Your Vital Edge: Do You Have the ‘Moves’ to Attract the First Follower?

Your Vital Edge: Do You Have the ‘Moves’ to Attract the First Follower?

Last time I spoke about the “Principle of the First Follower”; that to have a movement, or a following there needs be the first person who joins. My point was that the vitality of the first person (the leader) is what attracts the first follower into his orbit. Without the generative energy of the first expresser (the sun) there would be no role for the reflected light of the first follower (the moon).

This outdoor rock concert video demonstrated how spontaneous leader/follower/movement happened. It also expresses the essence of Your Vital Edge: one person imbued with a passion, it could be any idea or concept that is all consuming and he wants to share it. Then this person begins to express it – whatever it may be. At first, there is no one watching. People actually seem to be uncomfortable with this ‘odd’ fellow not conforming. Then one brave soul joins him, then another; a trickle of people are attracted. The beginning trickle turns into a stream of people and then a flood of folks flock to join this dance.

As a student of human motion and a teacher of neurology of posture for over 30 years, I’d like to point out another lesson imbedded in this video. There is another part of this video experience that needs to be examined. Go back to the “First Follower Video” and carefully look at how he was moving. Notice that he dances alone for the first 18 seconds or so that the camera is on him. We do not know how long that cameraperson has been watching before deciding to film the strange fellow. Notice that as his first follower comes into camera range the follower begins to raise his hands overhead. Then the leader or first expresser (for want of a better name) demonstrates that movement to the first follower and they both dance with arms upraised. The second follower joins after watching for about 30 seconds and the first movement he does is raise his arms as did the first two dancers. About a minute later a small group joins and they all start dancing with arms upraised. The first expresser had demonstrated dancing with upraised arms and everyone that subsequently joins duplicates the movement.

Why is this important or even worth mentioning? Movement is the first language and humans are super sensitive to the nuances of stance, position and motion, consciously and even more so unconsciously. (It is one of the first things I teach my students who want to refine their speaking skills.) Awhile back a college (I apologize that I can’t remember which college) did a study where they had students of both sexes rank the dance “moves” of videos of other college aged students. They gathered the data and made two avatars, one an avatar of bad dance moves and the other an avatar of good dance movement.

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As you can see the bad dancing avatar is very stiff and constrained, with repetitive jerky steps and little to no arm motion. While the good dancing avatar has an open body posture with synchronistic movements of arms and legs; there is also several times when the arms reach above shoulder level and overhead.

As we will see next time the type of movement displayed is either inviting to others or actually repels people. Do you think that there would have been a spontaneous group dance (and viral video) if the first person was dancing like our bad dancing avatar? Stay Tuned!”

Your Vital Edge: Do You Have the Energy to Attract the First Follower?

Your Vital Edge: Do You Have the Energy to Attract the First Follower?

I love this video. It points to the primary idea in Your Vital Edge.

“First Follower Video”

Derek Sivers did an amazing job on describing the First Follower Principle. Everyone needs to thoughtfully consider his concept of the inception of a movement; namely the movement YOU are starting. However, there is even a deeper layer to this lesson in the human dynamics of creating a following.

There are so many layers to watch. The outer layer is just this guy dancing silly and a bunch of people joining in. if you look closer you can see this guy is caught in the joy of the moment and celebrating it. That is a very contagious idea and you can see other people getting ‘infected’ and joining in the celebration. The first follower is the connecting link from the impassioned sole expresser of an outrageous idea to getting others to join in. There are ever increasing waves of people who flock in droves wanting to be included before the music stops.

Let’s go deeper. What if the first expresser had a headache and didn’t feel like dancing? He or she has to show up, be the inspiration for attraction of the first follower. It is his or her ability to, at the place and the time of action, have the energy to thrive. It is the expression of exuberant explosive energy that just bursts out in unrestrained joy and enthusiasm that fuels the contagion. Without the energy of the first expresser, there would never be a first follower.

I want to continue this article tomorrow as we look at the way he is moving as a cause of attraction. Stay tuned for more!”

Your Vital Edge: More on Gratitude

Your Vital Edge: More on Gratitude

The first step toward getting rich is to convey the idea of your wants to the formless substance.
The whole process of mental adjustment and attunement can be summed up in one word: Gratitude.

The process of Wealth, Health – Abundance in all it’s forms – comes down to three simple steps:
1. You believe that there is one intelligent substance, from which all things proceed.
2. You believe that this substance gives you everything you desire.
3. You relate yourself to it by a feeling of deep and profound gratitude.

I would love to tell you that I was smart enough to create this formula. I’m not. And actually it is not that new. The original words came from a book written in 1910 by Wallace Wattles. Who is Wallace Wattles? you may ask. Wattles’ best known work is a 1910 book called The Science of Getting Rich.

