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How to achieve ‘harmonic wealth’

Think you're rich because you have money? Wrong, says self-made millionaire James Arthur Ray. True wealth comes when your life is in balance, or harmony, he writes in "Harmonic Wealth," a sort of guide to getting what you really want out of life. Here's an excerpt.
/ Source: TODAY

Think you're rich because you have money? Wrong, says self-made millionaire James Arthur Ray. True wealth comes when your life is in balance, or harmony, he writes in "Harmonic Wealth," a sort of guide to getting what you really want out of life. Here's an excerpt:

Harmonic Wealth isn’t just about material abundance — although that’s a fun and extremely necessary component. It’s about abundance in all areas of your life. Think of harmony as a musical performance, in which different instruments move to weave a magical tapestry. Now, apply this to your life. Wouldn’t you like to have all the different parts of your life moving toward an elegant whole that’s more than the sum of its parts? That’s Harmonic Wealth.

Most people equate wealth with money. While money is a part of wealth, it’s so much more than that. True wealth is a state of harmony and well-being. I know people who are multi-multimillionaires who would gladly hand over half their net worth to have more health, loving relationships, or a personal connection with something beyond themselves. A truly wealthy individual experiences harmony in all facets of his or her life — a sense of fulfillment and well-being that transcends the momentary happiness of lopsided achievements in one or two areas while neglecting the others.

So, you’re about to learn how to have an abundance of well-being in the five key areas of life, what I call the Five Pillars of Wealth: Financial, Relational, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. Without these five pillars, you might be rich, but you’ll never be wealthy. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that the more you reach this state of true wealth, the more money rushes to you — and all that money can provide. The universe is at your command and lines up in joyous support of your awakening.

Creating Harmonic Wealth brings an overall sense of well-being, fulfillment, even unity. Understand that your pillars are interdependent: When you attend to each of them, all increase in strength. When you take care of your health by working out regularly and eating well, you create multiple benefits. Sexual relationships become enhanced by your greater confidence and stamina. Business booms from your increased energy. You’re more alert and receptive in spiritual pursuits. You’re more alive. Similarly, spiritual growth translates to deepening intimacy in friendships and romantic relationships, fueling your desire to keep up with your physical exercise.

Research in the evolution of consciousness now proves that cross training is the key to exponential growth. This is a fundamental concept we’ll be dealing with in this journey. Through revealing personal stories and case studies, ancient and cutting-edge wisdom, and simple but powerful exercises, we’ll look at how to make the most of this integrative way of life. What’s more, we’ll reveal how, with Harmonic Wealth, you can create true wealth by going 3 for 3 in the five main areas of life. Going “3 for 3” is what happens when your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions are all firing simultaneously and in alignment. I’ll give you proven action steps that are practical and easy to implement — the same steps that have catapulted my life and work into the world. I’ll keep them down, dirty, and simple, because if you’re anything like me, you want your results yesterday already.

WHY BALANCE IS BOGUSI’m a great believer in harmony, but balance is bogus.

Many teachers talk about balance, and guess what? Not one of them is balanced. I know; I used to be one of them. The only people who are perfectly balanced are six feet under and it’s not your time yet. Balance in this world cannot be achieved, so get over it.

Think of a scale. In perfect balance, nothing’s happening. There’s no dynamism, no life or vibrancy. Now, think of a jazz band in action — the life and vibrancy are palpable, aren’t they? The performers in this band have less to do with playing the melody as written and more to do with improvising. They give life to nuance and the music takes shape in the moment. That’s harmony. The different parts aren’t balanced — sometimes the saxophone leads. Sometimes it’s the bass, or the drum or lead guitar. Whatever instrument is out in front at the moment, they’re all contributing, all creating that amazing thing called music. Each musician plays his part of a magical, magnificent whole.

