I just got back from a long and exhausting trip! I attended Dr. Joe Vitale’s amazing “Awakened Millionaire” weekend. And what a weekend! Overall it was an amazing trip. I’ll share some highlights with you below:
I always travel via London to the US. In the past I used to fly in one stretch, Bahrain to London, London to Chicago (or another major hub) and then on to the local city where the event was being held. As you can imagine it was really exhausting. Nowadays I don’t do that anymore, I make sure I break the trip in London and stay for a couple of days.
London is my favourite city in the whole world! I used to live their in the 90’s from 1993 until end of 2001. I spend most of my twenties in this city and I fell in love with it. BUT, I wouldn’t want to live there anymore. The weather is lousy, the people are not the friendliest, the traffic is bad and it’s really REALLY expensive.
But I love to visit! London is one of those places that offers something for everybody. If you’re hardcore clubber and partygoer you’ll find some great clubs. If you have a more intellectual or cultural bent, you’ll find some really amazing museums. If you’re a food connoisseur, you’ll find some great restaurants. And on and on… It’s probably the culture-richest city I’ve ever seen. When I go there I just walk and walk all day. I love it!
When I was there this time I visited the National Gallery and the Imperial War Museum. At the Imperial War Museum they had an exhibition on Ian Fleming (the author that created the James Bond character) which I thought was fascinating.
I love history. I’m a firm believer in the wisdom that says if you fail to study history then you’re doomed to repeat it. I suppose that’s part of the reason for my keen interest in history. I love Discovery Channel and History Channel historical documentaries.
I stayed in London for two nights and made sure I did as much as possible during this short period.
Meeting The Master
I also made sure to visit my old friend and instructor Master Rafael Nieto. I’ve known him now for over 13 years – but it seems like I met him just yesterday. Master Rafael was his usual larger-than-life self. Whenever we meet we talk about the past and we also compare notes on martial arts school management etc. I would say that most of are views are similar, but we disagree on one or two minor points. Which I think is perfectly okay and healthy.
In case you’re curious about this, there is nor formal link between my school and his. But I consider him to be my teacher and always will. I think I’m blessed to have this man in my life.
Whenever I train with him, he always manages to make me feel like a complete beginner! I did some training there and the instant I threw my first punch he shouted “No! That’s wrong! Do it again!” So I punch again, and again he tells me it’s wrong. But you’re not even giving me the chance I think to myself, but I don’t say that out loud. And on and on it goes, me trying to do the technique correctly and him stopping me and then asking me what I’m doing wrong. He eventually tells me what the mistake is and then tells me to do the technique again.
But I don’t mind. I know he does it out of love and concern for me, and he wants me to get better in my technique. The things he teaches and demonstrates are very advanced and I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn from him whenever I can.
Getting to Austin
The BA flight to Austin was via Dallas. On the flight to Dallas I sat next to a lady who wore a badge that read “Lose Weight Now! Ask Me How!”. Of course being in the weight loss field myself I was curious, and I made a mental note to ask her about the badge. But I was tired and wanted to get some sleep first.
Later, when I was rested (I use the term ‘rested’ very loosely here, after all I was on a plane and I am over 6 feet tall) I said to her “Excuse me. I’m ready to find out how you lost all the weight!”
She laughed and explained that she had never been over weight her self. It turns out she’s a home-based sales representative for Herbal Life a nutritional supplements company. Herbal Life use what is called “network marketing” or MLM (Multi Level Marketing) to sell their products. They don’t have any stores, all their sales reps are people who sell out of their homes to friends and family. The business model is based on recruiting as many other sales reps as possible. A person not only gets commission on every sale they make, but also on every sale one of their recruits makes.
She explained how some of her products help people get healthy, and how some of them help people lose weight. From what I understood, the weight loss system works on having two nutrition shakes instead of breakfast and lunch, and then a regular meal for dinner.
I must say I have my doubts about the weight loss-through-shakes system, but she seemed convinced, and came across as enthusiastic and really friendly. We spoke until it was time to land, and we exchanged contact details before getting off the plane. What a nice, warm lady.
At Dallas I got the usual call to the side by the Homeland Security people. I must say the Homeland Security process has become less humiliating over the years, I would upgrade the experience from humiliating to just plain degrading 🙂 They’ve become less rude over the years. I would go as far as saying that they were actually polite this time, or maybe it’s just the Texas hospitality.
When I was done having my cavities probed (just kidding), I took the connecting flight to Austin. In Austin I picked up the rental car I booked and drove to the luxurious Driskill Hotel.
I was drained! I ordered room service and went to bed… and woke up at 4:00 am, jet-lagged and feeling dreary, zombie-like. I watched some TV, flipped through the channels until I cam across the movie The Matrix. I watched that for a while until a fell asleep again.
