If we don’t understand the full ramifications of the financial matrix, our future is in jeopardy.

In my first post on the financial matrix, I went through how it was a system of control, and talked in terms of freedom. But we should understand that even if we don’t care about freedom, it is still important to understand the consequences of this system on our lives, and what we can do about it.

I HIGHLY recommend watching the video at the end of this post, as it explains in great detail what we need to understand.

What I want to focus on now is WHY we need to understand.

Almost 2 years ago I went through the process of becoming a financial security adviser and got my certification. What I learned made me realize the scope of the problem we face.

Let me rephrase that; what I DIDN’T learn made me realize the scope of the problem!

I learned everything I needed to about financial products like mutual funds, segregated funds, insurance, taxes, the various investment plans, and so on. What I did NOT learn was how to help people learn anything about finances; other than give their money to someone else to invest or buy insurance to protect their assets (Which is important by the way!)

We get the title of financial adviser, which leads people to believe we understand finances and can help them, but in reality all it means is that we are allowed to sell financial products.

We still have need of financial advisers however, and some of them are really good; those that understand the tools of the trade, understand good financial principles, and truly have your best interests in mind.

Since we can’t guarantee that, the next best option is to educate ourselves.

Understand what the financial matrix is doing to our money in terms of inflation for starters.

For example, let us say you have $1000, and you put it in the bank for safe keeping. How much of that $1000, which is yours, do you think the bank will lend out to others?

I can’t actually give you an exact answer. The matrix has made it extremely complicated, but you can look at this page to try and figure it out. This CTV article from 2014 says the capital requirement was going from 5% to 3%.

What does this mean? lets use the 5% example to make this easier to understand (3% is worse for us)

This means that if you put $1000 into the bank for safe keeping, keeping 5% on its ledger, it would be able to lend out $20000 to other people! That is multiplying the money you put in there by 20, creating it from nothing. The bank will lend this money out at a high interest rate, but giving you almost nothing in return (have you looked at what you get in a savings account?)

Does anyone remember taking economics and learning about supply and demand? With all this extra money going out into society, you have more money bidding for the same products, which causes prices to go up. So if you put your money in a savings account, it won’t have the same purchasing power as when you deposited it. What cost $1000 when you put it in, might cost $1100 or even $2000 and up when you take it out, depending on how much time has passed. That’s inflation for you! Note that the government has a target for inflation; which is above 0…

Needless to say, a savings account is not the best place to hold your savings long term. Other than 3-6 months worth of income, put the rest of your money somewhere else that beats inflation. Gold is one of the safest things and it’s a great hedge of protection against inflation, and many other things, which I’ll write about more in a later post.

Inflation also explains why it’s so important to go on the offense, and not just stay on the defense getting out of debt. If we don’t start earning more money than the rising cost of living, we will end up with fewer and fewer choices, and end up going in debt in the end if we don’t buy less and less each year.

We need to understand the offense and the defense of finance if we are to be free from the matrix. Orrin Woodward wrote a great article, using the graph below to explain this. I highly recommend you take read it.


Obviously, if both our offense and defense is bad, we are broke and in trouble. But if only our defense is good, we are still a tightwad; not being very free to spend on the things we wish.

If our offense is good, but not our defense, we are living to look good and going in debt. This can be VERY dangerous if something happens to our offense; if it stops increasing or stops completely for some reason. This quadrant can very easily lead you to the broke quadrant..

The other reason you want to go on the offense is because of the graph below. The typical 45 year plan for most people.


It shows our income vs our age. First, take note that when we retire our income drops; this is partly because most people don’t save for their retirement and rely on a government pension. It’s also because these days we need to save a lot to keep the same standard of living. It’s also because most people have a hard time saving & investing when they are in debt and busy paying interest.

Now let’s look at the graph, but include our spending and our choices.


If we are a tightwad, our spending will really go down in relation to our income because of inflation, and thus so do our choices since we are knowledgeable to not go in debt.

If we are living in the broke quadrant, we go in debt, and it starts to limit our spending since we can only go so much into debt before we are cut off.Our spending then flat lines with our income since we can’t burrow any more money. Our choices start to drop almost immediately since part of our income goes toward paying the interest, and it drops down to almost 0 as our debts and interest payments build up; until we have no room left to do anything but pay for the essentials to live and the interest on our debts.

Learn about the offense and defense. Don’t stay stuck in the financial matrix!