I want to encourage you to think of your life like this. When you’re in harmony, some days your parenting skills will lead. Other times it’ll be your job or your school. On certain occasions your marriage will take center stage. Sometimes you’re going to be running on two hours’ sleep, having worn the same clothes three days in a row. It may not be pretty, but that may be just what it takes to finish the business plan that lands you the big dollars and the nourishing rest and relaxation that follows. If you had been in perfect balance, you never would have pulled those crazy hours to begin with, and look at what you’d have missed. So, with my way, you’re going to have to get used to the idea that you’re never going to be in perfect balance, nor would you want to. Perfect balance is death, death of mind and spirit.

Hopefully I’ve just lightened your load if you’re good at traveling on guilt trips on account of your lack of balance. It’s time to get over it. Knowing that nothing dynamic’s happening when you’re in balance, why would you want to be? Harmony is where it’s at; harmony is dynamic and full of life, even if you choose to venture temporarily into choppy seas. While it’s true that you can’t control the waves, who said you can’t learn to surf?

If you’re still tempted to strain for balance, you’ve been forewarned that it’s always going to be an impossible dream. My prayer is that you’ll see throughout the chapters how liberating it is to cease chasing this illusion.

YOU ALWAYS SUCCEED AT WHAT YOU VALUE“James, I want to be more successful!” a man I’d never met told me over the phone. “Can you help me?”

“Sure,” I said. “Where are you already successful?”

“I’m not! That’s why I need your help!”

“Okay, cool,” I answered. “Now, tell me, where are you already successful?”

“James! You’re not listening to me!” he wailed. “The reason I’m calling you is because I need to be successful and I’m not.”

“Interesting,” I said. “How’s your health right now?’

“Well, I’ve never been more fit in my entire life,” he answered.

“How’s your relationship right now?” I asked.

“My wife and I just celebrated our twenty-year anniversary. She’s the best. Our eldest daughter just got into Brown.”

“So, fit, healthy, and in a loving connected relationship with happy kids?” I asked.

“Yes, and I can see where you’re going with this, James. But my buddy down the street is making ten times more money than I am and I can’t figure out why. He just bought my brand-new dream car, a BMW, and it’s making me nuts!”

“That’s really terrific for him,” I said. “But how’s his health?”

“Um, he had a heart attack last year and nearly died.”

“Interesting,” I said. “How is his relationship?”

“He just went through a nasty divorce. He and his ex are fighting over custody.”

“Interesting. So, who's more successful?” I asked him.

I’m not here to tell you which path in life is right or wrong for you. That’s not my role. You currently have the life you chose, based upon your values, and the actions you’ve taken toward those values — like my caller friend and his neighbor. Read that again. Even if you don’t like this life (and I’ll explain later why I believe you actually love it), for now it’s enough to say that you’ve succeeded at creating what you value. The guy up the street clearly had a higher value for his business than my client. He valued materialism more than his family or his health. Conversely, the caller had a higher value for his health and his family than he did for his business. We always put energy where our attention is. There’s a law in our universe that’s backed up by physics, which states, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Our challenge is to shift our attention to what we truly value ... and keep it there.

If we take this focus and attention business one step further, we see that when we’re constantly focusing on I don’t have it, the universe says, “Your wish is my command,” and we continue not having it. But that, too, is a story for later. For now, just know that I’m going to help you turn this type of thinking around to where “right thinking” followed by “right action” becomes your natural state — quickly.

WE ARE ENERGY, WE ARE DIVINEI struggle a bit with the label self-help, even if that’s the section where you found this book, because I come from the premise that you’re already perfect, magnificent, and divine. To my way of thinking, self-help says that you’re broke and need to be fixed. I prefer personal transformation. Personal transformation says that no matter how fantastic things are for you, you can always grow, expand, and more fully express yourself. There’s always room to receive more of the richness and wealth the universe has to offer. If you’re currently struggling in any area, it doesn’t mean you’re not perfect. It just means you’re ready for a shift. That’s why you picked up this book.

