I have good reason to complain.
Last January I bought a brand new electric car, the Fisker Karma. Same one singer Neil Young and actor Leonardo Dicaprio have. Same one actor Ashton Kutcher drives on the TV series, Two and a Half Men.
I was excited to contribute to the environment in a positive way with a sports car that uses solar energy and electric power to get me around. I was one of the first in the country to own one. I was one of a handful in Texas alone. Plus the car looks stunning. People stop and stare. The car is just plain sexy.
But I had problems with it since day one.
Before I even received it, it was recalled. The battery had to have a different clamp to prevent possible fires. Once I did receive it, there were numerous little issues. In fact, I listed 17 of them to show the service department.
For example, sometimes when I was driving it, traveling at sixty miles an hour on a country road, the car would turn off. Off! It would reboot itself in the middle of the drive. The first time it happened was pretty scary, as I didn’t know if I would lose control of the car. I didn’t, but gee whiz, that wasn’t comfortable at all.
Other times the car would be playing some of my favorite music, when suddenly and for no apparent reason, it would switch to a Latino AM station. Go figure.
And then there were the times when the car ran out of stored electric energy and rolled over to the gas powered generator, which makes more electric juice. At those moments, at least for a few minutes, the climate control in the car malfunctioned and the inside cabin heated up. I live in Texas. You rarely want the car to heat up. And when you do, you want it to be your idea.
Then there were the fires.
Two Fiskers caught on fire. Fires aren’t pretty. I saw the Texas wildfires. I saw Nerissa’s car on fire in 2011. It’s more than unsettling.
The last Fisker fire triggered a recall of all the cars. Over 2,000 of them. Again, I took mine in, and was shocked to learn the company decided to not give loaner cars anymore. I paid $100,000 for the car, they are recalling it and inconveniencing me and everyone else, and they won’t give a rental car to ease my pain? It was appalling.
After the last trip to the San Antonio dealership, I called them and reported the car still had two issues. They took notes and said they’d call me back.
And the following day I received a snail mail letter saying that same dealership was surrendering their Fisker franchise. I’d have to go elsewhere for my repairs and service.
What the – ?
Then, at the end of last October, 16 Fisker Karmas caught fire and burned to the ground after being submerged in saltwater from Hurricane Sandy. They were all at dock in New Jersey, not delivered to any customers yet, but still.
And then the battery maker for the Fisker went bankrupt, forcing Fisker to stop making cars for a while.
Good lord! Will this ever stop?
All during this adventure, I complained.
I complained to Fisker.
I complained to the dealership.
I complained to the sales person.
I complained to the people who would marvel at seeing the car when I drove it and ask about it.
I complained to my friends, family, complete strangers, and myself.
I was so frustrated and discouraged that I started looking at other cars, wanting to trade in my Fisker Karma for a car — any car — I wouldn’t complain about.
Taking my own medicine, I finally stated a new intention, to have the Fisker fixed right once and for all, or to get into a new car that I would love and be issue free.
I was just tired of all the complaining.
And then it dawned on me.
My complaining wasn’t helping.
When you add the fact that I am on the board of directors for A Complaint Free World, a movement to stop us all from complaining, I was more than embarrassed.
I decided to start looking for the good in the car. The entire matter might not change, and the car might not become foolproof or fireproof, but I’d feel better.
After all, my complaining wasn’t changing anything and it was making me feel terrible.
It was time for a change.
I would never complain about the car again.
It was a simple but firm decision.
No more complaints.
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.” – Henry Ford
I had to run some errands right after that awakening. I charged up the car and took off. Everywhere I went, people asked me, “Gorgeous! What is it?”
I’d tell them. But I left off the complaints. I just focused on the 50 miles I can get on a charge, and the 250 more miles I can get with the gas generator making more electric energy. Plus the solar panels on the roof added a couple hundred miles a year. Sweet.
After running all my errands that day, I came home and noticed that I had one mile left on the stored charge. That meant my entire morning of running from place to place never used a drop of gas. I was suddenly proud of my car. I started to think it’s pretty cool after all.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
I contacted customer service at the Austin dealership to look at a couple final problems with the car. No one called me back for over a month.
What did that mean?
It meant my car didn’t need service!
After all, I’m not going to complain!
A friend of mine likes to complain. He defends his choice by saying, “Complaining adds color to life! I like it!”
