My master Bo once said to me that she felt many things were not good or bad. It was merely how people view them that made them so. She is quite right and we all tend to be very quick to judge everything scary, unknown or uncomfortable as bad.
As time goes on, I start to realize how many of the events I initially judge badly are in fact some of the most valuable opportunities of my life. The monsters can be tamed and turned to allies, more often than not enemies are in fact our best teachers.
My recent experiences have made me realize that a lot of the times, things aren’t good or bad, it’s how you view them that makes the difference and that with the right attitude, everything can be seen as a benefit. You can turn almost any situation to your advantage. In fact, sometimes the things that we dislike actually turn out to be our greatest allies. In combat, this could represent the view of someone grabbing you as an opportunity, a point you can work from, rather than responding with fear. In life, many people that we see as negative can turn out to be our greatest allies once we understand their nature.
When I first started marketing books, I trained under the watchful eye of Robert Lomas, the bestselling, sensationalist Masonic author. He always suggested that your critics were the most powerful marketing force you could have. When we released “Turning the Hiram Key,” we had an article in “The Catholic Herald” called “Beware of Crumbling Masonry.” This was a result of Robert having me send them a sample of the book so that they could express their honest opinion. That article sold more copies of the book than the equivalent Masonic publications giving glowing reviews of it.
Your enemies work tirelessly to promote you. They can’t stop it. Their anger controls them and pushes them in that direction. People who dislike what you’re doing tend to talk about it a lot, and this makes people interested and they purchase it. I never realized how powerful it was, until recently, when “Becoming the Ninja Warrior” came out.
Tracking the sales that I get through my website, and the ones through Amazon, I discovered something rather surprising. The negative reviews, or forums talking about the book negatively, created the most sales of the book. People wanted to check out what everyone was talking about. It also led to some of the most positive actual reviews in the future.
I found this surprising, but also enlightening. It made me realize that our greatest teachers and our greatest allies can sometimes be the very things that we see as hardships or the things that we instinctively respond to negatively.
Likewise, many of the aspects of our personality that we may see as negative traits are actually also the most positive traits we have.
I find, for example, that that two people with opposite emotional responses to the same person almost say the same things about them.
One person may be viewed by there critics as extremely intense. They say that they are overwhelming. Call them eccentric and unpredictable.
The fans of the same person say the same thing but in more positive terms. They say he is dynamic, inspiring and creative they say they love his enthusiasm and direction.
Both list identical qualities, it’s just the way the person’s looking at it.
I also believe that this kind of positive view of what you’re trying to do and what you receive in life opens up an inner sense of creativity. Dr M.K., the student of the legendary magus Franz Bardon, used to say that whenever something negative happened, it reassured him that God hadn’t forgotten him. Stephen K. Hayes, when talking about the heart sutra, mentioned to me that the position, mentally, should be that of a receptive happiness at whatever comes along, to see every change as an opportunity for adaption and improvement. The old saying that a good soldier can turn any situation to his advantage comes to mind.
I firmly believe that to become proficient in any art, we need to get to the point where any eventuality is adapted to and turned to the advantage of the practitioner, and to open up this creativity, we need to stop viewing things on the surface level and start to look at the hidden value within each event.