To make that shift, you’ll probably have to redefine your ideas about God, wealth, and spirituality. I was raised in a very fundamental Christian household with a Protestant minister as a father. He’s one of my best friends and mentors and he always taught me to study and keep an open mind. I’m here to tell you that you’re not going to hear the tired “you’ve got to suffer to get into heaven” jargon from me. There isn’t one ounce of belief in me that says you have to have a hard life to justify spiritual rewards. What a crock!Ever since I was a kid I questioned — everything. Deep down inside I just knew that you could advance spiritually without giving up the joys of the earth. I looked around and saw that the people who were saying you couldn’t be wildly successful and highly spiritual at the same time didn’t appear to have authentic results in either area.

This is a new millennium and it’s time to redefine what it means to be wealthy and spiritual. I believe, for example, that it’s every bit as spiritual for LeBron James to slam-dunk on a court as it is for me to sit in my living room meditating. Bill Gates has touched as many, if not more, lives with his inspirational vision as any modern-day teacher. Each person contributes and gives to the world from their own unique calling and gifts. Quantum physics as well as spiritual traditions tell us that all things come from the same source.

I’m not knocking meditation by any means; I meditate every day and have an outrageous story to share with you about doing so. That said, it’s an incredible hypocrisy to sit on a cushion all day, so connected and high, only to drive around in traffic an hour later and go ballistic. Heaven starts within, my friend, and true harmony can be had whether you smell the roses or the diesel fumes. I’m going to help you redefine spirituality in your own life while we uncover your purpose and get you on track to have an incredibly wealthy life on all levels.

To understand how I see spirit, start by understanding what you read in the welcome — that everything is energy. Everything — you, me, everything around us. We live in a vibrational universe. We all vibrate to our own frequencies, forming a massive energy field from which science tells us all form is created. Since everything in your universe (from a plant to a palace to a planet) is comprised of this same energetic source, this field is pregnant with unlimited potential and possibility. This field of unlimited opportunity goes by many names. Some scientists call it the quantum hologram, some call it plenum or the Zero Point Field. Some of these scientists are even calling it the mind of God. If you ask them to describe energy, they’ll say something like, “Well, it’s omnipresent. It can never be created or destroyed. All that ever was or will be is already here. It’s always moving into form, through form, and back out of form.”

Ask a theologian what created the universe, and you’ll hear about God or the Creator, the Source, Universal Mind, Higher Self, the Holy Guardian Angel — the list goes on. Ask that theologian to define God, and he or she will say, “God is omnipresent, can never be created or destroyed, was always here, and is always moving into form, through form, and back out of form.”

Notice anything? Hello? They’re saying the same things! For the first time in recorded history, we now have a marriage between science and spirituality. We need to drop these artificial distinctions between the spiritual and the material. It’s up to us to see how these truths apply to our everyday lives and how we can integrate them for Harmonic Wealth in all areas.

But you and I aren’t going to live in mystical abstractions. We’ve got real work to do. Spiritual mastery in today’s world is about integration. It’s about being able to have a great body and run a business, as well as meditate, give back, and everything in between. My goal has always been to soar into the realms of the mystic, while keeping my feet in the sand. You know, a practical mystic. There’s no point in teaching you how to tap into the Zero Point Field if you can’t bring it back to the third dimension and create results in your life. My intention for you in this work is to give you insights, tools, and techniques to create the outrageous and amazing results you deserve in every area of life.

Trust me, the universe is going to support us in this. The laws of our vibrational universe are vast and varied, but they are immutable. While people seem to want to force fit the entire universe into the Law of Attraction these days, our universe is governed by other equally powerful, distinct, and definitive laws. When you align with them, you win, and when you don’t, you lose. It’s just that simple.

YOUR FELLOW TRAVELERIn case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m eclectic (although I prefer the term integrated). That comes, I believe, from having thrived in the extreme mystical realms to executive roles in the business world — with a full spectrum of integrated living in between.

