John Harricharan's Insight2000

An Interview with John Harricharan

Author of "When You Can Walk on Water Take the Boat",
"Morning Has Been All Night Coming" and
"The Power Pause"

An Interview with John Harricharan

 

By Charles Burke
--author of "Command More Luck" and "Inside the Minds of Winners

This interview was conducted by Charles Burke from Japan. It was done live and a recording was made. The following is a transcript of the recording.


Command More Luck (CML): Visiting with us today is John Harricharan, award-winning author and Internet businessman. John recently released a book titled "The Power Pause". But it's the titles of two earlier books that really tug at the imagination: "Morning Has Been All Night Coming" and "When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat".

John is on the Internet at http://www.powerpause.com, http://www.mindmarketing.com and http://www.insight2000.com.

Thanks, John, for talking with us today.

John Harricharan: It's my pleasure, Charles.

CML: For readers who are not familiar with your name, could you give a bit of background about yourself, your business and your career?

John: You know, when I think of that question, I always think that there's nothing really very interesting about who I am. What is more interesting is what I do.

To make it a little fun here, I could ask a number of questions. For example, this guy, John Harricharan is East Indian, but he was not born in India. He's British but he never lived in Great Britain. He's American but he wasn't born in America. Who is this masked man?

That fellow is John Harricharan.

My background is very simple. I was born in a little village in Guyana, South America, right next to the Atlantic Ocean. My father was a farmer. He never finished fourth grade and my Mom didn't finish first grade, and I thought I'd make up for them by getting every degree, every piece of education I could.

So I went to school, finished high school, went on to college, where I got a degree summa cum laude in chemistry. Went on from that, did graduate work at the University of Michigan, picked up an MBA at Rutgers, and did corporate MBA things like working for major corporations at some wonderful levels in New York.

But then things changed. I got bored-was thoroughly familiar with the corporate boardrooms of America and got bored with some of that and decided to go out into the world and start my own business. It was the most wonderful and most horrible thing I ever did.

What happened was, I immediately became extremely successful-I mean, in a very short while-with international trade, the recycling of precious metals and so forth. And because of that, expanded my lifestyle quite a lot, so that the hardest problem for me to decide on in the morning was which car I was going to take to work.

What occurred was interesting. Because I became very successful in the outer world, I forgot or did not listen to the inner world, and one day, through a combination of circumstances, I lost everything. Everything.

That means my houses (I had a number of them), my cars, my land. In fact, what I do at times, I tell people this little message. I say, "I know what it feels like to have my car repossessed, to watch my wife die of cancer when she was only in her thirties, to lose all earthly possessions and start again from ground zero."

I also know what it feels like to write an award-winning book, to be written about in other's books, and to be featured in the same book with His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip of Great Britain, the Dalai Lama, Paul McCartney and so forth. The contrast brings compassion and sensitivity to one's life. It makes for balance.

So after losing everything, we trekked down to the southern city of Atlanta and started again. Lost my wife. Didn't go back into corporate work. Was left with two kids to raise (or for them to raise me), and I started discovering what was important in life.

Out of all of that came the book When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat. It's a book I was looking for and nobody had it, so I thought I'd write one myself. What would I tell me? What would I tell anyone who was going through what I was going through?

And thus, I got into a writing career. Since then I've consulted with some household names. I write more books. I do my Internet business. And our most important project, which was completed a year ago, is The Power Pause. Three steps, three minutes to personal success and real happiness.

So that's what I do, Charles.

CML: That's an interesting resume. After reading your personal story, you told it in your first two books, some people might get the idea that you've had an uncommon lot of bad luck. How do you stay so upbeat?

John: When you look at the proceedings, from one point of view you may say yes, this man suffered so much. But if you look at it from another standpoint, you'd say there are so many others who suffered more than he did. And as a result of looking at it two different ways, there is a middle ground, a balance, and the reason I stay so upbeat, no matter what happens, is I know that the problem out there, strange and horrible as it seems, is not really out there.

The problem isn't with the problem. The problem is what do I think about the problem. If I let fear or depression or anger or any of these negative emotions get me down, then I'd surely suffer even more. But when I remember that all these things are temporary, they come to pass, and all we have to do is keep on keeping on, and the valley of the shadow of suffering will lead us to the mountaintops of light.

CML: I heard somebody say one time: if you life has been flowering beautifully and suddenly the flowers start to die, just check. Have you forgotten to water the roots?

John: Ah! That is a very, very deep, wonderful statement. Many times we just worry about the flower and forget where the flower came from. So we must always look at ourselves.

CML: You have another new website about to open, don't you?

John: Yes, in fact, it will be one of those special things I have always wanted to do. It is called enterprisingspirit.com (http://www.enterprisingspirit.com), a place where business and spirit meet. That's because of my strong belief that business does not do business with business. People do business with people. And if you want to do business with people, if you love people, if your spirit meets their spirit, you will buy and sell and prosper. You will be happy; you'll be joyous. This is what we will do on that website. It will be a subscription membership site, and it's destined to open in about three or four weeks.

CML: I'd like to get back to this a little later, but let's take a side trip here.

Do you have any kind of working definition for luck or fortune or success that you use in your daily life?

John: I think the simplest one for me, Charles, is that luck or fortune, either one, whatever we call them, they are a result of attitudes and beliefs. If things seem to be going really bad, if you seem to have a spell of bad luck, your attitude and your beliefs need examining.

If things are going beautifully, it means that your attitudes and your beliefs are fine.

Now, with that said, I believe that we came here to this earth, and we don't know exactly why, but I believe that ninety percent of the things that we came here for could be changed. We could change careers, husbands or wives, or places we live and so forth. But there are about ten percent of things, maybe three or four of the most important things that we have made agreements on, way before we got here, that we hardly ever change.

This would have to be when you come to a point where things never seem to go right, where everything seems horrible and you wonder is someone slapping me in the face? Every time I try to do something that I believe would take me to where I want to go, it seems like a door closes before me.