The Science of Getting Rich preceded similar financial success books such as The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel (1912) and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (1937). In the 100 years since its publication, it has gone through many editions, and remains in print from more than one publisher and website. The Science of Getting Rich was credited by Rhonda Byrne as a major inspiration for her popular 2006 film and 2007 book The Secret.

As I delved into this small book it became obvious to me that many thinkers, writers and personal growth seminar leaders owe a debt of gratitude to early authors such as Wattles.

I have quoted from Wallace Wattles Chapter 7 Gratitude so you can hear the power of his simple, elegant words for yourself:

“Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.

It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive.

And the reason simply is that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which the blessings come.

Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come, and it will keep you in close harmony with creative thought and prevent you from falling into competitive thought.

Gratitude alone can keep you looking toward the all, and prevent you from falling into the error of thinking of the supply as limited — and to do that would be fatal to your hopes.

There is a law of gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law if you are to get the results you seek.

The law of gratitude is the natural principle that action and reaction are always equal and in opposite directions.

The grateful outreaching of your mind in thankful praise to the supreme intelligence is a liberation or expenditure of force. It cannot fail to reach that to which it addressed, and the reaction is an instantaneous movement toward you.

And if your gratitude is strong and constant, the reaction in formless substance will be strong and continuous; the movement of the things you want will be always toward you.

But the value of gratitude does not consist solely in getting you more blessings in the future. Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are.

The moment you permit your mind to dwell with dissatisfaction upon things as they are, you begin to lose ground. You fix attention upon the common, the ordinary, the poor, the squalid, and the mean — and your mind takes the form of these things.

Then you will transmit these forms or mental images to the formless. And the common, the poor, the squalid, and the mean will come to you.

To permit your mind to dwell upon the inferior is to become inferior and to surround yourself with inferior things. On the other hand, to fix your attention on the best is to surround yourself with the best, and to become the best.

The creative power within us makes us into the image of that to which we give our attention. We are of thinking substance, too, and thinking substance always takes the form of that which it thinks about.

Also, faith is born of gratitude. The grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith. The reaction of gratitude upon one’s own mind produces faith, and every outgoing wave of grateful thanksgiving increases faith.

It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

If you have watched Derek Siver’s video explaining the concept of the “First Follower” you have seen the importance of the first follower. Well, Gratitude is the first emotion and will lead you to the attainment of your goals. You see, the whole point of this first emotion is that gratitude is your immune system for your self-esteem and self-confidence. Without a deep appreciation for any and everything in your life there is no way more positives can come to you. Your self-esteem and self-confidence will sicken and falter without the strong protection that gratitude provides.

All the effort, hard work, sweat equity, determination and perspiration will not create sustainable effort and traction to move you towards your goals and allow you to reach your dreams however noble and world changing their may be. You cannot move forward without the sustaining force of your own appreciation for all of your life. That appreciation must include all the stuff in your past. Everything in your life has gotten you to this point of NOW. Now is where you are poised to leap into your purpose and power.

Be grateful and take the leap!

So be thankful – not just your words but feel in your heart, a profound sense of thankfulness for who you are, where you are and where your path is going. If there is resistance such as:

“Well, I’m not going to be grateful for that… or him … or her!”

It is a sign and a symptom of first failure. You will not move forward.

“But what about (fill in the blank)? You surely can’t mean that I be happy and appreciative of … (name your tune)?”

The error is in equating appreciation with happiness. They are not the same emotion and don’t arrive at the same time.

You can be appreciative of bad things and not-so-nice people in your life and not be happy about it (them). By being grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow, seeing whatever part you had in the drama, you’ve learned and are free to move on to greater realization of your goals and dreams. Goals and dreams do not arrive completed, just like every parent knows when wrapping the children’s Christmas present … On the box it will say, “Some Assembly Required”. You will also have to provide the energy to make your dreams come alive. The box also says “Batteries Not Included”. There will not be enough energy to drive your dreams unless you release the power of a grateful heart.

Have you ever watched the movie Joe vs. the Volcano?
A man named Joe (Tom Hanks) goes through his life unconsciously and only at a time of great stress and suffering does he wake to the fact of how beautiful and precious life is. I have a copy of this picture with me since 1990 when the movie came out. As Joe sees the beauty surrounding him in his difficult time he raises his hands and says “Thank You for my life, I forgot how Big!” (it is).

The Meg Ryan character tells Joe what her father thinks: ‘My father says almost the whole world’s asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says only a few people are awake. And they live in a state of constant, total amazement.’