While I’ve always had a strong appetite for spiritual and mystical truth, I’ve never felt it necessary to shun the business world or the amazing joys this life has to offer. To me, integrated spiritual mastery is about embracing both worlds with equal enthusiasm and commitment.

The reason I’m so excited about bringing this information to you is because it’s truly the “best of my best” from everything I’ve learned and accomplished — a blueprint, if you will, for the success I’ve enjoyed on so many levels and helped foster in the lives of my clients.

My research in the field really began when I was still in high school. A voracious reader and seeker, I was never fully satisfied by the answers about the meaning of life I got from traditional religion. My strict upbringing gave me a certain perspective, yet my dad always encouraged me to think for myself. That said, it was still a little bizarre for the eighteen-year-old son of a Protestant minister to start lugging home books on Buddhism and meditation.

The voracity of my seeking increased with time, and I began traveling to sacred sites around the world, working with shamans and teachers. I’ve been honored to have been initiated into three shamanic orders from the Incan culture as a Mesayoq — “carrier of power” — as well as the supernatural Huna tradition of ancient Hawaii.

As awe-inspiring and insightful as these teachings have been, however, I still found that many of my questions remained unanswered. Whether I was in the rain forest of the Amazon, the sacred mountains of Peru, the islands of the South Pacific, or the deserts of Egypt, I found myself thinking during many a ceremony, “These people are so pure, but almost childlike in their understanding and mentality.” Not to mention, I didn’t love the idea that unless I wanted to give up money, food, and sex, I would never fully be able to tap the power of Eastern meditative practices.

In addition to my spiritual questions, I’ve lived and thrived in the more traditional business world too. I was one of AT&T’s top sales managers for five years and spent four years as a personal and business growth expert with the AT&T School of Business. I spent four years working with best-selling author Stephen Covey, and thirteen years as an entrepreneur and business growth expert. But despite my successful corporate career, I knew I wouldn’t be complete until I’d integrated the two different worlds in which I walked. I designed my work schedule to fit around my journeys, not the other way around. For twenty-five years, I’ve faithfully blocked off substantial weeks of time for yearly voyages and excursions.

The question that haunted me for years was, “How do you apply these ancient methods to the modern Western world?” Deep down, a nagging feeling told me that our call is not to return to the old ways, but to bring their truths into today’s world. I’ve spent years studying quantum physics, trying to translate the arcana of science into practical use. This book is the culmination of my efforts to do that: Harmonic Wealth distills success principles from across the globe, both old and new.

I, like you, remain a flawed student. I have struggled with my demons and have fought my dragons. Insecurity, fear of abandonment, lack of self-worth, and money identification have been my bedfellows, but I’ve pushed onward. Being a true student is about committing to diving deep and practicing the disciplines of mastery versus just dabbling here and there as a “tourist” until the going gets rough.

I teach with a passion for helping you avoid the hard knocks I’ve created, endured, and triumphed over. I’m someone who believes that admitting my flaws and challenges is a source of strength. I love to point them out because not only can you learn from them and avoid them, but then I don’t have to live with such high standards in people’s eyes. (Besides, if I don’t get to them first, you might!)

HOW TO USE THIS BOOKAs you’ll see, this book is divided into five parts — one part for each of the Five Pillars — Financial, Relational, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. Each section is comprised of chapters, that offer facts, theories, anecdotes, and exercises. Don’t just read the exercises; I insist that you do the exercises. But then again, once you do the first one, I won’t have to lord it over you. You’ll see almost immediately that they’re fun and very different. I’m not into re-creating what you’ve done in other books and seminars. I’d stake my reputation on the fact that there are at least a few exercises that you’ll be jumping out of your seat to start.

HARMONY STARTS HEREAs you might have figured by this point, I believe in starting big. So take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to get busy. I promise that nothing worth accomplishing will come without focus and big action ... but the prize is well worth the price.

