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Instant Gratification 

Part 1
by Egbert Sukop



Editor's Note from J. Stewart Dixon: "Here is an exercise that may change your world. Once a day, give a single dollar bill to a person you have never met, to a stranger." In the truest spirit of holiday giving I present to you this written meditation/article on money by a fellow from my neck of the woods named Egbert Sukop. I call this article a meditation because it is best to set aside some time, take a few breaths, uncross your legs and relax before you read it- you will get a lot more out of it. This article is NOT a run of the mill newage-ism about "The Secret" or "Law of Attraction" or "Abundance" In my opinion what Mr. Sukop has written here goes well beyond these ideas.  GREAT GREAT gem here if you really soak it in... Here's Part ONE below.  (Whole article here: http://greedschool.blogspot.com/2014/11/instant-gratification.html )


Pain is the effort required to cling to a negative thought.

~Leonard Orr

Instant Gratification is dangerously underrated.

Most problems in the world arise because people deny themselves instant bliss and joy. The dissatisfied aim to make the world a better place, while turning it into a greater mess in the process. If people bothered to breathe consciously and connected instead of choking themselves into permanent depression, they would be jumping up and down all day happy to be alive and grateful to experience each other's presence. I am exaggerating? Not much.

Without your explicit permission I don't intend to deprive you of your best friend. A dog is not man's best friend. Pain is. Individuals jealously guard their pain as their most prized possession. Their pain is more precious to them than spouse and children. Familiar pain can be people's first love and may even become their identity. What they claim to hate intensely may be the disguise of militant love. Touch and soothe other people's pain at your own peril.

Two measly paragraphs into this newsletter I am already lost, it seems. Greed School is about money and money psychology, isn't it?

Does your money prosper other people? Of course not, it can't. In the extreme, giving other people money may keep them poor or make them poor. Your prosperity consciousness, on the other hand, gives other people the opportunity to discover their own prosperity consciousness.

What I am going to say may have never been spelled out in detail. Occasionally I have mentioned parts of it in seminars. This may be more important than a bunch of other things you know about money, especially if you intend to pull all emotional stops that prevent unlimited, guilt-free income.

Before you explain this material to anybody else, please make them pay dearly for exposing them to this thought process or it is likely that they cannot swallow and digest the full extent of its value. The idea is simple but it can turn common beliefs about money upside down and peeps don't necessarily appreciate when someone negates the foundation of their past behavior. Here goes:

My prosperity prospers others not when I give them money but I may invite them to expand their awareness of prosperity when I receive their money with the conviction that I am doing them a favor by accepting as large an amount of their money as I possibly can with their agreement and their joy.

The majority of people believes that giving money is an unpleasant act or even painful and receiving money is pleasant or fun. "What's the damage?" is a typical question in America about the cost of something, like a cab fare or a bar tab. "How much will that set me back?" is another expression of pain linked to the spending of money.

Now, if spending of money is painful, I am causing others pain when I ask them for and accept their money. A good person naturally recoils from becoming the cause or trigger of another individual's pain. Each one of us has a different level of pain that we are willing to induce in other people by asking them for money. At least, that's what people often believe they do while asking for payment, sending an invoice, or when they're negotiating a price.

A widespread belief is that evoking 'need' justifies and neutralizes the pain caused within the giver by the receiving party. As long as one needs to make the next mortgage payment in time, needs a larger flat screen TV, and needs a vacation it is perfectly kosher to disregard the payers' pains. As if the hypothetical pain that the receiving person may have to endure without this particular transaction--if s/he doesn't get what s/he needs--would create a 'Balance of Pain' between payer and payee.

Such tacit societal agreements are artificial and nonsensical because no human being truly "needs" a flat screen TV, a Starbucks account, or even a single pair of shoes to live. Both the 'Theory of Need' and the 'Balance of Pain' collapse when an individual's claim of need reaches levels of extravagance in the perception of others. She will then be accused of being greedy and the assumed displeasure of paying will be expressed belligerently.

The fact that a lot of people tend to sell products or services to friends for a lower price or at wholesale cost while charging strangers a higher price with a greater profit margin, is evidence of the 'payers' pain' theory. People aren't willing to "hurt" friends and relatives but they don't mind causing strangers pain by asking them for the sticker price.

This phenomenon is as common as it is counterproductive. People treat strangers like second class citizens. Yet if you desire friendship, romantic love, children, and a limitless income, strangers are the target audience that exclusively has the means to provide you with life's greatest pleasures.

