These are troubling times we are living in these days. With a raging virus, the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetimes, attempting to cripple us, the opposite is happening. We, as people, are becoming stronger. We are growing closer together.

I had to make a trip to Costco tonight, and it was a sight I had never seen before. Pallets stacked six high in two rows leading into the entrance. I felt like I was being herded into the store like they herd horses into a corral after being caught. Extra workers watching the people entering, scanning the crowd. As you entered, you saw the signs saying what they sold out and what was available toiletry wise. They sold most items out and no date of when you could expect them.

The crowds were smaller today than the past few days. They swarmed Costco with overflowing crowds that they didn’t expect. Thus, the pallets. People seemed preoccupied compared to a “normal” day. People weren’t making eye contact. That stuck out to me the most. People who would normally brush by you or bump into you were keeping their distance. Maybe it was the signs reminding us to keep a “social distance” of six feet between carts.

In one way it was nice. People were polite to each other and waited for you to cross their path instead of just plowing forward in blind oblivion. Everyone either nodded a greeting or gave a forced smile but you could see them all sizing you up asking themselves if you were the one who would get them sick.

Everyone who worked in the store wore rubber gloves. The kind doctors and plumbers wear. Everything smelled like cleaner in the store. Much more than usual. One woman was wearing plastic food serving gloves that were big but kept her hands from touching anything. A few people wore masks and you could see the snickers it drew from some, but you could tell it made them nervous.
They opened alternative check stands, every other one to keep the social distancing. I watched as the checkers cleaned the check stands before opening them up to the customers. Something I have never seen before. Not like this.

There was a nervous tension in the air, and you could feel it. You could see it in the people’s eyes and in their mannerisms. But what stood out the most was people were kind. There was no pushing or shoving, no impatience if someone stopped pushing their cart for a minute, no foul words being hurled for bumping into somebody. Just patience and kindness.

As we all go through this, we must prepare for things to get worse before they get better. Times will get tougher. Things will get harder. It will be more difficult to do some things that we never gave a moment’s thought to before. They will cancel gatherings. Parties will be re-scheduled. They will not play entire seasons. Plays will not perform, and they will not show movies not shown in our homes. Dining out or going to a bar will be a thing of the past for a short while.

It’s times like these that we remember that we are no longer us against them, you against me, right verses left. We are all just neighbors trying to get through this. As best as we can.
You will have choices to make in the coming days that concern your life and the lives of associates, friends, and loved ones. You will weigh the decisions heavily and do the best you can to make the right decisions. This you can count on.

One book I read tells me that “everything I need is already here”. That means you already have the answers to the questions you have. You just need to trust the answer. Trust but do not “blindly” trust. Vet them first. During trying times like these, it’s easy to “hear” the wrong answer based on what we “want” to hear.

Here are a few simple qualifications for the answers to know you can trust them.
1. If it brings harm to another human, it’s most likely the wrong decision. These are times we need to help and not harm each other.
2. If it doesn’t benefit your spirit by enriching you, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Right decisions enrich everyone involved.
3. If it means being “right” verses being “kind,”, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Be kind. It will spread, and we need kindness to spread right now.
4. If it means you live your life in fear, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Live smart, not in fear.
5. If it means taking an us versus them attitude, it’s most likely the wrong decision. Now, more than ever, we need to stick together. It will take ALL of us, side by side, to get through this. And we will.

Last, my advice to all of you is to remember, this too shall pass. It will be like having gallstones. It will be painful and hard to endure, but it WILL pass. Of this, you can be sure.

Stop repeating what never worked.

Stand back and ask for a new solution.

— Deepak Chopra


CHANGE—why is it so hard?  Why do we dread it?  Why do we put it off until we can’t bear the pain of not changing?  If change were easy, you wouldn’t be reading this book, and I wouldn’t have written it.  If it were easy, we would all be doing it willingly and frequently.  Complacency is a dream killer.  We feel its effects in our lives, which is a good thing. It creates a realization in us that there is a need to change.  Change causes us to develop, expand, become more us, grow into our best selves, and become happier.  Change causes us to become our own thought leaders, the internal force that inspires and drives us.


So, how do we know whether we need to change and when?  By asking ourselves what we desire and why we desire it. Finding our why can be as simple or as difficult as we make it. For a minute, or a few, focus deeply on what you don’t like about that thing you don’t want, that thing you want to change.  What is it that makes you sick or disgusted, angry or bored, ashamed or afraid, frustrated or over it?  What makes you lose sleep at night?


Here’s where discernment comes in.  If your why is that you want to approval, then you want to change yourself for someone else.  But someone else’s doesn’t matter, remember?  We just learned that in the previous chapters.  If you’re to like yourself more, you must reach a point where you Love yourself, with no conditions needed.  With that said, wanting change for awakening, actualizing your potential, healing, letting go of what doesn’t serve you, or integrating self-discoveries is the best reason and motivator to change. And with these kinds of changes, all our future experiences in life will shift for the better.  Along those lines, if your why is to be healthier or feel more vitality or happiness, there is no better motivation for change.


Most take better care of their cars than they do their mind-body-spirit selves.  Although everything in life is temporary, including life itself, you’re here for a stretch, and you want that stretch to feel the best and easiest it can feel.  You’re the only you, the only you that will ever exist.  You’re one of a kind.  Changing for yourself is your right and your responsibility. Make sure that the change you are making is for you and only for you, to be the best YOU for you.   An added benefit of that is that when you change for yourself, your change will automatically, naturally, and positively affect those around you.


So, how do we begin the change?  The easiest way to begin, especially the change we’ve been putting off or debating, is the same method we used to determine whether we need to change.  Ask yourself why you want to make the changeAre your why’s  rooted in desires?  What are you desiring that you think this change will satisfy?  Find out all your why’s, and go to the heart of them, the core desire underneath the why, and write them down on a card, note, or whiteboard or bulletin board.  Then, you’re ready to do the next step—make them stick.


How do you make changes stick? Here are a few steps and methods to create change that works.


Envision yourself and your life without that thing you do not want anymore, or with that thing you want. What would your life look like then?  How would you feel then?  What would you be able to do, be express, have, or experience then?  What else would change from that change being completed? Take notes on your vision. Write the details of what your situation will look like after the change and what it feels like.  This step really helps you see yourself as if the change already happened and supplies the content for the next step in making the change effective.


