If Dorothy had landed in Oz and was greeted by Miyamato Musashi, instead of the munchkins, the Wizard of Oz might have turned into a ninja story. But in the end, it is still the same lesson. Look within.

As we swim upstream in the proverbial path of life, we find all sorts of obstacles in our way. Many of the obstacles are of our own making and others are external. But more often than not, the solution to overcoming those obstacles lies deep within ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a simple self-gratification element that we could consume and suddenly overcome the obstacle? I have yet to find such an element.

In every one of the major obstacles that I have encountered in my lifetime, the enemy was always within and the necessity to be mature enough to recognize it for what it is so that I might envision how I will overcome the obstacle, could not be more mandatory, regardless of how much work it was going to take.

When the student is ready, the master appears.

If you are internally awake and recognize this pattern in life, you will also recognize the master. Many times that master is deep within and has nothing to do with any external factor whatsoever. In fact in most cases, the Master is generated by a deep dissatisfaction that you feel with the status quo.

Whether you are battling any kind of a weight or self medication issue, financial issue, relationship issue, work issue, it does not matter. In most cases, the solution to going outside of the parameters of the problem that is making you feel trapped, lies deep within your being, waiting to be channeled and utilized to its greatest resource.

Whether the internal master is resilience, determination, abstinence, focus or otherwise, in the end, no external stimuli is going to make it happen until you yourself are determined enough to ensure you will stay the course, regardless of the hardships.

Growing pains are rarely fun, but they remain absolutely mandatory for a human being that desires growth.

Miyamato Musashi, also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer and rōnin who was born in 1584.

Happy Friday!!?

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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!