But I also notice he rarely gets what he wants. And that might be the big insight.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
When we complain, we stay focused on the negative. As the Law of Attraction teaches, you tend to get more of what you focus on. As long as I saw the faults in my car, I attracted more of them to see.
Time to break that pattern.
After all, it’s all in your perception.
When you stop and rephrase your complaint as a positive intention, you morph your energies into a beacon of light, seeking out the positive.
When I praise my car rather than condemn it, the car seems to work better. And even if that weren’t true in some measurable way, I felt better driving it.
The thing is, my feeling better about the car actually seemed to make the car better.
The Fisker dealership in Austin finally called me back, and I took the car in for a software upgrade and service. They kept my car for two weeks, having to order parts and such.
When I went to pick up the car, it looked brand new. They had detailed it and made it look showroom ready. That was incredibly wonderful to see.
They also said every issue I had was resolved. That was a huge relief to hear.
I got in the car, drove it home, and didn’t notice any issues.
I had nothing to complain about.
Weeks have passed now and my car is working flawlessly.
I love my Fisker Karma!
It’s the best car ever!
What was the change here?
What really happened?
Lesson: My not complaining led to a situation where I have no complaints.
Think about it.
Complaining wasn’t helping and made me feel lousy; Complimenting what worked in my car made me feel great and seemed to help the car with its repairs.
The opposite of complaining is complimenting.
I know it sounds impossible and at least unlikely, but the moment I switched from complaining to complimenting my car, always keeping in mind my intention to drive a car that I love, it began to get better. Or maybe I got better first, and that influenced my car. Either way, it’s a win.
Before you complain, think of what you really want instead. Then speak your intention rather than your complaint. That simple step will cause you to move in a new and more positive direction. Focusing on complaints keeps you stuck in that lower energy; focusing on your intentions moves you into a higher energy. No one is asking you to overlook poor service or to deny your disappointment, but to instead focus on the service and outcome you actually want. There’s a huge difference in how you feel and in the results you get.
This post is a reminder to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.
Here’s the secret:
That’s the new formula for happy results.
Now don’t complain about it, either. 🙂
PS — Just this morning I got in my car and it wouldn’t start. I sat there wondering what to do. I didn’t complain. Instead, I stated that I prefer the car start and run. I called Fisker roadside assistance. A friendly woman said she’d be glad to call a tow truck for me, but suggested I try rebooting the car first. She said it’s a big computer. Sometimes you have to re-boot it. She told me how to do it. I did. The car then started right up. No problem. All is well. And I didn’t complain once. 🙂
What would you love to see occur in 2013?
What would be cool for you to attract?
What do you really want?
Here’s your chance to help it happen.
Setting a goal “calls forth” virtually everything you need to achieve and attract that goal.
Just a few months ago I felt dead when it came to music. After recording four albums, one of them a hands down bestseller, all of them seen in Rolling Stone magazine, I didn’t feel connected to any more music. I wanted to quit.
Yet after I set a new goal, with the help of Daniel Barrett and his Rubicon artist program, new songs came forth.
A dozen of them.
Where were they before the goal?
The goal triggered the songs. The goal “called forth” the songs.
I then went into the studio — with drummer Joe Vitale, bass player Glenn Fukunaga, guitar player and producer Daniel Barrett — and created ten amazing tracks. I’m in awe of what we recorded. The soft songs were kissed by angels. The rockers raised the dead.
Yet there were no songs before the goal!
I recall having dinner with Rhonda Byrne, the person behind the hit movie The Secret. I asked her if she felt she created or attracted the movie idea. She thought for a long time and said, “I called it forth.”
“Calling forth” your outcome is what happens when you set a clear goal and have no attachment to how or when it arrives.
Today is your chance to “call forth” what you want for 2013.
It all begins with a clear goal.
Goals that are without desperation are easier to attract. Desperation is the energy of a negative belief pushing the goal away. You want a goal that delights you, even if you have no idea how you will attract it, or when.
Goals are how you start a fire within yourself. You might be feeling “blah” and have no desire for much of anything but living in the moment and vegging. But let an inspired idea become a goal and suddenly you ignite the pilot light in your soul. Now you have direction, purpose, and energy. The goal triggers the release of new powers, and even begins to attract opportunities and more to bring the goal into reality.
Ask, “What would be really cool to attract in this new year?’
Forget why or how. Let your unconscious mind work with “all that is” to arrange it to happen.