Divide the change or goal into mini changes. When people are serious about wanting to change something, they often set the bar too high: I will lose 100 pounds in six months.  When they don’t reach their lofty goal, the conditioned response of mental shame and self-critical tapes begin again: I’m a loser; She was right; I shouldn’t have tried this; I’m just no good at this.  Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.  Be kind to yourself.  Divide your big goal or change into smaller, reachable pieces and start simple until you find the pace that feels reachable. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.  You’re not in a race.  You’re not competing with anyone.  This is your life.  You design it to feel good and right to you.  When something feels good, we stick with it.  When we find our rhythm, we know it.  You can always adjust your pace as you get more confident in and inspired by your stride and abilities.  You will feel good about yourself, and that is the goal, besides aligning with your desired intention. 


An intention is a statement or declaration of what you will do, say, think, believe, be, or experience.  Thousands of years ago, the sages of India came to observe that we shape our ultimate destinies with our deepest intentions and desires.  Everything that happens in the universe begins with a desire, followed by an intention. Whether I’m buying a birthday present, working on a project, or calling a friend, I start with a desire and then set an intention that will satisfy that desire.  When you clarity and set an intention, write it down on the same note or card that you wrote the desire that created the intention, and keep that card or note somewhere that you will see every day.


In his article, “5 Steps to Setting Powerful Intentions,” Deepak Chopra, M.D., founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, explained:


“Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or Love. An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish. My book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the Law of Intention and Desire, lays out the five steps for harnessing the power of intention to create anything you desire.


  1.  Slip into the Gap


Most of the time, your mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Beyond this noisy internal dialogue is a state of pure awareness that is the place called the gap. One of the most effective tools we have for entering the gap is meditation. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the silence and stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.


  1.  Release Your Intentions and Desires


Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to plant your intentions is during the period after meditation, while your awareness remains centered in the quiet field of all possibilities. After you set an intention, let it go — stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.


  1.  Remain Centered, in a State of Restful Awareness


Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need. Stay centered and refuse the influence of other people’s doubts or criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.


  1.  Detach from the Outcome


Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty. We base attachment on fear and insecurity, while I base detachment on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self. Intend for everything to work out as it should; Then allow opportunities and openings to come your way.


  1.  Let the Universe Handle the Details


Our focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion. Trust that infinite organizing power to orchestrate the complete fulfillment of your desires. Don’t listen to the voice that says you have to be in charge, that obsessive vigilance is the only way to get anything done. The outcome you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. You have released your intentions into the fertile ground of pure potentiality, and they will bloom when the season is right.”



The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become,

and act as if what you want is already there,

the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate

to transform your dream into your reality.

— Wayne Dyer


Writing is one of the most powerful and rapid methods to manifest what we want. Don’t type your desires, why’s, visions, and intentions.  Write them.  There is a different, more integrative energy and sensory process that affects our mind-body-heart connection when we pick up a pen or pencil and write, which does not happen when we type on a computer.  When you write each of these desires with intentions, make a few copies.  Don’t photocopywrite the copies.  The more we write it, the more deeply we plant the energy of our intention and form the new belief that will take us there.


Place these writings in clear sight of you in your daily actions.

The more we see something, the more it reminds us, the more it roots in our awareness, and the deeper it goes into our subconscious.  Keep a copy of your intention (s) in your wallet or purse, in a place where it will be visible by you each time you open your wallet or purse. When you feel weak, sad, shamed, fearful, or doubtful, pull it out to remind yourself why you are doing it.  Put another copy in a place you will see first thing in the morning, on the bathroom mirror, and last thing at night, next to your bed.  Put a copy in the kitchen, in the car, on the TV, on your computer frame, as a screensaver, and anywhere you can see it.


Read them aloud.

As you see each one throughout the day and night, read it out loud.  The energy of the voice resonates inside the heart.  When the mind hears you speak the intention you desire, the body feels it, and the heart will believe that it is.  Don’t worry about what others might think.  Just do it.  The positive change resulting from your readings will be powerful.


Get an accountability partner.

Being accountable is a great support resource for many people who need help to stay on track to accomplish any goal or change. If you’re being accountable only to yourself, and you don’t enjoy staying on track, who will know if you cheat or give up?  Who will encourage you to keep going?  Who will remember your why when you have temporarily forgotten or lost your way?  Choose an accountability partner who will commit to holding you accountable and reminding you of your why’s, your vision, and how deeply you desire the change. Make sure your accountability partner is someone you respect, someone who respects you, and someone who will always be honest with you.


Track Your Victories. 

Note and celebrate your victories, both large and small.  Create a journal—a Victory Journal. Write every victory, no matter how small. When you feel as if you’re pushing a heavy boulder up a steep mountain, you will need inspiration. Pull out the journal and read it out loud. When you hear yourself saying it, it registers on a subconscious level, and you will begin believing it. Reward yourself for the large victories. Count the small wins as steps toward the reward for the big one. Buy yourself a new something, treat yourself to a meal out, or celebrate in a way that’s meaningful to you.


Just be careful not to reward yourself with old habits or self-defeating, weakening rewards, like chocolate, gambling, a night out drinking, a shopping spree, or a whole day off from work when you have deadlines and commitments. You must face a whole new bushel of shaming self-talk and end up lower down the ladder.


Know that you can always push reset. 

What happens if you fall lower on the ladder and don’t stay on track in your efforts to change?  What happens if you give up before you reach your goal?  What happens if you make a mistake or you cheat?  Remember from Chapter 3 that everything happens for a reason.  Failures are lessons that teach us what did not work or something about ourselves or our desire that will help us get clearer and more certain. Failures never identify who we are.


Realizing that life offers learning with each slip, miss, or shift gives us an opportunity to experience and awaken to something new. Remember imagining when you first learned to walk and saying, after your first fall, “Well, that was a major mistake. I failed.  I guess I’m not meant to walk.” Failure is not the end.  It’s an opportunity to see what worked and what didn’t, try something new, and strengthen your walking muscles.  It’s a new starting point, a chance to re-calibrate and reset your feet.


