A while back a delightful woman asked me some questions for an online magazine for Czech readers. She published the exchange at http://www.kofibrejkonlajn.cz/pozitivni-mysleni/36-exkluzivni-rozhovor-muzete-mit-vse-po-cem-touzite-rika-joe-vitale.html I thought you’d be interested in reading it in English:
1. Dear Joe, thank you very much for making this possible. You probably don’t know that but you are successful in the Czech republic too. We know you from The Secret and we have access to the most of your books. I read and I also heard it on one of your audio sessions that you were homeless once and now you have this amazing life and career that people usually dream of. I know that this didn’t happen over night but tell us what was “IT” that changed your life. Was it a person, a book or…your inner voice?
People have often asked me what was “it” that changed my life. The right answer is “Everything!” I did EVERYTHING. I read books, listened to audios, attended events, kept working on myself, trying, failing, learning, improving and more. I had to DO IT ALL to become successful. There was no “one” thing. Certain books helped me, such as Claude Bristol’s The Magic of Believing. But largely, it was doing whatever seemed like the right next thing to do that got me here.
2. What were you dreaming about as a child? Do you remember?
Oh, yes, I remember. I wanted to be a magician. I was going to be like Harry Houdini, and be famous for my great magic and stunts. I also thought I might be a baseball player, and be known player like Babe Ruth. I also thought about being an author. Since I always loved books, and still do today, becoming a writer seemed like my best bet.
3. I read and watched The Secret, which was the first platform for people in the Czech republic to find out about the Law of Attraction. I started practising the LOA, but I was suddenly afraid of my thoughts, because I couldn’t control them. I also felt that the book was only the introduction to the whole philosophy of the manifestation. There were things that were missing, which left me looking for more information. The “ Action” part was also never mentioned and I felt that only visualizing would not get me too far. If you could list 3 things that people should do every day to manifest all they want in their lives, what would they be…?
This is a big question. I think The Secret and other books and movies are just introductions to the Law of Attraction. There’s much more to learn. I have entire courses, like The Missing Secret, and my Miracles Coaching program, to help people understand these deep concepts. If I had to list three things to do, they’d be:
1. State your intention. What do you want?
2. Get clear. When negative thoughts arise, realize they are just thoughts and don’t feed them.
3. Take action. Results are a co-creation of what you do and what the Universe does through others.
4. I read your Hypnotic marketing and hypnotic writing and I have to say it is very powerful. It hasn’t been translated to Czech language yet unfortunately. I hope that it will be soon after we publish this interview. Where do you get your inspiration for you books? Do you first test everything and then write about it.
I get ideas from everywhere. I read a tremendous amount and get ideas from what I read. i also have inspirations and follow through on them, testing them on myself first. If they work for me, I share them with others. I see myself as a scout who rides ahead of everyone, tries out what he sees, and then returns and shares his secrets with others.
5. In our magazine Kofibrejkonlajn.cz (coffeebreakonline –but written in a funny way) we also write about procrastination, work ethic…and so on. You are the author of so many books, you teach, do online seminars, travel the world, you are a musician with 4 albums; it seems to me, that you don’t have a problem with procrastination. Or if you have, you sure know how to beat it Can you give us some advice or tips on how to be productive? (please tell us also about your daily routine if you have any)
This is another big subject. People who procrastinate are doing one of two things: They are either afraid of failure or success, or they are trying to do something too big. In other words, people have unconscious beliefs about success. They may fear it or they may fear the opposite of it, failure. Either way, they will hesitate to take any action to protect themselves.
Also, if people are trying to create a big project, they may feel overwhelmed and stop. They need to break down the big project into little steps; something they can do each day to make progress. I work every day on my goals. I read every day, write every day, exercise every day, meditate every day, and rest every day. Living and doing moment by moment, I achieve massive results. Anyone can do this.
6. As you are a “guru” for millions of people through your work, we think that even a “guru” needs his own “guru” sometimes. Is there an author or a person that inspires you?