There are some of those things that happen, as to why exactly, I don't think we will ever know, while they're happening. Later on, we will find that they were probably the most "lucky" things that ever happened to us. You probably are familiar, Charles ­ I'm sure you are ­ with the great writer Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I think most people on earth know who he is because the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull put Richard on the cover of Time Magazine.

Now, he and I have had quite some talks. I've known Richard, I guess, over two decades, and one of the things that intrigued me about this was, once he and I were talking about something that had happened to me, the loss of my business and so forth. Richard said to me, "You know, John, one day you will look back on this period and you will think of it as the most positive thing that ever happened to you.

And I thought, "You know, I'd like to choke that man."

But in retrospect, it was one of the happiest, one of the most positive, one of the most glorious things that happened to me. But while I was going through that, it didn't seem that way. It's like we said. It's like going through a super laundry. It's not fun while it's happening, but when you come out, you're clean. And so I think there are those around us, those who are in the invisible world, a whole big, giant situation that we can't even dream of, just like an ant could never conceive of what an elephant is.

And I think there are guardians and guardian angels and helpers who sometimes, in spite of what we think we want, would push us another way for our greater good.

Take for example a seven-year-old kid. If my son Jonathan decided it would be fun to run across the highway when cars are coming, I certainly wouldn't worry about his free will at that time. I'd grab him forcibly and hold him until the cars had passed, and I would give him a good scolding for that.

So I feel at times the universe comes to our aid. I believe the universe is biased on our side. And sometimes we are like willful children wanting to do this or that, and we are prevented, for our own good, for our own growth, from doing that which we think we really want to do.

Somewhere in there is an answer to what you asked.

CML: Okay, let me ask it up front, then. Do you actually believe in luck?

John: Not as the word is used these days. I do believe luck is the situation where being prepared and taking action meet. Churchill once said a very interesting thing. I mean, Churchill said almost everything. He said, "People occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."

Well, luck is when you pick yourself up and you say, "Hah, what happened there?" And you look at it and all of a sudden you start changing your world.

CML: You have some experience with going through bad luck periods. Times when it feels like life is just trying to block everything you try to do. Is there anything a person can do to hurry up and get on through a period like that?

John: I remember the story about when Columbus sailed for the New World. It seemed like a very intimidating venture, and he came upon a place where he thought that nothing would happen, that they had run aground, a place in the Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea, the seaweed, and it was scary. But once he got through that, he realized that that was only an illusion; it was just something that was there. The sea was as deep there as anyplace.

So when we go through times of that nature, it calls for a bunch of things. First of all, to realize that no matter what it is, it's temporary. Even life as we know it here on this planet is temporary. And if we keep that in mind, we will understand that it will pass.

Here's another thing, and this is very important. During those times, we tend to get very depressed. We have friends and family, those who love us, who try to tell us what to do and what not to do, and if they don't do that, they're like Job's comforters. They come on and try to say, "Look, I know, isn't it terrible that you're suffering so much. Wish we could help you with that suffering." All those things put together, Charles, tend to make you even more depressed.

What you need to do is to go into the silence and hear the sound of your heart. Hear the voice of your soul telling you, "It's okay, son; it's okay, daughter; it's okay, my child. This is temporary. You're going to get through this, just hold on. Hold on a little bit more."

And here is the crux of the matter, Charles. You need to have hope. If you ever lose hope, you lose everything.

Now, you don't need faith to have hope. But you certainly do need hope to come up with faith.

So go into the silence, listen to you talk to you, and be quiet because silence might just be another name for God.

That's where it starts.

CML: Can you give some examples of when good luck has helped move you toward your goals?

John: I think a very important word is "enthusiasm" because it creates good luck. There are things that have happened in my life that others could look at and say, "Well, you know, he's been very lucky."

Take for example, the book, When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat. I never was trained as a writer. I was a scientist, a mathematician dealing in physics, chemistry and such fields.

Then one day, I decided to write a book. I had no idea what it was going to be called, but I want to tell you, before I wrote that book, I never took writing courses.

Actually, there's a funny story about that. The only course I ever took in writing was called "Creative Writing" and I got a "D" ­ I almost failed.

Years later, I was to sit down and write a book which became When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat.

Now, I know a number of things ­ the statistics are there ­ but I didn't really know them at that time. Statistics say that 90 to 95 percent of all authors never make any money on their books. They probably never sell more than 5,000 to 10,000 copies. It's the five percent that we hear of all the time that do so well.

Well, I didn't know that. And I didn't think that anybody was going to publish this book, so what I did was, I self-published it. I got a few thousand copies, and I thought to myself, "Well, it's a nice little book; I'll probably sell 300 or 400 copies, and the rest will stay in the boxes in my basement, and decades from now my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will find them and say, 'Hah, that's what he used to do. No wonder we starved'."

A strange thing happened. The book started selling, and suddenly the first printing was gone. I said to myself, "Darn, what happened there?" So we had a second printing. And the second printing sold out. By the third printing, I said, "This is amazing, I'd better read this book." So I read it again, and I thought, well, I just can't believe I wrote that because now other people are giving it validity. I thought I had just put together a little book.

Then, by the third printing, the major companies in New York started getting interested, so Berkeley published it (that's part of Putnam), and then later on, Harper Collins, and then it appeared in the Spanish translation in Spain, then throughout Latin America. It was printed in French and Italian and Portuguese. And I had very, very little to do with it physically.

You asked about luck. Was there anything that seemed lucky about it? Well, yeah. I didn't do much about the book, but it appeared that the book had its own energy and did its own thing. That's why, today, years later, it's still all over the world, and every day people download it and drop me notes about it. And I still am a little puzzled, but I think it's a part of that ten percent deal where, in a way, this was meant to be, to take me to other places.

That could be considered luck.