You are in a constant state of change, even if you can’t feel it.  Your job is to create the changes you want ahead of time, by knowing what you want and why you want it and setting the wheels in motion with your intention.  You create your destiny.  You have the power to do so because; You are Great!


You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention.

As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed.

As your deed is, so is your destiny.

— The Upanishads, Vedic text


We base relationships on four principles:

Respect, Understanding, Acceptance, Appreciation

— Mahatma Gandhi


Be it romantic, familial, friendly, physical, emotional, creative, business, social, communal, or spiritual, we base every relationship on four principles: respect, understanding, acceptance, and appreciation.


According to one of the many books I have read on this subject, since the time of Adam and Eve, men and women have struggled with taking responsibility for the way we regard, treat, and behave in our relationships.  When God asked Eve why she ate of the fruit, she answered that the snake had tricked her. When God asked Adam why he ate of the fruit, he answered that the woman (Eve) had tricked him?  When a relationship is struggling, it is typical for each partner to find fault in the other partner.  However, the method of discerning which person needs to take more responsibility in a struggling relationship is simple.  It is the person who complains.


I once knew a person who cared so much for others but could not care for himself.

That person was me. 

— Joseph Binning


For me, relationship was, are, and always have been, one of the most difficult things to understand and navigate.  I’ve struggled with them all of my life, so you might imagine how surprised I was when I found myself inspired to write about them!  I didn’t have much of a relationship with my father, because of his removal from my life at an early age (see my post What I Learned From Being Stuck And Frozen, And Why You Need To Read This).  My only learning in how to be in a relationship came in the first nine years of my life before he left.  That learning came in the form of yelling and screaming to settle arguments, which usually lead to broken dishes.


Conflict resolution and fostering a healthy relationship was not a model I was privy to.  In much of my adulthood, I based the success of my intimate relationships on how much sex we had. My mindset that I believed was, If we just have sex, we’ll become closer.  Sex will solve all our problems.  If we have a lot of sex, we’re fantastic!  Although my childhood experiences might excuse my inability to create and nourish my own healthy relationships, they shouldn’t.


It is our primary responsibility to create a healthy relationship with ourselves if we want to have a healthy relationship with anyone else.


That being said, for my learning, I had to look to others who had a better understanding of what a healthy intimate relationship is, so I could pass this tidbit of guidance on to you.


Intimacy and sex are two different things.  Intimacy starts with our deep, respectful, nurturing, and honest relationship with, and Love for, ourselves.  If we have that as our foundation, we can create the same with others. The truth is: if we have more intimacy with ourselves and our relationships, we will be more intimate.



A definition of Love: happiness that the other person exists.

—Walter Riso

Based on the findings of authors like Walter Riso and Jorge Bucay, the highest value of any relationship lies in the importance of each partner showing gratitude for the gestures of care and affection made toward one another. Neither person takes the partner or the gestures, for granted, but shows recognition and appreciation for them.  In this mutual recognition, appreciation, and gesturing, each partner is co-creating, experiencing, and enjoying a full, healthy Love, or rewarding satisfaction, if referring to less intimate relationships.


In reading Rios’s quote, I noticed that it made no reference to “me” or “I” am receiving anything, other than a feeling of happiness within me, created by my appreciation that my partner exists.


As I grew into adulthood, I fell in Love many times. I attracted and fell in Love mostly with mother figures, women who would take care of me like a mother would take care of her child because I was not taking care of myself. I acted like a man child.  I discovered years later that it was not possible to have a healthy sexual relationship with a mother figure.


When a man acts like a child in a relationship, it forces the woman to act like his mother. The problem with that is, you can’t sleep with your mother!
Joseph Binning


Without consciously knowing it, each of us prevented me from growing up and being the man, I needed to be—and the man they needed me to be, to receive the Love we both deserved. The problem which I realized many years later was that I needed to be Loved verses the desire of wanting to be Loved.  I hadn’t yet learned about, or integrated, the foundational principle of relationships:


You can’t have a healthy relationship unless you are healthy.


Most women are emotional, feeling-oriented beings.  Most men are rational, action-oriented beings. We have been designed in these ways to bring balance into our relationships, to complement one another. A man will trample on a flower.  A woman will notice its beauty and share it, so that the man can see it and come to appreciate it.  The man will remove its thorns before the woman touches it to protect her safety, beauty, and happiness. Balance is the natural order.

The Taoists refer to this as Yin Yang. Yin Yang is the universal balance that embodies the Harmony of opposites.

But, in every relationship, balance comes with responsibilities.  If something is not working, it is the responsibility of both partners to share in working out the solution, though not necessarily in equal parts.  Sharing is something that becomes easier over the long run. It’s not about taking responsibility for all the elements of every problem or splitting them all fifty-fifty.  It’s more about finding a natural balance in our abilities and strengths to care for and nurture the relationship, while always committing to keep the channel of communication and appreciation open.


To share these responsibilities, communication plays a major, fundamental role in the relationship. We can’t make a commitment, take on a responsibility, or reach any kind of agreement without it. We have to be honest and tell the other person what we can and cannot do. It’s a process, with various sub-processes, of continual growth that will work for the benefit of the relationship, and for the benefit of each individual within the relationship, if their Love is healthy.



I’ve always thought the most beautiful response to ‘I Love you’ is: ‘And I can feel your Love.’


— Jorge Bucay



I found an article that really resonated with me on the website Exploring Your Mind that lists the “7 Pillars of Healthy Love:”



  • Respect


Healthy Love is more about quality than quantity. Loving a lot doesn’t mean loving well. Loving well implies respecting, trusting, being honest and mutually supportive, balancing the giving and receiving, maintaining separate identities, maintaining individual sources of interest and happiness, and communicating effectively.  Having self-respect and showing respect for the other person are equally important in the foundation of a healthy relationship.


  • Trust

Trust is not having to verify everything the other person does and says. It’s feeling certain and relaxed in your belief that the other person will stay committed and willing to share both the good moments and the challenging moments.  Trust is also believing in the relationship’s value and its ability to thrive.


  • Honesty

Honesty is being sincere about our feelings, needs, and wants—with ourselves, and with the other person. Being honest with ourselves requires self-inventory.  There can be no sincere and complete exchange for it. This includes being confident that our individual desires, needs, and behaviors don’t violate our partner’s rights.


