The interview started in what I would call the strangest of possible ways. I guess I’ll just file it under, “Sometimes There Are Roads You Are Just Meant To Follow”. My name is Jack Casey and I write for a small paper based in Grand Junction, Utah. Just the other day I was driving and I ran into car trouble. The dreaded flat tire… I think most of us have at least one of those stories. I wrestled to get the tire off using the inadequate tools that come standard in the trunk of every compact car. Vehicle after vehicle raced by as I toiled away. They peppered me with sand which stuck to the sweat on my brow and face. When the tire finally came free I pulled the spare from the trunk only to find that it was already flat. I crouched down next to the road wondering if my next move should be to kick something or to stand up and scream.
Crouched down with my eyes closed I suddenly felt a change in the temperature as I was shaded from the afternoon sun… Then I heard a voice from behind me which said, “Need a hand there, buddy?”. As I stood up and turned around there were Daniel Hanscom and his wife Tara in the cab of their large pickup truck. In tow was their 37 foot RV which was, at present, providing the shade that offered me relief from the midday desert sun.
“A hand?”, he repeated. “Looks like you could use a little help.”
“The tire… Well, both tires. Flat… No tools. No cell towers… Nothing is working out… Just my luck, I guess.”
“Oh, you don’t want to feed your subby that kind of stuff.” he quipped. “Come on, let’s get you loaded up. I’m sure somebody around here can help us out.”
“Us?”, I said.
“Yep… Us. Jump in. As long as you don’t mind sharing the back seat with Heather…”. And with that he hopped out, came over and shook my hand.
“Daniel”, he said. “And you?”
“Well Jack, hop in we’ll get rolling.” and with that he threw both tires into the back of the pickup and jumped back into the driver’s seat. I opened up the back door and as I started to climb in there was Heather… A twenty two pound Welsh Terrier who lay curled up in a little furry ball on the back seat. She got up, stretched and wagged her tail at the sight of a new face. I climbed in and she curled up next to my leg to resume her afternoon nap. And so began our interview, though I didn’t even know it at the time.
The air-conditioning of the truck’s cab was such a relief. “I hope I’m not keeping you from anything?”, I said as we drove down the road. Daniel caught my eye in the rearview mirror and said, matter of fact, “What’s the point of having freedom with your time if you can’t help somebody out?”.
“Yeah, but still…” I said meekly.
“Look,” he said, “I don’t want you to even worry about it. Wherever we go we bring a gift. We give something to every person we encounter. In your case, the preferred gift seemed pretty obvious. Besides… you’ll get to pay it forward at some point.”
There was something about the conversation that seemed different. Something that caused my instinct as a journalist to wake up. Whatever it was, whether it was the quizzical nature of his answers or the fated means through which we met, I started to be a little more curious with my questions and take notice of the replies.
“Why did you decide to stop to help me? Surely you had someplace to be. I mean, you look like you must be on vacation. Why stop?”
“Well, Jack, the reason I stopped is because I’m selfish.” With that, he started to laugh. Tara chuckled a little bit as though at a joke she had heard many times before. I sat there more confused by his response than anything but I chuckled anyway in an effort to be polite.
“Don’t pay attention to him”, Tara said. “He always says that! What he means is that we believe in what’s called the ‘Law of Giving and Receiving’. The more we share and help others the more tends to find its way back to us.”
“What, like Karma?”
“Depending on how you look at it… Or like ’cause and effect’ or like ‘what you sow you will also reap’. There are lots of ways to describe the principle but essentially as we give more we get more. Take care of others and you’ll be taken care of plenty.”, Daniel said.
“Does it actually work?”, I asked.
“Always works for us.” Tara replied as she handed me a bottle of water from the cooler at her feet. “Here, you must be dry.”
The water was cool and refreshing on my throat. I was indeed parched from my work outside in the desert heat but my dry mouth had been far from my mind. Feeling renewed I decided to ask the question that had been on my mind since before I even got into the truck.
“When you drove up you said something I didn’t understand. You said, ‘You don’t want to feed your subby that kind of stuff’.’ What did you mean by that?”
Daniel got a smile on his face as though I had just asked him to talk about his favorite subject. He collected his thoughts for a moment and then posed a question. “What do you know about the subconscious mind?” he asked.
“Uh… not much, I guess. Just that everybody has one.”
“Exactly! Everybody has one… Do you know what most people don’t have, though?”
“What?”, I replied, instantly curious.
“A user’s manual for the thing! I mean here we are, born with this amazing part of us that has unlimited potential and yet we don’t have a user’s manual! We don’t really know how to use it. It’s a shame, really, because it can be such a servant… Left wild, though, it can be a terrible master.”
“How so?”, I asked.
“Well, to really understand the power of the subby you have to realize what it does for a job. In short, it does just about everything. It makes our decisions before our conscious mind even has the time to weigh things out. It carries out our habitual behaviors. It seeks out our habitual emotions. It even decides what we notice and what we delete. The conscious mind gets all the credit but it’s the subby that runs the show. Some even compare the conscious mind to an ant on the back of the subconscious mind which is an elephant. At the end of the day I think we both know who wins that tug of war.”
“Yeah, but I make decisions, right?”, I defended, not quite ready to accept this new notion.
“Yes, you do. We all do. But what we get to decide is what gets into the subby… Once the subby is programmed it’s the elephant that takes over. Think of it like an autopilot on a jet. The pilot programs the autopilot which then takes over. Wherever you tell that autopilot to take you is where you end up. That’s the beauty, and the tragedy, of the whole thing.” he finished as he took a drink of water.
