Designing your life: A letter to myself, my children and my friends…

My Dear Friend,

I wanted to put two ideas into this letter for you to consider at your
convenience. Please bear in mind that these are my unedited thoughts
and attitudes, and should be taken purely as opinions. Some of the
things that I say may annoy you, and you may disagree with my

I may be wrong, and that’s fine by me.

I will be as gentle and warm and loving as I can, and please remember
that everything that I say comes from a place of caring and love for
you… as someone that I care about very deeply, a beautiful
individual, whom I feel blessed to have come into contact with.

1. Your career options
You seem to be torn. On one side, you have the ‘old you’ that lived
through the opinions and attitudes of other people; the person who
advocated releasing barriers and being self-actualised. On the other
side, you have the ‘new you’ that wants to live your own life,
according to your own standards, your own rules and in pursuit of your
own happiness.

Standing up for what you believe in is very difficult at the best of
times, especially when so many of our role models and peers live in a
different world. While many of these people want to ‘keep you’ as part
of their ‘group,’ to live your own life, you have to decide what you
want to do for yourself. Living your own way – using degrees and
associations and networking and prestige as a vehicle rather than as a
purpose – is the path to happiness, and I think that you would
probably agree that it is the only ‘authentic’ life to live.

The ‘tribe’ is very persuasive. They criticise those who are
different, and strive to keep everybody within the safe confines of
the community. And those people do so for very good reasons, firstly
because they don’t want you to be disappointed if you fail. But, more
than this, I believe that they don’t want to be reminded that they too
have the capacity to do anything that they can imagine.

You can do anything. The issue, to be blunt and perhaps somewhat
provocative, is whether you want to live your own life, or to waste
your uniqueness.

Remember: The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena…
not to those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

I am not always an ideal role model for this. My own fears can get in
the way of me achieving and contributing so much more than I arguably
could have… yet, while I postpone walking it, in a way I know the
path (or at least the direction) that I must follow.

It would be very easy for you to immerse yourself in learning stuff
for the next decade or two – and you would be exceptionally well
suited to such a life. Yet, would such a pursuit be any more
worthwhile than a life focused on money or power or anything else that
is so illusory?

In my opinion, we were not made to collect degrees. Just because I
have made that mistake doesn’t justify you making the same mistake
too! What if you could learn from my mistakes? Studying is a useful
vehicle for personal growth in that it provides a context to think,
develop and refine oneself… but the content is far less important
than the context.

So we will want to surround ourselves with rationally inspired
thinkers and conscientious workers (according to Pythagoras)… to
learn and to grow and to explore.

If I were to give you something concrete to direct your attention, I
would suggest that you want to focus on better understanding yourself,
understanding the world and reflecting upon those activities and
directions in which you are better qualified than anyone in the world.
That is where you can make your greatest contribution… that is where
you can use your talents the best… that is where you can make a

For example, I feel myself to be a born educator, mentor and coach,
who is focused upon developing mental skills that allow individuals to
better access their personal genius. These skills, to me, are
desperately needed by our students and our community: I know about
them, and I understand their value better than most of my
contemporaries… that is my value and my uniqueness.

Focus on those things that you need to learn. You need to learn
something of business… something of education… something of social
change. And many other things. Rather than immersing yourself in study
calculated to distract you from your Opus, study towards it. You will
need to think differently… from your parents, from many of your
peers and from the way that you thought previously… than you have
before, since the level of thinking that has got you to where you are
cannot get you to where you want to go.

I understand that you want certainty – that you crave certainty – and
that you want to be able to tell other people (and yourself!) what you
are going to do in the second half of this year, and beyond. The
public and private answers need not be the same…

My dear, you can do anything that you want to do. Since the question
that you are asking is “what should I do?” perhaps it is worth giving
yourself the freedom to ask that question rather than rushing through
to finding an answer.

“Flow” requires a person to live in the moment. Flow requires you to
focus upon the environment in which you find yourself in that instant
of time, and enjoy it for what it is… totally immersing yourself in
the precious present… Releasing the negativity and resentment, and
focusing upon gratitude and love. If I were to reflect back to what I
learned in reading Seat of the Soul, perhaps part of the reason that
you have embarked upon a challenging semester is to learn how to
experience gratitude and love in the face of great pressure, stress
and adversity.

You can change the world if you want to, though what is far more
important is that you enjoy your life. You can be great: Though it
were better that you were the greatest you that will ever live, than
to achieve all the accolades of the world. Anyone can make money or
win a Nobel prize or even be a Doctor or a Lawyer. But only you can go
beyond the crap that society has lumped upon you, and be you. Please
do not confuse my suggestions for pursuing greatness as meaning
external greatness; quite the contrary, the greatest life is the one
that is lived for its own sake, rather than for the sake of others…
In my briefest opinion, you should do what makes you happy.

And, if I may finish with one more quote:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return.”

2. Creating a business
This is potentially immensely valuable, powerful and positively
aligned. Appropriated correctly, this could become an immensely
powerful vehicle for you to gain recognition, influence and affluence.
You are seeing many obstacles and problems: I am very happy to help
overcome them… that is what I do. There are indeed a number of
critical risks that need to be addressed.

For the moment, allow me to suggest something: Take notes of your
intuitions, thoughts and feelings about the program. The distribution
system needs to be developed… the content needs to be developed…
the marketing needs to be developed… the IP protection needs to be
developed. This is a very complex problem, though one filled with
simple and more sophisticated solutions. For the moment, note the
questions that arise – write them down – and allow your unconscious
mind to find answers without feeling pressured. All problems have a
solution, especially ones of business!

It now being very late, I shall now bid you good night… if you have
got this far, I trust that my rantings and opinions came across as
being from a place of love, affection and genuine caring for you. I do
believe in you, my dear, and believe that you have both the
opportunity and in a sense a duty to show the people around you what a
radiant example of humanity that you are… to remind them of what is
possible. Not necessarily as a ‘big achiever person’: but to simply be
the best you that you can be.

Thank you. You have taught me how to love in a way that I never
thought I could learn. Part of me is scared that you might reject me;
yet that part is steadily withering away. In its place, I feel myself
filling with a sense of giving love (to you and to those around me)…
because that is what I am supposed to be doing. I’m not always in that
‘place’, yet I know it – I have experienced it – and I am spending
more and more time there. Perhaps it sounds bizaare, even masochistic,
but I am more grateful than you could ever imagine for this insight.

When you have stuff inside that isn’t pure love, the best thing that
can happen is to let it go. And when you are only love, no matter what
happens, only love can come out.