  • Support

It’s important for each partner to show support for the other, being able to differentiate our needs and happiness from the other person’s needs and happiness, and supporting their growth, in all areas.  Support doesn’t always require action or even words.  Many times, it is non-verbal—a look, a hug, a wink, a thumbs up, a clap, a high five, a kiss, or just showing up.


  • Equality


Every healthy relationship needs a balance between giving and receiving, in which both partners have a responsibility to care for the relationship. Reciprocity is the basis of a healthy, thriving Love. Effective relationships solidified by exchange. When we give Love, we expect Love. When we exchange generosity, we feel a stronger bond of Love.


  • Personal Identity

It’s imperative to maintain our individual, separate identities so that each partner can be all he or she can be. Practicing individualism, where each person keeps self-care, interests, and self-Love alive, is a responsibility each person has to him/herself and his or her partner.  This enables each partner to enter, and continue through the relationship, feeling complete, healthy, and happy already, not needing to feel completed”, healthy, or happy by the relationship, or the partner.


  • Good Communication

Communication is paramount in any relationship.  When we’re trying to achieve a healthy partnership, it’s necessary to have good sending and receiving communication skills, for the basic conversation, and when expressing needs, desires, and gratitude, and in discussions and negotiations. A relationship is two people making many, but not all, decisions together and many times, but not always, sharing a point of view. For a couple to agree, it’s vital to have a calm, open, free, and trust-filled conversation.


Here is an exercise to help you identify who you Love, what you Love about your relationships, and why you Love them.


Take a sheet of paper and make two lengthwise columns. On top of the right column, write “Love.”  On the top of the left column, write “Reason.”  Make a list of all the people you Love and everything you Love about your relationships.  Next to that list, write the reasons you Love them.  Take your time with this. Don’t rush it. Really contemplate it.  After you’ve completed the lists, come back to this page and read the rest of this exercise—don’t read it now.  Wait until you’ve finished writing your lists.  Don’t cheat. Now, stop reading and start your lists.


Later, after you’ve completed your lists:


Read each Love and reason, one at a time, and if the reason centers on you, write “Superficial” next to it.  If it centers on the other person, write “Meaningful” next to it.  Now, look at the people and things you listed that you marked “Superficial” and note any realizations, thoughts, or feelings that come up in you.


Last, examine the names of the people you listed, particularly the order you listed them in.  Note any realizations, thoughts, or feelings that come up in you.


Did you list yourself?  If so, where on the list?  If not, why?  Note any realizations, thoughts, or feelings that come up in you.


To Love someone, you must Love yourself first.  If you have not come to Love, value, and nurture yourself, you have no capacity to do that for another.


Practicing the seven pillars is not a foolproof guarantee of a couple’s successful union or future, but if Love and health are there, these will support a healthy, dignified, fun, growth-oriented, and inspired union for both partners.



Your first job is to work on yourself.  The greatest thing you can do for another human being

is to get your own house in order and find your true spiritual heart.


–Ram Dass

“YOUR opinion of ME is none of MY business!”

— Joseph Binning



Self-Image is the mental picture one has of oneself, of a kind resistant to change, that depicts, not only details available to aim investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, etc.), but also items that you have learned by the person about themselves, either from personal experiences, or by internalizing the judgments of others.  — Wikipedia


Your self-image comprises four mental pictures:

  1. Physical appearance.
  2. Worth because of what you learned through life experiences.
  3. Goodness, because of internalizing the judgments, thoughts, and views of others about you.
  4. Your total self, because of personal beliefs, perceptions, and illusions you have about yourself.


So the question I’m asking you is, how do you picture yourself?  How do you know if the image you see of you is the real you?  One simple way to find an individual’s self-image is by asking yourself, “What do you believe other people’s opinions are of you?  How do you think others see you?”


Ask yourself if what you do, where you go, what you say, or how you act is to be a part of or having a sense of belonging to something?  Do you do these because they feed your soul?  Do you Love because you need to be Love?  Or, do you Love because you need to Love?


Is your sense of happiness, belonging, or worth only made by someone else’s attention, protection, support, or affection? Are you are seeking validation that you are lovable and worthy of loving from things and people outside of you?  Do you base your feelings on fitting in or receiving attention, acceptance, approval, or praise from someone, or something outside of you? If so, you have not identified and integrated your sense of self, your self-value. News flash: you are not what you do, who you do it for, who you are with, how, when, where you fit in, or what possessions surround you.  You are none of that.


How do you know you have not yet identified or integrated a strong sense of self?

If something breaks, if you don’t accomplish something, or if I make a negative comment, would you experience a sense of feeling lower, loss, anger, or even depression. Here’s an example: If I became angry and called you a name, do you think you would you take it personal?  Let’s be crazy for a moment and pretend that I called you an ugly chair. Would it offend you?

What if I took it further and told you you were the most uncomfortable seat I’d ever experienced? What if I told you how weak your legs were? That your back is rickety, you’re painted an ugly color? Or that you should just put yourself out of your misery and take yourself to the dumpster? It’s crazy, I know.  But I am calling you something you are not or telling you my perception of you. Did you get offended because you believed it?

Probably not. Why? Because it’s not true. You are not a chair; you are human.


You put energy and emotion and thought into others’ opinions. 

When someone, whose respect, approval, attention, or Love is something you want or need, calls you foolish or ignorant, or ignores you, do you have a sense of feeling lower, angry, or depressed.  Why?  Because you want them to approve of you and accept you and talk well of you.  Why?  Because you believe what they believe of you is true!


My perception of you is none of your business. 

People’s perception of you is not complete or correct.  People’s opinion of you doesn’t decide your value. No one’s opinion of you determines your truth.

Your opinion of you is what determines your value and truth, and only you are in control of creating that.

Words have power only if you allow them 

How can someone say something to you, you know isn’t true aka the chair example, but believe it? By not knowing who you are. When you define yourself by the words and decisions of others and don’t take the time and dedication to focus and discover the truth of who you are for yourself, you will be forever sensitive to, and weakened by the words, opinions, and actions of others.  Empower yourself by knowing who you are, what you love, what you want, what you can do, and why you are here.