All you need to do today is choose your goal.
PS — Happy New Year!
RIGHT after I posted my last blog — about wanting to attract a 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing SL300 into my life — I learned the windows in the Gullwing doors do not lower. That means once you close the doors, you are sealed inside.
It also means the inside cockpit will get HOT. Yes, there are side vents. But drivers in the 1950s would open the Gullwing doors at stop lights in order to let air in. (!)
I live in hot and humid Texas. This car would not be pleasant to be in for very long.
With this fresh news now in my awareness, the tag phrase “…this or something even better” takes on a whole lot more relevance.
I no longer want that car.
Lesson: Always be willing to adjust your goals as new information comes to you.
But let’s dig deeper.
Why did I want that car in the first place?
Why was I inspired to pursue it?
Why didn’t it work out?
I think there’s a lesson here for you and me. Let me reveal it through a quick story…
Recently I met Teye, an Austin guitar maker of some gorgeous hand made guitars. His are playable art. They sound incredible and look beautiful. He brought in two guitars (pictured above) and we talked for a couple of hours about guitars and music. Along the way, he told me his story. (Told here with his permission.)
At one point he was wealthy and well off. He drove a luxury car, was highly paid as a performing musician as well as a music teacher, and had the life most of us would envy. He was set for life.
But Teye wasn’t happy.
In fact, he told me he was almost suicidal.
Because he had no challenge. He was comfortable. He was coasting. He had nothing in him to turn into a fire. No spark. He was alive but dead inside.
He was one of those “quietly desperate” that Thoreau warned us about.
And that’s when he did something about it.
He contacted the late Tony Zemaitis, a guitar maker of now legendary and collectible guitars. Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and other icons love his guitars.
Teye commissioned Zemaitis to make a guitar for him. It would cost around ten grand to get the project rolling. This was around 1990, when ten grand meant more than it does today.
This was the action Teye needed to take to come alive again.
But I didn’t understand it perfectly, so I asked for details.
“How did ordering a Zemaitis guitar change your life?”
“Because I had to do something different to raise the extra money,” Teye told me. “Wanting it broke me out of my comfort zone and forced me to think bigger and act bigger. Today I’m a guitar maker largely because of that big step back then.”
And that’s why I was led to want that Gullwing, a car selling for more than $850,000. Not that I’m unhappy or feeling desperate, but it was time for me to expand my potential and increase my wealth set point.
The effort to attract the Gullwing wasn’t about attracting such an expensive car; it was about stretching myself into being the kind of person who could easily afford such a car.
Previously the most expensive car I ever owned was the Rolls-Royce Phantom. I bought it for $450,000 — on the day the stock market dropped the most points since the Great Depression of 1929. So much for me being a victim of circumstances.
Getting that car expanded my sense of deservingness, and also led to the creation of the now famous Rolls-Royce Phantom Mastermind, an evening with me that became so popular ABC News covered the one I did with fitness celebrity Jennifer Nicole Lee. Those special masterminds also paid for the Rolls. In short, attracting the Rolls also attracted the means to pay for the Rolls.
But the Gullwing was selling for $900,000.
That’s twice what the Rolls sold for!
This was expanding my own sense of what’s possible.
I remember making the call to the dealership that has the Mercedes. I was nervous. In my mind, I didn’t think of myself as a high-end car collector. I have a handful of cars, and I’ve given away a handful of cars. But I’m no Jay Leno.
Well, that’s simply a belief. And beliefs are what create our reality. So wanting that car made me look at — and dissolve — my limiting beliefs.
Obviously I’m not encouraging you to order cars or guitars beyond your means. But I am encouraging you to reach beyond your comfort zone and go for more. It doesn’t have to be a purchase, it can be a purpose.
Whenever you desire something bigger than yourself, you expand your mind, melt limitations, and turbocharge your energy.
The other day I interviewed Arielle Ford, the world’s most famous book publicist, for my Hypnotic Gold members. She told me the authors who were the most successful were the ones with “a sense of mission.” They weren’t just selling books; they were changing lives.
I finished reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s amazing book, Total Recall, and see the same sense of “goals bigger than me” syndrome. When he was governor of California, he created a list of goals that made the people around him hyperventilate. But he knew “big risk, big reward.”
My wanting a rare Gullwing, if only for a few days, expanded my potential to allow more into my life, and increased my creativity in conjuring up ways to receive more. After all, a billionaire friend once told me, “The more people you help, the more wealthy you can become.”