I saw Orrin Woodward give a talk at a conference I was at in January, and this talk has now been released on his YouTube channel. You NEED to watch this. it was amazing!

Even if you don’t have the time to watch it all now, at least start. watch it in 5 minute increments if need be… but watch it! He explains the subject matter of this post in great detail; and he is the real expert on this subject!


The Green Box

A while ago I made a list of my top 100 goals and dreams, explaining the importance of keeping your focus on your dreams in order to accomplish them.

Last Sunday, one of those dreams came true!

I almost feel guilty, as I don’t believe I did the necessary work that I planned to in order to accomplish it – but if anything that makes the following saying even more true; you get what you focus on.

Anytime I’m talking to people about dreams, I always give an example of some of mine; and I ALWAYS talk about wanting to go to a sandcastle competition. It may not have been my biggest dream, but the pictures I’ve seen of them looked so cool that I had to show them to other people!

I’m visiting my uncle in Los Angeles with some of my family, and when we were trying to decide what to do when we were here, it was one of the first things I thought of; Which just makes sense since I talked about it all the time. I searched to see if there was any in Los Angeles, but no, it wasn’t going to be that easy. I wasn’t going to limit myself to the city of Los Angeles however, and found one only couple hours away in San Diego!

It was taking place the weekend I was flying in so no resting for me! I didn’t care if I was going alone… I was going to that competition! After seeing the pictures (along with the fact that my brother wanted to visit the San Diego zoo), we were all on board

The opening exhibit

One of the cool things about showing up on the Sunday like we did, is that we not only got to see the finished ones from the individual competition, but some in progress for the team competition.

It gave me the opportunity to listen to one of the guys as they were building it, and finding a little bit about how its done. For those of you who thought they must be cheating in some way, that there is no way they build things this with beach sand, that is true. They have to get special sand for it that is 3-5 percent clay.

Here are some of the works in progress.






And then we came to the completed ones,







And even one done by someone from Montreal!


Here is the one that came in 2nd place


Here is the winning sand sculpture


And of course what I though were the coolest ones, with me in them!



Can’t forget about the advertisements!




After the sand castles, we went to the San Diego zoo because my brother wanted to go there… and it would have been on my list if I had known about it! It was HUGE. We had to cheat a little and use the tour bus to get to a certain area since everyone was tired of walking… but I still got over 20000 steps there according to my phone!

It’s time to revise my dreams and goals list. Expect a new one in the coming month!

One change is sure though. Although I crossed an item off my list, it is being replaced by another more ambitious one; to go the biggest sand castle competitions in the world.

Only the Disciplined Are Freeshawshank

I think I’ve heard that statement many times over the past couple years, and in many forms. I knew it to be true when I first heard it… but you wouldn’t think I believed it from my actions.

Just look at the previous article I wrote, and you will see I was definitely NOT disciplining myself to continue updating this site!

Seriously though, I wanted to take this time to talk about this concept, because when it comes to being successful, or even just being free in general, this seems to be one of the most important attributes you need; to be disciplined.

I was at Life Leadership’s Masters of Leadership conference in Ottawa this past weekend, and I heard this topic discussed in almost every talk in some form or another. I was in Quebec City a week earlier listening to Claude Hamilton talk about this concept there too, and in greater detail.

It was a sign. It’s time to be more disciplined.

After all, Successful people discipline themselves to do daily what unsuccessful people do only occasionally

I love what Jerry Harteis said; “If we don’t get tough on ourselves, life will get tough on us”

Claude illustrated this point so well while in Quebec, and reinforced it this past weekend.

He gave this example in our health. If we are not disciplined to eat healthy, and we eat donuts all day, we are going to get fat… we won’t have the same energy. We will lose the freedom to be as active as we once were.

If we continue, and we don’t stop eating bad, we might eventually have a heart attack; we will be stuck in the hospital and a “slave” to the system, where we can’t get out until the doctor says so. He will warn us to stop eating so badly or things will get worse…

If we don’t stop, and we continue eating really badly, we’ll soon end up back in the hospital with tubes sticking out of us and not able to go anywhere. We will have lost even more of our freedoms to do as we wish if we never develop the freedom to eat better, we would eventually die – losing our freedom completely.

However, if we discipline ourselves to workout everyday, it will give us the freedom to eat some doughnuts without the same consequences. We still need to be disciplined in how many we eat, but we have more freedom to eat them.