I have MANY authors who inspire me, from Bruce Barton and Vash Young to Debbie Ford and more. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mark Twain also inspire me.
7. You meet lots of people through your live and online seminars, and they talk about their struggle with money, in relationships, or at work…. what do you tell them? Is that one thing that you want them to always remember?
I tell them “This, too, will pass.” In other words, what you are struggling with will pass, what you are worried about will pass. It’s the nature of life to move things along and change them. But you can accelerate that change by focusing on what you want, clearing yourself of limiting beliefs, and taking action. The sun will rise again. It always does.
8. What are you working on now?
Numerous things. I have two new books coming out: “The Miracle” and “The Awakened Millionaire.” I have new music coming out, on top of the 15 albums I’ve already recorded. I have an Authorship Program about to be released, to help first time authors get published in 12 weeks. I’m of course always working on my Miracles Coaching program. And most recently I have become interested in strongman feats of strength. I have been bending horseshoes, nails and spikes, and steel bars. I may write a book about it. I’m enjoying life.
9. Would you be interested in coming to Prague to have a workshop or a seminar? Do you travel to Europe often?
YES! I would LOVE to visit there. I have been to Europe many times, and love the countries and their people.
PS – New book coming April 2016:
One night I was watching my favorite television show, Modern Family, when I heard a line so funny that I’m still laughing.
The daughter, attending a hi-tech college, said some genius students in a lab taught a monkey to play the saxophone.
She added, “We don’t know if the monkey is any good because all he plays is jazz.”
The joke reminded me of one of the principles in life I live by.
In short, beware of invisible monkeys.
I don’t mean monkeys in the world or in the zoo.
I don’t mean monkeys in science fiction or on television shows.
I mean monkeys in terms of what people try to pass to you when you aren’t alert or looking.
While the phrase “monkey on my back” refers to drug addiction, it’s also relevant in another way.
Let me explain:
Years ago I was reading the book Tell to Win by Peter Guber when he told a story I never forgot.
Guber was working with and for Jack Warner, the legendary founder of Warner Brothers, and complaining to the giant that all people did was bring him problems.
Warner gave him advice neither he or I have ever forgotten:
“You’re the zookeeper, and every single person that comes in the office comes with a monkey. That monkey is their problem. They’re trying to leave it with you. Your job is to discover where the monkey is. They’ll hide it, or dress it up, but remember you’re the zookeeper…Think of that visually. Make them all take their monkey problems away and come back with a solution.”
I love that.
I became more aware of all the people who write, call, email, visit or want to see me – and the invisible “monkeys” they try to leave with me.
They want me to solve their problem, finish their business, handle their challenges, or in some other way do something for them that they themselves can’t or won’t do.
In short, they are trying to pass off a monkey.
It’s the same for you.
People often call you, visit you, ask to meet with you, to do one thing: give their monkey to you.
If it’s your job to accept monkeys, so be it.
But most of the time the “monkeys” we get offered are simply other people’s problems. They are trying to get us to fix them. So they come to us to “drop off” their monkey.
I don’t argue that sometimes people need help. Lord knows I’ve been there.
But way too often people are shirking their own duties and responsibilities and passing their invisible monkey to you, hoping you will deal with it.
You then have the proverbial “monkey on your back.”
The way around this is to be alert.
Watch for the invisible monkey.
It may be disguised as a compliment, or a gift.
It may be called a domesticated monkey who won’t be a real problem and they are asking you to care for it.
It may be presented as something good or good for you.
As long as you can see the monkey, and know it is being offered to you and you don’t have to accept it, then you are at choice.
You are free to accept the monkey or return it to its current owner for them to deal with.
You are then monkey proof.
I wrote a song on my last singer-songwriter album that conveys this message.
“The Hook” is a reminder to not take the “monkey/hook” that is offered to you throughout the day.
Someone says something mean and your tendency will be to “take the hook” and get mad.
Someone pulls out in front of you in traffic and you’ll be tempted to react to “the hook” and do or say something nasty.
But you don’t have to take the hook or the monkey.
As long as you are aware, you can stay neutral.
