Just got back from the land of Oz, down under. Had a great time, too, despite all the Aussie warnings about the many gruesome ways you can die from pretty little spider bites, predator snake attacks, and drunken Koala bears dropping from trees to crush you like a cheap toy.
The seminar rocked, too, despite some ominous signs:
First Ominous Sign: Frank got hauled off by Customs the second we hit Australian soil for some obscure error on his visa… and he had to contemplate life from the confines of a tiny, locked room for an hour before The Man let him go with an “Oops, sorry, everything’s fine”.
Second Ominous Sign: The local footie team (that’s Aussie for “Australian Rules Football”, a frightening sport consisting of head-butts, kidney punches, lots of wrestling in the mud, and a big damn ovoid ball that you use to try to kill politely stiff men dressed in suits at each end of the field) sucked this season.
That, in itself, isn’t so bad… but they’re my namesake — the Carlton Blues. Everyone insisted they were the equivalent of our Yankees — classic winners — but I caught one replay of a game against Geelong, and Carlton spent the entire second half acting as a punching bag. (I still bought a bunch of footie gear to bring home, and it may have saved me from getting hauled off by Customs in New Zealand. We flew home the day after the military coup in Fiji, and security was tight… but as soon as the skeptical agent saw my Carlton mug, field cap, uniform socks and posters, he said “Good on ya, mate” and sent me through, instead of going through my luggage.)
Third Ominous Sign: I can categorically tell you that Carlton Draught — the most prominent beer produced in Melbourne — is pure swill. I was sooooo disappointed. (Luckily, I discovered Cooper’s ales, and the day was saved.)
But those low points were few, and easily forgotten.
The seminar was fun, interesting, and I took loads of notes. It was exactly what a seminar was supposed to be. Hats off to Frank and Ed.
I discuss the more business-worthy elements in detail in my newsletter, the Rant.
But what I want to discuss here… is the goddamned International Dateline.
I was reminded of Einstein’s theory of time, going and coming back. It’s friggin’ relative.
Time is, in fact, a completely arbitrary human invention. I left Melbourne at noon on Wednesday… and arrived home, after an eternity in the air, at ten minutes to noon… on Wednesday. I know that makes sense, in an advanced epistomological kind of way… but in human terms, it just reinforces the fact that we rely too much on COUNTING time.
We try to sleep for eight hours. Get to work by nine. Eat lunch around noon. Remember to tape “My Name Is Earl” in its new time slot on Thursday night. End the meeting precisely at the hour. Place incredible significance on the length of time a movie, massage, date or marriage lasts.
And it’s all total illusion.
Just like the New Year celebrations coming up.
However, to live life with gusto, it is not important to clearly understand everything. (Unless you want to become a boring existentialist, in which case I never, ever want to get stuck next to you at dinner.) The construct of time helps us organize things — this is bad only if you use it like junk, and drift off into a life-long slumber content only to meet your basic obligations. As long as you remain awake and aware, you can work within the illusion of time to fully experience this amazing consciousness humans enjoy.
The New Year’s Eve celebrations are ancient, and their true purpose ingenious. As arbitrary as the “new year” is, it’s still a common start/end point that you can use to move up a level.
It’s a form of absolution. You can box up the previous year, and kiss off all the mistakes and disappointments… and draw a virtual line in the sand: What has already happened, happened. It’s done, and time to move on.
The new year dawns with fresh promise. Most people immediately squander this opportunity, and just continue on in a very human linear progression from where they were the day before.
And hey — if last year rocked for you, that may be the best course you can take.
But if last year sucked… why not take advantage of this ancient, proven method of radical change?
In fact, we’re busy revamping my entire business here. I’ve now had five long years to interact with subscribers and Insiders… and I now know, intimately, what people really want when they venture into my world. They want me to show them the magic of using classic salesmanship, killer marketing, and insanely-good copywriting… to change their lives.
I’m not planning on being available forever as a teacher, you know. One by one, all the veteran teachers are retiring… leaving plenty of other younger and less experienced teachers around, of course (and I recommend many of them)… but if you truly want to learn the good stuff, it’s the proven, grizzled, combat-tested veterans you want to study under.
Because the really good stuff only gets learned after decades in the biz.
Anyway, in the spirit of change — and I’ve been a change addict my entire life, and owe every single insight I have to constantly changing things in my life, and damn the torpedoes — I will be overhauling my entire operation.
So that, while I’m still making myself available for coaching and teaching, those few people who know in their hearts that I’m the guy they want to learn from… can do so. In a way that will change your life, forever.
I get absolutely giddy around this time of year, because I’ve always used the dawning of the New Year as an excuse to stop any bullshit happening in my life… and embrace new adventures. No matter how scary those new adventures might be. (I quit working for the Man and became a freelancer like that. Just did it. And, while I don’t recommend not preparing, I was not well-equipped for the ride. All I had was the conviction that I COULD do it… and the “gun to the head” attitude — which was new to me at the time — that would simply not allow failure to stop me anymore.)
There will be plenty of time to get into this deeper. And going deeper is what living the good life is all about.
It’s a wonderful, scary and unpredictable world out there. Time devours us all, whole, eventually. Most people’s biographies wouldn’t fill a dozen pages, because they get hinky and spend their best years hiding from destiny.
I can’t help you if you want to hide from life.
But if you’re finally ready to kick out the jams, I’m gearing up for at least one entire year of teaching that will send shock waves through the business world.
If you’re scared, stay home.
But if you wanna come along, start getting your head straight now. We prepare for adventure by clearing out the bullshit in our internal “in box”, and allowing a little honest excitement to fire up in our gut.
For now, just stay tuned. If you’ve been lusting after any product I offer, get it now… because it may not exist, or may not be so easily available in ’07.
I love change.
It’s the essence of the Feast of Life.