Category Archives: Balance

Living the eight fold path

Are You Successful

Success is not the measure of net worth, except in the case of celebrities and the rich. Real success should be the measure of your personal accomplishments. How well you have done with what you had and what you’ve made of yourself. Not just your financial prowess but your relationship to yourself, the discipline of your own mind, the ability to stay calm when everyone around you cannot, the ability to show compassion without needing to change the world, the ability to accept your limitations and spend all of your time improving your ability to love, be a friend, and to help the world. 

For some reason, when it comes to the rich and famous, we ignore the human qualities when we measure success and instead only focus on financial net worth. Many people get caught up in a sorted love-affair with these wealthy people, and blindly so. No matter how much of a failure the wealthy are at human values and common successes, their loving fans can only see them as being perfect. But, are these adoring fans measuring success fairly? The real rich and famous are being overlooked, and this is what causes the divide in society. True financial heros are being overlooked and the leadership a nation needs is lost.

See for yourself

Money in trash can
Money in trash can

Some of us are logical and pragmatic, we like truth, fact and real. Others are more into the surface appearance and they see truth as what is right in front of their eyes. I would like the opportunity to talk with both by using logic and real and at the same time putting it right in front of the eyes in such a way that you won’t have to just take my word for it. You can apply the measures of financial success easily for yourself and verify the truth. For example when you graduated from high school or after college did your family give you seed money to get you started in life? Did they let you borrow money to get yourself started in life? 

For most of us the seed money is somewhere between $0 and $1,000 at graduation. For me, I borrowed $250 from my sister to buy a car a few years after graduation. Now, I’m not complaining so please don’t take me wrong. I simply want to use a solid example for measuring financial success. First though, let’s take a look at the high end of the range. Let’s assume your family gave you $1.000 of seed money. Let’s further assume it’s 40 years later and you are nearing time to retire. How well did you do? How much is that $1,000 worth today? 

Your Net Worth

Genius boy in red glasses
Math is simply addition, subtraction, multiplication, division

Net worth is the total sum of all you own. All of your real estate, personal property, cash, investments, and businesses all added up together is your success. I’m going to use a table to help us validate and see the success factors and values.

Calculate Personal Net Worth

Table 1: Example of networth factors and values. Figures are for example only and are not based on real values.

From table 1, above, we can add up the values and obtain a total of $202,960. That is your measure of success. Congratulations! But, how well did you do? If we take the $1,000 of seed money and divide it into the net worth ($202,960/$1,000) we can obtain the true measure of your success.  In this case we obtain a success rate of 202.96. That means for every $1 you were given you grew it into $202.96. 

According to statistics, the average American family has a net worth of $99,646. If we divide this national average by the $1,000 of seed money we obtain the success factor of the average American family:

$99,646 / $1,000 =  99.65. 

Let’s take this factoring just one step further to get a success  range. We can do this by dividing the average net worth by the lower end of seed money. Let’s use $100 as the low end. 

$99,646 / $100 = 996.50

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We now have a range for the average American family success rate. The average American family success is between 99.65 and 996.50. To better understand the value of this success we need a comparison. Let’s use the richest president in American history as an example for comparison. That president is Donald Trump. According to Forbes, Donalds net worth is $3.1 billion. According to Wikipedia, Donald received seed money from his father, between $60 million and $413 million. Let’s use each estimate of seed money to find the range for Donald Trump’s success rate.

$3,100,000,000/$60,000,000 = 51.67

$3,100,000,000/$413,000,000 = 7.51

You Are More Successful

We can now compare the average American family success rate to the richest president in America’s history success rate.

Quadrant for Success Rates. AA = Average American, DT = Donald Trump

AA Low Success Rate -- 99.65
DT Low Success Rate -- 7.51
Average American is 13.27 times more successful than Donald Trump
AA High Success Rate -- 996.50
DT Low Success Rate-- 7.61
Average American is 132.69 times more successful than Donald Trump
AA Low Success Rate -- 99.65
DT High Success Rate -- 51.67
Average American is 1.92 times more successful than Donald Trump
AA High Success Rate -- 996.50
DT High Success Rate -- 51.67
Average American is 19.29 times more successful than Donald Trump
Table 2: Quadrant of success rates for Donald Trump (DT) and the average American (AA) family.