Take this Self-Image Assessment test

Answer the following questions True or False:

  1. Is my glass empty?
  2. I find I apologize for things, or say, “Sorry.”
  3. Do I often hear myself telling myself “I should” be doing this or that?
  4. I find I have a habit of criticizing myself.
  5. Does what other people think about me affects the way I think about myself.
  6. I relive or over analyze my mistakes.
  7. Do you tell yourself I think I have let people who care about me down?
  8. It seems I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.
  9. Do I believe a partial failure equals a complete failure, and I make do it a lot?
  10. I bend over backwards to please people.
  11. I don’t rarely show my emotions.
  12. I’m not sure I’ve done a good job until someone tells me whether I have.
  13. If I don’t do as well at something as others, it’s because I have to try harder than others.
  14. I believe if I can’t do something well, I won’t do it.


Tally your responses by giving yourself one (1) point for every statement that you answered True.


0-4          You have a positive way of thinking and a positive self-image of yourself. Great job!

5-9          You struggle with negative emotions. Review your good qualities every day.

10-14      You are judgmental of yourself. Challenge yourself to change your way of thinking.


Each of you has a story.

You compose your own story of many beliefs and experiences, including the four self-images each of you has see as ourselves.  Your story dictates how you see yourself. Someone was mean and never apologized, so your hurt feelings turn into resentment, which turns into a wound you carry, which causes you to act mean to others.  You don’t accept the feeling of being forgiven for something you’re ashamed of, so you hold back forgiveness for others.  You gave you the message you were not worthy, so you don’t expect the feeling of being worthy, and you allow others to ignore, condemn, use, or abuse you. 

Your minds create negative chatter.

The problem with having a story based on false information is that the mind tells you what to believe and what to listen to. As you listen, you create your realities, based on your mind chatter, your story, and your self-image.

When you create this reality that says: My life looks like this or: or my life should look like this: or I deserve treatment such as this, you end up not liking yourselves for being mean to others, for holding back forgiveness, for allowing others to mistreat or ignore you.  You mistreat yourself, hold back your own emotional nourishment, and put yourself last.  You know you want to change, but don’t know how, because you’re conditioned to believe this story that dictates whether you are deserving of feeling better.


When you believe that this reality you created is how life is.  

When you’re not aware that you have created this, your life becomes an illusion. Your distorted self-image has been growing for so many years it has become entwined into every part of your being, and you cannot see that it is not real, and that it is not a true reflection of who you are.


What is the ultimate and only reason we don’t have a correct, strong, and high self-image? 


Fear keeps us frozen (see my post titled What I Learned From Being Stuck and Frozen and why you need to read this) sometimes for years—sometimes entire lifetimes. Here’s what I mean by fear.

  • The Fear of Disappointing Someone
  • Fear of Failing
  • The Fear of Being Alone
  • Fear of Being Wrong
  • The Fear of Dying
  • Fear of Making the Wrong Choice
  • The Fear of Being Hurt
  • Fear of Making a Mistake
  • The Fear of Feeling Not Good Enough, Smart Enough, Pretty or Handsome Enough, Strong Enough, Capable Enough, Exciting Enough
  • Fear of Not Being Seen
  • The Fear of Not Being Chosen
  • Fear of Being Thought Strange
  • The Fear of Falling


You might tell yourself that you are not afraid; you are just a caring, realistic, concerned, smart, cautious, or even an intentional person.  But if any of these self-defined characteristics cause you to do things other than what you want to, they are running you.  They are inward drivers dictating your behaviors.


Why are you so afraid—aka worried, thoughtful, realistic, concerned, smart, cautious? 

Most of your conditioning is from birth, by everyone who has had an influence on you, causing you to believe that you are not capable, deserving, self-equipped, or powerful on your own and that you may need acceptance, protection, and to be molded and directed.  This false set of beliefs has hypnotized you into a crippling amnesia that has caused you to forget who you are. (Read my post on Mediocrity * not the life you’re here for, for more.)


Despite what life may have taught you, you cannot find the truth outside of yourself, in someone else, or by applying any external remedy. You cannot solve an internal distortion with an external action. No vacation, medicine, food, job, therapy, or relationship can fix a distorted view of yourself and your reality.


How to find your true Self by sitting, with just your Self.  

The way to get to know who you really are is by taking time by yourself, getting to know your Self.  Get to know the parts of the Real You that has always been—the innocent, wonder-filled, joy-seeking fresh Being that is still You, the You who believed in possibility, the You who dreamed and wished and believed, the You who explored and created and pretended. The who made imaginary houses, travels, and worlds.  Your true SELF has no limits and is unstoppable.


“Humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit in a room alone.”

— Blaise Pascal, French Philosopher

The true You is still in you, and so much more. 

Get to know the new parts you haven’t taken time to know yet or integrate—the parts of You-you are becoming, the parts of you that have grown, developed, clarified, and evolved into, and the parts you are visioning for yourself. How do you see your true self? By taking time alone, separating your true Self from everyone else to find out who you are contrary to the world’s opinions, illusions, and dictations.  That is the path to discovering every wonderful, unique, and minute detail that makes you YOU.


You can create what you wish to believe in concerning yourself, if you Choose.  

Choose in this now moment, and from this moment forward, to create a new reality for yourself.  When something doesn’t end up the way you wanted it to, or thought it should, don’t say, “This always happens to me,” instead ask yourself, “How does this affect me? Who am I being with this thinking?  Is this me?  Am I acting like the person I want to be?  How am I feeling scared, angry, controlled, hurt, wrong, not good enough? How do I want to act?  What new learning am I getting from this thinking?  What outcome do I want? How can I create my outcome? How can I own this now moment?  Ask yourself what is a new way or idea of thinking right now?  How do I want to be in this moment?”


How to free yourself from these fears that affect your actions, routine, thoughts, behavior, body, mood, emotions, freedom.