You’re reading this because you want — and know you deserve — more. More financial freedom, love, intellectual and emotional mastery, health, physical fitness, spiritual connection, joy, toys — you name it. It’s all good and it’s all spiritual — from a pine tree to a Porsche.

There are many ways to cross a river, but as I tell my students, “The only way I know is my way.” Are there other ways to achieve Harmonic Wealth in life? Possibly, but I don’t know them; I only know mine and I guarantee they work. So since you’re holding my book, we’re going to play by my rules. Meet me in five minutes with your notepad or journal, awake and ready to focus, and have fun mapping out your harmonically wealthy life.

“James. The old notepad thing?” If you’re thinking, Been there, done that, and I’m not in the mood, get over it. Do it again. This is different. While you may have written down lists before — maybe even until your hand ached and carpal tunnel syndrome threatened — we’re going to figure out right now exactly where you stand with the five key areas of Harmonic Wealth: Financial, Relational, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual, and what you choose to have in each. It’s important to take stock of what you want — or think you want — now, because I want you to have a starting point. You should never start a journey without knowing where you’re headed. And I also want you to have the powerful experience of seeing how things change once you’ve looked at your life and goals from the new, out-of-the-box perspectives to come. I think you’ll be surprised by what is born of this process. So, at the risk of repeating myself, just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

Intimidated? Let that go too. This disciplined approach is for your life and your life only. Resist any teachings that tell you you can just sit back and watch your life transform. Discipline always precedes dominion and anyone who’s truly wealthy knows this. So, even if I do sound like a drill sergeant, don’t worry about that. I love to tease, poke, and prod. But it’s all in fun and meant in the spirit of changing lives; I always have your best interests in mind. I am honored and humbled that you’re taking this journey with me. That said, to the degree that you play full-on is the degree to which your life transforms. It’s that simple — or not. It’s your choice.

As I said, there’s always a price to pay for the prize. The more you give, the more you get. The master embraces pain and pleasure in pursuit of his or her vision, dreams, and purpose. Don’t wish for an easier life — that’s illusion. Wish for greater capability and capacity to ease elegantly through life.

Do I hear you asking, “But James, what if I’m not sure what my deepest desires are?”I LOVE that question because, in truth, most people don’t have a clue about what they really, really want. You’re on common ground. I’ve been teaching this information in seminars, workshops, and keynotes around the world for over two decades, and I can promise you that most people have plenty more knowledge about what they don’t want than about what will make them happy:

Me: “What do you want, oh kind-hearted seminar participant?” Seminar Participant: “Well, I don’t want to be fat anymore. I don’t want to be broke another minute. I hate being unmarried at forty-five!”

See where I’m going with this? Do you ever do this? Answer someone’s big-thinking question with a squeeze-the-fun-out-of-it, ignorant, fear-based, or downright depressing answer that’s all about what you hate, what you don’t want, what your life is full of? That’s normal, I can assure you, but is that what you want — to be normal? I don’t know about you, but the masses (with their high rates of divorce, obesity, and debt) have some serious challenges and “normal” ain’t cutting it. How can you be juiced to commit 100 percent to your spouse, your health, and your economics when you don’t even know what you really want? You’ll never be fully engaged in where you are or where you’re going by settling for normal. Here’s a fact: No one who was normal ever made history. Drop that fantasy like a hot rock!

I’m asking you to be willing to walk differently through the world, and I’ll help you. The world isn’t bad; people aren’t bad. But there’s a serious pack mentality on this globe — a certain level of consciousness, if you will, that must be surpassed to attain the Harmonic Wealth you seek. Breaking free starts with knowing who you are and why you’re here. Most people I ask are hard-pressed to give me concrete details about what would make them rocket out of bed in the morning. Given the finite amount of time you’ve got in this incarnation on this planet, doesn’t that seem like a serious waste of time?