Graduating summa cum laude could be considered luck, but let me tell you, I did study. A component of luck is work, action, and if you will, self-talk. Enthusiasm.

CML: Let's get back to this new website of yours, http://www.enterprisingspirit.com. Could you tell us a little about that?

John: Okay. Enterprisingspirit.com will have articles, books, information as to how to use the spiritual side of us to make business successful. It will have guest writers, people who do that, people who realize, as Kennedy and others said, that a rising tide raises all ships, that it is not a competitive world. It's a cooperative world. And your competition is actually yourself of yesterday.

What it will do, Charles, is to put a different spin on the way we do business.

Just yesterday, Jonathan Mizel and I talked for a while, and we talked about what is happening in the Internet today, or in businesses. There seems to be a push to get as much as you can. You, too, have probably seen them, Charles, in the ezines that you might receive, and the spam that we all get. In fact, there was a beautiful one the other day. It said, "Earn $60,000 a year by doing nothing, absolutely nothing."

CML: "and we'll do all the work."

John: Right. And I thought, "Yes, and the moon is made of green cheese, and the tooth fairy visits a lot, and Santa Clause really comes down the chimney."

CML: "and there's a bridge I want to sell you."

John: Yeah, yeah. And I thought of that, and Jonathan and I said, "You know, here is the thing about people on the Internet ­ and many of them are very successful ­ they go about and they're trying to sell you what they think works, which is not a bad thing; that's good. But they're selling you the same thing, and they're telling you why you've got to buy it by 12 midnight tomorrow night or else the price doubles. But you check again in three days and you'll find that it's 12 midnight three days from now. And if you check two weeks from now, the same thing happens. It's a little Java script, or some Perl programming or something (I don't know the technicalities of it all), and then you find everyone sending you information as to why you must do this and why you must do that.

And hardly ­ every once in a while I come upon someone ­ hardly does anyone say, "Look, what is it that you really want to do? This is what I have. This will help you."

There's an old show, one of my favorites with Kwai Chang Kane. It's called "The Legend Returns" or something of that nature, and it has this man who lives in Chinatown. Whenever you have problems and you meet him, he says, "Come to Chinatown. I will help you." And what comes out of him is such honesty, such integrity, and that's what we are not finding any more, anyplace, even with the large companies.

So http://www.enterprisingspirit.com is designed to have people come back to the basics of what makes things work, what makes success. Again, When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat became a best seller, not because I ran out there and tried to get every review there was. It was like I sat there, I was quiet, and the reviews came to me.

It was like they were attracted to me because I wasn't pushing them away with willfulness instead of willingness. The moment we get from willfulness to willingness, when we start allowing things that are good to come to us, rather than to chase after them, we will find ourselves becoming a lot more successful, and we will find that Lady Luck seems to smile on us more often.

CML: In the midst of all this hurry-hurry and excessive commercialism, do we seem to be seeing the stirrings of a new spiritual awakening?

John: About eight or ten years ago I made a prediction that the twenty-first century would create the beginnings of a whole new paradigm, a place where people start becoming more interested in people and less interested in things. Instead of loving things and using people, they would start loving people and using things.

You probably know, Charles, that I'm in touch with lots of different people at all levels of society in this world. One of the things I find that's very interesting and really wonderful is, in the most successful people, there is the most loving heart you could think of.

Now, we may not always read that in papers or magazines, because you wouldn't believe some of the things I read about me in interviews, but these people exude, I would say, a degree of spirituality which is far beyond what we call common religion.

The word religion itself came from the root word meaning to bind or to tie together, and as you probably noticed, it has done a lot of that binding into different little groups who seem to fight each other all the time. This is not to say that religions haven't done a lot of good, but at the same time, it's been like science, where science has brought us the refrigerator and the washing machine and the computer and the hydrogen bomb and the poison gas, and all kinds of other things that come with it.

So I really believe that humanity is on the way up, that the pace is getting quicker and quicker. We're all going to the same place. We're going to the mountaintop. Some are halfway up the mountain, some are just at the base, and some have about reached the peak. And I think what's going to happen later, as we go on with this decade, is that people are going to begin to see that this is a very, very positive, successful way to live, because then we get rid of a lot of stress, the stress of hurry-hurry.

And we'll do things like Jonathan Mizel is doing. He left yesterday for Hawaii. He'll stay there for a while, and then he goes anyplace he wants to go, because he is not centered on the thing itself. He's centered on the feeling within him, how he wants to feel, which is freedom. That's the beginning of freedom.

So yes, to paraphrase all that, this is a very important decade. More people, at all levels, again, in business are going to come to see that maybe there's a new way to do this.

CML: You mentioned just briefly in passing the relationship to religious things. This doesn't really seem to be connected very directly with religion, this time around, does it?

John: No. No. Religion, I think, was a tool that was started by people to grasp some truths, that some teacher may have taught at one time. But what occurred, as religion become more formalized, we saw economic reasoning getting in there, and we saw another very interesting thing.

Religion made people worship the message bearer, instead of listening to the message. Because the message of all the teachers (and I will not get into naming religions here), but the messages were very similar. Like love your neighbor. Love your God. Love yourself. Help others. If somebody is hungry, feed him. If he thirsts, give him to drink. If he is naked, clothe him. It didn't say you've got to fall down three times a day on your knees and turn to the heavens and pray, or you have to polish a crystal, or you have to say fifteen mantras, or chant all day. Those are little tools we use to get ourselves to a point where we could feel the connectedness with the universe.

I don't think for one instant we would have been put here without the tools necessary to make it a wonderful, glorious life.

So religion helped people to get to a certain point. Then, what happens is, it takes off. They don't need formal religion any longer. They just need a close personal relationship with their creator, that's all.

Einstein once said something to the effect that 'things should be made as simple as possible and not one whit simpler'.

CML: The trick is knowing where the 'not one whit' falls.