Another example would be if we don’t have the discipline to follow the law; like if we go over the speed limit and not have the discipline to slow down. First, we get a speeding ticket and points on our license. We lose some of our economic freedom because we have to pay the tickets (and if we don’t pay the tickets we go to jail and lose almost all our freedoms for a time). If we continue to speed, we can get enough tickets and points that we lose our license; we will have lost the freedom to drive. If we didn’t have the discipline to not drive, we could be stopped again and then go to jail – once again losing our freedoms.

Only the disciplined are free.

If want to be financially free, we need to be disciplined in our finances, and disciplined in our activities.

If we continuously spend more than we make, we will be losing more and more of our economic freedom because more and more of our earning will go to pay the interest on the debt. Eventually this will lead to bankruptcy and show ends; you will not even have the freedom to be undisciplined anymore

If we are disciplined in our finances to spend less than we make, and in our activities to continuously grow our income, we can have enough assets to retire; we can live off of what we disciplined ourselves to do.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about all the ways I have not been disciplining myself, and what I came up with is a clear indication of why I’m not where I wanted to be at this point in my journey..

Thankfully, this previous lack of discipline only defines my past, and not my future.

If I truly want to be free, I need to discipline myself to do what is necessary all of time, instead of just some of the time. I will do this. I hope you will too.

I heard a song yesterday that I used to love; “let’s live for today” by the Grassroots. I loved the music, and still do. It’s catchy. Unfortunately, I also loved the words; and I tried to live by them for too long. there is a partial truth to the words, but upon listening to lyrics again I realize how bad a lesson that song is for life. The words in the beginning, and even the chorus, is not a good message, even if it is a good tune.

As I was listening to the song, and singing along in my head, it helped me realize why I’ve been so undisciplined. The words had brainwashed me for so much of my life – between this song and many other media sources.

The song is telling us to forget about the future, and live only for today. It is basically telling us to forget about discipline, and just do what makes you happy in the moment. For those people who don’t have dreams anymore, or for those who don’t have the discipline to achieve them, this song will make you feel better. But if you want a better future than your present, do the opposite of the words in this song; even if it as catchy tune.

When I think of all the worries
That people seem to find
And how they’re in a hurry
To complicate their minds
By chasing after money
And dreams that can’t come true
I’m glad that we are different
We’ve better things to do
May others plan their future
I’m busy loving you

This first verse puts the notion in our mind that our dreams won’t come true, and that it’s a waste of time to pursue them – don’t let it brainwash you like it did me for so long!

We’ll take the most from living
Have pleasure while we can

This used to sound so good to me, because it is the complete opposite of discipline. I loved it because I didn’t want to work. I just wanted to have fun!

Unfortunately, living this way actually meant having less fun, because I was, and still am, forced to spend so much time working for a paycheck, that there is little time for fun!

I think that song was attractive to me, and is to many other people, because it lets us off the hook. When we have no hope for a better future, it allows us to feel better about ourselves for being able to be happy in the moment (which we should be, but not JUST in the moment).

As I started to write this post, I listened to the song again, and went through the lyrics. I still love the song, and wanted to listen to it again. I think its easy to love that song because we want it to be true. We want it so much that it even sounds true, even at this moment.

But is not true. It is not good advice; no matter how good it sounds.

Be happy for today, but don’t live for today

Live for your future.

This means work for your future. As Claude Hamilton said many, many times:

If you take the easy way out of life, life will get harder. If you take the hard way out of life, life will get easier.

Discipline yourself for your future.

Be disciplined, and be free.


Financial MatrixThe book ‘The Financial Matrix’ is awesome! The Financial Matrix itself is pretty terrifying. When you understand a bit about history and human nature it should come to no surprise that it exists though.

The Matrix from the movie was system of control enslaving the human race without their knowledge. In the same way, the Financial Matrix enslaves people; it hides the enslavement from those trapped in its net like the machine in the movie, but no one is forced into this one. No one is coerced into it. People are brought up into it and enticed into it.

Orrin Woodward does a beautiful job explaining the whole concept in one chapter of his book (and in large part on this blog post he did). I encourage you to take a look at the post, along with all the other followup posts he did on the subject.

Just as Morpheus explains to Neo in the movie, so is it true for us today.

Morpheus : Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there…like a splinter in you’re mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Neo : The Matrix?

Morpheus : Do you want to know…. what it is….? (Neo nods yes) The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us, even in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to work, when you pay your taxes. The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth.