If your palms are sweating and your head’s pounding, let me calm your nerves by saying that where you’ve been is not where you’re going. I can help you figure out what you really, really want right now, and activate the Law of Attraction, as well as some other laws of the universe, to work wonders in your life, so stay with me.

YOU: A VISIONARYI’m assuming your notepad has been in front of you for some time now, right? It’s time to take a couple of minutes and write down the things you choose to create in your life. If you can get them down, I’ll tell you how to achieve them. I want you to think harmonically, comprehensively, financially, relationally, mentally, physically, spiritually. What are the things you choose to create? Here’s the deal: I’m not asking you to write down what you think you can get but rather what you would dare to dream if you knew anything was possible. Get it down — now. If you want to keep it short and sweet that’s fine, you’ll have the opportunity to go more in depth later. But for now, please commit to answering the following questions.

ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL WEALTH• What’s your ideal annual income?• What’s your dream net worth?• How much do you want in your financial freedom account? (This differs from having a large net worth by carrying debt, like mortgages, since they’re tied to payments.)ASSESS YOUR RELATIONAL WEALTH• Do you spend quality time by yourself? Do you enjoy your own company?• Do you treat yourself the way you want other people to treat you? Please describe.• What things do you do that contribute to your feeling joyous and fulfilled?• Do you give yourself enough personal time?• Do you have a dream mate?• Would you know your dream mate if you met him/her? How specifically would you know?• Who do you have to become to attract your dream mate?• If you have a mate already, do you make time for that relationship, just the two of you?

ASSESS YOUR MENTAL WEALTH• How many books do you choose to read per month, per year? (I bet this number changes after you’ve read the Mental Pillar.)• How many seminars are you going to attend each year to invest in your number one asset, your marvelous mind? Maybe there’s a course you’ve always wanted to take that you’ve set aside for a long time.• Are you the master of your own emotions or do they master you?

ASSESS YOUR PHYSICAL WEALTH• What’s your dream weight, dress size, suit size, body composition?• How many days a week are you going to work out to stay in that shape? You know what that shape is. You know how you feel when you’re healthy. How flexible do you want to be? I guarantee an inflexible body is a reflection of an inflexible mind.• Do you have all the toys you want — that home you’ve always dreamed of, that car you’ve always wanted to drive?• Where do you want to travel and explore? Do you want to drink fine wine in Paris? Visit the Great Pyramid in Egypt?

ASSESS YOUR SPIRITUAL WEALTH• Have you discovered that one-on-one connection with your creative source? How do you define that? Be specific.• What inspires you? Inspiration comes from the Latin word inspiratu, meaning “divinely breathed into.” Are you inspired by great music, reading the classics, taking a walk in nature or a jog on the beach? Long baths with candles and incense? An evening at the Four Seasons in Maui? What would you want the divine to “breathe into” your life right now?I promise, when your vision on the inside becomes more compelling and powerful than what you observe on the outside, the universe is at your command. So, be specific, make it real, and fill in your vision with as many sensory details as possible. If you had it, what would it feel like, smell like, sound like, look like, taste like? You want to be able to recognize your intention when you create it at last.

Think big — really, really big. Don’t censor yourself. I’ve shared this powerful strategy with thousands of people on all levels of the happiness scale, and the results are often seemingly out of left field and life-changing when people truly let go of what they think is possible and write down their soul’s desires.

Can you accomplish what you’ve just written down? It’s going to take a tremendous amount of power for you to create this reality — more than you currently have. You might say, “But James, you don’t know me, how can you say that?” I know it’s going to take more power than you currently have because you don’t have these things yet. If you had enough personal power to attract your goals into your life and create them for yourself, you’d already have them. But make sure and give yourself credit for writing down your vision — I congratulate you. If you’ve done the work so far, you’re already building up your power and energy with every page turned and exercise completed.

However, perhaps you’re one of those people who will look at this list and think, I just can’t answer these questions. Relax. I have a tactic created especially for you. As I said, I want your deepest focus to be on what you do want, but if you’re truly stuck, the quickest way I’ve found to erase any confusion or doubt about your heart’s true desires is to start with what you don’t want.

