I used to do an exercise in the Peak Performance 101 workshop entitled "Getting What You Want". The exercise starts out with a question: If you could have anything in the universe, what would it be? Perhaps your answer might be $10 million dollars. However, the exercise doesn't end there. It just triggers another question: What would that get you? So to carry our example forward, you'd now ask, "What would the $10 million dollars get you?" Perhaps you might answer, "Security… I'd feel secure in my retirement."
It doesn't end with that answer. The second answer merely triggers another question: What would that get you? And to continue the example, you now ask, "What would security get you?"
This process continues at least five times. Each time you get an answer, the new question becomes, "What would that (i.e., the answer to the last question) get you? At the end of five iterations, I then survey the class for what they have come up with at the end of their questions What do you think everyone comes up with? The answer is important because it really says a lot about you. But before I give you the results, do the exercise for yourself. Answer each of the following questions:
If you could have anything in the universe, what would it be?
What would that (answer 1) get you?
What would that (answer 2) get you?
What would that (answer 3) get you?
What would that (answer 4) get you?
What would that (answer 5) get you?
I'm actually curious to know what percentage of you started out with "trading success." Perhaps a lot of you, but I doubt if anyone ended up there.
There are some universals about this exercise. With five repetitions of the question about 90% of all people end up with a mental state. Examples of mental states include security, freedom, confidence, happiness, etc. But we can take it further. If you do enough repetitions of the question, everyone ends up with a universal mental state such as Oneness, Love, Ultimate Happiness, etc. What's interesting about the exercise is that it flat out tells you what you really want! The final answer is always one of those universal mental states (and I'm not sure that they really are not all the same).
Yet what do we do with our lives? We spend it pursuing things such as money, power, career or perhaps trading success. But that's not what we really want. And that's true for everyone.
Now, what if there was a course that you could take that would give you as a result of doing the course, one of those ultimate states. Would you want to take that course?
Well, let me tell you a true story about a man named Lester Levinson. Lester had advanced degrees and was a very successful entrepreneur. In that sense, he was probably a lot like most of you. However, he was very unhealthy. One day his doctors basically said, "Lester, there is really nothing we can do for you. You are going to die in a few months." So Lester retreated to his Manhattan apartment to die. But before he did so, he did an exercise similar to the one I just took you through and concluded that what he really wanted out of life was LOVE. He looked at his life and concluded that he was the happiest when he was LOVING, rather than when he felt people loved him.
As a result, Lester started a series of mental exercises designed to help him be more loving. And as he continued to do those exercises over the next few months, he didn't die. Instead, some remarkable things happened:
First, all of the symptoms of his illness just disappeared. And whenever something happened to his body he could heal it instantly.
Second, he found that he could materialize whatever he wanted just by thinking about it. He played with this for a while, soon materializing millions of dollars worth of real estate. But knowing that he could get those material things any time he wanted them just by thinking about them, he soon lost interest in them and just gave them away. Besides, what he really wanted was LOVE and he was getting that by being LOVING.
Third, he basically started operating in the world at the level of a very advanced spiritual being.
In the spirit of being loving, Lester started to teach what he had learned. As a result we all have that core process that Lester went through to heal himself and become happy and loving available to us through a series of five books entitled "Happiness is Free." Each book is a seven week course, so the series is basically a 35 week course on attaining happiness. And if you do the course, I believe that you can attain a level of happiness that is way beyond what you experience today or probably what you've ever experienced.
However, I didn't write this article to sell these courses, but more to convey some very important points. Logically, if you decided, after doing the exercise, that what you ultimately wanted was love or happiness, then I would expect that we'd get at least 1,000 orders for the course. Of course, you'd have to believe that you'd actually get "ultimate happiness" out of doing the course to order it. And perhaps you don't think you really want happiness or perhaps you don't think the course will help you attain it. That's a personal choice.
Anyway, I was so impressed with this course initially, that I ordered a few sets and gave them to some very special people associated with my company. Later on, I then ordered ten more copies of the course to sell. And interestingly enough, we still have most (if not all) of them in stock. Most people either don't think that they want happiness or they don't believe that they can get it simply by completing a course (i.e., doing all the exercises). It's rather amazing. This is what people want but they are not likely to do anything about it.
I'm so fascinated by this process that I plan to interview each of the people I gave the course to just to see what they've done with it. I haven't done the interviews yet, but I think I know the results. I'll report the actual results to you later in another article for Tharp's Thought's. And I'll also tell you about the exercise that I just completed that motivated me to write this series of articles.