Today, what I want to talk about is manifesting and the morning routine.
One of the groups that I belong to, which has been just absolutely fantastic, is called Life Book. Basically, what John and Missy, the founders of Life Book, have encouraged people to do is break your life up into 12 segments- emotional, financial, spiritual etc.. You develop a life vision, and then you have essentially a goal.
I want to read to you what I wrote in my Life Book well over a year ago. The question was “described your dream home.” What I wrote was a “home with space, tranquility, and calm. Space to be quiet, to read, ponder and contribute, to look out at the mountains and hear the flowing water. Space for everything, all of our toys and rooms for guests who can enjoy it with us, a music room to play and record. Space to be loud and have fun. Enough space to set up a band so people can join us. A location where there are like-minded people who ride (bicycles) and play music, talk and laugh, and enjoy nature. A separate TV room to enjoy shows but limit access. Separate workspaces for both Elisa and I that are calm, have lots of books, great internet, great views, but limited distractions.”
Now, I wrote that, well over a year ago, before we made a decision to move to Santa Fe. And I’ll tell you one of the reasons why there’s been a delay in posting so often is because Elisa and I have just recently moved to Santa Fe. We found this fantastic home about 25 minutes from the plaza. We’ve got 10 acres. I’m looking out the window right now. And I can see the mountains. I have my own workspace. Elisa has a beautiful office. We have a 900-square-foot portico where we can play music and entertain and have guests. It’s an absolutely fantastic space. Plus, we have a ton of outdoor space.
So, why am I saying all this? Because we were able to manifest it because we knew what we wanted. The only thing that’s not on here is flowing water. We don’t have any active creeks. We have arroyos that run through the property, but they rarely have running water. But the beauty is you can put together a water feature and have running water.
There is this little joke. And two guys are driving down the road. And the passenger says to the driver, “Hey, where are we going?” And the driver says, “I have no idea but we’re making great time.” I think that a lot of people in life, that’s what’s going on with them. They are working hard. And they’re showing up. They’re putting in the time. They’re really putting in the effort, but they really, really don’t know where they’re going. And I think the reason they don’t know where they are going is because it’s hard.
Setting up goals and figuring out what you really want takes work. One of the beauties of Life Book is that you spend time breaking down the different areas of your life and it forces you to take inventory and determine what you really want. But the bottom line is that it takes work. You’ve got to really do some soul searching. You’ve got to make decisions. What do you really want? And I encourage people to think of it from the perspective of, “What do I want my days to be like? What do I want my morning to be like? What do I want my afternoons to be like? What do I want my evenings to be like? What kind of people do I want to surround myself with? What is the attitude of the community that I want to live in?”
If you’re a big hunter, for example, and being out in nature and hunting was important to you and that was something that you wanted to do on a regular basis, well, living in LA would be the wrong place. I’m not a big hunter, so that part didn’t appeal to me. But I wanted to be in a place where I could ride my mountain bike and my road bike. I wanted a place where I could ski. We have a ski resort that’s an hour away. I wanted a place where I could play music. It’s amazing everybody I run into plays music. There’s open mics, and there’s all kinds of opportunities to place, so, it’s great for me. And then, because of the house that we’ve got, we have space to bring people in and to play music. And we can crank it up, because we’re on 10 acres. We’re not going to bother anybody. So, that’s really, really fun.
It took time and effort to really think through I wanted. Now, how did we get there? After you spend the time and effort to really decide, what are your goals? What is it that you want? Some people say, you ask yourself, “What do you want your epitaph to be? What do you want on your tombstone? How do you want people to remember you? That is one way to look at it.
But people aren’t going to say, “Well, Mike lived in a great house in Santa Fe.” That’s my day to day stuff. And so, the first thing that I’m suggesting is it is never too late. It is never too late to decide what it is that you want to do. I mean, I wrote this when I was 60 years old. I am going to be 62 in May. It took a while to manifest this. But once we knew what we were looking for, then the choices began to narrow down.
And back in November, Elisa and I did a road trip and we traveled to a bunch of cities. We went to Taos and we went to Prescott. And of course, we came to Santa Fe. And we found what we were looking for because we knew what it would look like. We understood. I didn’t know all of the details of what this house would look like. But I had a vision of the kind of place I wanted to be. And when we saw it, I mean, literally, we weren’t here more than an hour and we put a bid on it because we knew that it was what we were looking for it. It checked virtually every box for us.
So, my message for today is twofold. First, you got to put the time and effort in to decide what your goals are. I don’t know about other people, but for me that was tricky. That was challenging. That was not easy for me to really write it down because you got to actually put pen to paper. That is critical is. Having it in your head is nice, but you really need to write it down. And I often say, “You need to write it in a pen in blue ink.” Now, I don’t know why blue ink but for some reason blue ink makes a difference. But the handwriting, the actual handwriting as opposed to typing it out. Is very important.
One of the things that we had to give up in Sacramento, was living near the river. Literally, the river was a 10-minute walk from our house. And I love the water, and I love the river. We gave that up to be here. Life is a series of choices, and sometimes you must make some compromises. But on the other hand, every other box got checked. And so, that’s just one of those things that you got to decide, what is important to you? What is the higher priority?
One of the things I really enjoy about Life Book is you break your life down into important categories and really examine them. This was so helpful to me. Instead of this giant idea of what do I want my life to be I broken it down in to 12 categories. Health and fitness, so what do you want your health to be like? Because that makes a big difference. If you are not healthy, there’s a lot of things that you cannot do.
