How we innocently misuse a ‘magic bullet’ to shoot ourselves in the foot

For more than a decade, I have been sharing a spiritual understanding of life that is more commonly known as either “the 3 Principles” or “the inside-out understanding”. When I talk about it in terms of the inside-out understanding, I’m pointing to the fact that the human experience only unfolds in one direction — from formless to form, inside to out, thought to experience. When I talk about it in terms of principles, I’m pointing to the underlying truth of how life works as first articulated by the Scottish mystic Syd Banks, who said:

“Mind, Consciousness and Thought are the…

Three keys to “bending time” in your favor

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Nearly all time management systems are based on the idea that time is a fixed quantity and we all get access to roughly the same amount of it. There are sixty seconds in an hour, twenty four hours in a day, seven days in a week, etc. But you can’t put time in a wheelbarrow, which means that time is less subject to the laws of Newtonian physics than it is the principles behind Einsteinian relativity.

In case that sounds a bit daunting, there’s a story that Einstein’s secretary, Helen Dukas, found herself in the position of having to answer…

How a simple shift in understanding can be a game changer

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

As there is so much fear around money in our culture, particularly evident over the past 9 months or so of economic uncertainty, I thought it might be helpful to explore where that fear comes from and what we can do about it.

Here’s the key in a nutshell:

What makes money scary is the thought that how much of it we have really, REALLY matters.

If the amount of money in our bank account really, REALLY mattered, then all the behaviors that most of us think of as “normal” around money would make perfect sense. …

Since I read my first self-help book back in 1986 (Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization), I’ve noticed that broadly speaking they fall into three distinct if occasionally overlapping categories. The first is what I call “image management”, as exemplified by Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. These books aim your attention towards how you come across in various situations, teaching you how to dress for and cultivate an image of success, largely so that you can make feel confident, win friends, and, well, influence people.

The second category of self-help books are all about “the metaphysics of self-empowerment”…

How learning the difference between meditating and living from a state of meditation can change your life

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

When I first heard about the benefits of meditation in my 20’s, it sounded like the solution to many of my problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, “meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.” Other sources pointed to additional benefits ranging from greater emotional intelligence to experiencing states of higher consciousness and even spiritual awakening.

The only problem was, it only worked when you actually did it. And while I would periodically go weeks at a time meditating twice a day, I would often go…

The true source of originality, and how to find it for yourself

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash

This weekend, I was one of the speakers at a virtual conference in Spain. The title of my talk, “How to Be Original”, started off a bit tongue in cheek, as perhaps my favorite thing to complain about is people copying my work without credit. Although I know it’s intended as the sincerest form of flattery, there are times where I misinterpret it as laziness, a lack of faith in their own creative genius, or simply theft.

My favorite example, now many years in the past, was a man in Australia who not only copied my website word for word…

Three key steps to help you become a more effective salesperson

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

There’s a story about the comedian Jerry Lewis that when he was touring the country doing gigs, he kept a diary. On any night where the show went well, he would write some variation on “I killed it tonight!” On a night where the show went badly, he would write “The audience sucked”.

This is reflective of a pattern I see in many of the entre/solopreneurs, business owners, and salespeople I’ve worked with. …

How to consume social media without being consumed by it

*Spoiler alert*: This article contains mild spoilers about the new Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

My wife and I sat down to watch the new Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” last night. The dilemma at the heart of the movie is simple. …

Going beyond the four levels of learning to become a master at what you do

The other day, I spoke with the legendary Billy Blanks for an episode of my interview series Might Help, Can’t Hurt! If you don’t know Billy, he’s a seven time world karate champion, a 9th degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do, and the inventor of Tae-Bo, possibly the most successful exercise program ever created with over a hundred and fifty million videos and DVD’s sold back when people still did things like watch videos and DVD’s. He’s also an absolute master at his craft.

Three things our dogs can teach us about living life to the fullest

The other day I was reading a book about spiritual enlightenment and it suggested there were three traits you could look to in a teacher to see if they were “really enlightened” — in other words, whether they were just really good at talking the talk or if they actually walked the walk. …

Michael Neill

Michael Neill is an internationally renowned thought leader, CEO, coach, and best-selling author of six books. To learn more go to

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store