Neo : What truth?

Morpheus : That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison…for your mind….Unfortunately, no one can be… told what the Matrix is… you have to see it for yourself.


When we are in debt, we are slave to the lender. We work to pay them. The problem today is that almost everyone is in debt, and so much so that they are working just to pay the interests on the debt, and not paying off the debt itself.

As Orrin says in the book,

When a person is in debt, he or she is in bondage. Lenders, disgracefully changed the Biblical Golden Rule ‘Do onto others as you would have them do onto you’ into a new rule ‘He who controls the gold makes the rules’

In the book, Orrin goes through some stats and explains how if you take the average debt and the average interest rate, indebted Americans are spending an average of $1500 a month just to pay the interest on the debt. I’m willing to bet the stats are pretty similar in Canada.

Now these people may not have been born into bondage, but they were born into the system that teaches and entices them to go into debt. although I would argue to a certain degree that when you bring government debt into it, everyone is born into debt, they just pay the interest with their taxes.

The Financial Matrix was formed by the powerful elites in society (government, big banks and big corporations) when they got rid of the gold standard and changed the currency into fiat money, which is now really just debt money.

Why did they do this? For control. For power.

It is no secret that powerful in society have always dominated the weak, taking advantage of them for their own ends. This is not to say that because someone is powerful they will dominate; there are great people with lots of money and power. If you consider Bastiat’s law however, it’s easy to understand that a portion would choose using others to get what they want instead of working for it.

History shows how the powerful have always controlled one of the economic factors of production to accomplish this; Finances is merely the latest. Orrin explains this in the book while quoting the famous french philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel

“Whoever does not wish to render history incomprehensible by departmentalizing it – political, economic, social – would perhaps take the view that it is in essence a battle of dominant wills (elites), fighting in every way they can for the material which is common to everything they construct: the human labor force. (masses)” (parenthesis mine) In other words, the aristocratic elites (dominant wills) seek methods to control masses (human labor) production. labor.

With the factors of production being Labour, Land and Capital, we can see how each was used throughout history (and in some cases still used today)

When it comes to labour, this was done through slavery. While it was still OK in the world, the powerful conquered lands and took slaves. Slavery still exists today in various forms (think of conscription, like recently used in Ukraine), but it did die off for the most part with Christianity (where it became socially unacceptable for Christians to own other Christians). Yes, there was still slavery of blacks but that came later, after this form of control was lost.

With slavery no longer acceptable at the time, the power ended up owning another factor of production and used that to control the masses; Land. After slavery came feudalism, where the lords owned the land and forced the serfs to almost be slaves to them, in order to be allowed to live on the land. it was not slavery, but with nowhere else to go, the serfs were stuck giving up much of what they produced to the lords. So the elites controlled the masses via control of the land.

This ended with asset money and growing cities coming into play during the middle ages, where the serfs were able to leave the lord’s land and work for himself in the city, earning gold and silver. As Orrin put it, the reintroduction of gold and silver destroyed the economics of feudalism. The serfs no longer had to rely on the ‘generosity’ of the lord.

This ended the control through the land factor of production. With Labour and Land out, there was only one factor left – Capital. Enter the Financial Matrix

What is the Financial Matrix?

The Financial Matrix is the web of control though currency. When currency was backed by assets (gold) there was limit to the manipulation that could be done. throughout history rulers have always tried to manipulate it (shaving pieces of the gold piece to create more, pretending they were the same value, or by banks still lending out more than they had) but there were limits. With the gold standard the banks had to worry about creating too much paper money in case too many people came demanding the gold for their money. But when the gold standard ended after world war 2, the Financial Matrix was born.

These days, through fractional reserve banking, money is created out of nothing – created as debt when someone wants to borrow money. This is how we are controlled today – and we are all suffering from it through the paying off the interest and the inflation that comes with the creation of debt money.

The masses are once again slaves to the elites, through their control of the currency. No longer is the rule “He who controls the gold makes the rules. Through fractional reserve banking, the Financial Matrix has changed the rule to “He who controls the fools gold controls the fools”

Truthfully though, people are not fools – the system is so good that you can’t blame people for not realizing what is going on. We are brought up thinking debt is good – you need it to develop a credit rating or to boost the economy. We have banking slogans like “you’re richer than you think”. Everything is “buy it now, pay later”. We are being brainwashed into slavery…

Orrin says it best,

The Financial Matrix is the best form of control ever designed by the elites because it is difficult to detect. Whereas it was easy to see the coercion involved in slavery or serfdom, few people understand that debt money is coercion created out of thin air. Debtors are forced to pay back fiat loans through performing real work. If they don’t, they are invariably coerced through threats of litigation, bankruptcy, or shame. The FRB system is the key to the Financial Matrix and is why the latest matrix is the most effective and efficient one ever.