Getting back to your website, Where do you get most of your ideas for new products or services? Do you have a special brainstorming process, or do your ideas come from things you hear customers asking for?

John: Well, I get them from the idea fairy, from the shower fairy, from the walk fairy. And not to be facetious, really, but that's how it happens. If we open our minds, we will find ideas come to us and tap us on the shoulder and say, "Hey John, here I am. What do you think of me? What do you want to do with me? I'll work with you."

Now, people use different methods. For example, this brainstorming thing is very good. But that, too, is a universal law, a kind of a sample of the mastermind technology or teaching, where you put a number of minds together, and the sum of the total of those minds is far greater than if you were to add them one-to-one.

So, many of my ideas come from quiet reflection, because then I feel them, and they tap me and say, "I'm here."

For example, this enterprisingspirit.com came out of the seminar in Atlanta, the SuperSeminar. I had never seen such a group, and even yesterday, Mizel told me that it was "the most important, best seminar" he had ever attended.

And guys like Declan Dunn told me that.

CML: I'd have to add my voice to that. This was a watershed experience for me, and I had no idea of it at the time. I thought I was just meeting some really interesting people.

John: But you see, what occurred there, Charles, was a combination of everybody's spirit meeting together and forming a unit that was far greater than any one person there. Because to this day, many of them communicate with me, and I'm sure with you and others. I hear from them constantly, and what was created was an energy form which could solve any business problem.

A lot of people made contacts there. A lot of people get help. I ask them to help me in many cases, and they say sure. Well, this is what enterprisingspirit.com will do. It will take that type of energy and put it in a website, and we're going to make it very, very inexpensive. Instead of $49 a month, I think we'll have it at $9.95 a month. There's a reason for that. Some people would say to me, "Why don't you do it free?"

Well, you know, sometimes you do things free. I give away When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat on the Internet. Lots of people get it, they read it, they love it, and they forget about it. But it is important in a give-and-take world, a sowing-and-reaping world, that we give service and we receive service. We receive an exchange of energy. And if we don't do it that way, it won't work for people.

So it will be a place to help many, many, many entrepreneurs who will go there, read something, and maybe one sentence that sticks with them will create a fortune.

CML: When an idea comes and taps you on the shoulder, I don't know if you're like me, but I get a lot of ideas, but not all of them are really top notch. How do you recognize when a new idea is a really good one?

John: You will feel it. You won't be able to right away tell by logic that it is. You will feel it somewhere deep within you. It won't let you go. It won't let you go until you do something with it, or you absolutely kill it.

So you will have about twenty different ideas at different times. For example, I get those, too, and some of them are not that bad, and some of them are fantastic, and a whole bunch of them are lousy. We have to be careful about our ideas because we might be wishing for something that we don't really want.

For example, take my business. Whenever I get into doing it like a "real business" which is like, "okay, let's see if I can get into the top ten spots in the search engines." Or here is a chance of getting my book into some list someplace. And when I start going after the mechanics of the thing, I start losing the power of my being, and I become someone who tries to learn all there is about a car by examining the engine or the tires, forgetting that here is the set of keys. All you've got to do is put it in the little thing, turn it, and it will start.

It's like what I heard, a story of these men who went into a mango orchard in India to study mangos. They brought their notepads, their yellow pads and their pencils, and their rulers and whatnot to measure and study and categorize mangos.

While a bunch of them were doing this, there was one sitting under a tree eating a mango. You see, that man who was eating the mango, knew mangos. The others knew about mangos. So there's a great difference when ideas come to us, the ones that really resonate with us, because I think they're electromagnetic in nature, that certain good ideas, like good beliefs, bunch together and help one another. If we have a diverse bunch of them, where they're fighting against each other, there's not going to be the peace there.

To get the right idea you've got to get into the mode of listening, and listening doesn't only have to happen when you're awake. Some of the greatest ideas came in dreams to people.

Way before anybody could figure out anything called organic chemistry, in which most of our life styles of this world are actually based right now, there was a guy called Kekulé who was sleeping, couldn't find the formula for the benzene ring. He had this dream of six people dancing in a circle or something of that nature, and got up and said, "You know, this formula is a ring, not a straight long chain of stuff." And that was the beginning of organic chemistry.

Some of the greatest breakthroughs-I think his name was Elias Howe, of the sewing machine-he couldn't figure how to get the thing to work properly. Then one time he had this dream that he was being chased by a whole bunch of natives with spears, and the spears had holes at the tips. Then he got up the next day and he said, "You know, that's interesting. Let's put the eye of the needle at the tip of the needle in the sewing machine. Isn't that what they do these days?

So we get these ideas in dreams, in feelings, in daydreaming.

Conrad Hilton played with little hotels, knew he was going to buy them when he got older, and it just happened that this became a reality. So your ideas are transformed by your beliefs, your enthusiasms, your attitudes, into that which you really want.

Similarly, not to be always positive here, your ideas ­ if they are fearful ideas ­ will translate themselves, using your emotions, into fearful happenings in your life. So if you don't want to have terrible things happen to you all the time, you have to just make sure that you are not giving those terrible thoughts energy by dwelling on them all the time, by being afraid of them, because it's stated in the Good Book "that which I feared most has come upon me." That was Job lamenting his "bad luck," if you will.

CML: Do you sometimes find yourself getting into a slump period, like a spell of "aw, I just don't want to motive myself today" or a less-than-good-luck? And if so, what do you do to put yourself back on track?

John: Okay. First question: yes, I get into a little slump often enough because I think I should start a club called The Procrastinators Club (but I bet they have one), with the theme of "why do today what you can do tomorrow."

By nature, at times, I think I'm lazy. So there are things I should do that I don't do at the appropriate moment, and I worry about them a little bit. But here's the secret: it's okay to do that ­ it's okay to feel a little bad every once in a while. The problem is, if you do that and stay there, then you're starting to affect your entire life.

