Thresholds: Is it serving or selling?

by Dr. Joe Vitale

Most people complain that they don’t have enough money.

They look at their bills, they look at their wants and needs, they look at their checkbook, and then they look terrified.

How will they pay their bills?

How will they feed their family?

How will they attract more money?

I’m sure you know the feeling. We’ve all been there. You may be there right now.

Now what’s really curious to me is this:

The movie The Secret and many of the teachers in it offer proven ways to attract money and other material things. This obviously works, given the thousands of testimonials from people who now have money when previously they couldn’t find it in a bank with the vault door open.

But some people are complaining that the focus of the movie is only on money or material things. They say it’s self-serving. They say it’s egotistic.

Do you hear the cultural programming at work?

“Money is bad.”

“Taking care of yourself is bad.”

“Material things are not spiritual.”

Please note the discrepancy: when you want money and at the same time say focusing on it is bad or selfish, you are pushing it away.

Even the fans of the movie are doing this.

Some of the very people who use the Law of Attraction to get out of debt or attract a new car, at a later point only attract so much money before they begin to think they are being selfish. At that point they unconsciously turn off the flow and wonder what happened. They then begin to criticize the movie, too.

It’s a strange thing to see.

First, people scramble to find money and worry and fret about it.

Then, they actually learn how to attract it, get some, and begin to complain that money isn’t spiritual.

Wait a minute.

Weren’t these the same people who wanted money in the first place?

Why was money good when they didn’t have it and bad when they finally got it?

All of this is because of people’s beliefs.

They hit their threshold of deservingness.

My father plays the lottery. But when the lotto gets to a hundred million dollars, he quits playing. He says that amount is “too much” and “that much money will ruin you.”

Winning ninety-nine million is OK but one hundred million isn’t?

Again, we’re dealing with beliefs.

We’re dealing with thresholds of deservingness.

I was at an event once when a fellow called his wife and handed me the phone. He wanted a star of The Secret to surprise her.

I took the call, said my name, and heard her scream.

She was talking to a celebrity. She was giddy with excitement.

But then she started asking me what I was doing to save the world.

This woman had gone from being a fan of The Secret and using what she learned to manifest a few things, to hitting her comfort zone and now not wanting anything else.

What happened?

Another example is this: many of the teachers in the movie The Secret create products and services to help you achieve your goals. When your mindset is open, you thank them for their services. When your mindset is closed, you say they are just “selling.”

Well, are they selling or serving?

It’s both and it’s neither. It depends on your beliefs.

It depends on your threshold of deservingness.

If you think they are taking advantage of you, you call it selling (because you think selling is bad).

If you think they are helping you, you call it serving (because you know serving is good).

Again, it’s all about beliefs, and particularly your belief about what you feel you deserve.

That belief creates a threshold that you won’t get past without some work.

It reminds me of a question a therapist used to ask patients:

“How good can you stand it?”

Most of us can’t stand it really good.

“What will the neighbors think?”

“What will my family think?”

“If it’s too good, surely something bad will happen.”

“I don’t deserve it too good.”

“If it’s too good, it won’t last and I’ll be miserable again.”

“If I’m happy, I won’t do anything to save the planet.”

Those are all limiting beliefs.

Your life can be fantastic. Truly amazing. But very often we hit a comfort level and won’t go past it. Why? Because of our self-imposed limits.

Because of our threshold of deservingness.

You can deceive yourself with rationalizations and criticisms about The Secret, me, others, the world, etc; but the end result is, you limit your own good.

I keep reminding people that once you get clear, there’s not much you can’t have, do, or be.

Your goal should always be happiness, what I call spiritual awakening, but the only limits along the way are your own.

How good can you stand it, anyway?

Ao Akua,


PS – In the spirit of serving, here’s some news you may like: I gave two talks on “The Missing Secret” last February. Apparently these presentations awakened a lot of people. You can see a two-minute video excerpt and read more over at I think these talks (now available on two DVDs) represent the best work I’ve done yet. They also include material from my forthcoming books, The Key and Zero Limits. I explain counter-intentions and beliefs in such a way, with a simple illustration you’ll never forget, that these may become the most transformative DVDs of your life. Go watch the preview. Hey, it’s free. You deserve that, don’t you?

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