During the writing of A Million Steps, I would consciously drift into the future with thoughts about what may happen upon release of the book. My darker side was fearful about terrible reviews. I was also anxious about recouping the money that I spent on cover design, website design, editors, and marketing. My positive side included visions of me speaking to huge crowds. People clapping and telling me how much they loved the book. I saw myself on couches belonging to people like Ellen and Oprah. I would become a self-development guru. The cash would flow.
Five years later, I have a report card. The reviews were positive but did not become a source of happiness. It took about three years to move out of the financial red and into the black. Instead of financing private aircraft for exotic vacations, the extra funds were more attuned to buying a weekly lunch at an average deli. There is nothing wrong with wealth, but is it also not a source of happiness. Most of the happiest people I know have very little money.
Instead of meeting the talk show queens, I created my own book-tour one small audience at a time. Over a two year period, I did 150 events. What happened during those events is a true source of happiness. I was able to help people and many people helped me in return. I always offered to meet with anyone, freely gave out my cell number, and responded to every email that hit my inbox. Through these interactions, many individuals broke through their personal fears and set sail for Spain to walk The Camino.
I am currently reading The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Mitchie. I relate to the following passage:
“A cause that can be relied upon. One that always works. Heat applied to water is a true cause of steam. No matter who applies the heat or how often the heat has been applied before or where in the world the heat is applied, the result is always steam. In the case of money or status or relationships”–His Holiness chuckled–“we can easily see these are not true causes of happiness.”
There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
Surrender Yoga will launch soon. My only intent with this new book is to help people.