On The Oprah Winfrey Show, I got the opportunity to work with a woman from the audience who said that she didn’t know what her deepest desires were or her purpose. She was frustrated. Oprah and I agreed that the woman’s dilemma was both “big” and common. Perhaps like you, she didn’t know the right questions to ask. Sometimes the most simple, most direct route to success is hidden from view.

Grab your notepad and write down everything you don’t want, everything you really don’t like about the life you now have: “I don’t want to be broke. I don’t want to be overweight. I don’t want to be alone” — whatever. Get it all down. Then use the Law of Polarity to your advantage. Just start down that list and ask yourself, “What’s the exact polar opposite of each statement?” Write it down as if you already have it. “I don’t want to be broke” becomes “I have financial freedom.” “I don’t want to be overweight” becomes “I am the perfect size and shape.” “I don’t want to be alone” becomes “I’m in the perfect, loving relationship.” If you do this exercise, you’ll get really clear on what you desire in your life.

YOUR “BEFORE” LIFERemember how you charted your growth spurts against the doorframe of your childhood home so you could actually see how much you grew from year to year? Now it’s time to gauge your current level of harmony on the five Harmonic Wealth columns. It just takes a few seconds. Rate yourself from 0 to 10 for each of the five pillars of Harmonic Wealth, with 0 being little or no satisfaction and 10 being the highest level of satisfaction possible. Drawing a straight line across the notches helps you rate your satisfaction levels and gain an immediate understanding of your level of Harmonic Wealth as it currently stands.

Now ask yourself the following questions:1. Which areas need the most work in order to harmonize my life?2. Why is this important to my overall success?3. What do my pillars tell me about myself, my priorities, and my values?4. What must I do differently to improve the strength of my columns?5. If I had to choose one barrier to achieving harmonic wealth in all areas, what would it be?

Are you concerned that your pillars vary wildly in height? Again, no worries. Honestly, if they’re all perfectly “balanced” at 9 or 10, you could be fudging the numbers (or standing with a foot in the grave). But seriously, depending on where your values currently lie, everyone will want and need different-sized pillars — and those will change as your life changes.

If you weaken any of these five pillars, however, the integrity of the entire structure starts to fall apart, either all at once or by bits and pieces. You can’t strengthen the structure simply by reinforcing the strong pillars alone. Instead, you must attend to the weak ones, the areas of neglect. The key distinction is to realize that your pillars will never be equally strong all the time.

Realize that all five areas must have some attention all the time, but not all five areas demand all your attention all the time. Did you catch that? If you’re spending ten hours a day at work on a special project (remember our no-shower, three-day working binge example?), you’re not going to be able to spend the same amount of hours at the gym or in quality time with your kids. That would be impossible. We’ll cover how to handle these very real dilemmas in your everyday life, including how to make agreements with yourself and others, and planning for finite periods of focus and defocus but never total neglect.Inevitably, by focusing on harmony throughout the chapters of the book, you’ll either see a marked “harmonic” improvement in each of the pillars, or have a more conscious, empowering awareness about which pillars need strengthening at different times when making your choices.

GRAB YOUR GEAR AND LET’S GOHarmonic Wealth will challenge everything you’ve been taught. Facing these truths will radically change your life. I know that because I’ve been teaching this information to thousands of students a year for over two decades, and I’ve seen these truths in action, truths now validated by physics and just starting to get major airtime in movies like What the Bleep do We Know? and The Secret. There will come a time in the not-so-distant future when their “secret” knowledge will be accepted as the norm. But until that time, you’re about to get on the inside track. People will look at your life and think, My God, it’s magic. They’ll be right: You created that magic.

Excerpted from "Harmonic Wealth" by James Arthur Ray. Copyright (c) 2008. Reprinted with permission from Hyperion. All rights reserved.