To live an amazing life you have to wake up. Waking up to the power of gratitude opens you to sensing the abundance surrounding you. People and events in daily life can pull you away from your focus on gratitude – if you let them. Stay focused on feeling a constant spring of gratitude bubbling up from the depths of your soul and you will live in a state of constant, total amazement and accomplishment.

So in your tool box for building your dreams there is the foundation on which you will build everything else. This foundation should be as deep and permanent as you can make it. Your foundation is your constant, continual, all-encompassing gratitude for your life and everything in it.

Your Vital Edge: The Grateful Heart: Gratitude is the Best Stress Reliever

Your Vital Edge: The Grateful Heart: Gratitude is the Best Stress Reliever

Got Stress? Who doesn’t?

This time of year, when all of Nature rests, we speed up our lives and stress our minds and bodies. We are all under an almost constant stress load. The state of the global economy, the global climate change, what they are doing in Washington, London or – well you pick it – gives a global background to the more immediate, in-your-face stressors in our daily everyday life: economic pressures, relationship challenges, issues at work, job cuts, downsizing, housing, and concern for the kids or the parents. As the Holiday Season picks up steam, the stress loads become intolerable. The perception of stress causes bio-chemical changes in our body. It creates mental tension. It reduces physical strength and flexibility and causes pain.

The constant grind of incessant, background stress alters our health and wellbeing. There is not a pill, powder, potion or lotion that will get rid of stress. Although people try for relief of stress in unhealthy ways (alcohol, drugs, self-destructive behavior), it’s all an attempt to feel better by reducing the effects of stress.

Stress just is. It is a fact of life. There are always going to be situations that we perceive as stressful. The fascinating thing is that we can all experience different levels of stress during the same or similar events. When there is physical danger, responses are much the same. Our bodies evolved the stress response to handle immediate challenges to our safety. Stress can be a good thing. We have to be alert and move quickly when there is immediate danger.

Stress gets murky and unhealthy when the stressor is not direct immediate physical danger. An event that might paralyze one person may be the joy-filled life dream of another: speaking in public, for example.

Stress that continues to affect us over weeks, months or years is detrimental and harms more than helps. Destructive stress comes from an internal perceived notion that sees specific situations, actions or events past or present and judges them to be good or bad NOW. Actually, the event just is (or was) and how we feel about it is an internal judgment. It could be a wedding or a funeral; it could be the family gathering for the Holidays; it could be the fact that no one invited you to a gathering; the body experiences the stress and the mind judges it to be good or bad. The mind gets into trouble when it has a difficult time letting go of past stresses, collects them and relives them over and over – a very damaging hobby. Take up stamp collecting; it is not so self-destructive.

There are many ways that are effective in modulating or relieving stress. We can reduce the bio-chemical changes in our bodies with drugs; a better way is with nutrition. Eat better. Eat less sugar. Also exercise – action – is a fantastic stress reliever. Take a walk. Sing. Dance. Or all three together. Use imagery and perception techniques to reduce mental stress. However, by far and away, the most impressive stress reliever is a way of living. Find in your heart the attitude of gratitude.

All spiritual paths practice and observe the connectedness of a good spirit with wholeness (holiness). There are many sources of insightful and inspirational literature and links that speak to this central concept of the power of attitude and perception. It comes from within and it is an essential ingredient to a person’s experience. Without it we can get most other things ‘right’ but we will not be whole. The grateful heart is a spiritual and a practical lifestyle. It may be good to think and feel this experience during stressful times like the Holidays, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial to utilize this defense against stress as a way of living?

Prayer, meditation, introspective thought – whatever you want to call it – resets the nervous system from Fight or Flight to Restorative mode. (Catabolic to anabolic for you physiologists) from tear-down alert vigilance to build-up relaxed repair mode.

There is definite physiologic reason to say ‘Grace’ before meals. Grace is a prayer, if you will, but it is also a brief moment when you pause and appreciate and give thanks. This act of changing your mental state changes your emotional and physical state as well. It resets your digestive system to receive food and absorb it (sympathetic nervous system inhibition and para-sympathetic nervous system activation for you physiology geeks.) When you are in an agitated state, digestion shuts down and food isn’t used. It is stored as fat. Whatever food nutritive value can be garnered from what you gulped down is halved, at best. The other half is added to unwanted fat storage. Grace will also reduce emotional tension, depression, anxiety when you pause to feel the appreciation that is available to us in every moment of our lives.

Blessing what is in your life reduces the effects of stress. Blessing food or whatever is in your life is not an empty gesture, but an aligning process to focus awareness on attracting more of the same energy into your experience. Most people say ‘grace’ automatically if they stop for a second before eating unconsciously with unconscious results. Bless your food consciously, Bless not just for food, but say Grace for everything you receive. Your awareness is now on attracting similar energy into your experience. It is an essential element to optimal health, wealth and leadership.
I start every day with this thought.