You can only expect to receive the best things in life from yourself or from the people you are most paranoid about. Incest, rape, and theft are some of the results when people are afraid of open communication with strangers. "Don't take candy from strangers?" While that's healthy advice for 4-year old children, once you are an adult the only real candy is dispensed by strangers. Strangers aren't dangerous, being frightened of strangers sure is. Perhaps you should treat strangers as if they were Queens and Kings while relentlessly kicking the shins of your family for the morose and stingy dirt bags they are...

Oops, perhaps I shouldn't extrapolate from my own hunchbacked family: dear reader, I was joking! Please don't take what I say too seriously.

In the doomed context of 'paying is pain' and getting money must be fun, a person's income is determined by her willingness to cause another person pain. "No pain, no gain," is a common phrase and an unquestioned belief. For those who think that giving money is predominantly a negative experience and getting money is a positive event, balanced sadomasochism or 'Cubicle S/M', as I refer to it in my book 'How To Better Hate Your Job', becomes a means of making money.

Such individuals cause other people pain by taking their money and they cause themselves pain by working hard on a job they despise, as a justification for the pain they dish out and in exchange for the money they take. People perform a balancing act to level the pain they "give" others and themselves. No wonder there is a limit to that game of equalizing displeasure, no matter how far you are willing to expand this escalation of pain in exchange for money.

"Sado-Rich and Maso-Poor" was the title that I originally contemplated for this newsletter issue. For all you good saints who would have instantly tossed me into spammer's hell for not being boring enough, I opted for a word combination of less ballistic potency.

If giving sucks and paying money is painful, the rich must be sadists, no? Public opinion has managed to portray people with abundant incomes and assets as perverts. Those who feel better about themselves for not wanting to join the wrong minority, for badmouthing and persecuting the rich, apparently derive pleasure from perversion too. Poor masochists and rich sadists are flip sides of the same coin, of the same fallacious thought model that money and pain are inseparable twins.

It's time I accuse you of something:

In case you decide to cling to the 'giving money is pain' theory after reading to the bitter end of this letter, I'm afraid you are indeed a pervert because at that point you'll be consciously choosing pain for the fun of it. There'll be no need to continue engaging in a single painful monetary transaction, if you aren't inclined to do so freely. No worries, I'll still love you. What would the world come to without the reliable entertainment through decent vices and perversions?

If you don't enjoy the self-sabotaging connection between money and pain, however, within minutes you will have the freedom to renounce the pain factor and hold onto your fun with money. Sounds too good to be true? Stick around and find out for yourself.

If giving is perceived as a cause of pain, ALL monetary transactions turn into painful events, including the receiving of money because receiving cannot occur as an isolated event.

From the bizarre perspective that parting with money is synonymous with pain, it is indeed understandable why the rich and wealthy are perceived as "evil," because they appear to have no hesitation to cause unimaginable pain levels to anybody and everybody. Except, this thought model is based on the limping IQ of common nonsense.

The majority of the population associates negative thoughts and emotions with money. If a person harbors more negative beliefs about money than positive thoughts, trying to escape that negativity by earning more money is as nutty an attempt as it is futile. Zeroes don't magically turn an awful thing into a source of joy.

Increasing your income is a fool's errand unless you bring yourself to enjoy money whether it appears in tiny amounts or in huge sums, no matter whether it seems to flow toward you or "away" at a given time. You'd do well to even find pleasure in observing the flow of funds between other people. Those who hate the rich, cut themselves off from the enjoyment of wealth and from seeing it pop up as money and as innocent fun with the material world. "Money stranglers" impoverish the world in multiple ways.

The New Testament's "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35) holds the key to boundless and more importantly, delectable, wealth. When you discover how to give money with joy, you become aware of the feeling that you induce in the giver when you ask for and then receive her money. Your request for money is an opportunity for the potential giver to experience prosperity and to expand her consciousness toward even greater prosperity.

When somebody asks you for more money than you currently have or are able and willing to give, they see a greater earning potential in you than you can see yourself. Those who want money from you, are increasing your prosperity consciousness if you are ready for it and if you can listen to that offer without flying off the handle.

Here is the real exchange. Money changes hands in exchange for an increased awareness of earning potential. The average person believes that money changes hands in exchange for products, services, or ideas. That portion is the limited, visible, tip-of-the-iceberg percentage of the equation and of marginal importance. Products and services or even more absurd, hours, are mere excuses for people to ask for money.