As you lay in bed at night, before you go to sleep, begin a habit of one or more of these practices to own the good in your Self:

  • Focus on what went right today.  What went well with it? What felt good?  Only good.  Don’t do the “High and Low” game.  Don’t focus on what went wrong.  Only do the high.  What did you learn or discover?
  • Go to a place inside of you that feels gratitude for today, but not for things.  Things are fleeting. Focus on moments.  Moments can stay in the mind and heart forever.  Your moments belong only to you.
  • Create a victory journal and write your victories of the day, great and small. When you’re feeling low, re-read the victories and relive them. Remind yourself of your ability to have them.
  • As you lay awaiting sleep, pay close attention to what you let into your thoughts. Remember, a tire does not go flat all at once. It happens slowly. Thoughts are similar. They gather momentum, no matter which way they go.  Refocus your thoughts toward the positive, appreciative, reflective, to keep them from going sour. Fall asleep with the thoughts of the good in our mind.


Remember to stand on the highest place in your story, not on the bottom.

From the moment you make the choice to create a new reality for your Self, you are no longer a victim. Begin small or big, here or there.  It matters not where.  Just begin.  The Tao Te Ching says, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Take the first step, and then the next, and the next.  It’s Amazing how far you will go and how fast you will grow.

From this day forward, live your life by two rules:

  1. No Regrets. Think about everything you do, and the potential consequences good or bad, BEFORE you do them. Then own them.

  2. Always remember my saying, “Your opinion of Me is none of MY business.”

Do not be a prisoner of other people’s opinions of you. When they say something to you you know is not true (remember the chair example) your new answer should be “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Stand tall in YOUR truth. Your NEW story.


The Universe made only one of you.  

There is only one You and You are Perfect.  The world needs your uniqueness, but only when you are being you, not someone else.  It’s your self-image that you are creating, not a duplicate of someone else.

Life rewards the brave, bold, and clear minded. Embrace who you are, with no fear.

Be who you are boldly.  Always be bold in expressing who you are.

You have boldness, bravery, and clarity in you.

Remember, you were born with it.

Now be Great!

This writing is in memory of my Father, who—without knowing it— helped make me the man I am today.

When I was a young boy, my father seemed bigger than life, like most fathers seem to young sons. I looked at him in the same way that I imagine my son Jeremiah looked at me at that age—the Superhero—the towering giant who can fix anything, do anything, and make anything seem better than it is.  We see what we want to see, until we don’t.

Life took him away from me very early in my life, so we never got to have the kinds of deep conversations that my son and I have had. We never shared a beer together. We never ran a half marathon together, never traveled the world together, never went camping, never attended baseball or football games together.  My memories of him are very few, but I have one that will never fade.

I was about seven years old, and we were returning home from somewhere.  We were laughing when he pulled into the driveway. He was good at making me laugh. As we got out, and I looked at him over the roof of the car, all I could see was his head. My superhero dad seemed so small, with only a head and no body.  As I chuckled, I slammed the car door shut with my thumb still in the door.

Screaming at the top of my lungs, crying for him to fix it, I stood frozen, unable to move. What he did next remains forever etched in my mind.

Calmly and gently, but firmly, my father said, “JOSEPH — OPEN THE DOOR.”

At that point in my seven-year life, I had fallen, bumped, smashed, crashed, and broken quite a few objects and body parts.  On those occasions when I’d hurt myself, I’d had seen the alarm in his eyes, sometimes panic.  This time it was different.  His eyes were still, quiet, and wise, as if he knew that he was passing down an important lesson, from a father to his son.

Life guarantees that things will go wrong and we’ll get hurt. Sometimes in those moments, we freeze or panic. The lesson that my father taught me that day is, when those things happen, get calm, breathe—and OPEN THE DOOR. 

My dad reminded me that I have the knowledge, the ability, and the strength to handle the situation. So, I did, I opened the door and I was free. Afterward, he walked me in the house, put my thumb on ice, and did what a good dad does, gave me a bowl of ice cream.  Then, we went to the doctor.  The thumb nail eventually fell off and, to this day, a small section on my left thumb nail doesn’t grow.  That’s just fine with me. When I feel stuck, it’s my reminder to get calm, breathe, and OPEN THE DOOR.

Thanks Dad. 

I was conceived by two people who Loved each other enough to deliver my brother and me into the world and create a family.  Out of his sons, I was my father’s favorite.  As it turned out, he and my mother discovered that they weren’t right for each other and chose separate paths.  It’s a very familiar story. Some in my family have suggested that my father was not equipped, not in the state of mind to be the best example for me. I’ll never know. He took the divorce very hard and was not allowed to see us after they separated.  My last memories of him were watching him sit in his car crying outside of our house.  Without my superhero father, I felt alone.


We moved every year.  My mother struggled alone on a secretary’s salary to raise two boys in Los Angeles, California.  Most landlords wouldn’t allow us to renew the lease, since most months we were late with rent. My brother and I never knew about that—her way of protecting us.


Being the new kid meant you were bullied—unless the other kids thought you were crazy—in which case, they’d leave you alone. I learned early on to pick a fight with the biggest kid on the playground on the first day of school, even if I’d get pulverized, which was the case a fair amount of the time, and the other kids would leave you alone.


I ran away from home a few times. I thought, If I could just find my dad then everything would be alright. I hadn’t yet been told that he was dead.

The cause listed on his death certificate I would later find was suicide.

Alcohol and sleeping pills were apparently somewhat common during that era.  I found out three years after he died, when I was in ninth grade—again, my mother’s way of protecting us.


Although I was a decent student—passing my freshman year with a B+ average—I didn’t feel good enough, ever.  When I was fifteen, my mother dropped me off at the local police station.  From there, I was sent to juvenile hall and sent to live at a boy’s home for troubled youth, called at the time The Pacific Lodge Boys Home.


Woodland Hills, California was a strange place for a boy’s home.  We attended the local public high school, for some sense of normal life.  That worked in theory, but kids can be very cruel. We were referred to as “the Lodge Boys” by the other kids and reminded daily that we were not “normal” kids. Friends were hard to come by, unless they were from the Lodge.  So, most of us just hung out with each other, it created a bond between us.  If someone from school messed with a Lodge Boy-and they usually did—we all came running.

We called ourselves The Band of Wayward Brothers.


