The Curious Leader
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The Curious Leader

The Fire Within!

“Without meaning, we are all in pursuit of something, that when we get it will end up making us feel even more empty.”

I had been given a ticket into a world beyond the veil of everyday reality when my mom had asked rabbis to assist her very young son, with answering questions for which she had no answers. When I was ten years old, my stepfather gave me a kid’s book on Prana Yoga, and I began to teach myself deep meditation. By the time I reached twenty-one, after being buried in any and all metaphysical understanding I could get my hands on, I decided that my life and my learning would suffocate if I stayed where I was born.

Thus the journey began.

Propelled by an internal Tesla Tower of Power known as Curiosity, I traveled the world to study with great masters. I wanted answers to questions that were not only beyond me, but beyond anyone I knew. I wanted to know the “meaning of life.”

I traveled and lived in different places looking for a teacher who could answer my questions about the nature of this thing we call “reality.” Moreover, I wanted to know why humans do what we do, mainly why we do things that make us unhappy, and if we could choose to do something else.

I studied with rabbis and discovered the eighteenth-century teachings of the Jewish mystic Baal Shem Tov. I studied with an ex-street fighting military guy who had become an Orthodox Catholic Bishop. From him, I learned about the Coptic and Gnostic Christian teachings. With his guidance, I buried myself in the New Thought teachings of people like Myrtle and Charles Fillmore, Joel Goldsmith, Neville Goddard, Emmet Fox, Charles F. Haanel, Florence Scovel Shinn, and so many more. I was even given Darshan at the feet of great Hindu teachers like Parthasarathy Ji, who was the Dean of the Vedanta University (Bombay). With him and others, I dived deep into the ancient Hindu philosophy of the Vedas. I studied with Buddhist and Taoist monks and I even meditated for four hours a day. There was no end to my hunger for understanding.

My metaphysical understanding of reality became quite vast, but my ferocious hunger to understand human behaviour and what drove it was still insatiable. I had studied the soulful side of reality without satiation, so I determined that psychology must be the answer. Even though I already understood the importance of looking back on how a person had been psychologically imprinted, Sigmund Freud, who had, in many ways, defined the world of psychology, had little appeal to me. However. Carl Jung’s understanding of what drove the human mind spoke to something deep within me. His ability to connect the soulful and often painful heroic journey to the behaviours of each of us through the collective unconscious and its emphasis on self-actualization and orientation toward the future brought me not just hope but a path forward.

I dived deep and immersed myself in the continuing study of family dynamics and what would become attachment theory and I became a therapist, and by all accounts a pretty good one. However, it became increasingly apparent that the desire for answers would not magically transform my clients…or myself. I became frustrated with both myself for not having the “right” answers, and with my clients desire for things to change without them having to do so.

“We all want things to change, as long as we don’t have to!” ~ Dov Baron…

The insatiable hunger bubbled back to the surface and I knew that there had to be more! I began wondered about those who were “making it” and what they knew that the rest of us didn’t? Once again, I put on the diving tanks of curiosity and plunged deep into a world I knew nothing of.

I began to mingle with those who were considered the best of the best. I started to understand and decode the strategy-based thinking and action that would move an individual to a desired outcome. However, I also found a lot of those people were often massively externally successful and all too often, internally deeply unfulfilled. I discovered that they too, were looking for something they could not find even in their next big success. I started to understand the psychology and neuroscience of addiction. I realized that whether it’s cocaine, heroin, academia, religion or money, whether we are rich or poor, we are all in our own fumbling way trying to fill some emotional hole that we are likely too ashamed to admit even exists.

Down The Rabbit Hole…

A rainy 1984 afternoon just off the Melbourne Meat Market in Australia, I walked into a second-hand bookstore, and a book seemed to find me. The strange thing about that book is that every other page was written in a language I didn’t understand. But the pages I could read intrigued me. I was immediately sucked through a black hole into a universe of understanding I had fantasized about but had dismissed as my own mind mental gymnastics. The book was the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and the reason I could only read every other page was because every other page was written in the mathematical language of equations. My mind was blown by a Mad Hatter physicist by the name of Hugh Everett III who dragged me down a rabbit hole I would never fully emerge from. There I discovered ways to see the world that suddenly made crazy things make sense. The worlds of metaphysics, psychology, and quantum physics came into convergence for me with the help of the minds of people like Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, and Werner Heisenberg all of whose understandings were far beyond my own.

When The World is Cracked Open

In June 1990, while free-climbing, I fell approximately 120 feet and landed on my face. Everything I knew about myself was broken open by the rocks I collided with. Every “truth” was tested. It was a dark night of the soul that would last for years. However, because I was fuelled by deep curiosity to find meaning, I was able to find the courage to face both the terrifying darkness and the fire from which my dragon self could be brought into the world.

My quest “to know” has never ended (and I hope it never will). My journey started by looking out at the world and wondering what made it what it is. My journey became a spiritual adventure that led me inward to discover the roots of my own heart, soul, and mind. It has been a journey into the vastness of the universe and the infinitesimally small inner universe of neuroscience. It has given me the tools to guide friends, strangers, the wise and the foolish, psychologists, the homeless, world business leaders, entrepreneurs, and ordinary people in becoming more successful and more fulfilled than they’d ever imagined.

I have some answers, I have some strategies, and like most of us I even have the occasional moment of genius. But there are some things I know for sure that are far more important:

“Courage is subjective.” — If we are ever to own our deep greatness, then each day, we must challenge ourselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

“No one is objective in their subjective reality.” — Each of us needs someone on the outside to see what we cannot.

“Without meaning, we are all in pursuit of something, that when we get it will end up making us feel even more empty.”

“Curiosity is the cure for all our psychological and spiritual ills.” — Even though curiosity is trained out of us, we can reclaim it because curiosity is our nature.

Before I hand you the mic, let me ask you:

Have you found your Dragon Fire?

What do you need to know?

Do you have the courage to get past your ego to ask for guidance?

Finally, to paraphrase the words of the great philosopher and sage Dr. Seuss,

“Oh, where are the places you’ll go?” if you gave yourself permission to be deeply and open-heartedly curious?

When do you get curious?

What’s your biggest challenge? Are you ready to solve it?



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Inc Magazine Top 100 Leadership Speaker, Top30 Global Leadership Guru, Inc #1 Podcast for Fortune 500 Executives, The Worlds Leading Meaning Authority