“I am grateful for what I have and I am given what I bless.”

Your Vital Edge Says Exercise Doesn’t Make You Stronger!

Your Vital Edge Says Exercise Doesn’t Make You Stronger
Exercise doesn’t make you stronger!

I was speaking to a friend who was so excited and happy that she was working out and feeling better, getting stronger. She was unhappy though because today was her ‘rest day’ where she was not working out and not in the gym. She was suffering through the day and wanted to get back in the gym to exercise. She felt that the rest day was hindering her ability to get stronger and was counterintuitive to her progress; a necessary evil to suffer through.

I didn’t have time to finish that conversation as activities turned us in another direction, but I wondered about her attitude. This attitude is so common to so many people – I think it has to do with the perception of cause and effect. We go to the gym, pool, track and perform some activity that makes us sore, sweat and breathe hard. If done repetitively the activity becomes easier and we can lift more, swim faster run farther. So the conclusion is fairly obvious – the exercise made me stronger.

This attitude leads me to my point about vitality… Vitality is an inborn response to energy. The body will respond to its environment with health and vigor or sickness and weakness by the amount of energy it can draw from. In my friend’s case she equated her feeling stronger and better from the gym time. This is not true! The activities in the gym tear her down and diminish her level of vitality; it is the body’s innate response to stress that builds her up! And her strength comes from her rest time not gym time!

Now stress can be physical as in the exercises in the gym it can be mental and/or emotional even spiritual. The cause of the stress is immaterial, the body responds to any stress with a known pattern; alertness, activity, hyperalertness, overactivity and if stress is not removed: breakdown. The inability to do the activity that you were so passionately involved in will stop because you were forced to stop by your body’s inability to constantly drive at such a breakneck pace. There are common signs of overactivity as overactivity breaks down your immune system so there are colds. Stress creates anxiety and mood swings so restless sleep and relationship troubles with people close to you are common. Focused attention can only go on for so long so there will be loss of focus and accidents happen more frequently.

This is a critical lesson to anyone who has a dream and a vision to make their mark in the world; if you spend your time exclusively on your project without the rest periods to make you stronger and more capable of handling the demands of a busy schedule you will experience the crash that people who overtrain in the gym experience.

Overtraining injuries are common occurrences, people equate the good feelings with working out but don’t realize the endorphin rush and feel good chemicals are in response to the teardown of tissues. The aches of the rest days are the body repairing the damage done in the gym. They start skimping on the rest and do more activity to get the ‘rush’. The body can’t heal the continual damage and the once rested big thick juicy muscles become overstrained thin taut fibrotic cords – beef steak turns into beef jerky. This is a recipe for disaster.

So your event whatever it is, launch of your product, project, book, band or whatever requires long hours and focused attention. Somewhere in that flurry of activity and drum roll of deadlines there must be time for you! And that means rest! Step away from the activity, change gears, have some quiet time. It doesn’t have to be long but it has to be regular. Your body will surprise you with renewed energy, focus and breakthroughs you can’t imagine on this side of the process. As you adopt this practice it will get easier to see that the rest is the fastest way to boost your vitality and is actually helping you to build better, quicker and longer!

Your Vital Edge: 4 the Path to Vitality, Productivity and Influence

Your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership

In our society there is quite a lot of emphasis to find and follow a personal guide to healing and betterment in all its guises, from athletic trainer to Zen master. People look to their life coach, doctor, therapist, counselor, trainer, shaman for the ’Way’ to healing, inner peace and vitality. We all have been influenced and some of us convinced that ‘someone else’ knows the way. As I’ve said before, there are phenomenal and fantastic guides and pathfinders in the world to show us a path to our ‘Way’ but there is not just one, only one, interpretation of a Way to be in this world.

Some methods work for another but may not entirely serve us or in fact, may be the long way around for us. Trouble always comes when the ‘Way to be’ is presented as the Answer (capital A) and not a ‘path’ to assist us on our own personal journey we all must walk alone. Now, it is always good to be on a journey with friends and family that are traveling the same direction; but ultimately the direction of our personal path is our own.

Having signposts along the way helps, so we don’t have to blindly follow the path developed by another nor blindly strike out on our own; one path leads to conformity, the other to confusion. Good guides are just that, guides that point the general direction and empower the individual choice of what works for you.