People are not fools for being trapped on the Financial Matrix, but when taking the pill of truth, it is foolish to ignore it.

There is a way out; Get out of debt, and protect yourself from ever getting trapped in it again. Build yourself an asset and insure that your asset can’t be taken away. This starts with investing in you.

microphoneI’ve heard that for most people, their second greatest fear in life is dying; with the fear of public speaking being their first.

This makes perfect sense to me, because for the longest time I was in that lot!

Thankfully there was hope… and a solution!

Actually, there were several solutions, and this of course began with information. Information was not enough though, because the truth is activity conquers fear. The information I went through on how to be a better speaker gave me the courage to speak, but it was the actual speaking that helped diminish the fear.

If you’re someone who has fear of people of public speaking, or just wants some tips on being better, this story is for you. I’m going to go through what I did, and some pointers that I think will really help.

My journey began with information from Life Leadership’s Public Speaking pack of 4 CDs, which I must have listened to 7 or 8 times, and the book “Splash: A Leaders Guide to Effective Pubic Speaking.”

What I learned from these were the principles that make a good speech, and a good speaker.

The first was being prepared. In “Splash”, it talks about continuing to learn and reading great books, which help keep you knowledgeable on the subject matter of which you may one day speak. It also means actually preparing your speeches, especially if you’re new to speaking.

I definitely needed to do this! Other than an oral I did in my grade 9 french class, which I will talk about later, I would spend half my talk just staring at everyone if I didn’t first prepare my speech. When I was talking, I would be stumbling over my words and mixing things up.

Here are a few other pointers to keep in mind that I got from the CDs and book (I highly recommend you go through the materials yourself to understand all the principles with the reasoning behind them and great examples)

  • Smile! (there are exceptions to this obviously, but you should generally be doing this)
  • Be Excited! (if you don’t seem to care, don’t expect anyone who is listening to care either)
  • Fluctuate your tone, emphasize your points (or you will bore the audience and put them to sleep!)
  • Look at your audience (makes your voice clearer, and grabs their attention)
  • Speak loudly (make sure your heard clearly!)
  • Don’t fidget (it’s ok to be nervous, but don’t look nervous… it will just make you more nervous!)
  • Don’t move around without purpose (it’s distracting)
  • Don’t be a statue either (move and use your body to emphasize your points)
  • Pace yourself (don’t speak too fast; your points will be missed)
  • Practice the speech in advance and know the material
    • Don’t worry about mesmerizing the speech, just the important points
  • Relax, know that you know the main points (It’s not important to say it exactly like you wrote it.)
    • It’s ok to leave things out and add things in the middle of the speech.
  • Be humorous if possible (but make sure it’s relevant to the speech)

Once I knew all this, it didn’t make me a good speaker, nor did it eliminate my fears. It was the first step I needed though…

My suggestion (and the suggestion of all decent public speaking books) is to find somewhere to speak in front of groups and practice. This works best when done in real life situations – not just practicing among friends (but that is not a bad start!)

Last August, at the suggestion of my mentor, I joined a toastmasters group. This organisation is an amazing place to practice, because not only does it allow you speak in front of groups, but you get feedback on your speeches; everyone fills out a small form that lets you know what you did well, and where you can improve.

To show how much being prepared can help you, I did 10 speeches and got my Competent Communicator certificate in 4 months (I heard it might be a record for this particular club)

For me this was pretty close to real presentations, because each of my speeches was about subjects I was studying, and on information I wanted to share with people. I gave talks on the 5 love languages, the different personalities, better finances, and of course on freedom (which is NOT easy to do in 7 minutes! :))

One of the reasons I think real presentations are best is because you will be at your best. I think the most important thing is knowing your material and being passionate about it. This makes the speech so much easier, and much less frightening. This will make your performance better, and boost your confidence even more; making the next speech even easier.

I don’t know if it’s the same for the rest of you, but one of the things that really frightened me about speaking was making a mistake, and worrying about what others would think of me. What made things easier for me was simple in the end; I made sure I didn’t have to worry about making a mistake!

