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Add What You Want, Subtract What You Don’t

You move through universes by adding in what you want, subtracting out what you don’t, until finally you arrive at your destination.

By Jack Molisani, Fellow

One the most useful lessons I learned in life was from the book, The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zalazney.

In this novel, Zalazny postulates there’s an infinite number of universes, and the princes of Amber have the power to move between them. Not by “Poof!” disappearing in a cloud of smoke in one world and “Poof!” rematerializing in another, but by walking (or driving, etc.) and making subtle changes in the landscape as they go.  For example, say one of the princes wanted to get from the ocean port to a desert city.  He would start walking and think, “around that next house will be a cobblestone street” and there, when he turns the corner, will be a cobblestone street.  Then he’d think, shortly the air will get less humid and the sea smells will diminish,” and shortly the air is less humid. Then he might think, over the next hill will the terrain will turn sandy, and it does.  Finally, by making the incremental changes to get from the ocean to the desert, he arrives at his destination.

You move through universes by adding in what you want, subtracting out what you don’t, until finally you arrive at your destination.

What a PERFECT analogy for managing one’s day, one’s career, one’s life.

Add what you want, subtract what you don’t, until finally you arrive at your desired destination.

I look back at my own career and see how (although I wasn’t aware of doing it at the time), I made additions and subtractions that shifted me through all possible universes until I achieved at the one I wanted.

A brief illustration: I started technical writing as an employee, but then got laid off, so I started contracting. My client wanted to bring me on fulltime but couldn’t pay the salary I wanted, so I started my own outsource writing company.  When companies asked me to help them find someone they could hire, I added the recruiting division.  When I decided I didn’t want to fight traffic to commute into an office (and pay the city of Los Angeles’ outrageous business taxes), I bought a web-based applicant tracking system and let all my employees work from home.  When the economy crashed and companies stopped hiring, I took on billable tech writing work that I could do myself.  When I saw my folks were getting to the age where I’d need to move back to Florida, I stopped taking work that required on-site meetings, and looked for and landed work that could be done remotely. When I was tired of the income ceiling that came with being a contractor (you can only bill so many hours in a week), I went back to headhunting where I could make larger commission checks. Then when caring my folks required more and more of my time, I concentrated on finding and placing onsite contractors so I could have a passive income stream for those times when I simply couldn’t put in a full work week.

In other words, whenever I found myself in a situation that was no longer ideal (my work preferences changed, the economy changed, my familial obligations changed, etc.) I simply deleted what I didn’t like and added what I did like until once again I arrived at where I wanted to be.

Are you currently in your ideal job, your ideal career, your ideal tax bracket?

If not, remember there are an infinite number of universes, and all you have to do is add what you want and delete what you don’t to arrive that the one you want.

Visualize where you want to be today, next week, next year.

Really visualize it.  Then decide what you need to add and subtract to get there.

Ready to create your perfect universe?

Start walking!










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