You can remain at peace.
I love monkeys, I just don’t want one on my back – even if he can play the saxophone.
Back in 2006 I held the world’s first Canine Concert.
It was a publicity event to promote my 1998 book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, which was revised, expanded, and reissued in 2006.
Many people donated their time and talents on a mind melting hot and humid Texas day to help me.
Little did any of them know — including me — the karma we triggered.
Let me explain…
The Canine Concert was a playful hoax, a publicity stunt, an idea given to me by the legendary prankster Alan Abel.
Alan is a genius.
He is a “professional media prankster.”
Before and beyond Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, Alan, as one newspaper called him, was “The Rembrandt of the ridiculous.”
Alan started his career in the 1950s with a fake organization called S.I.N.A.: the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals.
The crusade wanted to clothe critters.
Alan made national news, ignited a craze, and became infamous.
Alan helped me get media attention for my book The Attractor Factor with a fake lotto win in 2006, which was turned into the short documentary Humbug!
He also wanted me to run for U.S. President later, on the “Common Sense” platform.
But I went to Alan for ideas on promoting my Barnum book.
He offered the Canine Concert.
The idea behind it was to put on a show “for dogs only.”
I thought it was wild, didn’t know if it would work, but was willing to try it.
I sent out a survey to my list to find out what kind of music their dogs liked. The majority vote was for rock and roll.
So I went looking for a local rock and roll band that would be willing to play at a sound level only dogs could hear (like using a dog whistle), and who would play for the fun of it.
I’m a lifetime member of the Society of American Magicians, and knew many entertainers through the local magic club. Many of them donated their time to help me. And one (hypnotist C.J. Johnson) introduced me to the band, Porterdavis. The group agreed to play at my wild stunt.
There were more volunteers, of course.
I had a beautiful live mermaid (Lisa Nicks), a performing magician (John Maverick), an MC (Kent Cummins), P.T. Barnum (played by Kevin Coyne) and even a protesting cat.
Three news crews came to film the people, the dogs, and me.
We all had a good time and we parted after the event.
And here’s where the story gets juicy…
Years went by and one day I received an email from Daniel Barrett, the lead singer for Porterdavis.
He wanted to have lunch and ask for some advice about a career change.
I remembered him, of course, and agreed.
Over lunch, Daniel told me he was planning to start a program to help first time musicians write, perform and record their own music.
What Daniel didn’t know is that my secret dream was to write, record and perform my own music.
Think about this.
Daniel had no idea I wanted to become a musician.
I had no idea he wanted to help people become musicians.
Yet we met — years after he did the good deed of helping me at the event — and our karma balanced out.
Daniel has so far produced five of my 15 albums, including an album with me, Daniel, and Grammy nominated singer Ruthie Foster.
Is this all amazing or what?
But the story doesn’t stop there…
We’ve been having problems with our wireless Internet for a long time.
I finally jumped online and searched for someone nearby to come to the rescue.
I called a listing and left a message.
I didn’t think much more about it.
Later the same day, a fellow named Randy called me back.
“Are you the Joe Vitale that’s the self-help guy?” he asked.
“Some say I am.”
“Then we met years ago,” he explained.
“Yes. You gave me my first job when I moved to Texas.”
“Yes. I was the protesting cat at your canine concert.”
I was surprised, delighted, and impressed.
Again, a good deed from years ago returned.
Karma had balanced the tables again.
Neither Randy or Daniel (or me) had any idea that their giving in 2006 would lead to new business and new friendships almost a decade later.
And Alan Abel, the man who offered the Canine Concert idea to me, is still (at age 90) writing and hoaxing. I’ll be publishing his autobiography soon, so he won out in this karmic play, too.
There are probably lots of lessons in this story, but here’s a big one:
Give joyfully and without concern for return and the good karma you trigger will come back to you multiplied and spilling over.
You don’t need to do everything with money in mind.
Sometimes helping a good cause, or helping a friend, without concern for pay or pay back, can lead to spectacular unexpected miracles later.
Call it good karma or canine karma.