By comparing success more fairly and factually we can easily see the average American is 2 times to 133 times more successful than Donald Trump. The truth is evident and the average person is far more successful and far more worthy of our devotion and love than Donald Trump. When you use the truth and facts we can only conclude that on average, Donald Trump is a colossal failure. In every quadrant except one, the average American family is at least 13 times more successful than Donald. It’s likely that his very poor performance with growing wealth is what contributed to his six times business bankruptcy. We could also conclude that based on the below average performance of Donald Trump, laws are needed which prohibit him from further bankruptcy protection and the American taxpayers bailing him out any further. 

One last fact worth considering before concluding this report. If we consider the lower end of the average American success rate is likely 13 times more than Donald Trump, and factor in Donald’s seed money we can see how much more wealth the average American family would have produced. 

Donal Trump’s seed money from his father $413,000,000 x 13 =5,369,,000,000.

The average American family would have a net worth of $3.7 billion if they had been given the same seed money that Donald Trump received from his father. We can then subtract to find the difference. We subtract Donald Trump’s net worth from the amount the average American would have made if given the same opportunity in seed money.

$5,369,000,000 – $3,100,000,000 = $2,269,000,000

The average American family would have earned $2.27 billion more than Donald Trump.

In the future we can use success rate as a true measure of financial success. But, as Donald Trump has also proven to us, when you are a colossal failure like him, you lie more easily than truth. In fact, according to wikipedia Donald Trump told the American population and the world, his father gave him only $1 million. Perhaps we can only conclude that wealthy and power hungry people are not just colossal failures but also colossal liars.

Please be careful who you worship, praise, or glorify above yourself. It’s likely you are nearly 10 times greater, or more, than they.

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Supernatural Powers

“Did you ever wonder about supernatural powers,” Sarva asked? We’re on a Monday morning 15K walk. Sarva always does long walks on Monday mornings and he typically does Dharma talks as we travel through the beach towns along the promenade. He continued, “While we sit in meditation, practice walking meditation, and at every opportunity when we train our mind to be fully present we are using supernatural powers. The untrained mind naturally wanders through its pretending and make believe worlds. It may busy itself with repetitive song, or playing out some conversation that never happened — but practices over and over again to be ready just in case our spouse ever tees it up. Over the first several years of Mahayana meditation practice we learn many techniques to help us train  the mind to leave it’s pretend world to instead be part of reality. Each time you bring your mind back to reality you are performing a supernatural power. 

Power is cool

Walking with Sarva
Walking with Sarva-Shura

The definition of supernatural power according to wikipedia, ‘Powers that are supernatural, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.’ As such, the normal state of mind is untrained, and undisciplined. The normal mind daydreams, ruminates, and spends all of its energy in a world of make believe. Our continuous efforts to stop the mind from these normal activities, is by definition, the practice and development of supernatural powers. I’m not trying to be funny or to make a play on words. I’m quite serious, what you and I are doing in the practice is learning to use supernatural powers. This should not be taken lightly and you have to take responsibility for the Karma because it is yours.”

Walks with Sarva

With my cell phone
Present moment or wandering mind

Sarva is always upbeat and even when the Dharma talk gets heavy, as this one is, there is always a smile. Also, the generous laugh here and there through the talk helps to keep a sense of gratitude for the learning. Mysticism is the last vesel for talks of the supernatural. Even religions, once steeped in the supernatural have dropped the emphasis on these states of mind. Sarva has a way of adding the science to the Dharma and the talks always provide the means to make the wisdom self evident. If you can see it for yourself it’s always more believable. I do see these supernatural powers myself. I’m constantly catching my mind wandering off in thoughts. It loves to go over the same story lines again and again, the past, the future, the what-ifs, etc. Before you know it, 20 minutes, even half the day can be spent in these make believe, pretend world and the present moment has been totally ignored. Then again, on the best days, when my supernatural or magical powers are strong, I catch the mind drifting and bring it back to “just this.” No thinking or concentrated thinking. Abracadabra… Poof! I alter the natural state of the mind.

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