Freely accepting other people's money proliferates prosperity and happiness in the world. Do you earnestly believe that the iPhone would have enjoyed such fast and vast success had it been given away for free instead of being first introduced as an $800 item, costing over $300 each month to operate? 'Free' is synonymous with worthless for many people, 'expensive' equals value and is immediately more attractive.

You value potential clients and customers when you ask for high prices. You open doors for them to perceive themselves as more potent than they have considered themselves until you saw, and reminded them of, their greater potential.

What if giving other people new options to discover their prosperity every time you ask for money were the superior motivation over your desire of receiving money?

Attach meaning to money and it will be more difficult to come by. Hopes, worries, fears, sadness, expectations of happiness, and a host of other meaningful add-ons burden every single financial transaction. Whether such emotional or intellectual projection is of positive or negative nature is irrelevant. Emotion, attached to money, works against the ease of its exchange and acquisition.

I wager, the average person projects significantly more meaning into a $100 bill than Warren Buffett or Mark Zuckerberg. The next $100 million dollars will not alter Richard Branson's (Sir Dick's) life stile by one iota. On some trading days Oracle's Larry Ellison "wins" or "loses" 1-2 billion dollars in the stock market. You think it means much to him and he's losing a minute of sleep over a billion more or less? If Mr. Ellison attached anxiety or the slightest emotional meaning to the sum of $100,000,000 he could neither sleep nor could he concentrate on whatever he desires to do on any given day.

A dollar bill is not money per se. It's more like a representative of money. Just as pixels on your computer screen that show your bank balance "are" not money. Pixels and dollar bills function more or less like name tags. People who see more than ink on paper when they look at a dollar bill, ought to seek professional help and see a doctor but they won't find out how crazy they are until their income level reaches certain dimensions. That's when their old thought models seize to work, when motivation through money and commonly attached expectations make no sense anymore, and when rational thoughts of the 'why' and 'how' begin to look awfully silly. Common sense has no contingency for wealth.

True success is anarchy. Both success and anarchy are equally frightening to most people.

The occurrence of oodles of money renders rule books useless. For instance, Jeff Bezos did not learn how to be a good book dealer before the success of Amazon.com disrupted, destroyed, and revolutionized an industry within a decade and a half that had steadily developed for over five and a half centuries, since Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468) invented the printing press, which was a revolutionary act in and of itself.

Between the experience of "rich" and the phenomenon of "wealth," there is an intellectual gap. For those who can understand what it means to get rich, becoming wealthy may appear to be founded on the dispensation of the very causality that is evoked as basis for moderate success. Often individuals do not become wealthy the same way one may get rich. From a certain point on, the trajectories differ and may even look as if they depended on opposing states of consciousness.

As long as one is stuck in the idea that money has to mean something, one judges others who obviously have moved their income level beyond sums that "make sense." Am I alone with this strange idea? Not at all:

After a certain point, money is meaningless.
It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.

Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975)

Here is an exercise that may change your world. Once a day, give a single dollar bill to a person you have never met, to a stranger.

Requirements: the receiving person must be beyond need in your perspective. If you think s/he may need the money, do NOT give him/her the bill. Give this money exclusively to people who absolutely do not need it. Also, do NOT give this dedicated dollar bill to waiters, for instance, to a valet, or to anybody who is used to receiving tips.

Make sure you do this in safe environments, so you don't get hurt!

Why this exercise? Giving a dollar to a person who does not need it initiates the flow of money outside the ritual of exchange. There is...

a) no apparent reason for this transaction to occur
b) no expectation of receiving value "back" (on the giver's side)
c) no expectation of money (receiving party's side)
d) completely arbitrary timing
e) no obligation to give (exchange of goods, birthday gift, invitation)
f) no obligation to receive (out of politeness, exchange of goods, etc.)
g) a vacuum of behavior patterns and corresponding emotions
h) room for all kinds of surprises on both sides
i) the act of giving and the act of receiving isolated from most complications

Unless people discover the unadulterated joy of giving money to a stranger without hesitation and devoid of the slightest motive of exchange ("What's in it for me?"), they will hardly be able to receive money from strangers free of emotional complications. Don't even expect to hear a 'thank you', a friendly smile, or a nod.

Give a dollar, expect nothing, and you will discover that the act of giving becomes a reward in pure form.

Sooner or later, you will discover the true nature of giving. It may be accompanied by physical sensations, like goose bumps. You may get a 'high' from doing it and feel elated. Well, some grouchy non-takers may treat you as if you were a thief, even though you were trying to do the opposite by trying to give them money. That, too, is important to observe.

