I stopped in my tracks at work. Like a bad dream, I realized the leaders have wealth and prestige and that I would never have much. Even worse, I realized that my routine-rut job was structured to serve the leaders, from the leaders of the company I worked for to the leaders of the land who got a chunk of whatever I earned. “I make just enough to get by, with maybe a little left over for spending,” I said out loud. “I’m on the wrong road, heading toward the wrong future. I work hard; I’ve worked all my life, but my hard work is making the leaders rich!”
I stopped to think: The rich and powerful leaders did not work their whole lives to make someone else happy. But I did. I, along with the majority of people, worked my whole life to make the leaders happy.
At that moment, I became flush with determination to somehow wake up from this bad dream into a better world with a better life. Out of nowhere, a voice spoke to me: “The secret to getting rich is to become The Self-Leader!”Finding Ways to Make Money: Integrated Thinking is the Key
A New Concept: Integrated Knowledge
I drove home from work that fateful day wondering, Who is the self-leader? All I could figure was that the self-leader captured for himself the rewards and wealth from his efforts in life. “I must set off on a journey to discover in myself the self- leader,” I said. “But where do I begin my journey?”
Deeply troubled, I felt I had no power in life. “Knowledge is power,” a very wise man once said. So I decided to start my journey seeking knowledge at my place of work.
The next day I began to seriously study my place of work for the first time. I observed other people doing their jobs and even asked them questions. Immediately I noticed the more I started to learn about the business, the more power I felt.
So, I became the pupil, and my place of work was the school. As I educated myself about the business, I acquired more and more integrated knowledge. After just one week, I could feel that this process of building integrated knowledge would inevitably deliver more and more power, promotions, and pride.
Also, I started having fun. I rediscovered that education was fun! I always felt that my school days were the happiest days of my life. In fact, I now realized that when my education ended, a sad stagnation began. I realized that man was meant to use his powerful brain to learn. Man is happiest when he is learning, I thought, unhappy when not learning. So I decided to keep on learning — right on into the working world. That learning process was my ticket to success and happiness. Only this time, good money instead of good report cards was my reward.
Without first identifying my stagnation trap, then success would have been forever impossible, the hardest thing in the world for me to attain. What was the trap that caused my financial and emotional stress? That trap was the opposite of my ticket to wealth and happiness — the opposite of integrated knowledge. That trap was unintegrated knowledge in the form of specialized tasks. You see, the opposite of integration is specialization. Doing the same set routine of specialized tasks every day caused me a lifelong rut of stagnation.
Our leaders put me in my seemingly inescapable stagnation trap. Yet wealth and happiness now seemed attainable with another way of thinking that had never been introduced to me. That other way of thinking was: integrated thinking.
With integrated thinking, I was no longer trapped by specialized tasks in an inescapable routine rut. Although very natural, my mind had been conditioned not to work that way. My mind, as everyone else, had always been trapped in a small sphere of specialized thinking…just following a very limited routine of specialized tasks that my leaders laid out for me. Now, with integrated thinking, I began to lead myself.
Rise from the Trap
Integrated knowledge came from my self-education process at work. The more I learned about different aspects of the business, the more free I felt from my specialization-trap. My learning process, I realized, was a function of curiosity. My specialization-trap, put on me by my leaders, had killed that curiosity. But I remembered when I was a child. I remembered my never-ending curiosity. That curiosity was a natural part of man, and I felt it coming back. My job became exciting and fun again as I learned more and more about the business!
The business I worked for, as boring as it seemed before, now took on a life of its own. My curiosity and excitement grew, soon motivated by a promotion. “This is how I was meant to live,” I said out loud one day while driving to work. “These have become the best days of my life!”