The last 10 speeches I gave were on subjects that I was passionate about. I organized the speech to fit the time frame I had (for the most part…), and memorized the main points I wanted to cover. When it came time to speak, I just started talking; saying whatever came to my mind next.

Not one of my speeches came out exactly as I wrote them, but other than the nervousness before starting it was fairly easy. Since I was well prepared by knowing the subject matter, I knew it didn’t matter if I remembered what I had written down; I knew whatever I ended up saying would still be appropriate.

So if you want to have a good speech, talk about what you are passionate about, and most of your problems are solved. You will naturally speak more enthusiastically about it, and you will know a lot about the subject too; after all, you’re not likely to be passionate about something you don’t know about!

You don’t have to passionate about the subject though, it just helps a lot! All my orals in school were boring and painful, for both me and the audience, with on exception; my grade 9 french oral (I’m pretty sure it was grade 9 anyway…)

I was supposed to do an oral on a vacation I went on, but I never prepared it; I was really good at procrastinating too long! One day, the teacher calls my name to do the oral, and I hadn’t even thought about it yet! I was lucky though, because we were told that it doesn’t have to be a real vacation; we can make on up. Not having anything prepared, I started like most of my other orals, but then I just started talking. I didn’t have to worry about remembering anything, so I just said whatever came to my mind.

I started talking about going to Germany, and proceeded with whatever crazy thought entered my mind. The thoughts that came out included being mugged by a one armed and one legged man who chased me down a street! People were laughing like crazy, including the teacher, and I spoke very easily. I probably made lots of French mistakes, but it was also the best grade I ever got on an oral; probably because the teacher was so busy laughing that she couldn’t notice the grammatical errors. 🙂

The point, is that if you are not trying to follow a script words will come easily. So even after you prepare your speech, do two things when you go out to speak. First, leave the notes behind; if you have them, you keep trying to remember exactly what’s on them and they will hold you back. Second, just say whatever you feel is important to say; if you prepared properly you don’t have to worry about having anything memorized.

Being a better speaker is simple. Learn how, be prepared, and practice.

Now you know; and knowing is half the battle!

LaRonde - Flash PassI got involved in a conversation the other day when someone was talking about LaRonde; Montreal’s amusement park. The discussion ended up veering to the price of admission and what the park was doing to earn to earn a greater profit. At this point one of my coworkers started to say that it wasn’t right that you can get special passes to jump a head of the line and not have to wait.

The conversations started down the path of it not being fair, but knowing who he was talking to, he quickly changed it to him not liking this ‘legal’ line jumping to be done around other kids because they wouldn’t understand. He quickly came to realize why it was fair, if not right in this circumstance, but only after seeing what is not normally seen; which is part of what I want to share here.

As is usually the case when it comes to economic issues, the problems start at the same spot; not seeing the whole picture, but only looking at what is happening directly in front of our eyes. In this case, what is seen is one group of people getting preferential treatment that another does not have access too. It is allowing those with more money to be able to cut in line. The question is then asked (negatively) “What gives them the right? Why should they be allowed? They should have to wait like everyone else!”

I could go into how it’s fair because they did the work in the past to earn the money required to afford this treatment, while those complaining chose to watch TV during the evening instead of doing something to be more successful. I could go into how it’s fair because this amusement park is a private company that is allowed to make their own line structure and that if we don’t like it we can vote with our feet and not show up.

But this argument can be difficult to understand without enough background in economics, freedom, and what makes a society prosper.

Instead, let’s look at why it’s actually in the best interest of those without the money to have this special option available for those with the money.

What is not seen

First, consider the cost of entrance. Those people without much money probably think the cost is already really high, especially when you have to spend so much time waiting in lines and not getting the opportunity to go on as many rides as they would like. If the cost is what it is because the owners of LaRonde want to make a profit, imagine what these owners would do to cover the costs and still earn the same profit if they didn’t have this extra income stream. They would probably raise the price of admission.

So with the ability for those with enough money to pay for the privilege of not waiting in lines, they probably allow those without as much to get in for a cheaper price. This is hard to see however, as it is not the current reality – only a possibility that at this point is only in our minds. Maybe this setup actually allows some people to get into LaRonde who wouldn’t be able to afford it without this opportunity. Maybe the cost of a whole family would be big difference in the ‘everyone is equal’ scenario with no one being able to pay more.

