Why You Don’t Always Get What You Want

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Scientists are continually changing their understanding of how the universe works. The old Newtonian principles don’t always apply. Now there is quantum physics, which doesn’t always work either … and that leads to string theory. Don’t worry, this is not going to go into a rant about scientific theory of how the world is.

Instead, I want to look at a principle many people use in life, and especially in wealth building. It’s the old “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I’m sure you’ve heard it. It leads to that 180 degrees of right/wrong, yes/no, and win/lose. But is that how the world really works? Drop a pebble in the water, where does the reaction occur?

When you drop a pebble in the water, the energy flows out, at 90 degrees. Look at the ripples. It’s an easy principal to demonstrate. Buckminster Fuller, the guru’s guru, discussed this phenomenon, called “precession,” in detail. (You’ll hear his teachings taught by many of the most popular seminar presenters today.)

So, how does this work when it comes to wealth building? Buckminster Fuller gave us another example, that of the bumble bee. The bee buzzes around searching for nectar and in the process, pollinates crops. It’s not action, and reaction at 180 degree. It’s action, and an amazing result at 90 degrees.

I see so many people who get stuck in their business in the two dimensional world of yes/no, right/wrong and especially win/lose. They don’t see that there are other options and instead work in a scarce universe with limited possibilities.

The search for wealth, just for money’s sake, often leads to family and personal loss. I talked to a client this past week who told me the story of a former business colleague who became obsessed with making money. The more money he had, the more he wanted. He funded illegal and immoral activities, just because the money was so good. He bragged about his son who came up with a new product to evade police during illegal activities. His son developed the product, sold it and made a fortune. He loved the thrill, and he kept searching for bigger and better highs. Now, he’s in rehab, with destroyed relationships.

On the other hand, if your business focuses on what you do well, have great passion for and fulfills a real need for consumers, you will find money. Add a desire to help the common good and you have a sustainable formula for building community that will take your business beyond anything you could dream.

Precession teaches us that life occurs at right angles. What you seek, is not always what you get. Focus on money, and you might get money, but you’re sure to have extra hurt because of it. Focus on creating a difference, and you’ll get more than you ever thought you would.


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