What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

We must win! No matter what.

Really? Define Win…..

Win: be successful or victorious in (a contest or conflict).

I am perpetually puzzled why society is so myopically focused on the concept of winning. We all want to win. We are trained from the starting line to achieve, to acquire, to secure, to produce….. to win. We want to win prizes, or a title, or a degree, or a professional position, or a spouse. We need to conquer. To prevail. To overcome. To triumph.

Winning is as indoctrinated into our overall beings as just about any value that we can conjure. In sports there are trophies, in entertainment there are awards, in just about any field of endeavor, winning constitutes the desired outcome. The pinnacle of success.

Yesterday in California, just 9 months before the next election, Governor Newsom, won a recall election that was poised to take him out of office. This move cost the citizens of California over $300 million dollars. And whether you like Newsom or do not like Newsom…. California lost the election. A giant angle that was leveraged against Newsom was prevailing homelessness. What do you suppose $300 million could have done to help that problem? How many systems of support, shelter, food, medicine and social help might that have paid for rather than a political agenda?

Winning is a decisive victory. But it is not necessarily the value.

The pages of history are piled deep in stories of how one person, group, company, team, country prevailed over another for the decisive victory. Of less interest appears to be the massive ramifications of that win. History is written by the victors and they seldom like to review the casualties of their campaign. Columbus and the subsequent Europeans are credited with discovering America. That is what we all learned when we grew up. I invite you to watch John Leguizamo’s Latin History For Morons.  In his brilliant, one man stage play, John takes you through the entire massive genocide of countless millions of people so that this currently occupied continent could be “discovered.”

Europe achieved their goals, but the indigenous populations living in N. America and S. America were the casualties. These civilizations had already discovered and achieved pinnacles of what was possible at that time, and their entire substance was eradicated over a monarch’s desire for more gold. Shiny, metallic dirt (if you will).

I am as competitive as anyone. I prize the goals and awards, and black belts and other achievements that I and my team have earned. There is a great joy in achieving them. As a fan, I feel exhilaration when the Lakers take the championship, or when a movie I loved wins the award. I have a huge passion for winning.


The older I have become, the more aware I am becoming of what choices I am and am not willing to make in the desire to prevail. 

Yesterday was a striking moment of this. We are about to ready Sizzle for launch, and a third party referred someone to us as a potential source of funding our expansion. The person with whom I was speaking was a facilitator. They pair companies who seek funding with investors. She was gracious to listen to what we were doing and was passionate about how Sizzle could be astronomically successful. As she described the investor, I had a sense I was going into the MAGA world. Without asking, I explained to her that my goal to generate billions of dollars was so that most of my part of the profit would go back into helping make the world a better place. I made it a point to let her know that I am a sentient human being. She listened and responded with a sentence that clued me in to the fact that her investor was clearly living in Earth 2, and then she said… but politics do not matter in a funding. The important thing is the financial bottom line and what you do with your money is your option. 

Here’s the thing. That is just wrong. We have worked tirelessly to make something of value to the world. As shared a couple days ago. To get this close to success and pair up with someone who lives on Earth 2, just will not work for me. And I took the time to thank her for that possible introduction and allowed her to move on to her next contact who might be a better fit. And we scheduled an appointment next week to speak with him.

Just as the stupidity of what has just been squandered in California on a needless election, I cannot bring myself to contribute even a profitable great idea to a belief system that is so far astray of my core values. I would rather suffer longer, work harder and try my best to do it all on my terms. Terms that consider the holographic whole of everything, and not just the win for me and my team.

I put that thought to Source as I was readying to go to bed at 12:30 last night, and my phone rings. A new friend of mine had to share that he is on the precipice of making a deal with one of the top producers in Hollywood, and he sees Sizzle as an integral component to the deal. I listened to him for an hour. But the bigger thought was circulating in my mind while listening was…. that if you hold your integrity and you are disciplined in trying to ensure your values do not compromise in the face of a perceived “win,” then perhaps something of greater magnitude awaits you. When one door closes, another door opens. 

Believe in virtue. Walk the walk. It may not always be comfortable. You may get very scared, even terrified and stressed the F out while doing so. But you get the ultimate win by doing so.  You get to look yourself in the mirror and say… Attaboy. (Or Attagirl)

Happy Wednesday!

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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!