Those who scream for money the loudest aren't necessarily willing to gracefully receive it when it's offered to them on a silver platter. Their suspicious minds search for the catch while the opportunity evaporates.

People blabber on about unconditional love all the time. This exercise introduces the experience of unconditional giving and receiving.

If you currently work relatively hard for your money and you desire to triple your income, tripling your efforts to achieve that objective would belong to the realm of self-sabotage. That linear strategy increases the probability of your destruction in the process. Cardiac arrest and well-to-do widows are frequent results of that strategy.

Instead, think about halving your efforts while doubling your and your clientele's fun in order to double your income.

It's heresy, I know.

When you give money to a stranger who doesn't need more money, you are creating the situation you are eager to experience in reverse order. Each time you give a dollar to somebody who needs nothing, you are experiencing what other people feel when they give you more money without you being in need. You are training yourself in experiencing the pleasure of giving outside the pitfalls of reason.

Belief is only marginally superior to disbelief. Please do not believe a word I say or write. My intention is to introduce you first to the experience and then to the confidence that there is unparalleled enjoyment in the act of giving. Get that message into your bones because as an intellectual consideration it's worthless. Only when you physically do it again and again, will you have a chance to discover what I am talking about. Otherwise you'll think I am a nut. In that case, please be aware that you think of Jesus as a nutcase also ("It is more blessed to give than to receive"). Of course you are free to think of me as you wish. Jesus is used to being blamed for everything that goes wrong, anyway.

If and when you allow your giving of money to become a "blessed state," blissful even, and you notice physical and emotional expressions of joy and satisfaction, you won't need any further extrinsic motivation to continue the practice of giving. It'll be too much fun to quit. Further, you'll then know precisely how someone thinks and feels who freely and happily gives you money that you don't need. You will be able to gracefully accept that money because it will be given to you without intensifying another person's pain and without increasing your guilt. On the contrary, by giving an individual a new opportunity to hand you money, you are offering others a chance to experience additional joy.

Why would you be so cruel and limit other people's enjoyment of giving you money?

Your training will sensitize you, so you'll know exactly when any of the crucial ingredients are out of balance or missing. If someone gets upset with you, you know you may have lost touch with your joy of giving that ought to be the foundation of this interesting game. Or, you haven't clarified what this is all about. What's that? What is this about? Fun, yours and theirs. Money and this exercise, all exists for your pleasure.

Glossy magazines continue to regurgitate the age old question whether money makes people happy or not. They refer to the 'getting' of money, naturally. Psychological studies receive grants to find out the truth but actually, it is of no consequence. The conversation is obsolete because you can discover more bliss and happiness in the giving of money, services, ideas, and goods to your fellow human beings than while you concentrate on the acquisition of things.

Give people anything and you'll experience instant satisfaction. Instant gratification is underrated. Why wait before you give others attention, smiles, warmth, laughter, service, love, kindness, patience, a listening ear, joy, your authentic presence, and yes, a handful of nasty filthy old cash? Just being with an individual can be the most precious gift you could possibly give, especially when that person experiences challenging times. Nothing you need to do, nothing you need to say, if you can just BE there it may very well be the best you have to give in your repertoire.

Frequently, people underestimate their own value and overestimate what they do or their products. If you aren't worth much in your perspective, why would your service be any better? The truth is, some people's self-confidence is so messed up and their value system is so confused that they think the shitty job they deliver (because they hate it) is worth more money than they are worth themselves. Then they wonder why they're being paid poorly. Too bad, schools teach what to think but not how to think.

If you have to keep your giving within reasonable parameters, your income may grow but, as I mentioned, perhaps in moderate ways only. Generosity is always beyond reason. You will never be a generous giver unless and until you are willing to gracefully receive money in amounts that are beyond rational understanding for onlookers. I am quite confident you will be accused of greed if you care to be truly generous, and you'll hardly be loved or win friends by exercising generosity.

For the purpose of causing exponential growth, I suggest you leave the realm of reason behind: start giving for no reason. Giving what? Your enjoyment, for instance. What exactly do you do when you and everybody around you knows "you are in your element?" Your spouse and your in-laws may react annoyed as hell when you are in 'the zone' and your kids ran out of the room half an hour ago because they saw the tsunami building up. However, the same character trait or even flaw that bores your husband to tears could be an untapped goldmine if it is permitted to see the light of day. Strangers may pay you for odd things you enjoy doing, for abilities, and skills that your so-called loved ones seek to smother in you.