I have spent many years doctoring, learning a specialized way to assist people back to health. I got very good at it. As much as I wanted to see people use what I knew, take what I could teach and then seize control of their own way, it seemed that the majority of the time I was the designated repair person. People did what they did and then would come into my clinic to be ‘fixed’. Sometimes I felt like I was a drycleaner: people would stop by and ‘drop off’ their body to be pressed and straighten and then they’d head out, not taking responsibility, coming back again when their pain would return.
A larger societal concept lurks behind this phenomenon. People have bought into the worker bee mentality; a path that is promoted by industrialization. Self-worth is tied to accomplishment; value is not derived from who they are. We have changed into human doings and not remained human beings. People’s primary importance to themselves and their jobs is in doing work and secondarily, if considered at all, being healthy fully and vitally.

It is obvious to see that seeking health and wellbeing for most is a very low priority. People’s responsibility is limited to getting their list of to do’s done. They feel good when a ‘to do’ is checked off. If their health and wellbeing got in the way of their List, well, health is a lesser consideration – until that is, their level of pain and inability to do the ‘To Do’ List drove them to seek help. That is where the external ‘health professional’ originated. People focused on an external job didn’t have an inner relationship with physical/emotional/mental/spiritual issues; it became a mystery to them as to why they hurt or became dis-related to feeling whole.

Now my practice was full of good people; people that I enjoyed taking care of. It was an honor and a privilege and a pleasure to work with them. Further, a great many of them rose to the challenge of taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing and they succeeded in changing their path so they avoided the bumpy road of injury, pain and loss of vitality.

To be clear, I’m not telling you a story about my patients. No, this is a lot more personal and uncomfortable. This lesson of balance didn’t just apply to other people. It was an in-my-face lesson for me and not without some personal pain. Chiropractic is a physically demanding profession and, while I was very precise in my own body mechanics for my back and shoulders (the two prime injury sites for Chiropractors); the microtraumatic insult of 35 years of adjusting built up in my elbow to the point where pain and hypermobile joint damage stopped me from practicing. I came face to face with the concept ‘what you don’t see will surprise you’. I had perceived myself as being one thing (healthy and balanced) but in reality, I was doing another (doing too much of an action that was slowly progressively injuring me). I was the worker bee I spoke of; I was the do’er not the be’er. If I was my own patient, I would have given the very good advice to reduce the activity that was injuring me or find another way to do the same thing. Give myself room to be healthy or do it differently.

It was an emotional shock to confront this perceived roadblock. It took a good eighteen months for the withdrawal symptoms to subside: feelings of failure as a doctor; the loss of my ‘dream’ job; the one thing that I was good at I failed at; the inability to support myself in my profession; if I wasn’t a Chiropractor what and who was I? And on and on. As much as I had thought that I saw myself as a human being, I also had miss-identified myself with my human doing – the Chiropractic Doctor.

During this time, I had many hours to think and reflect on what had happened in my life. Just like the broken back and collapsed lung trauma of 40 years ago that shaped my direction towards Chiropractic as my profession; my arm pain was a constant reminder of a teaching that I hadn’t taken to heart.

So this situation forced me to look at what I had built, see the direction I wanted to go that showed the expression of my passion. It is a very confrontational process. Who I thought I was; what I did; who I couldn’t be anymore is the outer superficial layer. I realized that my passion to serve and help people and to bring the best of me to any situation was intact. The outer game may have changed but the inner core values were still there.

Did I have to choose another dream and vision for my life? NO. I feel myself being in my power when I am speaking, talking, writing, explaining, demonstrating, sharing the source of health and vitality, how to find it when lost, how to nurture it when regained.

What was the road to my dream and passion going to look like? I didn’t know, but the one-on-one me-doing-it-for-you model was not going to work anymore. Not that it ever was the most effective way and one-on-one is never going to reach the most people in the shortest time.

The best way to reach the most people was to stand up and speak and write for mass consumption; which means books, CD’s, DVD’s, internet blogs, video’s, twitter, facebook and more that I don’t know about yet. So if I want to be true to my passion and dream of being of service and supporting people in their journey to health, wealth and leadership, I had to change what I did to be consistent with whom I am and want to be. (That decision to change is why you are reading this blog post now. Ultimately what you are reading will be a book on vitality, productivity and influence; your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership.)

I think many people are confronting similar challenges in their personal journey to fulfill their passionate dream. Let’s face it: our world is changing dramatically and rapidly. Economies are changing; demands on workforce dynamics – available jobs, needed skills, areas of importance and popular interest – are fluid. What work is being done is changing, because we are changing, growing. Values are shifting to what is sustainable both in the larger economic picture and in the intimate personal level. ‘How can I be?’ is a much more valuable question than ‘What can I do?’

Health and vitality is an inside job; it comes from inside you and is easier to find when you are following your heart’s passion and your innermost mental vision of your best life. That leads to a life that is personally fulfilling and sustaining. That leads to being an influential guide for others who are on their journey. And we all cycle into an ever expanding ring of mutual support, balance and evolution.
It is not hard to find, just complete this sentence:
“I express the best of me when I am ________________.”

