Thursday, September 22, 2005


Over the past couple of weeks, I experienced a number of events that lead me to believe that we have all adopted a mantra of "What Price Glory"! Last week I received in the mail an invitation to the 11th Annual Worldwide Luminary Series: Leading to Greatness; Building True Success. Count the number of times the word success is mentioned in the pamphlet content;

* Building True Success
* Achieving Success involves a combination of skill, insight, and discipline
* Leading to Greatness: Building True success is an unparalleled opportunity for you to take that major step to build true success for both you and your organization
* You'll learn the strategies behind success, ideas that are on the forefront of leadership, and how to take yur entire organization to then next level of productivity, opportunity, and success
* Spend a day with many of the foremost thought leaders and innovators in the world. Their insights will help you do more than just succeed. This program will enable you to build new success that can achieve greatness both in your organization and in your life. Don't miss this one-time opportunity!

So let me get this straight- for $299 bucks...$249 if I register early I get to sit and listen to the likes of Rudy Guiliani, Richard Branson, Jack Welch and Carly Fiorina etc inspire me on their stories of how they have achieved greatness. Because after all I have the power to achieve greatness as well and I need to make the most of it, according to this brochure. The real message comes in the box on the front page, which says; "WE MUST BUILD TRUE SUCCESS IN OUR LIVES AND WORK".

The message is indeed as clear as a Tony Robbins infomercial at 3 a.m.,if you don't get off the couch and call for my tapes, you are destined to a life of failure and unhappiness, and if you don't believe me you can certainly believe Liza Gibbons, who hosts the show, and who by the way gets paid big bucks for that. As did Fran Tarkenton and others who act as testimonials for all the alleged gurus of the "paid programming" hall of fame.

So what to make of the heretofore mentioned Worldwide Luminary Series. Whenever indiviudals become mesmerized by "famous people", these people become the measuring stick for true success. Whether they are movie stars, milllionaires, or world leaders. The people I admire most are Martin Luther King, Gandi, Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela. Why, because their success is measured by accomplishments of the human spirit. I believe many people sabotage their own llves by believing that unless they attain the lofty heights of greatness and success measured by the likes of Richard Branson or Donald Trump, they really won't have it all. And after all isn't that the American way,to have it all, that's why we live in America. And by the way, I can tell you as a Canadian citizen, the people here are not immune to that belief system either. It's just tempered by a socialistic political ideology.

Last night I was invited to a seminar given by a colleague of mine, who took great lengths to tell me he was on the same path as I was and that we should do business together, by referring my star client base to his seminars. It's amazing what happens when you write a book, people come out of the woodwork that you haven't talked to for years to either support you or ride the bandwagon. I've been pretty good at sniffing out what's real and what's fluff. But this one fooled me . I truly believed he was who he said he was becoming. To his credit he did say that I should see his performance, as he put it, before I recommend my clients. Thank goodness I did.

I went to the seminar with an open mind and within the first 10 minutes I had that old "Tony Robbins" dejavu feeling. As many of you know I was one of the early franchise owners for Tony and one of the requirments was to have information sessions for prospective customers. Of course, we were always told to have converts in the room with testimonials at the ready on how this program changed their life.

As I scanned the room, I noticed how the "newbies" were kind of squirming in their seats, while the converts were raising their hands and saying "yes" at the appropriate prompting of my friend, the leader. The standard set of questions were evoked, like they are at all good info motivational self-help sessions, Eg:; "How many of you want to have success and wealth in your life"? How many of you want to learn the 7 secrets of the top millionaires in the world"? "How many of you are truly happy in your life now"? "How many of you would like to have a loving and successful realtionship with your spouse or partner"? "How many of you would like residual income so that you can give to the charity of your choice"? "How many of you would like to live your life to the fullest"? How many of you believe a million dollars is enough to retire on"? And the closer; "If I could teach you the seven ways to achieve ultimate happiness in your life and your business, what would that be worth to you?"

Okay enough, I'm about to throw up, and you too I'm sure, well I was about to until mercifully he asked for us to break into groups of three so we could tell each other our goals, I bolted for the door. Out in the fresh air I took a deep breath and thanked the universe for delivering me from this crooked road of hype and glory on to the path of discovering the true essence of life.

A place of right action, right mindfulness, right livelihood, truth, integrity, and compassion. I make no apologies for the fact I am just learning the Buddha principles, but believe me when I tell you I have found more joy in being a student of this journey in four months than I ever had in a lifetime of buying franchises, becoming an MLM distributor or running motivational self help workshops for fun and profit.

Here are some definitons of success on the web that can confuse us even more:

"An event that accomplishes its intended purpose; "let's call heads a success and tails a failure"; "the election was a remarkable success for Republicans"

"An attainment that is successful; "his success in the marathon was unexpected"; "his new play was a great success"

"A state of prosperity or fame; "he is enjoying great success"; "he does not consider wealth synonymous with success"

"An achiever: a person with a record of successes; "his son would never be the achiever that his father was"; "only winners need apply"; "if you want to be a success you have to dress like a success"

So as you can see the only one that really resonates and speaks to us, is that "wealth is not considered synonymous with success". Think about it, what would you like to be written at your grave site or for your eulogy; "Bob was a great guy, he had triple his sales quota in 2004, he drove a brand new Jaguar, he had a 2400 square foot house with a pool, he built a business empire and retired a multi-milllionaire, he always measured his success by his wealth and building crucial skills in today's business world. He lead effectively with cutting edge principals. He achieved greatness for himself and his entire organization. And most important of all, he followed the universal principal; "WE MUST BUILD TRUE SUCCESS IN OUR LIVES AND WORK". You get the picture...

Here's what I would hope they write about me; "Allan was a kind and gentle man, who always stopped to help those who needed help. He always put others first before himself. He was a loving and compassionate human being. He cared deeply for his children, his grandchildren, and the loves of his life. He valued his friendships as he did his family. He always tried to remember the good things about his Mother and Father. He honoured and respected all he came in contact with. He was a man of the utmost integrity and trust. He values, loves and appreciated the last woman in his life Roxanne. He is grateful to all who mentored, supported, healed and blessed his life while on this earth."

These words are words of hope and prayer, because the truth is I am on the path of still fulfilling these noble aspirations, and once the journey ends, I will know that I have achieved what truly is important, not success but enlightenment.

Buddha says; "Do not err in this matter of self and other. Everything is Buddha without exception. Here is that immaculate final stage, where thought is pure in it's true nature"


Arnie Herz said...


Thank you for the beautiful post.

Arnie Herz
author of the blog, LegalSanity

buddhaspeaksbiz said...

Arnie...thank you for the kind note. I will visit your website. Allan