I love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.

All of life is yin yang, A combination of opposites.  In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism, describing how obviously opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. 

Throughout our experiences and our exquisite journey through life, we are continually exposed to both sides, whether we want this or not. It is just the nature of being.

I think that the big picture requires an equal understanding and appreciation of both. That said, when we are experiencing the darkness, it requires special mental preparation to be capable of truly appreciating the lessons that are being served during that chapter of your life experience. And most people, (especially entrepreneurs) find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to ride these waves with dignity and confidence in ourselves, knowing in our hearts that we and we alone are the transportation from where we are to where we expect to be going.

Often times, this is not a joyous journey. By definition, that is what the darkness is all about. If we are prudent in our choices, we are able to reconcile ourselves to the fact that each of these uncomfortable chapters are fully capable of resolving in our favor if we are mentally in tune with the resources required to make that happen.

But how are we best able to accomplish this, especially if a dark chapter descends upon us out of nowhere? Unforeseen variables strike out at the entrepreneur from the most unexpected places and when they do, we are required to be adept at making quick decisions which are going to have long-term ramifications.

In the course of my journey, I have made some of these decisions which have been a godsend and I have made others which have plunged me into a world of darkness, not of my making.

When the decisions lead into darkness, there is an overwhelming wave of depression, despair and hopelessness that tries its best to extinguish the brilliant light inside of us that caused us to accelerate into being an entrepreneur in the first place. These feelings are human, and almost unavoidable.

To OG’s point, If we are truly in tune with the overall life experience, this is when we are able to finally see stars. In my world, within a few months of the global collapse, I went from spending $50,000 without thinking about it to trying to figure out where I could eat a lunch for five dollars or less because that’s all I could afford.

I didn’t cause the housing collapse, didn’t see it coming, had no opportunity to prepare for it and suddenly there it was and we were where we were. The Covid epidemic was equally devastating for millions of entrepreneurs around the world.

So what are the stars when everything is so dark? I think they are visions from our spirit being. (Whatever that ultimately is defined as. I have read discussions that say that a part of you lives on the other side and gives you communication via emotion to help you stay on the right track.)

I think they are glimmers of hope that deliver messages to us about where we could still be going. If you think about it, the great explorers in centuries past, navigated their way across the vast and unknown oceans using stars as their navigation system. In this particular context, I think the stars are illuminations of ideas, attitudes, perspectives, solutions, and fortification of our determination. They sparkle at us out of the darkness as if to say, “This too, shall pass. Stay strong. Stay focused. Learn from this and grow ever more powerful in the process.”

So, let’s take all of the metaphysical discussion and put it to the sideline for a second. When it is so dark, that there is barely the tiniest of a star to see (if at all), what do we do then?

For me, it was a choice of taking an inventory of my assets. What have I learned? What do I know that I am capable of? When I set my mind to something, am I able to manifest that into reality? If I were given another chance, what might I do differently this time? How much more would I appreciate what I had if I were able to bring it all back… and then some?

These are the questions that help you really learn what you are truly made of. I write often about looking in the mirror, because it is my metaphor for being 100% truthful with oneself. When it is just you and the mirror, any kind of lie is pure unadulterated bullshit and you know it and the mirror knows it, so why lie?

When we take that inventory in the vacuum of our own lonely mind, we are at a point of absolute determination. There are no delusions. There is only our ability to see the truth and determine what steps we are most willing to embark upon next. They are very difficult choices, made under extreme duress and mental devastation.

And right there, are the stars. They are the beacons of hope. They are the assurances of something far greater. They are the signpost on the road to show you how to navigate the vast uncharted ocean which you are hoping to cross. They are your spirit beings telling you that you have what it takes and they sparkle to prove to you that there is still light in the darkness.

The only thing that stands between you and your ability to leverage them to your greatest potential, is you.

Happy Monday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!