For more of an explanation on the idea of what is not seen, and it’s importance, see the end of the article in this link.


Second, we should consider the idea of the ‘distinction’ at play. I will cover this more in a later article when I talk about Orrin Woodward’s book ‘And Justice For All’, but the principle is that people will do more because there is something to be gained. There is distinction to be obtained; the recognition of being different or of having better things. Here are some interesting words from the book that will help explain the concept

Distinction, in effect, drives people beyond the normal effort they would expend for mere monetary rewards. Thus, when distinction is not possible for most people within a society, productivity levels predictably decrease. Whereas distinction incentivizes societal growth, its absence disincentivizes the same.

Although distinction may appear to be a minor point, in reality it is vitally important. People are not like draft animals, which can work obediently so long as they are provided food, drink, and shelter. In contrast, human beings must believe their efforts will lead to increased distinctions and rewards (metaphysical progress), or they will mentally “check out”.

Orrin was not necessarily talking about distinction in monetary rewards, or of getting physical things, but was talking more in terms of status and the acknowledgments we can get. But this applies to things we want to have, or things we want to do, as well. He makes this point later on when he says,

Rare is the individual, in other words, who will strive for great accomplishments without the ability to reap the commensurate rewards.

So letting people with the money to use it in this manner is a concept needed all over society just to motivate people to do more with their lives. We need these ‘extras’ available in life to keep people working harder, to keep the economy growing (or reverse the decline) and to create more prosperity for all.

Now you might be thinking (like my co-worker) that we don’t necessarily need this particular distinction here, that there is many other things in the world to strive for. You would be right. But then the question is where would you draw the line? In each area of distinction, we would be able to argue that it is not necessary in that particular case since its available elsewhere else.

A lesson for children

You may also feel that amusement parks are no place for this kind of distinction, that the kids don’t understand these things and that it causes problems when they don’t understand why other kids don’t have to wait. This comes down to parenting, and how you react to the situation. You can be the parent who doesn’t like to deal with difficult situations, or one that wants to give their kids everything they want. You may be more interested in being friends with your children than be their parents who will raise them. For these parents I have no real answer for you… this situation, and all others like it in the world will be problematic for you.

But here is why I think this can be good, and here is my advice. You can use this as a lesson. Since distinction is so important, you can use this to explain the differences out there, that some people have more than others, and that those who go out and be successful in life, have certain advantages; like not having to wait in line at an amusement park. Give them something to look forward to, to help motivate them to do more with their lives instead of complaining about what others have. If you are worried about them thinking less of you for not providing them this option, tell them if this is something they want, they will have to earn the privilege themselves. If they are really too young to understand this concept, then they probably wouldn’t notice the distinction of others in the first place.

You can also use this a financial education lesson, pointing out how society is set up to get people to spend money they don’t have (many of the people who pay for these passes are almost certainly in debt). You can point out that you are not spending extra on this extravaganza because it will mean having less for more important things later on, while those participating will have have bigger problems down the road.

He told me that I don’t understand his point of view because I’m not yet a parent, and that I would only understand once I have kids of my own; I still get that line from my mother to this day! 🙂

I do understand where he is coming from however, and I don’t blame him for thinking the way he does. He doesn’t want to have to listen to his daughter complain, or have to deal with her questions at a time when she wouldn’t understand the answer. But ignorance is not bliss; to hide how the world works from our kids, is to stop them from being ready for the world when it’s time to face it on their own.

PAiLS by Chris BradyI recently starting doing small presentations and leading discussion groups based on the resolutions from the Mental Fitness Challenge that was created by Life Leadership. I did 2 separate sessions of the first resolution, to discover our purpose. I think many people understand that most people are floundering around with no real destination in mind, and understand the importance of having goals in our lives, and want direction. It became apparent to me that so many of these people just don’t know where to start; they don’t know what their own purpose should be.

I’ve read many books that go over how important having big goals or a purpose is essential to have success in our lives. I’ve read the same, or very similar, awesome quotes so often that they have been permanently etched in my brain. Some of these include “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else”, “If you don’t have a goal, you’ll hit it with amazing accuracy”, “Begin with the end in mind”. All this stuff is inspiring and makes a lot of sense, but there was something missing.

I was asked a question at the end of the last session that really made me realize what that something was. I was asked “what books can you recommend to help me discover my purpose”. I came to realize that of all the books I read, and all the talks I heard on the importance of finding a purpose or of creating good mission statement for our life, I could never recommend one that is a really great book to actually do it!

