Feeding Yourself

The phrase "feeding yourself" kind of follows Maslow's heirarchy, doesn't it?

When you're broke, feeding yourself means finding enough food.

Later, it might be more about choosing between caviar and truffles.

After you get enough toys and truffles, you start to bump into those tricky "self-actualization" issues.

Picture this- in Zen mythology there is a character who's figured it out. He was probably born into royalty, although nobody's really sure. He's achieved material success and turned his back on it. He lives in the hills, enjoys good wine, and gets a kick out of making fun of the serious monks.

He's figured out that we already live in the garden, and he's making the most of it.

Come to think of it, most pictures and statues of Buddha picture him smiling, don't they?

A careful reading of the world's spiritual texts- the ones that absolutely resonate with the crystal inevitability of truth- will turn up no references to material possessions as the path to happiness.

And yet... what do we spend our time on?


Listen to Yo Yo Ma, the cellist, when he talks about playing his cello. Even after decades of playing the cello, his most treasured moments are the ones where he caresses his cello and draws transcendent music from it.

When he talks about his cello, and his relationship with it, you can feel the rich, centuries old wood, see the deep grain, and hear the timeless tone as his bow brings the strings and wood to life. He loves what he does.

He doesn't care if he's alone or in front of thousands- he's feeding his soul by playing his cello.

He's also become stunningly wealthy- but he didn't get rich by focusing on money.

I get the same feeling from the internet marketing gurus I've met- the ones who have gone to the stratosphere of marketing. They're not focusing on money. They've got bags of the stuff.

I think that's why Joe Vitale's Spiritual Marketing philosophy feels so right to me. I can testify that you can make piles of money following his marketing strategies, but I can also testify that making money is the by-product of the process, not the goal.

When you listen to the real superstars in marketing you realize quickly that their goals are not strictly about themselves. Yeah, they arrive in nice cars and go home to nice houses, but that's not their focus.

Joe's seminar last January in Austin was my introduction to the world of marketing, and I quickly realized a couple of things:

1. If you diligently follow the strategies of ANY of the speakers, you will make a consistent income.

2. The really successful speakers were happy to teach you how to make money, but what they wanted to talk about was the way they were making the world a better place with their money. One speaker goes to poor villages in Mexico and provides medicine and medical care. Another funds a foundation that provides scholarships to bright kids who can't afford college. Another works with economically challenged young athletes. They were feeding themselves by feeding others.

The general consensus was that the more they gave, they more they got- financially and spiritually. They also seemed to be having a lot of fun, which is hard to do if you narrow your focus to just enhancing your own financial position.

What are you going to do?

How are you going to make the world a better place while you're feeding yourself?

Pat O'Bryan is the Director of the Milagro Research Institute and co-author of "The Myth of Passive Income," "The Think and Grow Rich Workbook," and "Effortless E-Books." He's the publisher of "Milagro World," the e-zine for inner-directed marketers. Pat also is a recording artist and performer who tours Europe several times a year and has five CD's available at Magic Valley Records. He lives in Wimberley, Texas with his partner Betsy and their three children.

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