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Dispatch From The Middle Kingdom: Yuanfen, Guanxi and the Infinite Skyline of Shanghai.

June 5, 2009 @ 12:00 am
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Dispatch From The Middle Kingdom: Yuanfen, Guanxi and the Infinite Skyline of Shanghai.

YuánfènThe Taoist concept of the universe as a piece of fabric, with each of our lives as threads weaving patterns throughout. At the intersection of the fabric’s warp and woof is where Yuanfen occurs.

Often times our lives go in cycles, something like concentric circles rolling forward simultaneously, yet at different speeds and sizes. The primary areas of our lives can generally be categorized as Health, Wealth and Relationships, with many sub categories assigned to each one. Every once in a blue moon all the wheels synchronize for a brief moment and it becomes clear, in hindsight how the previous revolutions of these giant cogs propelled us to the place we stand, allowing a moment of respite and appreciation for sowing the seeds that reap a rich harvest.

That’s an encouragement to set goals and work diligently, if not unglamorously at times, towards achieving them. It’s having the sense and sobriety to realize where you stand in relation to your goals, and not pointing the finger at someone else for goals that still may seam out of reach.

I’m in Shanghai, overlooking the infinite skyline from a suite in Hyatt on the Bund. The very same view that captivated me and Mr. M last August when ultra-successful entrepreneur and international playboy Eskay flew us out here on a whim to meet Chinese business, life and ladies up close an personal. It was a trip that changed the course of my life. No joke!

In the midst of wild parties, champagne bubble baths and Shanghainese bedroom acrobatics, Mr M and yours truly sat overlooking the Bund river, listening in rapt attention as Eskay elucidated his views on business in China, his theory of relationship building and the best ways to enjoy financial success in style around the world.

That conversation was the last alignment of all the “wheels” in my life…knee deep in 8-weeks of social mastery training on Project Rockstar, assisting on Love System’s bootcamps with my pick-up heroes who I had followed from afar for years prior, and shedding the skin of my former life as an investment banker and director of a renewable energy company…in favor for aspirations of being a international playboy with a business that runs itself, learning languages and cultural nuances along the way.

After that illustrious trip, which is all documented on the Project Rockstar 2008 thread, I set forth with a new set of goals, some of which were:

o Build an automated 4-Hour Workweek style business with net profit of $15,000+/mo.
o Attain conversational fluency in Mandarin Chinese
o Acceptance to one of the top Universities in the world
o Become a Love Systems Instructor

Now sitting in the same hotel that catalyzed that life change, looking out on Shanghai’s skyline dance with lightning, it is satisfying to reflect for a moment that all of those goals are realized. It feels good to work hard for something you believe in and to achieve it against many odds and through difficult circumstances.

Many people ask me “How did you get this lifestyle?” or “How are you able to travel the world all the time? Don’t you ever have to work?”

Just to be clear; I do love my life and my lifestyle. It is not an accident or an anomaly when I find myself in Norway watching the Northern Lights or in whispering Mandarin words of love to a porcelain-skinned goddess of the Middle Kingdom. No! When I come across people on my path, they are seeing a small cross section of a much larger goal become manifest.

I don’t believe in accidents. But I do believe in Yuanfen, or the concept of destiny occurring when the stage is appropriately set.

So the million-dollar question is how do you live the life you’ve always dreamed of? It can seem so far away when mired in a 9-5 or doing homework at 10pm on a Friday. But as counterintuitive as it may seem, it is at these lows and doldrums that your true visions of grandeur should be born.

It is always a good reality check to ask yourself “Has anyone on earth done this before?” – If the answer is yes, as it usually is, then there are living breathing resources to help you find your way towards a brighter future. Find them. Find out more about those that have gone before and learn from their experiences. Let them fill in the blanks between where you are and where you want to be.

Gu?nxiThe basic dynamic in the complex nature of personalized networks of influence and social relationships; the concept of accumulating and leveraging social capital and a central concept in Chinese society.

Mr. M and Braddock, creators of Social Circle Mastery and Inner Game, know about Guanxi. Eskay wrote the book on Guanxi. I am on my Guanxi learning curve and I recommend that you join us. Guanxi describes the properties of the social fabric. When you know the physical and conceptual properties of social interactions, the underlying matrix becomes visible and you can predict and affect outcomes with a greater degree of certainty.

I could write all about the missteps and failures Buy Cipro Online Pharmacy No Prescription Needed lining the road to my current position in life. The setbacks, the heartache, the uncertainty. Being blown out and lost in foreign countries. And while those stories are hilarious at times, and harrowing at others, I would rather sum all of those bumps in the road up as follows:

Expect that there will be setbacks when you chose to go against the grain and strive for something better than what your peers and colleagues experience. Don’t let the expectation of setbacks and obstacles prevent action, if you value the end goals as worthy. Only YOU can attribute value to a goal, to a lifestyle, to accomplishments. If you’re pursuing practically any course of action to appease someone else, you’re selling yourself short of your own unlimited potential.

Anyways, once you put in the work, all the doubters, haters and mitigators will be asking how you did it. Then the ball is in your court to share your knowledge that is won from experience…or not. That knowledge, won from experience, is your Guanxi bargaining chip and can be used to exchange value with others who hold additional pieces to your learning puzzle.

It all comes down to taking a good look at yourself and identifying what you need to know to accomplish your goals. Then identifying where and how you can best get that knowledge. Yuanfen is the fabric of the life and Guanxi is the way to navigate the patterns of the cloth. Think of two as intertwined like DNA in a self-reinforcing double helix shape. One plays off the other, like two sides of the looking glass. You look into the crystal ball, asking for what you want and you see the way you’re viewed from the crystal ball’s inverted perspective.

Opening yourself to experience Yuanfen is equivalent to signing up for a class you are interested in. Applying Guanxi is the way to get the most out of the class and send you sailing down new threads of the Yuanfen life-cloth, where your threads will intertwine with others on similar lines.

In Project Rockstar 2009 – I am making it my life’s work for 8 weeks to give as much value as possible to 6 lucky individuals. Alongside a world-class instructor team, versed in all aspects of game and social dynamics, I will seek to impart all the accumulated knowledge that I’ve gained from traveling the Yuanfen silk road all over the globe.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming of Shanghai shenanigans, spicy Sichuan peppers, Chinese techno dance clubs, and porcelain skinned beauties of the Orient.

Closing thought. If you want to join Mr M and I for a weekend of Yuanfen, Guanxi and full immersion in all things pick-up related, come to our Hong Kong bootcamp July 24-26!

Zai Jian!

~ Shanghai Starlight ~

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