So yes, I have my little pity parties. I do feel depressed. And I get out of these things by using what I call "sources of inspiration."

What sources of inspiration? Well, they are all around us. Sometimes it's too long to wait to get to that motivational seminar or to do this or do that. But one of my sources is actually nature. Just a little walk in nature. Sitting under a tree by a river. You can't help but be inspired.

Another one is music. How many times in the middle of some of the greatest problems we have, there's a haunting melody or something that will take us away from what appears to be happening to us right then.

Another source of inspiration ­ you should see my library ­ I know Joe Vitale, my dear friend, has a great library, and I'm not going to compare mine with his, but I have sitting on my bookshelves some of the greatest teachers on earth, the authors of these books.

So another source of inspiration would be books, seminars, tapes. I use those things to get out of the temporary slump.

CML: What would you say to people who have these books and tapes on their shelf, but they just leave them there, they don't actually use them?

John: I think people like to collect things. They collect books, they collect other people, they collect cars, they collect hats, they collect a lot of things. And if these books are on the shelves, and you don't read them, it's like what difference does it make if you didn't even know how to read? Because you have there the secrets of the universe, and all the thoughts of all the great minds ­ you have access to them ­ and you refuse to even hear what they say.

It's like a sage would be speaking to me and I don't even listen. That's what happens if you collect books for the sake of collecting.

Collecting anything for the sake of collecting has no value, really, if you don't love the thing you're collecting. So I suggest that people open their books and read them. Pick any book. Go to the library. Go to your bookshelf. Pick any one of those books. Open that book to any page, and you will probably find a message that was written there particularly for you.

CML: What books or teachers have helped you grow?

John: Many of them probably are invisible. Many of them are in books, But I have bumped into some people on earth, and I think what happens here is, we meet people for one of two reasons, or a combination. One is to learn something from them. Two is to teach them something. And if you can have fun doing either one of those, or both, you could become very successful.

Along the way were some professors in college. The dean of my university, who was very, very understanding and taught me a lot about life. I have had friends of all kinds. Deepak Chopra and I have had numerous conversations in the past, where it wasn't that either of us was trying to teach the other one, but we were just exchanging views, and out of those views came bigger and better situations.

Right now, I would say a lot of friends that I have or some of them are new friends, like yourself, Charles, or like my dear friend, Rick Beneteau, who I call "the maverick marketer," because Rick talks from his soul and his heart, and I think he will always be successful in marketing. He is a people person, and he doesn't worry too much about the mechanics; he worries about the integrity and he deals with that.

Another new friend, Yanik and I, we talk a lot and I think we both grow from it.

Anytime two beings meet, there is a learning and a teaching. So I couldn't put my finger on any one person, but on all of them. Some of the masters of the Far East. Some Yogis, some Swamis.

People like the late Og Mandino. He and I were the keynote speakers at a major event in Atlanta. That little meeting inspired me so much. And he himself, as he want around, he kept asking, "Where is John, where is John?" And I kept going around saying, "Where is Og, where is Og?" When we met, he said, "Oh my gosh!"

I said to him, "Og, I've read your books."

And he said, "John, I've read yours, too."

And I thought, isn't this wonderful, a man I'd dreamed of when I was a little boy, read his books, finally meeting. So that's how we meet them, but we don't go out of our way; we don't have to go out of our way to meet them.

We're always fortunate when these things occur. I have met people through some of the strangest ways. I told you about the magic of the book When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat. Would you believe, one of the mystical things about it, that I can't understand to this day is, anybody ­ no matter what his or her problem is ­ when they read that book, they get back to me and say, "You know, I was going through this, it was bad; guess what, it changed; I don't know how." This is interesting.

Well, I always had heard of Muhammed Ali, the champ, right? And because of the book, or because of some magic of something, I got to meet him, and we became friends. In fact, I introduced him to Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross. So we meet people like that because we don't have to be in awe of anybody. What we have to do is think of them as awesome, which is different.

Somehow or other, their spirit speaks to us and we speak to theirs, and we get together at a level where all men and women are equal ­ that's in the sight of God, I think. And then we can relate, we can tell our stories. By the sea we can exchange tales, like Deepak and I have done a number of times, and many of the others. They will come to you if you don't chase after them, whoever 'they' happen to be. Because this is an attractive universe.

We attract to us things that are like us. And we repel from us things that are not like us. So if we want

CML: This is important. Could you say that again?

John: We attract to us things and people who are like us, and we repel or push away from us things and people who are totally unlike us.

If we look around and say, "You know, I certainly wouldn't attract that person," then you'd better get into your belief system. Check out what you believe about yourself, how worthy you are of things. Because one of the terrible things, one thing that contributes to tremendous "bad luck" or misfortune is a simple little word called guilt.

You asked about mentors and friends and what not. Once upon a time there was a man called Foster Hibbard. Foster was one of the few remaining people who had taught with and lectured with Napoleon Hill of Think and Grow Rich, and as you probably know and as your audience will know, Napoleon Hill spent many, many years of his life studying the habits of successful people, how they became successful, how they became wealthy. And Foster was privileged to be a part of studying this and teaching it with Napoleon Hill.

A few years ago, through a very strange situation, Foster and I were introduced to each other. Now, it's been a few years since he died, but Foster taught me so many things about money, about wealth, about success, and he would call me at least twice a week. Out of that came this feeling that, you know, everything is possible. This man would call, and no matter what his problem was, he'd say, "John, how are you?" And he would want to find out how I was doing.

How many times we call people and we say, "Gee, Jim, I gotta tell you what it was like today," and we go on telling people what it was like.

By the way, I just found a new thing to do with telemarketers who call me at dinner. They always say, "Gee, Mr. H. My name is so-and-so. How are you today?"

And I can't resist it; it's the ham in me. I say, "Well, you really want to know? Let me tell you what it was like when I got up this morning." And the poor person I'm not being nasty, but I'm just kidding around, bringing a little lightness into them and to myself. I'll go through with it, and they'll say, "Oh, I'm so sorry about that, but let me tell you about."