“What tragedy?” I asked. By this point I was feeling a little awkward as I was leaning forward hunched over the seat between Daniel and Tara. Heather shifted around a bit to get comfortable again as I leaned forward to hear the answer to this curious line of reasoning.
“Well, the beauty and the tragedy is that the autopilot doesn’t care. You can program it to take you to the most beautiful place on earth or you can tell it to take you to a wasteland where you will no doubt crash and burn. It’s the same with the subby. Subby doesn’t evaluate or make judgements. That was the conscious mind’s job before it allowed the notion to get to the subby. Once the idea gets to the elephant it’s game over… That’s why I made my comment to you that you don’t want to feed negativity and junk about bad luck and nothing working out to your subby earlier. That’s bad programming…”
The notion of an autopilot made so much sense. Self-sabotage, habits, hesitation, negative self talk and so many other things that people do suddenly started to make more sense. I started to think about the ways that I was influencing my own subby and knew that, wherever my elephant was bringing me, it wasn’t one of the wonders of the world. The weight of that thought sat heavy on my brain for a few moments until Daniel finished his sentence, “…unless, of course, you reprogram your subby.”
“What, like reprogramming a computer?”, I asked.
“Well, essentially. Like I said before, the subby doesn’t care. You just tell it to find something and it sets to work looking for ways to make it happen. It’s just like the soil in a garden… you can plant good seed or you can plant poisonous thorns. The soil doesn’t care and will grow either one.”
“So how do you reprogram the ‘subby’ as you call it?” I asked. I had to admit that I could feel a sense of possibility welling up inside of me.
“That’s the million dollar question! The one we all need to ask for ourselves! Well, Tara and I took a six month personal development course called the Master Key Mastermind Alliance which was created by a guy named Mark Januszewski and his wife, the Fabulous Davene. In this course, the MKMMA, we learned how to be able to do just that. It has really turned into quite a movement which they are making available to people through “pay it forward” scholarships. You seem pretty intrigued. You should check it out.”
“You can’t just leave me hanging like that… Come on. You’ve gotta share. How do I program my subby? How can I get what I want?”. The words just sort of burst out of me… like a kid begging for a second helping of ice cream. I caught myself and leaned back, a little bit embarrassed.
“Oh don’t worry,” Tara said as she chuckled to herself. “This stuff is his passion… He could talk about it all day.”
“She’s not lying.”, Daniel replied as he laughed. “You want to know how to reprogram the subby? How to get what you want. Well, the first step is to figure out exactly what it is that you want in the first place! You see… most of us spend huge amounts of time and effort and energy chasing after stuff that wasn’t even our idea in the first place. These ideas have been handed to us about what’s good or what’s normal and we accept them without question because it all starts so early in life. Then we get a healthy dose of ‘reality’ splashed in our face with some ‘failure’ for good measure. Before long, we forget what we’re capable of and we forget how to dream. The first step is to ask youself, ‘what do you want’. How about it, Jack? What do you want?
I didn’t know… Like, honestly… I had no idea how to answer that question. Logically, though, I knew that without the answer how could I ever get the object of my desire. How could I hit a target if I didn’t even know where the target was. Suddenly I felt like so many of the choices I had made were indeed done at the whim of an autopilot that had been carelessly programmed. How could I not know the answer to such a simple, but crucial, question?
“It’s ok if you don’t know the answer, Jack. We didn’t know the answer at first either. It takes work to figure it out. It takes effort to search out the purpose for your life. It takes work to consistently read and use auto-suggestions to change the course of your subby. It takes time to build new habits so that your subby can work a plan of action that will take you towards your ideal lifestyle… Confidence goes up. Ideas just start popping into your head. Things just start to click together like a puzzle whose pieces are just sort of drawn to the right connections. so that your autopilot can be ushering you toward the lifestyle of your dreams.”
Suddenly I became all too aware of my surroundings and we were pulling into a small town. Old fashioned buildings coated in a layer of dusty sand lined both sides of the street and just ahead was an old style garage with a set of museum-worthy gas pumps and an open bay door. Daniel pulled in and hopped out to speak to the mechanic before I could say anything. My head was buzzing with so many new ideas. As Daniel pulled the tires out of the back of the truck and the mechanic rolled them into the bay for repair I felt like a window was closing… Like I had one more question to ask and so I had better make it count.
Daniel climbed back into the truck. “He said he’s pretty swamped today but he could get it done in about half an hour or so. I hope you weren’t on too tight of a schedule for the afternoon, Jack.”
I wasn’t really focused on what he was saying. I was too busy trying to figure out my next question.
“So you took this course.”
“And you learned how to reprogram your subby.”
“And is that what you live? Your ideal lifestyle? The lifestyle of your dreams? What is your life like now that you’ve learned how to program your subby?”
“Those, my friend, sound like questions best answered over some lunch and a tall glass of lemonade! What do you say… we’ve got half an hour?”
“Oh, I couldn’t ask you to stay.”
“Don’t bother even trying,” Tara laughed as she chimed in. “If that diner across the street has lemonade we’re not going anywhere, tires or no tires.”
Apparently my window wasn’t closing but was opening and my interview would have another chapter. I tried to hide my smile. I don’t think I did a very good job of it.
To be continued…