Meeting the Guru
The next day the event started at 9:30 am. As I mentioned earlier, the event was put together by author and personal development guru Dr. Joe Vitale. Joe is one of the experts that was featured in the hit movie The Secret. He’s the author the The Attractor Factor, Zero Limits and several other books ranging from marketing to hypnotic writing. I’ve read most of his books.
He was also kind enough to write a review for my book, The Ultimate Self-Defence Handbook. This is the first time I meet him. I sent him an early draft of my book before it was published and he was kind enough to endorse it.
The seminar had three themes to it. The first day talked about marketing and business, the second day was about spirituality and self-development, and the third was about bringing the concepts together, with a discussion about internet marketing. If there ever was a custom-made event for me then this was it! These are all topics close to my heart.
Dr. Joe shared some profound life secrets with us – I mean really profound!
My View of Dr. Vitale
I have to say I thought he was one of the friendliest and humblest people I’ve ever met. This is a man who is now world-famous, a multimillionaire, yet so down-to-earth and approachable. You could really sense his love of helping people. Meeting him was a wonderful experience. He asked me about Bahrain and about my businesses and showed genuine interest. We also talked about my book.
On the Attendees
There was a very interesting mix of attendees there. There was one guy who specialised in teaching others how to be phone psychics! He called him self “doctor” even though he didn’t have a PhD in anything. I laughed when he told me that! I told him though I admired his audacity, I’d never have the guts to call myself doctor without the degree. He said something to the effect of “who has the right to say I can’t call myself doctor if I want to?”
There was the lady from Canada. She is a coach who uses journaling to help people overcome their problems. Journaling is known to be a powerful way of expressing oneself and overcoming any issues. Many self-development programmes use them including organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous. It turns outs she’s originally Egyptian. Her parents left Egypt in the 1950’s. When I asked her if she was Coptic or Muslim she told me she was Jewish. How interesting, a Canadian/Egyptian/Jewish Journaling Coach!
The whole group was really interesting. There was one Argentinean/Japanese lady. When I asked her what she did for a living, she told me in her accented English “I’m a cleaner.”
I thought I heard her wrong, “excuse me? What do you do?” I asked. “I’m a cleaner,” she said again. I was impressed! I asked her how she could afford this course, because it was really, (REALLY) pricey.
“A miracle!” she exclaimed! She told me how she managed to spread the cost over several credit cards. She had planned to buy a car but instead spent part of the money to come to the event. I told her I admired what she did. When we spoke some more she told me she wanted to break away from cleaning, and that she had started selling Herbal Life products! Whoa! What a coincidence! Another Herbal Life person!
There was the nice lady from New York who wrote two e-books (an e-book is an ‘electronic’ book that you buy and download from the internet). Another person was getting into selling “energy” chips made in Russia and imported from Austria…
There was a hypnoses, NLP guy. An “Inspired” internet marketing guy, a chiropractic couple and more. Like I said a VERY interesting mix of people. I don’t have time to talk about all of them. They were all so friendly and during the three days together we created quite a nice bond with each other. They all expressed admiration for how far I travelled to get there. I became known as the “guy from Bahrain.” I got the usual questions like where is Bahrain? Is it safe? Etc. etc.
On the last day a group of us went out to dinner. Kim, the Canadian/Egyptian/Jewish Journaling Coach, asked me more questions about Bahrain and the Arab culture. The conversation varied from the four wives subject to the hejab and various other topics. I answered as best I could. The whole group were fascinated with our “exotic” culture. And as usual, I loved being the centre of attention 🙂
Kim told me that in the old, Orthodox Jewish faith, if a man was not being sexually satisfied by his wife, that he had the right to seek satisfaction outside the marriage. This really struck me as odd. I thought all religions were strict about adultery. She shocked me even more when she explained that if a woman was not sexually satisfied, she could also seek gratification outside the marriage – but only with another woman! I’m not kidding.
Saying Good Bye
It was a fairly emotional fair well on the last evening. It’s funny how close you can get to people when you spend a lot of time with them over a short period of time. Americans like to hug, and I felt a bit awkward when it was time to hug all around. I’m pretty outgoing and it’s not easy for me to feel awkward, but I’m not big on hugging people outside my family and close friends. I’m especially not used to hugging women outside my immediate family. Cathy (the e-book lady) gave me two hugs! It was nice, but I’m all hugged out and ready to go hug-free until my next US trip 🙂
An overall amazing event. I’m back, tired and jet-lagged all over again, but very inspired. Sorry for the long post and the multiple links, but I wanted to share my excitement with you. Below are some photos for you. Talk soon.