I say, "You really wanted to know? Aren't you listening?"

There's the thing. When we ask somebody how he or she is doing, we ought to be able to listen to what he or she says, because I'm convinced that many of us could solve somebody else's problems by either a phone call or a signature, and we absolutely refuse to do that.

I wrote an article, Charles, and this is going to be in the enterprisingspirit.com site: "A Little Known Business Secret," and I'll tell your audience what it is. The little known business secret has to do with good will, of doing things for others without expecting anything. That's one of the things that creates "good luck." Helping others without a thought of return.

Yes, as simple as that. Because just as you couldn't receive without giving, you couldn't give without receiving.

CML: Say that again, please.

John: Just as you couldn't receive without giving, you cannot give without receiving.

CML: You cannot give without receiving. This is a universal law.

John: Yeah, if you give, you certainly will get back, because here's this strange little thing. You can't out-give the universe. You plunk a ten dollar bill down for the universe and say, "Hey, you beat that," and before you blink, there's a hundred dollar bill someplace. And this happens. People think that this is really impractical stuff. When they think so, I want to remind them that, you know, I'm a scientist, I'm an MBA guy, I've been through business, I talk to people at all levels of corporations, and the last time I checked, I wasn't totally nuts.

This is really, really practical stuff. There are examples all over the place.

One day in those what you call "bad luck" days, Charles, I think I had five bucks in my pocket and I was driving to go to the grocery to buy milk and bread for my little kids. Their mom had died. Here we were, no insurance, no anything, and we're struggling just to be able to eat.

On my way, I saw a man standing with his wife and two kids, with a sign (they do that down south here, you know), and the sign says, Will Work for Food.

I thought, oh poor things. Two kids, wife. I don't know if he made it up, but I passed them. I felt so guilty as I passed them with my five dollars in my pocket, and I drove about a mile. I couldn't get over this feeling of "I've got to help them." So I made a U-turn, came back, stopped next to where they were, and I handed the guy the five dollars. And I thought, "This is crazy. Now I'll have to go home and check to see if I have any change."

I checked the little thing in the car and there was come change, so I thought at least I'd be able to get a loaf of bread and I'll figure out about the milk later on.

So I pulled into the parking lot at the supermarket, and as I got out of the car and stepped out, I stepped on a twenty dollar bill. Right under my shoe. I picked it up and I said, "Wow, you really can't out-give the universe." I gave away five bucks, I got twenty bucks back. I was able to get the milk, the bread and everything else.

This is such a practical thing. It happens. This is the secret of red lights becoming green, finding a parking space in the most crowded mall in the middle of Christmas. Yet, we think it's only the things we can measure, the things we can touch, and the things we can hold that will make us successful. And we forget that we can't even see air, and without it we'd surely die.

CML: How important a part of success is the feeling that you deserve good things?

John: Great! I was talking about Foster Hibbard, and one thing he talked about: he said, "Guilt is the [cause] of most poverty, most failures." If you do not feel you deserve good things, subconsciously you will do all within your power to punish yourself by not getting those good things. So the feeling of deserving is a very important thing.

There are, again, very great scientific reasons for this. You see, the subconscious (which like a faithful servant), the subconscious reacts to two things very quickly. One is repetition, and the other is strong feelings. That's why those people who have bought my book called The Power Pause, where we talked about feelings and gave examples about it, have written me with some of the most wonderful stories you could think of. Because by generating the feelings (and I'm going to tell you what that is). Here it is. It's a little secret, a well known secret.

You want anything? Feel how you would feel if the thing you wanted to have happen happened. Simple as that. And keep feeling that way.

People say to me, "But John, you can't make yourself feel that way."

My question is, why not? Whose feelings are they? Right now as we're talking, Charles, I have a pen in my left hand. And I think, what can I do with that pen? I could throw it in the waste paper basket. I could step on it. I could give it away. I could keep it. Why? Because it's my pen.

The same with thoughts: "Oh I can't change my thoughts." Well, here's a simple thing: whose thoughts are they? Are they not your thoughts? Don't you think them, or do your thoughts think you?

If you think your thoughts, then you can think other thoughts. If you have certain feelings, then you can change them to other feelings, because they are your feelings. That's where we use sources of inspiration ­ to get us out of the horrible, gloomy, rainy-day feeling into the sunshiny type feelings. So we can change our feelings.

Feelings are very, very important. Emotions actually color our world, and we need emotions. We need feelings to be able to create a kind of goal-seeking mechanism, which our subconscious actually is. We need to speed it up. We need the catalyst. That is so important in creation.

CML: For years, I did affirmations and visualizations, and self hypnosis, and for years, nothing much happened. It wasn't until I discovered ­ people had been telling me, I suppose, all that time, but I never noticed somehow ­ you gotta have some feelings for what you want, or you'll never live there.

John: That's right. It's like being passionate about what you do. By feeling that within you, you may not have to go out and get the thing; the thing will come towards you.

CML: People may have to work at it a little bit when they first start developing a new skill, this skill of directing your emotions.

John: Right, and it's like anything else. We have got to work at it before it really becomes workable in a subconscious way, where it becomes a habit. It's like anything else. The first time I drove a car, it certainly wasn't an experience like now. Right now I'll jump in my car and I'll get to someplace without even knowing what streets I've passed. Without even noticing the red lights or green lights, because somehow the red lights will trigger me to stop, and I didn't even know I stopped. This is because we are guided by what I call intention. Very important.

The intent. What do I intend to do? Well, I intend to have this new site I'm putting up, and write a few more books, and have them all be successful.

