Gravity works whether you believe in it or not. 

If you climb up onto the roof and jump, you fall. Every time. You don’t need a degree in physics to have this happen. The law of gravity is unwavering, and whether you understand it or not is irrelevant.

In fact, babies learn this when they learn to walk. Waver even a little and BAM, down they go.

While you needn’t understand gravity to be impacted, when you learn how it works, you can do all sorts of things.

We start as babies learning to walk. Then, as kids, we learn to ride bikes or maybe skateboard. Later, you could ski, or dance, or climb mountains. All expressions of our mastering gravity. 

If we know what there is to learn, we have a chance to master it.

What if success, in business and in life, was governed the same way?

What if there were principles, or laws, that allowed for success? What if they were as unwavering in their effects?

Over the last 30-40 years, I’ve been exploring, studying and playing with this idea. I’ve studied and practiced the work of Werner Erhart and Landmark Worldwide for about 30 years and was a student of Alan Watts and Ram Dass before that. I’ve practiced tantric and other yogic traditions for even longer.

All these thoughts, when combined with my personal experiences as a business builder and entrepreneur, came together when I wanted to lay out the rules for being on my team. In other words, if you want to work and play with me, these are the rules. 

These rules go beyond business, however. My wife and I follow these rules. Our kids follow these rules. While not explicitly laid out, our friends and larger community also follow these rules. I don’t hang out with people who jump off a roof and expect to fly (and I recommend you don’t either).

Keep in mind, much like learning how to master gravity, it takes practice. You will fall off your bike as you learn. It’s inevitable. It’s part of the process, and nobody expects it to be otherwise. Mostly, we don’t consider falling a failure; it’s viewed as learning and growing. Take that on with these rules, and success will come.

Rule #1: Nothing Happens to You

You are not a victim, and you cannot ever let yourself view yourself as being at the mercy of ANYTHING.  

  • You are not a victim of the market conditions. 
  • You are not a victim of the way anyone (other than you) acts. 
  • You are not the victim of the weather, or your moods, or how many people pick up the phone when you call.

If it’s happening, it’s happening. If it’s raining, you put on a coat, or (if you live anywhere but Seattle, apparently) you use an umbrella. If you don’t, and you get wet, it’s not the weather’s fault. It’s the way rain works.

What there is to practice is if you ever find yourself affected by something, it’s your job to discover what you need to do and work it out

For example: 

  • You find yourself acting based on your moods.
  • You think your business depends on certain market conditions.
  • You think what someone else said has something to do with how you feel.

This doesn’t mean you ignore how you feel or ignore market conditions. It means you know things happen, and you’re responsible for how you respond.

Nothing happens to you. Things happen. But they are not happening TO you. It might be raining, but it’s not raining on you personally.

Master approaching life from here and you’re well on your way to a life of success in every endeavor.

Rule #2: Your Mindset is Up to You

It is not up to anyone else to get you “motivated.” 

It is not up to anyone else to handle your mood. It is not up to anyone else to ferret out when you are upset, disempowered, or down.

Again… 

  • You can’t control the weather. 
  • You can’t control the market. 
  • You can’t control your kids. 

But you can control your mindset 100% of the time. This is a natural extension of Rule #1. 

While you can’t control your first thought, you can always control your second. In other words, your immediate reaction is not a problem, but living like your reaction is “the truth” is.

The glass is both half full and half empty. Both are true. Which one you choose as your view is up to you. 

Said another way, this isn’t about pretending you’re not upset if you’re upset. It means you notice you’re upset, and you don’t pretend that you need to stay upset until the circumstances change.

Your view of any situation is not dependent on anything or anybody other than you.

Rule #3: Gossip Kills

Google defines gossip as— 

Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

Let’s start there and expand a little. 

If you’re committed to excellence, to extraordinary performance, to making a difference, you’ll need to dive deep here.

First, you will need to distinguish between “committed conversations” and “casual conversations.”

What is a committed conversation? It’s a conversation you engage in with a commitment that something happens, gets resolved, or moves. It’s not simply talking to talk. It’s not casual. 

Talking to just talk sucks time, energy, and life from everyone. Committed conversations save time, move life, and forward the action.

What does committed conversation look like in action? It means if you have a problem or an issue you ONLY speak to someone who can resolve that issue. 

It likewise means you don’t accept people talking to you about things you can’t resolve.  Want more time in your life?  Stop talking to people about things you can’t control. Practice saying, “I hear you, but I can’t do anything about that,” and then move on.

It also means you stop talking to yourself ABOUT yourself in any way other than a committed way. No more “gossiping” to yourself about yourself. No more judging and assessing yourself. 

Want to know how you’re doing? Good! Ask your mentor. Stop looking for your opinion; it’s rarely committed to growth.

Again, this does not mean “stuff your feelings.” If you’re feeling frustrated, disempowered, upset, etc. then it is up to you to be in communication with a commitment to get that resolved. 

Most people use their time complaining with no commitment. This is called wallowing and must be avoided.

Committed conversations cut through noise and confusion. Committed conversations directly address issues and facilitate action.

Rule #4: The Truth Shall Set You Free (but first it’s gonna piss you off)

Tell the truth at all times. 

This means you don’t BS yourself or others about where you’re at.

It means you record your activity accurately. It means you don’t do half-ass something and pretend you’ve given it your all. It means you’re on the lookout for, and calling yourself out for, your own BS. 

If someone else brings up your BS, you clean it up.

Nobody likes to think of themselves as a liar but few people do the work to tell the truth about themselves. 

We often BS ourselves on either (or both) sides of the issue.

Sometimes we pretend we “can’t” when the truth is we “won’t.” Other times we pretend we “did everything we could do” when we know we did what we felt like doing.

Either way, a lie is a lie.

Pursuing truth enhances self-awareness. A regular practice of self-honesty and seeking feedback develops a deeper understanding of oneself. 

Confronting uncomfortable truths is crucial for recognizing areas of improvement. This is the only way to uncover blind spots and leads to more informed decisions and actions.

Success has Unchanging Laws

Success is not random; it is governed by laws as constant as gravity. 

Recognizing these universal principles is essential for sustainable growth. Understanding and working within these established laws demystifies success.

Regular practice in these areas builds the toughness necessary to withstand challenges and setbacks.

It may or may not be easy, but it is pretty simple.