Either way, it’s pretty cool.
Do it and Expect Miracles.
Note: There is a DVD of the event, created by Nerissa Oden, for sale at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-First-Canine-Concert/dp/B000V246RK/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452085530&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=canince+concert.
“You can blame Star Wars for that.”
I was talking to Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon, explaining that I see far too many people focusing on mind power and not realizing they need body power, too.
When I post pictures on Facebook or on this blog of me bending nails, bolts, steel rods and horseshoes, people often assume I’m doing it with just my mind.
While the process starts and continues with my mind, I am using my will power and mind power to direct my body to an end result: bending steel.
But why do so many people assume you can accomplish things with mind power alone?
Why do so many “New Age” types want to sit and visualize but not get up and act?
Why do so many people deceive themselves with magical thinking?
“You can blame it on Star Wars,” Mathew said.
Well, I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie.
None of them.
Or read any of the books.
To bring myself current, I watched the first film from 1977.
I nodded off several times during it.
While lines like “May the Force be with you” stood out, they were inaccurate to me.
Since “The Force” is always with you, a more accurate line would be, “May you be with the Force.”
The latter quote would remind you to align yourself with The Force.
But George Lucas didn’t ask my opinion.
“The second movie is the culprit,” Mathew explained.
The second one was the 1980 The Empire Strikes Back.
Apparently that’s the movie where a lot of things are accomplished with “Jedi mind tricks” and thought alone.
And apparently a lot of people assumed they could do the same if their mind were only stronger.
Good luck with that.
I don’t want to blame the movies, though.
The theme of “mind over matter” appears everywhere, in metaphysical literature as well as popular culture.
You’ll find it in comic books as well as bestselling books.
You’ll find it in Richard Bach’s Illusions and The Messiah’s Handbook and on television shows such as Flash and Super Girl.
Who doesn’t want to have the ability to create out of thought alone, or make things appear with a few magic words?
Who doesn’t want to have super powers?
Who doesn’t want to be Superman?
The thing is, life doesn’t work like that.
You were given a body and a mind, and the ability to use both.
We are not brains in jars.
We are brains in bodies.
When we use both, then we can attract miracles.
But the miracles “appear” through natural means.
Even Wallace Wattles said those exact words — natural means — in his famous 1915 book, The Science of Getting Rich.
He stated that it’s the combination of mind and action that leads to attracting results.
It’s not just mind.
It’s not just body.
If I pick up a horseshoe and “will” it to bend but not actually try to bend it, I’ll just be holding a horseshoe.
Nothing will happen.
I have to add my mind – mind power, will power, belief – and direct my body to actually bend the shoe.
It’s the same with anything you want.
If you want to attract a new car (or job, or spouse, or you-name-it), you want to begin with your visualization and affirmation. You won’t even try if you don’t kick start the process with your belief.
So, it begins with mind.
But if that’s all you do, you probably won’t attract anything.
You might even become skeptical or critical.
You’ll say “This mind stuff doesn’t work!”
Of course it doesn’t – if you are only using your mind.
But add your literal action, and you begin to co-create what you want into being.
It’s still not likely that what you want will just “appear” like in a Star Wars or Harry Potter movie.
I’m not ruling magic out. I believe in magic and miracles. I also believe that we live in a “no limit” universe, where we can probably do what some would say is impossible with the right mindset and proper action.
I’m just reminding you that you have a body for a reason.
Use it to aid in the attraction of your goal.
Use it for action.
There is real magic in the world: it’s using your mind and your body to achieve a specific end goal.
For example, if I want to write a book, I don’t sit and “think it” into reality.
And then I start writing.
I do something.
And it’s the combination of both mind and action that leads to me being an author.
None of this is a slam against Star Wars. I’m not blaming the movies at all. I’m told the latest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is spectacular.
Just remember that movies and television shows program you, usually unconsciously and subconsciously.
Recently I watched the movie The Martian and came away from it realizing the focus was always on solutions.
It taught an “Anything can be solved” attitude.
I liked it.