The daily schedule at the lodge was designed around individual counseling and occasional family group counseling sessions, with the eventual goal of reuniting each boy into his family unit. I knew I’d never be allowed to return home, that I’d live at the Lodge until I turned eighteen, alone, with no family, no tribe, and no one to belong to—a throw-away child no one wanted.  One minute you belonged to something—be it healthy or dysfunctional, it was your tribe, your family—and the next minute, it’s taken away.  You’re suddenly, unexpectedly, bewilderingly alone.  After losing my dad as a child, I felt alone.  Now I truly was alone and lost.


The multiple dorm residential facility had several counselors who worked and slept there during their shifts.  One of my counselors, Cane, was a social worker. He was a warm, laid-back surfer guy, and was always nice, Cane seemed to genuinely care and never judged us.  I was horrible to him. Most of us were. We were a group of angry, hurt boys, deposited in a home for troubled youth, who felt alone in the world.


Out of the hundred, or so, kids at the Lodge that Christmas, only two of us were not welcomed home to be with our family for the holiday. My friend Patrick and I wouldn’t be going home, which meant that our counselor Cane, who’s shift was that night, had to stay at the dorm with just the two of us, instead being of home for Christmas with his family.


Little did we know, Cane had asked, and was granted permission, to take Patrick and me off campus for Christmas.  We didn’t know what we were getting into, but it was better than being at the Lodge for Christmas.


Cane picked us up on Christmas Eve and off we went on what he called

“Cane’s Christmas Present Run”, visiting friends of his to exchange presents and Christmas wishes.  Not once did any one of them make us feel awkward for being there, even though they knew where we were from.  The day ended at his mother’s house with homemade Christmas dinner and all the fixings.  It was a real family dinner with lots of food and lots of people, none of whom made either of us feel left out or unwelcome. Cane and his mother gave presents to Patrick and me—no ugly sweaters or generic or cheap items—genuine gifts they put thought into selecting just for us. I had never known that kind of generosity.  I didn’t understand it.  I’ll never forget that day for as long as I live.


When he brought us back the next day, I asked him why he was being so nice to me.  He said,


“My job, Joe, is to Love you enough, until the day comes when you are able to Love yourself that much.”


I have never forgotten his words, though I didn’t know what that meant at that time.

My life changed that day. I have had my ups and my downs.

I’ve been homeless to homeowner. Not an easy task in California.

Unemployable to a nationally recognized business owner.

Poor and broke, to not having to worry about being evicted.

A 15-year-old throw away child to a sitting Board Member of the San Diego Center for Children I affectionately call The Pacific Lodge Boys Home South.

A lost boy, to world traveler, knowing now that not all those who wander are lost.

Multiple Ironman triathlon finisher

And now new author of a book titled “You Matter, even if you don’t think so” that will be published next year.



To the next generation of Wayward Brothers and Sisters, or anybody who thinks they are stuck and frozen, here is what I have learned along the way. I hope it helps you.

  1. Good people make bad decisions, that doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes it a bad decision.
  2. Forgive easily and often. Others and especially yourself. Remember, there is only one perfect, and we aren’t it.
  3. You are not broken, and therefore do not need “fixing”. You are perfect, just the way you are.
  4. Life rewards the brave, so be brave. Take a chance, on yourself and others.
  5. Knowledge is only potential, but action is power. Knowing what to do is only half the equation. Take that leap of faith.
  6. Decide to be the best you, just for you. You deserve it.
  7. Love yourself first with all your heart. Those around you will benefit more.
  8. Be your own best friend first. And don’t let him or her down or cut them any slack.
  9. Just because someone says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. They have the right to an opinion, but you also have the right to choose to not believe it.
  10. Happiness is a choice, not a place, thing, moment, or a person so stop chasing it. Only YOU can make YOU happy.
  11. Everything in life is a precious gift. Treat it as such. Don’t disregard it or you WILL lose it.
  12. Everything happens for a reason, figure out why. There are NO mistakes in life, only lessons.
  13. Lastly, and most importantly,




If this helped you, spoke to you, or made you think of someone who needs to read this please leave your comments and/or share it.

I was like, ‘If I don’t change my mind,

if I don’t change my heart,

if I don’t develop some skill,

 I’m always going to be sleeping in my car.’

Tony Robbins

Mediocre is: “of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate; not satisfactory; poor; inferior.”

Many have chosen a life of mediocrity.  They have settled and lowered their standards, to accept what is barely adequate. Most don’t know why or how, and they don’t always know ahead of time that they are about to do it.  They probably don’t realize that they do it, or that they have a history of doing it.  You may even be thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Take a deep breath, open your heart and mind for a few minutes, and hear me out.


When you began this life of yours, you didn’t intend to have any relationship, job, health, body, creativity, adventures, or life experiences that were less than fulfilling, or just ordinary. Yet here you are, less than fulfilled with life, perhaps slightly jaded, tired or sick, in pain, or maybe worse.


Have you consciously, or unconsciously, chosen that which appears safe, low- or risk-free, or that which pleases others, over what is right, uplifting, exciting, and pleasing to you?  How often have you taken the safe road, or the leftover choice, or the smaller pile, or the lesser value, even though you didn’t like it or want it?  Why?


Less than ten percent of college graduates work in the field of their degree. Most spend most of their adult years working at a job they can’t stand, for people they don’t respect, with people who bring them down, in an environment that makes them depressed, stressed, in pain, or sick.  Why do you think that is?


Less than ten percent of Americans own and operate a small business.  Are you one of the ten percent?  Or, are you one of the ninety percent?  Why is that?  Do you think the ten percent are smarter than you, more capable than you, more creative than you, more skilled or gifted than you, better than you, more deserving than you? If you think yes to any of these, you’re under the influence of a false belief.  If you think that those ten percent want their work life to be better than ordinary and are willing to take risks, if necessary, to have that, you are absolutely right.  If you think they are not afraid, you are mistaken.  They just don’t let fear get in the way of their focus and vision.  They do not settle for mediocrity.


Yes, they are risk takers, but so are the ninety percent who haven’t taken the risk and followed their passion to create their own businesses.  Think about it.  What risks do we take when we don’t step out and try something new, scary, or difficult?  What risks do we take when we don’t reach for something that we want, create something that excites us, try something that enlivens us, go for something that inspires us, or learn something that challenges us?  What happens when we settle?