There will be a doing part that expresses an activity but don’t ignore the feeling part that gets you closest to your heart’s path. That is where your being best resides which will lead you to producing your best work, which will generate notice, influence and leadership.

Your Vital Edge: 3 the Path to Vitality, Productivity and Influence

Your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership

In my life’s adventures, as my journeys took me through the inner and outer worlds, I’ve met people with similar stories to my own. Interestingly, they found their solutions to life’s challenges and loss of vitality on different paths then I did with Chiropractic.

In the early years, because I had such profound health restoration I, as is typical with the newly converted, saw Chiropractic as the be-all end-all in the return of vitality. Now Chiropractic is quite powerful and fundamental in supporting structure and neurological function – two elemental properties essential for vitality in life.

Chiropractic is very, very good, but it is not the only way. I met people who found health and vitality through such disparate means as nutrition, emotional therapy, physical therapy, psychotherapy, spiritual practices, medicine, acupuncture, shamanism, vibrational medicine, sound therapy, exercise rehabilitation, yoga, meditation and more. Acupuncture to Zen meditation. I’m very sure I forgot some other effective method that someone has found successful.

Not surprisingly, most of these people have experienced similar life trajectories as me; health lost, vitality restored and then becoming a practitioner of the very method they found helped them. Life with all its diversity; people seeing solutions in so many different ways; interesting, exciting, puzzling and frustrating all at the same time. It becomes even more puzzling, frustrating and maddening when one tries to overcome pain, health loss and the withering of vitality, especially when one has unsuccessfully using a ‘tried and true’ method, then another and then another method and not finding answers to restore health and vitality. It is ultimately upsetting when others have had success – absolute healing changes – in the very methods one has tried to no avail.

Trouble brews when people put more faith and focus on the method and not the person. Or when the practitioner says their way is good and other methods are not. Now we are moving away from health care and entering the realm of ego.

The most interesting and the most profound people I’ve met are those who have moved past their particular methodology to see healing and vitality as something larger than the method. There are deeper connections to life and to each other as people, as energy carriers, as mirrors to our own candles. When you’ve found someone like that, you have found a true healer and a mentor who can assist you in your healing journey.

Most of the really good healers/shamans/energy workers/therapists/doctors (whatever you want to call them) are looking for the way to restore balance, optimize energy and re-establish flow. They will have several options or paths to attempt this process. Most are looking for the way to nudge the body/mind/spirit entity towards its own remembered mastery of vitality – find the way to the forgotten or lost place of vital equilibrium. The master practitioners over the centuries have come to know that the power to organize, amplify and resonate vitality comes from within. This thought is well reflected in Robert Browning’s poem Paracelsus written in 1835:

“Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, what’er you may believe.

There is an inmost center in us all,

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error: and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.”

Your Vital Edge: 2 the Path to Vitality, Productivity and Influence

Your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership

Last time we were talking about your ability to access your pathway to the success that is programmed inside of you. The way to have influence in your life is an inward to outward journey from vitality, embodying the universal and environmental resources that are all around you to give you the foundation to be productive in manifesting what it is that your passion, vision and dream leads you to exemplify. That ability to produce creates a ripple in your environment that makes people notice what you are doing and generates a movement towards you as a person of purpose. Action generates a current and people and events tend to respond to that current and as you move purposefully you influence more people to respond in the direction of your achievement.

I spoke of examples of people through history that have been aligned with these Vital Edge principles. I feel comfortable saying that every person that has achieved any purpose or attempted personal movement towards an internal goal that motivated them used these three principles of vitality, productivity and influence.

The first person that came to mind was Teddy Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was our 26th  President who, if you looked at him as a child, was so sickly that his parents feared that he would not survive to adulthood. He was intelligent, studious and ambitious, raised in a family environment of accomplishment. His father told him. “You have the mind. But you have not the body, and without the help of the body the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must make the body.” Here is a case where mind and spirit were ready but the body wasn’t. It took concerted effort of training and conditioning his body to give President Roosevelt the vitality to produce results that lead to his influential position in the history of America.  Would he have been President; could he have been President if he had not brought vitality to his body? Would he have been the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Would conservation of the nation’s resources in the form of national parks have had such a prominent position? Would he have led the Rough Rider charge up San Juan Hill? (for which he later received the Medal of Honor) It is highly doubtful that any of those achievements and influence would have happened without the return to vitality he generated before the opportunity of those events would be possible.

