On June 26, 2012, I was pretty sure I was ready to retire from writing books. I decided I really could just swim, read, meditate, and that’s it—no need to struggle with filling those blank pages ever again. Summer was here and my children and their families were about to arrive at my island paradise for our annual Hawaiian holiday together. That was me talking to myself about my future plans. But was I really calling the shots? What happened next was just incredible.
On June 27, 2012, I woke up and started writing. Something compelled me to start putting words on paper. I was writing about the significant events and the people and circumstances that have taken place in my life. I couldn’t stop the flow of words. They just kept coming. The timing certainly wasn’t convenient. Continue Reading
One of my greatest teachers was Dr. Abraham Maslow who wrote about highly functioning people—what he called self-actualizers. The number one quality of these people is that they are independent of the opinions of other people, particularly the good opinions of other people. I wrote a lot about approval seeking in my very first book, Your Erroneous Zones, 1976. But I didn’t always follow my own advice in those days. When I’d do an interview or appear on a talk show, I’d read the stories about me the next day. I’d look for reviews of my books and so on. Today, especially in the last four or five years, I feel like I’ve really and truly gotten into a place in my life where it just doesn’t make any difference. The reviews are something that I now have very little concern for.
I gave a speech in Las Vegas recently and I talked about the whole idea of living your life free of concern about outcome. If you can stop worrying about whether people are going to like it or not, what a freeing place to be in your life. You can learn to treat other people’s opinions, whether good or bad, exactly the same way. If someone tells you how wonderful you are, you can treat that exactly the same as if they tell you how awful you are. One of the places I practice this is on Amazon. They have book reviews and almost every day there’s a new review or two. One will have five stars and then another will have half a star and say—“he’s writing books because he’s just there to try and make money.” I know that’s coming from someone who has no idea why I write.
I write because writing is something that I have to do. And it doesn’t matter whether people like it or not. When I write, I feel the pressure Continue Reading
People ask me about writing all the time. How does it work? How can they get their message out to the world? On the recent Hay House I Can Do It cruise, I spoke to the Writer’s Workshop which was one of the programs given on the ship. What a great group of eager, empowered, and energetic people! I told them that it all hinges on what Abraham Maslow taught me many years ago when I was a young doctoral student. He told me to put forth what I wanted, my work, my message, and then Continue Reading
In 1992 when the time came to write a dedication for my book Real Magic, I decided to recognize three special people—my dear daughter Saje, my spiritual brother Deepak Chopra, and my friend pop superstar Michael Jackson. I wanted to recognize Michael “whose words, music, and love remind us that it is only through giving that we are saving our own lives.” Michael Jackson had a special relationship with the principles of Real Magic, the idea of “creating miracles in everyday life.” With his enormous musical talent, he created a body of work that brought joy to millions. My children and I spent five very happy days with him at Neverland in 1991. He wanted to talk to me about “real magic,” but the truth is, he already had the magic—the power he needed to dream and create and give. Michael was dedicated to ending world hunger and helped create the 1985 “We Are the World” celebrity sing-along that brought together some of the biggest names in popular music to raise funds for famine relief in Africa. I didn’t have to explain “real magic” to Michael because he was already a spiritual being, already kind, loving, and ready to use his musical gift to create miracles. Along with millions of people around the world, I say, thank you, Michael, for sharing your amazing talent to lift our spirits. I’ll remember you as a beautiful human being with a heart as big as the sky.