This is what happens:  we disappoint ourselves; we lose faith in our abilities; we lose happiness; we affect others around us; we weaken ourselves; we co-depend on others; we stay in discomfort, depression, or suffering; we shrink ourselves; we settle for less; we get sick; we lose our energy; we give up on ourselves; we let others down; we lose our selves; we fall into mediocrity, or worse.  A much heavier load awaits those who don’t risk taking a chance on themselves.


Why do we settle for a mediocre life, relationship, job, health, experiences?  Why do we measure ourselves by the standards and opinions of others?  Why do we suppress our desires and shrink our dreams?  Why do we care more about the opinions, words, ideas, needs, and desires of others than we do our own?  Why are we afraid?  What is the ultimate reason we are living a mediocre life? 


We do that because we believe we are not good enough.  We do that because we don’t want to have more or better than others who have not.  Why?  Because others convince us that we should settle.  Because we were taught that we’re nobody special, and we can’t have what we want, and no one’s life is perfect anyway, and we will have to settle, because life is hard, and that only the strong, lucky, smart, active, educated, supported people can start that business, audition for that role, try out for that competition, paint that masterpieces, have that relationship, look that way, live that way.


From birth, those in our familial, communal, religious, educational, societal, political, and/or cultural environments have—mostly unintentionally—conditioned us to:


  • forget who we are, forget what we’re capable of, and why we’re here
  • believe that we’re here to please and serve everyone over ourselves
  • care about and follow what others do, say, and think, over what we want, think, and know
  • believe that we are not capable or deserving of creating the life we desire if others don’t
  • believe that we need to be approved of and included in some existing group, rather than freely following our independent compasses
  • forget that we are born free.


Of all of life’s creatures, we are the only species that gets up or keeps going when we’re tired, force ourselves to sleep when we’re not tired, to go to a job that we don’t want, and live a life of self-inflicted suffering.   We do that rather than take the risks in the areas that give us the most vitality, joy, and self-empowerment.  And, inside, we feel the guilt and the burden of giving up on ourselves, so we push ourselves in other ways, convincing ourselves that we must, all the while, settling deeper into mediocrity.



Pause to Write.  


Write your thoughts on the following.  If a response doesn’t come easily, pass it and go to the next.  Come back later if you have a new awareness on any that you skipped.


If you didn’t have to go to the job you have now, would you?  


Are you doing what you’ve had to do?  Or, are you doing what you Love to do?


If you had a choice (and you do), would you do things differently?


If you stopped looking backward, and if you stopped regret, what would you change?


What’s holding you back?


Are you afraid of what others might think?


Whose life are you living?  If not yours, why?


Are you still wishing, reaching, hoping?


If not, what stopped you?


When did you first learn to settle for mediocre?


Where have you cared more about the opinions, words, and ideas of others than your own?


Where have you given yourself away, suppressed your vitality, or shrunk yourself?


Who did you learn that from?


When did you stop being excited and riding the momentum of your ideas, desires, wishes, and dreams?


What desires have you suppressed?


What dreams have you downsized or buried?



A dream is something you eat, sleep, live, and breathe. You think about it and refine it so that you can’t see any separation between you and the dream.  You are intertwined. Nothing will stop you from getting it. It’s that important to you.  When I ask people if they have a dream, almost all of them say yes. So why don’t they act on it? Why don’t they start that business venture? Why don’t they go back to school?  Change careers?  Sell their house?  Move to that country? Build that widget? Travel the world?  Buy a sailboat?  Learn to play music?


You can tell the size of a person’s dream by how much it takes to put it aside.  Think about that. You have a wish to lose those fifteen pounds.  You know you should.  You really, really want to.  Yet, you put it aside for the immediate gratification of the ice cream, beer, pasta, piece of chocolate, or cheeseburger. Why?  


Because it is just a wish in your mind.  Because you somehow learned that dreams don’t come true.  You’ve tried before and didn’t make it.  You don’t want to be disappointed.  You don’t believe in yourself.  Or, you want to believe in yourself, but you might make someone else feel bad who isn’t pursuing their dream.  Or, someone has told you that your dream is too big.  So, you put it aside.  You don’t allow yourself to imagine anymore, or as big as before.  You stop visioning, in vivid color, what you will look like, feel like, be like, or be able to experience by reaching for and realizing your dream.  You forget the feel of the power of the dreaming.  You no longer allow your passion to electrify you.



Pause to write.


You may not remember but allow yourself to think back. Before the world told you that you couldn’t do it, you had a dream. You felt good.  You were excited.  You were energized.  You couldn’t wait to start another day.  You wanted to do something. You wanted to expand and explore. You wanted to create something. You wanted to go somewhere. Can you remember what you wanted?


Knowing that you can make a different choice, what do you want to do differently?

Where do you want to live?

What do you want to do?

What kind of work do you really want to do?

What do you dream of?

Whose destiny are you creating?

When will it be time to start consciously creating your own destiny?  Your own happiness?



I attended a seminar lead by one of the top Transformational Life Coaches in the United States, Lisa Nichols.  In sharing her inspiring story, she impressed upon us the importance of:


  • Not living an average life
  • Realizing that life is not promised
  • Knowing that we cannot wait for the right time
  • Being uncomfortable with mediocrity


She asked us, “What if extraordinary was your birthright? How would you act?


So, I ask you, what if everyone has been wrong?  What if all the teachers and officials and parents and religious leaders taught us the wrong information?  What if they didn’t know, because they were just following the same recipe that had been handed down for generations, afraid to challenge it or change it, or attempt a bigger recipe?  What if we really are extraordinary?  What if having an extraordinary life is our birthright?


Let me tell you once more:  You were not born just so-so.  You were never barely adequate. You were not born so that you could live a mediocre life.  You were born special and capable. You are powerful and valuable. You are born worthy of living a brilliant and beautiful life.  You are one of the four great powers. You are GREAT!


To shift from believing that you must settle for mediocrity, to knowing that you are extraordinary, you must know that you are your own rescue. You are your own remedy.  Not your government, not your justice system, not your educational institution, not your parents, not your children, not your friends, not your partner, not your job, not your possessions.  




[Source] is the mother of the Universe. For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao.

The Tao is great. The Universe is great. Earth is great. Man is great.

These are the four great powers.

— Tao de Chang