Another example is Alexander the Great. He was the son of a king, Phillip, and was taught by Aristotle as a boy. He unified Greece and successfully invaded the Persian empire. He created the largest empire in ancient times. His ability to lead armies and men was superior. His military tactics are still studied today in military academies. His early life was an example of VPI; however, when he lost his vitality due to injuries, infection and/or poisoning his productivity and influence dwindled and was lost. Who knows how much more world-shaping impact he would have had if he stayed vital and effective; instead of dying at such an early age?

You can apply this process to anyone, in any time and come to understand the fundamental impact that the sequential process of Vitality, Productivity and Influence has in shaping a life or changing the world.

I have another example – but not from history; unless you consider personal history being relevant to anyone but me.

I’ll never forget that day in the summer of 1970. I was as healthy, active and as vital as any 20 year-old had a right to be.

Gary, my good friend from high school, took a curve too fast. I remember the passenger door crushing inwards as we hit a wall and then the impact folded the car around a tree right at my door.  I caught the full impact of the crash on my right side which broke most of my right ribs and a couple of the ribs fractured inward collapsing my lung.

You ever have that feeling that your own world stopped but the world out there kept going as if nothing happened? Nothing stopped out there; but my life made an inexorable turn in another direction. A detour? And bump in the road? Or a fork where my life path changed – who knows? Who can say? Actually, who cares? If there is one thing of which I am certain is that in life, things happen. It is up to us to give the event meaning – good or bad. But here is where I learned the lesson of lost vitality.

I spent two weeks in a hospital with tubes in my chest draining the blood out of the space so my lung could inflate. They had me on morphine for the pain. Most of the pain was caused by the treatment which made me cough to force more blood out of my chest cavity, but because of the fractured ribs, coughing was excruciating.

After the summer spent recuperating, I went back to college for supposedly my senior year but I never made it to graduation. I had three more car accidents that year, two walk-away ‘whiplash’ type jolts and the fourth one broke two small bones in my lower back. The entire accumulated trauma left me in chronic debilitating pain for years.  (And no, I wasn’t driving; I was a passenger in all of them.) I quit school after I didn’t graduate with my class; lost my student deferment and got my ‘Greetings’ from Uncle Sam’s draft board. Because of my injuries from those car accidents, I failed my draft physical.

As you can imagine, my ‘vitality’ was gone and with it my productivity lowered and thus no personal influence. I went from an active kid, decent student/athlete with an Air Force officer future to pumping gas in a gas station for 9 months. Family and friends thought I was on the fast track to nowhere. They couldn’t see the pain; they didn’t understand the direction change. With no spurting blood nor exposed bone, chronic ongoing pain is not recognized by anyone but the person experiencing it. When most people experience pain, it is temporary and self-limiting. Even sharp excruciating pain usually, for most people, subsides as the body finds a way to heal it or deal with it. People with unrelenting pain are tolerated, then relegated to the ‘psychological problem’ category and dismissed. Just as people are attracted to a vital person whose activities shape their sphere of influence; people are likewise repelled by the non-vital, inactive person who is not influencing anything around them, whatever the reason.

So I had the experience of having vitality quickly taken away from me. In the days that rolled into months and then years after my injuries, when I got out of bed in the morning, I’d bend over the sink to wash my face. The pain would buckle my knees and I’d have to grab the sink to keep from falling. I remember thinking, “So this is middle age”, I was 21 years old.

I lived in that state for three years until my Dad took me to a Chiropractor for my first adjustment. I didn’t want to go but I was in too much pain to resist. To say my experience was life changing is an understatement. For the first time in three years my pain was gone! I remember getting out of bed the next day after my first adjustment, going to the bathroom and bracing for the pain as I bent down to put water on my face. No pain! It was the most incredible feeling in the world, to move without pain! Several days later, my old friend, pain, started coming back and this time I drove myself to the Chiropractor. After the adjustment, no pain!

Within three months of my first adjustment, I was in Chiropractic college studying to do for others what that one Chiropractor did for me. It took almost 4 years to strengthen and repair my body from those earlier injuries, but I regained my Vital Edge.

So from first-hand experience, I know the value of being vital and the tragedy of losing vitality and the return to joy when I found my way back to being whole. Over the next 40 years I have studied the essential pathway to Vitality and how it provides the pathway to productivity and the way to influence.

I want to pass this information onto you. We all have greatness inside of us. To access it isn’t as hard as one might think. We must live from an inward to outward direction and utilize all the abundance that is our environmental vital reserves. We must extend our vitality into that activity what fires our passion and vision. We must stand up to stand out. Action generates a current and people and events tend to respond to that current. As we move purposefully we influence more people to respond in the direction of our achievement. Our influence is our leadership; which comes from our actions; which begins with our vital capacity to be a high functioning individual.

Your Vital Edge: 1 the Path to Vitality, Productivity and Influence

Your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership

Vitality Productivity Influence: The Essence of Power in Personal and Professional Performance.

