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.
PS – Watch a brief clip about the Canine Concert, created and narrated by Nerissa Oden, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJl1wqtsRQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJl1wqtsRQ
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.
Bob Bly inspired me to become a copywriter back in the late 1980s.
His books, such as The Copywriter’s Handbook, always informed me in a practical way. I began my business career as a copywriter in Houston because of him. He occasionally wrote me snail mail letters of encouragement. I stay in touch with him, too.
Today he is the author of 85 books.
I remember he once said he felt like he hadn’t produced much – that was back when he had “only” written fifty books – because he knew Isaac Asimov had written or edited more than five hundred books.
Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
I’m running as fast as I can to catch up with Bly and Isimov.
Right now I have about fifty books out, am working on two books, editing an autobiography from my father, completing three music albums, working on new presentations for mega-talks I am giving this year around the world, developing a new process for faster attracting, practicing my saxophone, the guitar, and the synthophone, reading more books a week than most people do in a lifetime, and of course still maintaining my fitness program, writing these blog posts, handling social media, promoting my past projects (which is a giant catalog), helping my Miracles Coaches, and more. (And, of course, keeping my relationships alive and well.)
Some say I’m a “force of nature.”
Others say I should switch to decaf. 🙂
Why so much productivity?
What drives a man like Bob Bly or me? What drove Asimov?
An answer is in the new book, Create or Die: A Manifesto for Fearless Creators Everywhere, by Morgan Giddings, PhD.
Her basic premise is that unless you keep creating, you begin to die.
Life is designed to urge you to create, to move forward, to constantly expand, grow, develop, change and challenge.
In fact, challenging yourself is one of the best ways to maintain the exuberance of life.
According to Dr. Giddings, you don’t have a real choice.
Yes, you can decide to “do nothing” but life itself, being the great creative force it is, will move you off your bed if it has to get others to move you and it out the door.
And yes, as Asimov proves, you can create and still die.
But real living comes from persistent creating.
It’s not about the end result – as that will change again in time – but about creating.
There isn’t a “finish line” or even a “perfect” solution.
There will always be something else to create. Another problem to solve.
Life is about creativity. Period.
All of the problems in your personal life – and on the planet – can be resolved with creativity.
Whether oil shortage or climate change or anything else you are worried about, there is an answer, and that answer will come from creativity.
New problems will occur, but that’s just the nature of life’s ever expansion.
And that’s an opportunity for more creativity.
The wise approach is to challenge yourself by choosing your creative projects.
Let your passion lead the way.
Let your enthusiasm for an idea burn bright in your life.
One of my favorite sections in Dr. Giddings’ book is where she reveals the formula for attracting money.
It goes like this:
1. Use your creativity to create something of great value.
2. Use your creativity to effectively communicate the value of your invention, product, or service to others (market it).
She says everything else is just “playing the lottery.”
She also points out that you need a clear idea of what you want money for, and you need to be clear of any limiting beliefs about money, in order to actually have her formula work.
She writes, “Though a surface-level desire for money exists, it gets distorted and watered down by all these other beliefs that are floating around contradicting it. The contradictory beliefs dilute the singular focus that’s necessary for the kind of creative action that leads to results.”
I’m not sure what Bob Bly would say, and the late Asimov is no longer talking or writing, but in my own case, I am driven by the need to communicate what I am excited about.
It’s not about money – it’s about passion.
Money becomes the pleasant side effect of creating value and sharing it with the world in creative ways.
I am driven to create by the impulse of creativity itself.
My hunch is that everyone has this impulse — yes, even you — but most people are pros at rationalizing why they shouldn’t create.
Excuses are easy.
Wimping out is easy.
Just coasting is easy.
The challenge – and the voltage of life itself – comes from creating.
Ray Bradbury, the legendary sci-fi writer who wrote classic books and unforgettable stories – who wrote every day of his life – once said in an interview:
“There’s an Egyptian myth I heard about years ago that when you die as an Egyptian and you go off to visit the gods the first question asked of you at the gates of heaven is ‘Did you have enthusiasm?’ And if you answer negatively you don’t get in. My response to everything in life that I really loved has been enthusiasm.”
You most likely have a desire to create something.
A book, song, movie, business, product.