Well, there are certain steps I have to take. I've got to do something, I imagine. I've got to write the sales letter. I've got to send out some email. I've got to pass it around. But that, to me, isn't the most important thing. What is the most important thing for me is to think of all the thousands of people who will come to the site and who will derive such great benefit from this place. And then I start seeing them being fulfilled. And guess what? If I do that often enough, I will get an urge to: "change that sentence in the sales letter, John," or "check the spelling of this word, John." I'll have an urge to "pick up the phone and call Declan Dunn, John." Do this and do that. You see, I don't have to force myself to think of what to do if I'm passionate about what I love.

You know, talking about Richard Bach, I once asked Richard, "You've been rich and you've been poor, and you've been broke, and you've been a multi-millionaire, so you know a lot about that, tell me; what is it that makes us successful? And I'll never forget the words he used. He said, "John, give yourself, give your gift as brilliantly and as beautifully as you can to the world, and the world will say 'thank you'."

And I went, "Duh!"

I mean, the world would say 'Thank you'? Man, I'd be a multi-millionaire if I banked all the 'thank you's I got.

He said, "You didn't let me finish."

I said, "Okay, okay give your gift as brilliantly as you want and the world would say 'thank you' right?"

He said, "Yep. And they generally say 'thank you' by sending you money. Checks. Buying your books."

He said, "We were broke, and we put together this little book called Bridge Across Forever, and we gave it to the world through our publisher and we let it go. People started to read that book. It was our gift, and they started buying it, and little bits of their checks went through our publisher and came to us as royalties and pulled us out of all the problems where money was concerned."

And then another time he said, "You know what? Hurl" (and I love this word) "hurl yourselves at the thing you love, and the entire universe will come to your aid."

It's an interesting universe, Charles. I would have made it a little differently, but I don't know that much, you see.

CML: What about the person who doesn't know what they love?

John: I really think that most everybody knows, somewhere deep within himself or herself, what it is that they love.

What happens is, they permit themselves to be surrounded by such an atmosphere of hurry and worry and everything else that they cannot even hear the birds sing; they cannot hear their children crying or calling and saying, "We love you daddy," or "We love you, mommy. We wish we could see you a little bit more often." They have surrounded themselves in a cocoon, and so they have imprisoned the splendor that's within them.

What they have to do is stop for a little while and let that imprisoned splendor come out, and they will feel the glory of their lives. They will then feel themselves attracted into painting the greatest painting on earth, writing the great American novel. How many people have done that? They must slow down; they must stop beating themselves up; they must get rid of this guilt for things they may have done or may not have done, because what guilt does is this: it keeps making you pay for something you've paid for already.

Now, when you realize that, there's no need to be guilty. I talk in my consultation practice, where I have people calling me from all over the planet to talk to me for a half an hour. I meet many, many people, and you wouldn't suspect who some of these people are. If I were to mention a name, you'd recognize it immediately, many of them.

And one of the things they do, they go over beating themselves up. Remember, we talked about not deserving? They beat themselves up because they feel guilty.

You know, I have a good cure for guilt, and I think I wrote about it in one of my books. I tell the story of this western cowboy who jumped off his horse at noontime and jumped right into a cactus patch. As soon as he jumped out of it, which was very quickly, his friends turned to him and said, "Whatever did you do such a stupid thing for?"

And his answer, I think, was absolutely brilliant. He said, "You know, it seemed like a good thing at the time."

Now, whatever it is that we are guilty about, the reason we did it was, it seemed like a good thing at the time. Or else we wouldn't have done it. At that time we thought it was fine. We certainly wouldn't do it again ­ or we hope not ­ so we can deal with the guilt that way.

People think they don't deserve. They think they're weak and little beings in this great world. They think the Internet is full of millions of people who are getting rich or stealing from each other, or doing this or doing that, without saying, "No, the Internet is a part of who I am. This world is a part of me. This is my dream, and in my world are all these things. And since it's my dream, I can do whatever it is I want to do with it ­ if I'm not doubtful, if I'm not fearful.

It doesn't mean not to be prudent, you know. If I carry a spare tire in my car as I go on a long trip, it's not because I'm negative; it's because I'm a little bit sensible. I'm prudent. So it doesn't mean to just go sell all you've got, go into the world and say, "Hey, world, here I come."

It reminds me of the kid who got out of college, and he ran out and said, "Here world, here I come. I got my AB degree."

And the world said, "Sit down, son. I'll teach you the rest of the alphabet."

We must respect ourselves, and we will discover that we are not some tiny little being on a little planet in an obscure solar system in the universe, but perhaps that this entire universe springs from us. Our great religions tell us things of this nature, but we think, of course, you know, "Oh gee, that's church stuff, that's not very practical."

Some of the most practical things are the simplest things, Charles.

CML: You just mentioned your consulting. You've been described as an intuitive. What is an intuitive?

John: Well, I think it's an ordinary person who really uses a few other tools than most people use. I think we were all born with a sense of knowing things. That's why, when people talk about learning ­ there's so much learning to be done ­ and I say, "Why struggle with learning, when all we have to do is remember?" And if we remember who we are, we can feel things because we then get deep within us, and we tap into the various "radio stations," which are like: everyone ­ to me ­ is a broadcasting station and a receiving station. And we could be in communications no matter where we are; there's certainly enough proof of that.

What I do, I go into a kind of a quiet time, and I feel something about somebody and I pick up things that are important to them. I get the feeling of where they've been, where they are, and what are the probabilities of going where they're going. I don't tell the future because the future isn't made yet. I don't know what the future holds, but I have indications of what will happen, and I give the probabilities of that. And I touch into some of their biggest problems and explain to them from my point of view what it is. I've done that for years.

It is an intuitive thing. It's using your intuition.

Knowledge is acquired in one of two ways. Through tuition; you pay your tuition, you go to school and you learn. Or through intuition, where you feel and you know what is. So when they call me that, I guess that's what they mean.

CML: When people call, do they mostly call and want you to ratify what they've perhaps unconsciously already decided to do, or are they in general really wide open and willing to accept whatever you advise?