There is tremendous potential for success inside of you. In us all. If we only take advantage of how we are programmed for success.

There is no mystery to success in the wellbeing of your personal life, in relationships in your personal and professional life, in financial security and freedom. There is no ‘secret’ to success. There is also no shortcut.

There is a simple way to have everything you want. Simple but not easy. If it were easy, no one would be overweight, no one would feel poor, and no one would be unhappy. Your success comes from your embodiment and alignment with how Life works.

We know life works because it has a 3 billion year track record of constantly improving on itself. Humans have only been around for the past 2 or 3 million years and all that progression to perfection resides in – You.

After studying life for the past 61 years, certain realizations of the life process appeared to resonate and structure itself in ways that made sense despite all the apparent chaos and disorder that living has on the surface. I saw the cornerstones of organization at any level of any system especially a biological system.

I like to use the concentric rings model, where the outer ring represents Influence, the middle ring represents Productivity and the inner ring represents Vitality.

Even more than the 2 dimensional ring model, I prefer the 3 dimensional model of the Russian nesting dolls. Because to be whole they encompass the inner level and are built from the inside out – but you see the outside levels first and only when you start to explore and open the outer levels do you see the inner levels which preceded the level that you see.  Later we will see how the levels are actually interwoven and are interdependent one to another.

The outer most doll or circle is your influence. It is the recognition of your outward success in all your interactions with people and your environment.  It is your ability to influence your life course, your family, and your relationships personally and professionally. It is your ability to lead. It is what people see and are attracted towards. It is your ability to make life move in the direction you want it to go. It is your ability to change your world and also be a world changer.

Now, some people will want that because it appears to be an attractive idea: to be recognized, to be powerful, influential at whatever level you see yourself. You could see the possibility of a better life for yourself. Or you can see yourself as a leader locally, nationally or internationally. You may want the fame, power, influence. You may see a wrong and want to right it.

Whatever it is you will never get there unless people recognize that you have the ability to make good things happen. You have to be able to produce. You have to be productive, which brings us to our next inwardly stacked doll or the next inward circle. You have to be productive. Your influence depends upon your ability to produce.

Whatever your ‘widget’ is – a product, a service it has to be ‘top shelf’, effective, something that people will notice that has taken your heart, guts and brains to produce.

It is the outward manifestation of your passion and vision, where your brains and heart meet in a creative alchemy. So the second ring/doll embodies you productive nature that starts people looking in your direction. But your ability to produce – be productive ultimately depends upon your vitality – your ability to harness and be an energy source. If you are not deeply connected to your source of power and energy you will not be able to sustain any productive endeavor for long – if at all. When you are connected people are starting to sense in you the personal ability to produce in the world and that speaks of personal power.

Now we are at the essence – the innermost source of power. It is your vitality. This is where you harness the universal forces and focus them to your intent. Without this inner vitality, you will be inconsistent in your produce-ability and ineffective in your ability to influence. This is how people become powerful, effective and influential.

This is your source of connection with Universal truths and environmental resources, focused and filtered through your mind, body and spirit. That connection is unlimited and unfettered and waiting for your use. This is a subject of many people’s life work to attempt to understand it and have other people see it and use it.  We will spend a lot of time here exploring how you can be open to such rich reserves of vitality which will lead you to productivity and influence.

Vitality – in your mind, body and spirit.

Productivity – in your area of interest, passion, vision

Influence – in getting people to see your position and direction and to align with you to affect greater movement in that direction.

The interesting thing is as you work on one circle and move outwardly, there is a feedback loop that brings up what is blocking further progression. Things that are successful will not impede you. What impedes growth is what you don’t see, know or understand. This challenge to growth is the perceived discouragement, frustration or failure point that untracks us all in our progress through the VPI process.

How we understand the cycle will be the most effective indicator of continued progress.

I can guarantee there are things that you don’t know that will come up to derail you in your evolution through this cycle. If you look back on your life, I’m sure in your personal history there were apparent stops, detours and dead ends that blocked a favored life direction. But with a little distance, you can perceive the life lesson that got you back on track or refined your direction and now you are thankful for that experience. If not; because most life lessons are not pain free, I recommend moving through the VPI cycle again. Perceived stoppings always lead to breakthroughs if you work through the cycle.

Environmental Energy

Vitality, productivity and Influence are stacked stages of human growth in all fields of endeavor, yet they are interwoven. Growth in one leads to the next and the next until there is a ‘glass ceiling’ an invisible –to us – barrier or other perceived block.  Like water always finding its way around rocks, our lives can continue to progress. Each challenge brings a new opportunity for growth and a deeper understanding of the evolution available in the VPI cycle.