I have no idea what your secret creative urge might be.
But you do.
Dr. Giddings is giving you a wake up call.
Either create – or die.
And ignore the skeptics, critics, and cynics.
Dr. Giddings writes, “Cynicism is rooted in fear…Worse, it’s toxic to creativity. To be creative, it’s essential to express yourself fully, from your own unique vantage point.”
Critics and the like are living in fear and building themselves up by tearing others down.
Ignore them and pursue your dream.
“Creativity is an inside game,” Dr. Giddings writes. “It’s never about pleasing external critics. It’s about producing something that you feel is great, and then connecting with the right audience who will like whatever it is that you produced.”
I’m sure Bly and Isimov would nod in agreement.
Before I dismiss class today, here’s a final thought to consider:
One of my favorite authors during my development as a writer was Jack London, who once wrote –
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
Now, don’t you have something to create today?
PS – I didn’t want to write this post. I was tired, my eyes were blurry, I had other things to do. But the creative urge in me pushed from inside and said “Write this.” I obeyed. And guess what? I am not tired, my eyes are not blurry, and the other things I have to do are next. Follow your creativity. Live your dreams. Expect Miracles.
Recently, when the Mega Millions lotto was up to a staggering hundreds of millions of dollars, I sent this email to a handful of friends –
“The lottery is at over half a billion dollars. If you won it, what would you do differently?”
Two of my friends took the question for what it was: a prosperity exercise designed to reveal your true desires.
Daniel Barrett, my music producer and my coauthor of the forthcoming book, The Remembering Process, listed well over a dozen ways he would spend, give, or invest the money.
It was pretty impressive, and got me thinking about my own list.
Lori Anderson, another dear friend who supports me in all my endeavors, author of the new book, Divorce with Grace, listed her number one desire: to have her own television talk show.
She, also, got me thinking.
Their serious answers made me reflect on how I would act if I won the Mega Millions lotto, too.
What would I do differently?
Or what else would I do, with hundreds of millions of dollars to spare?
So I made my own list, which was eye-opening. (Apparently there are more music albums and more books in me.)
What about you?
Making a list of what you would do with that much money can be revealing, but it’s only the first step.
Note: Many people claim to have a system to help you win the lottery. Here’s one I have heard of (but not tried): http://outrageous.hooke1.hop.clickbank.net
The second part of the exercise is to ask yourself what you can do right now, even if baby steps, to move toward creating your desires.
It’s not about the lotto. Virtually everyone dreams of winning it, but almost none are prepared for it. You have to grow into handling that much more money. For many, it is too much, too soon.
But you can use the prosperity exercise of pretending you won to –
Again, most people need to grow into having more money.
I’ve landed some pretty big publishing, speaking, and consulting deals. But had that money come when I was homeless or in poverty, or still struggling on a limited income, I would not have been able to handle the wealth.
I had to dissolve inner limiting beliefs about money, success, self-worth, and more to allow more money to come into my life.
This is why so many lotto winners lose their money. They aren’t ready for it.
Again, I invite you to use the fantasy of the lotto win to reveal your true desires, and then to nudge you to look in the mirror and ask what you can do right now to make your dreams come true.
And don’t deceive yourself into thinking you would just blow the money on cars and furs and travel and such. You can play with the kid’s view of money — “I’d buy a house full of candy!” – but you want to go deeper.
After you buy the new cars and the big houses and the world cruises and all the toys, wine and cheese that you want; and after you pay off all your debt and give money to family and friends and causes you believe in; what would you then do?
This is what “The Lottery Secret” is all about.
Face it —
You don’t need more money.
You need clarity and action.
With those, the money (or whatever may actually help you achieve your desire) will show up.
But you have to start the ball moving with clarity and action.
And you can begin right now by playing “The Lottery Secret” prosperity game.
So here’s the question again…
“The lottery is at over half a billion dollars. If you won it, what would you do differently?”
PS – If you need help exploring money as a spiritual self-help tool, and clearing yourself of limiting beliefs so you can accept more good in your life, consider The Secret to Attracting Money complete bestselling audio program.
PSS – Again, a system that claims to help you win the lottery (which I have not tested) is here: http://outrageous.hooke1.hop.clickbank.net