John: It's both, Charles. I do have some people who call and want me to tell them that what they are doing is the most wonderful thing possible.

This could happen. You know, there are three problems: money, health, relationships. I tell this on my website, insight2000.com. Many people call about relationships, and they've already met this guy or woman, or whoever it is, and they want to know that this is the right person for them. They will call and say, "You know, this is what has happened. Do you think this is the right person for me?"

Now, I don't know. People get a little bemused when I tell them I don't know, but I go through some things asking them to determine, and I lead them through a process which gets them to feel whether this is so or not.

Like we said before, most people don't trust their feelings. Trust is a very important word. You trust your feelings and they are going to work better for you than if they were not trusted.

So I think people come to me for just a little clarification, or a little guidance.

CML: How should one work with an intuitive to get the best results? Is it like working with a personal coach?

John: I think with an intuitive, it's like if you are going to approach it this way, if you need help from people who do intuitive consulting, you need to come to them with an open mind; it's the best way to do it.

I have, over a decade and a half, done this, and I used to, in the old days, make a money-back guarantee. These days, there's no guarantee. They could hardly get me if they want. I mean we've got people who want to consult with me so often, so we don't even bother. But you know, I think in all this time, only three or four times did I give back the money to the people. And it wasn't that they asked for it. I didn't feel that I did anything for them, and I knew it when I started, and I thought, "Well, we won't bother with it." But most people will listen to what I say with an open mind. Many of them tell me later, "You know, John, when you were saying that, I thought, 'Well, you know I already am paying this guy so much for half an hour and he sounds like a nice guy, and I'm not going to say anything, but it doesn't make any sense, what he says'."

But a year later, or two years later ­ and I have examples of a best-selling author in Philadelphia who lectures throughout the country, has been on TBS and television and Good Morning America and whatnot ­ way before that, I said to her, "You know, see you on television, see you talking to a lot of people, see books."

And only years later she told me she'd thought I was nuts. Now she can afford to say that because she's doing all those things. It's not that I foretell the future. I can't do that, or else I wouldn't be doing the things I'm doing. I'd just sit down and say well, I know all that's going to happen. It's fun, but it's like playing a card game, Charles. If you know every hand of every person, the first two or three games are great. By the fourth and fifth, you're bored to death, and boredom isn't a fun thing, although there are times people say to me, "John, you know, if you didn't have any problems, you'd be bored to death." And I say, "Bore me, man, I want to be bored for a short while."

But boredom is not fun, and that's why we have challenges, and that's why we have these things we've got to do, and that's why we have to remember the observer effect in physics, which says that whatever the observer observes changes. Or the observer changes that which he or she observes.

This means, if that's true, and we have our high energy physicists saying that, then it means that if I see my world a little differently, it will change to be the way I want it to be. If I'm scared of my world, it means that it will be a scary world.

You know the little saying, "Two men looked through bars, one saw mud, the other saw stars."

Or, "That thou seest, man become, too, thou must; God, if thou seest god; dust if thou seest dust."

It's whatever it is we see with the inner eye and either love or are afraid of. That's what we'll bring into our lives. That's where the whole luck thing is.

CML: By the way, John, one thing we haven't talked about much is Power Pause. And this is one of the main reasons I was impressed with you in the first place. Could you tell us about your website, powerpause.com?

John: Okay. One of the things I'm going to do, because a funny thing happened not long ago, Charles, somebody said, "Power paws, is that something for cats? They've got paws that are powerful?" So I spell it for them P-O-W-E-R-P-A-U-S-E a power pause, pausing with power. Powerpause.com.

The reason I put that together is, I have known many teachers of all religions, all philosophies, experts and whatnot, and there are so many people who teach you this and that, and they all work ­ all these things work ­ but in our society today, we don't have two hours for meditation. We don't have two hours for the silence. And if you want to try various forms of this sort of thing, that's great ­ if you have the time and the money.

So what I did, I took all the complicated things I have ever learned from all the friends and teachers that I've had, and from what I knew within my heart, put them together in three little steps. Three principles. That's all. Not complicated at all. Three principles that anyone could do in three minutes, a number of times a day. And if they do that, as you probably can attest, Charles, if they do that, their entire world changes. Becomes a beautiful, brilliant, great world out there instead of a scary world.

This thing was written at the simplest level so that anybody could use it. And it's not written in a how-to fashion. It's not: you do this and you do that and you do the other, and this is going to happen ­ no. It's written as a story, a teaching story, and as you read that, you remember the story. The truth is buried within the story. A simple formula, three minutes, three steps to personal success and real happiness.

CML: We're almost out of time, but do you have any parting words of special advice to readers who're still trying to get in touch with their own spirituality?

John: Yes. First, start trusting yourself. Don't force yourself to find your spirituality. Don't force yourself to grow into spirituality. You don't have to. It's like a fish looking for water. You are already as spiritual as you could ever be. All you have to do is remember that. Don't feel guilty, have an open mind, learn to trust yourself, learn to care, learn to switch focus, and learn to be you as brilliantly as possible. Don't worry about competition. Don't worry about the problems. The problems came from something that's in your mind anyway. Examine what you believe and ask yourself why do I believe what I believe, because all that we're living, all that we're doing, we're doing it through the invisible system of our beliefs. Change your beliefs, change the way you look at the world, change the way you look at people, and your entire world changes with you. It just can't help but be that and do that.

CML: John, this has been exciting. You've given us some wonderful things to think about. On behalf of our listeners, I'd like to thank you for being with us today.

John: Thank you, Charles. It was my pleasure to be able to spend a little time with you, and I really enjoyed it and I hope your listeners get a little bit out of it.

CML: You can find John on the Internet at http://www.insights2000.com, http://www.powerpause.com and http://www.mindmarketing.com. And your newest website, soon to be opened, http://www.enterprisingspirit.com.

John, thanks again.

John: Thank you, Charles.

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