There are many books that have great information on the concept, such as Resolved, but most of these books only touch upon the concept while the rest of the book would be about other really important ideas. Thankfully there was now an easy answer to the question that was asked of me; PAiLS by Chris Brady.

This was a really fun book to read, partly from Chris Brady’s humor, but also because it is short and to the point with everything being discussed. There is so much to take from this book that could help us on our journey to discovering what we should be doing with our lives.

Chris goes through a really interesting point at the start of the book, showing what the book is designed to do, and what it answers. He writes about how his mother was given the advice to become a nurse, because she would always have a job. This proved to be true. His mother may have identified with the nurturing and caring aspects of it, but she was rarely excited about the profession overall; probably because of how challenging this profession can be, especially when you have a family. This career seems to require a lot of learning, very long hours, and used to have very low wages (maybe still does for all I know). His mother seemed to like the profession for what it did, but the profession did not actually make her happy.

He also writes about some cousins who got very different advice. His cousins were told to do follow their hearts and do what they loved. These cousins got degrees in obscure fields and by necessity lived with low wage menial jobs.

Chris Brady describes the situation best in a talk he gave, where he says “On one side you get the advice ‘go do something you hate, because you’ll always be able to do it’. On the other side you get the advice ‘Go do something you love, even if it doesn’t work'”

He writes in PAiLS,

“Pursue a career solely for the sake of pragmatism and security” and ” Do what you love, and the money will follow” are equally misleading. While there may be elements of truth and even wisdom in each (more on this later), they are both patently untrue on their face. The real problem is that the two look like different and separate paths. They are not.

Chris goes on to explain his concept of life as a layer cake, or ziggurat, with different levels of our life building up to another (if we do it right!)

Life ZigguratLife Ziggurat part 2

Like Stephen Covey’s concept of ‘begin with the end in mind’ from his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this follows the same principle.

Everyone always starts at the bottom, which is the learning stage of ‘Preparatory and Preliminary Experience’ . Whatever happens to us stays with us for the rest of our lives, and these experiences are used to fund the next level; Pragmatic Occupation. Whatever we do in the 2nd level is influenced by the first . For example, you need an education to get most jobs. You also might subscribe to a self directed leadership education to get the necessary skill to move up the ranks of your pragmatic occupation. Maybe you’re occupation is a teacher, where a preliminary experience would have been a sport you played with coaches that helped you; showing you how fun it can be to help others become better. Everything that happens to you, no matter how insignificant can be a preliminary experience for something.

*** Note that with everything that happens to you counting, realize that we are not immortal and only have so much time. This is why it is so important to make sure we are doing the right things with the time we have, as we can only fit so many preliminary experiences into our life.

An Occupation could even be a preparatory experience for a future occupation. For example, I believe my time as a manager of a Tim Hortons helped me learn what I needed in order to move into management at a movie theater I later worked at.

As for the pragmatic occupation itself, it’s sole purpose is to pay the bills. It allows us to survive. This is not to say that we can’t be passionate and love what we do, which is the next level (I believe that for most sports players, their passion and occupation are usually the same thing.)

The real problem is that for so many people, their ziggurat ends at the occupation level. For people to truly be happy, to be living the life they really want, they need to move up to the next stages of passion and purpose. I believe that most people are not happy because they haven’t found what their passion is, or have not found purpose for their life to work towards. If occupation and paying the bills was enough, why would so many actors and musicians with all their money be committing suicide, or getting into trouble with drugs and going into rehab?

Living your purpose is much easier when we first figure out what belongs at the top of your life’s ziggurat, and finding out what needs to be done at the level below so that you will actually be doing what needs to be done; to be doing what you feel you should be doing. Once you have an idea of this, find out what you’re passionate about, and which of these might lead to you doing that which you should be doing.

When you have defined what your passionate about, ask yourself what you should be doing in the pragmatic occupation level that will allow you to pursue those passions. What education or what experiences should you pursue that will get you the occupation you need to do what you are passionate about?

Chris Brady’s PAiLS is an amazing and fun manual on how to start doing just that.

Watch the video below of a talk that he did introducing this concept before the book was released (and then read the book!)

As Chris Brady writes in the book, “There is another incorrect motivational phrase … it’s the one that says, “it’s never too late.” There most certainly is a “too late.” There always is. It’s just not yet. It’s not too late yet.