Think about that.
Lots of lessons in this post:
You may have gleaned another lesson or two from this post and the last one. Feel free to share your insights with me and others with a comment below.
Meanwhile, I wonder what goal is next?
PS — Your goals should make you excited as well as a little nervous. If you want to see someone showing you what it is all about to go for something truly huge, watch this video of Phillipe Petit in 1974 walking a tight rope across the Twin Towers. He spent years dreaming and planning. And when he got in the air on that rope high above New York City, he spent 45 minutes there! Read Petit’s astonishing book, Man On Wire (or see the documentary of the same name), for the breathtaking details. What is your big daring scary exciting dream?
Get any of my published books listed below as an e-book for only $3.99 (or less) each, thru November 2012. You can now read these books on your Kindle, iPad, or any other device or computer for e-books. Please check these out, grab the books you want, and share this post with your friends. Enjoy! Love, Joe
“The Attractor Factor”
“The Awakening Course”
“Your Internet Cash Machine”
“Life’s Missing Instruction Manual”
“Meet and Grow Rich”
“There’s A Customer Born Every Minute”
“The Seven Lost Secrets of Success”
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I love you
Recently I got to spend an hour and half talking to actor Lou Ferrigno, best known for his bodybuilding career and playing the comic book hero in the classic TV show, The Incredible Hulk.
Lou is 60 years old and looking as fit as ever, if not better than ever. He’s focused, hard working, intense, smart, driven, and dedicated.
We met because of our mutual admiration for actor/body builder Steve Reeves. I have a large collection of Reeves items, from his car to his gym to his trophies to his clothes. I also coauthored The Steve Reeves Cookbook.
Lou idolized Reeves, met him twice, and modeled the famous Reeves classic physique to sculpt his own impressive body.
I wish I could share all of the 90 minutes we spent together. He was very open with me, and I want to honor his sharing. We talked about everything from mindset to motivation, from fitness to aging, from our fathers to our careers. Lou was just as interested in me as I was in him. Lou’s life has not been a piece of cake. He’s had many challenges, and he has triumphed over all of them.
“If I hadn’t lost my hearing, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It forced me to maximize my potential. I had to be better than the average person to succeed. That`s why I chose bodybuilding. If I became a world champion, if I could win admiration from my peers, I could do anything.” – Lou Ferrigno
Lou works out five times a week, even while traveling, for an hour. He does twenty minutes of cardio and the rest of the time is spent lifting iron. He eats the same thing every day, which is egg whites for breakfast and salads at night. He tops off his carb intake at 150 grams a day and none after 7 pm. He has a glass of red wine at night. He doesn’t smoke cigars. He’s a family man with a big career. Despite all his successes, he has big dreams and is driven for more.
I gave him my audio set, The Secret to Attracting Money. He pointed at the word “attracting” in the title, smiled, and said, “I’m very interested in this.”
We were talking about thinking positive when Lou stopped me and said, “I’ve never heard it put that way before.”
I was so caught up in the exciting moment of hanging out with a legendary action figure and super star that I had to ask him to clarify.
“What’d I say?” I asked.
Lou answered, “You said when people start thinking negative, they lose all their power.”
Turns out power is a core theme with Lou. He admitted he was the most competitive person on the planet. He also said he went into bodybuilding as a form of self-protection. He built a physical wall, literally, to protect himself.
Lou surprised me by asking what books influenced me the most. I didn’t realize just how much he still wanted to learn and grow and expand his success.
I told him about The Book of est and The Magic of Believing. He didn’t know of either but seemed fascinated.
Again, our ninety minutes together covered a lot of ground. I encouraged him to host his own event, turn his books into e-books, record audio versions of his books, and more. He was very open to my ideas, and answered all of my questions as well.
If I had to give you one take away point from Lou, it’d be this: Do something.
He is a massive take-action guy. We agreed that ideas are a dime a dozen and talk is cheap. It’s action that separates the men from the boys, and women from the girls, the wannabees from the successes.
I’m impressed and inspired by Lou.
When we were to part, he hugged me. I was surprised, as I didn’t read him as a hugger, but I sure welcomed the embrace by the incredible Lou Ferrigno.
His site is at www.louferrigno.com
PS – I’ll be in LA appearing on CBS television news this Saturday morning, talking about my book, Attract Money Now. Tune in if you’re in the LA area.