My intellectual life, what do I want that to be like? My emotional life. Some people really, really struggle with their emotional situation. My character, what do I want my character to be like? My spiritual life? My love relationships, how important is that? Not only with my wife, but with my family, my parenting. I have three kids. And even though they’re all adults, I’m still their parent. I’m still their father. And I have obligations for that. How seriously do I take those? And how do I want to manifest that?
My social life. What do I want that to be like? My financial life, that’s a big one, right? Because a lot of times that is what differentiates the ability to do things. My career, well, there’s been massive changes in my career. I’m transitioning from actively practicing law to going into consulting. I still feel like I’m at the top of my game as far as the practice of law. I’ve done two jury trials this year. One guy, straight out acquittal, client was facing a life term. He went home. Last one did not go as well, although some of the charges, there was a very strong not guilty hang. But he was convicted of some things. And I’ll just say that I don’t think it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. And I don’t think there was much I could have done to change that outcome given the facts of the case. But I still feel like I’m at the top of my game. And I’m still practicing well.
As I begin to transition, I want to share the information that helped me develop a successful law practice with younger lawyers, not only from the perspective of practicing law but also from the perspective of how to build a business, how to build a successful law practice, so that you have the freedom to practice law. If you’re worried about paying the rent, it’s really hard to be focused on new cases. So, my career is undergoing a massive change.
Quality of life is a big one. And then, life vision. Those are the 12 categories for Life Book. I highly recommend this this program because it has helped me so much .
You have done the work of deciding what your goals are. And I would just say that just because that’s your goal today doesn’t mean it’ll be your goal tomorrow. I’ve had I’ve had people say to me, “Well, last time we talked 10 years ago, you didn’t want to do that.” Well, yeah, that was 10 years ago. I mean, a lot of things change.
When I first joined the Richard James Partners Club, maybe 9 years ago at this point, I had just assumed that I would practice law for the rest of my life and one day I’d be carried out in the body bag. I never had the vision of doing something else. But over the course of years, I was able to make decisions that allowed me to open different doors that I didn’t know exsisted. They say, “Go as far as you can, and then you’ll see the next horizon.” It’s like climbing a mountain, and then you see there’s more mountains. And so, you see new opportunities that you just didn’t know exsisted or that you would be able to do.
Don’t get bogged down in this is your forever goal, and it’s etched in stone and you can never change it. But you do need to know what direction you’re going. Richard James always says, “It’s easier to steer a moving car.” And that’s true. If you’re moving in a direction and you decide to make a change, you can do that. Several years ago, I wanted to start a consulting business. And after exploring it and crunching the numbers and looking at all that, I realized that it wasn’t the right time. Now, I can dust off all of that information and really begin to do it. And it’s going to manifest itself in a different way than I had originally anticipated. But ultimately, it’ll still a consulting practice
Now, after you have put in the work to decide what it is you want to do, then you got to go and do the work. Some people act like manifesting things means that you sit around in the lotus position and it just happens. Well, that’s certainly not my experience. In my experience you have to go out and do the hard work. As you do this work doors start to open. Now, maybe those doors would have opened anyway. But if I didn’t see it, if I didn’t understand it, I wouldn’t have known to go through the door.
There’s an old joke, another joke that I always thought of as kind of makes sense in this situation. There is a giant flood and a man’s home is being flooded. And he’s sitting on the roof. And a guy comes by in a rowboat and he says, “Jump in.” And the man says, “Oh, no, no, no. God will take care of me.” And so, the guy paddles off. The water continues to rise up. Pretty soon a helicopter comes by, and they drop down the ladder and say, “Hey, climb up the ladder. Get in the helicopter.” And the man says, “No, no, no. God’s gonna take care of me.” Well, the water continues rise in the man drowns. He goes up to the pearly gates. And he says to God, he says, “God, I put my faith in you. Why didn’t you save me?” And God said, “I sent a rowboat, and I sent a helicopter.”
Now, my point is that opportunities arise and you got to take advantage of them. Things don’t just happen. You’re not likely to win the lottery to become a millionaire. If you want to become a millionaire, if you want to become independently wealthy, you’ve got to go out and do the work. But what I think you’ll see is if you spend the time figuring out what it is that you truly want, you will see the opportunities begin to open up. My good friend and mentor, Blaine Oelkers had coined the term WYTAYBA. What you think about, you bring about. What you think about, you bring about. If you put time and energy into something, you will begin to bring that about. What’s another word for bringing it about? Manifesting.
Now, I said we were going to talk about the morning routine, and we’re almost out of time. All I would say about the morning routine is by setting up a morning routine where you are actually moving the ball forward on a goal or goals and you do it repeatedly and consistently, you will begin to find that you’re gonna get there. That’s how I wrote books. That’s how I’m learning Spanish. That’s how I learned to play musical instruments. I make a goal. I write it down in my journal, “This is what I want.” And I’m going to put the time in every day and I check the box each day. “Did I do this?” And if I didn’t do it, well, then I realized that I’m not going to move that way.
I’ve been on this planet for 6 decades at this point. And I’ve had some real success. I’ve had a lot of failures, but I’ve had a lot of success. I think a lot of the success is a result of failures and then learning from them. But setting goals and then working towards those goals, you will find remarkably that you will be able to achieve them.
And remember, be grateful for what you have but be willing to work for what you want. All right, everybody.