where we can all create for ourselves. And I don't always know how, and invite you to become part of the conversation. And I'd like to know where you think I should start. Whom should I talk to? Who should be on my team?