And I recently saw the movie The Walk, the true story of a young man with the “impossible” dream of walking a tightrope across the World Trade towers in New York City.
And he did it.
The movie conveyed the message that virtually “anything is possible.”
I liked it, too.
Star Wars is great entertainment and it’s great fun to imagine having no limits due to mind power alone.
Just don’t think you can pay the bills with a Jedi Mind Trick.
PS – Happy New Year!!
I’ll be 62 years old (young) at the end of this month.
While that means I’m a member of AARP, I can get discounts at certain stores, and my remaining hair is turning gray, it doesn’t mean that I have stopped growing.
In fact, I’m aging backwards.
In the last year alone I —
— attended a strongman training and bent a horseshoe, a steel bar, and a nail, all with my bare hands, and drove a spike through a board with my fist. I was the oldest person in the room, even older than the instructor, and probably the most inexperienced when it comes to feats of strength. But I attended anyway. I learned a lot, too, including the fact that virtually “Nothing is impossible.”
— attended an advanced guitar camp with legendary player Tommy Emmanuel. I was one of the oldest in the room, was surrounded by players far more advanced than me – including a 14 year old girl who dazzled everyone with her skills – but I attended anyway.
— attended an online class to learn how to play the baritone saxophone, wrote an article about playing for a sax mag, recorded an entire album of saxophone music, hired Grammy nominated sax sensation Mindi Abair to perform for me and tutor me, and more.
— discovered a synthophone — an alto sax turned into a midi instrument — and bought one and learned how to play it, using it to help make another healing music audio with Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon, called The Enlightenment Audio.
– went into the studio with one of my favorite singers in the entire world – Grammy nominated Ruthie Foster – and producer Daniel Barrett and created an album called Stretch! with me writing lyrics, playing baritone saxophone, and singing with Ruthie. Talk about a stretch! But I did it.
— traveled to Kuwait to speak to people interested in self-improvement and curious about positive psychology, but also traveled to numerous domestic spots, as well, including to one where we discussed my having my own television show in 2016.
— despite having written more books than most people read in their entire lifetime, I released several more, including the best selling The Secret Prayer and volume 3 of The Miracles Manual. And I just signed a publishing deal for my next book, coming out April 2016.
— and even though I’m an author of books designed to help people, I’m still buying and reading other people’s self-help books, too. I’m always searching for new authors, new voices, new books, new material, to help me expand my thinking and my life.
Why do I continue to invest in courses, books, audios, coaching, classes and more?
Why am I continuing to do this as I turn 62?
Because I’m still learning, growing, improving, stretching and discovering myself.
Because I don’t know it all and am eager to discover more about myself and life.
Because as long as I keep moving forward, they won’t throw dirt on my face.
I have no idea your age, and it doesn’t really matter.
My father is 90 and still enthusiastic about life.
He gets up earlier than you or me or the sun every morning and wallops a standing dummy five hundred times.
And that’s before he does light weight lifting, walking, and other exercise – with a hernia.
Actor Dick Van Dyke is 90 and still dancing.
Turn on the right music and he’ll start free styling it without a word or a prompt but with a gigantic bright smile on his happy face.
I’m sure you are younger than 90.
I’m reminding you to think big, do big, and move forward in big ways, no matter what your age.
Or, drop the “big” and just think, do, and move.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ― Sophia Loren
It’s the end of this year.
The new one is firing up.
Ready or not, here it comes.
What would you like to accomplish in 2016?
You can begin right now by signing up for a course, or a class, or coaching.
The idea is to joyfully experience life.
It’ll keep you young, bright, happy and healthy.
“You’re never too old to become younger.” – Mae West
And isn’t that what life is all about?
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy New Year to you.
Let’s make this new one rock.
PS — Consider my father. He’s 90 years old. He still gets up every morning and works out for two hours. He also is the primary caregiver of my ailing, bedridden mother. And, at 90, my father became an author. His book, The Most Contented Man, is on Amazon. He’s starting another book. He’s ninety. I’m sixty-two. Do you really have any excuses not to stretch and grow, learn and do?