Now, you don't have to wrap bottles in roadkill and fill them with beer that contains 55% alcohol, so you have an outrageously unique product to offer. You think I am off the rocker? See for yourself at brewdog.com

If you feel the need to fit in nicely, please pee in a cup, get a job, and do what you despise doing. Since you are receiving this newsletter though, I assume you have opted otherwise. We are swiftly moving into the territory of future issues of the Greed School newsletter but I shall give you a glimpse of it anyway:

Employee consciousness and entrepreneurial consciousness differ. "What do I have to do, so I get paid?" is a typical state of mind for employees. It works, poorly, but the same approach taken by a self-employed person can be devastating. As a temporary fix to bridge financial difficulties, this thought can be helpful and bring relief relatively fast. Sell a couple of items that you no longer need on eBay, for instance, and you'll have some extra money within a week or ten days. The same route pursued long term as a business model is fraught with similar challenges as you'll find on jobs. 

The average self-employed person makes less money than the average employee. The average self-employed individual is still happier than the average employee but nevertheless, it's a myth that self-employment is a guarantee for a lavish income. The potential for self-determined income improvement is inherent but "mo' money" is absolutely not an automatic result of switching from employment to self-employment.

"What would I have to do, so I make money?" is a losing business proposition because it's focused on getting money and pushing you or your employees toward another threshold of pain. Money-motivated activities may bring in some money while depriving you of everything else you desire. It can be a disastrously limiting approach and the money you may be making this way is bound to slip through your fingers and evaporate like water.

For example, ask yourself: "What thoroughly enjoyable activity of mine has the potential to make other people's lives easier, richer, deeper, more fun, or more colorful? You may discover a personal asset of yours that can easily be converted to cash in the entire spectrum between weird and wacky on one end and breathtakingly dull and ordinary on the other.

What matters is that both "being" authentically you and "doing" merge, so it's nearly effortless and you lose your sense of time. When what you do is "so you" that you do it anyway whether you get paid or not, you may have a winner.


Instant gratification! That's why. You may have to have a little patience to collect money but you will have all the fun you could possibly have from the first minute and you will not stop Friday afternoon at 5 pm. This utilizes the joy of giving as your sheer limitless intrinsic motivational resource. Inventing new products, services, or ideas you can introduce to potential buyers has nothing to do with effort in this case. You'll do it naturally for your own pleasure and entertainment.

The receiving of money becomes the aftermath of your joyful, blessed, giving. The exchange of money is now the icing on top instead of the initial reason to do business or to work.

Money needs to be stripped of meaning, and so do giving and receiving. When you conduct your business affairs playfully--think of a sandlot, of marbles, toys, and friends--there is no room for pain, emotional threats, and exhaustion.

Connect giving and receiving with effort, and you'll limit what you are willing to give and what you can receive. On the other hand, when giving other people money turns into fun for you, why would you want to limit your income or somebody else's fun?

"How do I make more money?" is an outdated question. "How do I start a revolution by Saturday?" is a different approach of what you may enjoy to give.

The question, "What do I need to do in order to generate money?" means that the way you live right now is a constant and remarkably successful effort to prevent people from giving you money. Suppression of one's individuality, the belief that a person's variance equals worthlessness, spineless addiction to other people's approval, desire to belong no matter what, obsession of self-punishment and unconscious self-sabotage.....the laundry list of money repelling behavior has no limits, just as its elimination can lead to income without limitations.

Your pleasure does not need to be financed. Instead, your pleasures ought to become resources of your financial success, giving you money on top of the pleasure you've had already.

Then why ask for money at all?

Why have sex if you don't intend to make babies?

When the 'why' is out the window, your last hesitation of receiving money will be gone and you will be able to take it without connecting it to any reason, emotion, or event. Trust me, you will take it. You will not let it rot or allow for it to collect dust. When its last idea of meaning has dissipated, you will be able to give and take money from a state of utmost innocence and purity.

Money becomes most precious when its meaning disappeares. A paradox? On first sight perhaps. Think about it for a day, and you'll see different layers of seemingly opposing ideas. When you leave the "meaning of money within your thoughts" behind, you will be able to discover the vast and precious nature of money that exists exclusively in the "space between your thoughts." When "oneness speaks," money is perhaps its easiest language to comprehend. Arguing and fighting over it would be puerile, non?

Indeed, you could be playing other games than the money game. It is at this junction that asking for money becomes a choice and is based on freedom. When money is no longer a necessity, asking for it will no longer be perceived as a threat by the individual you ask for money and the immanent potential of emotional blackmail is eliminated from your negotiations. Extract the meaning, and you diminish perception of potential danger or emotional displeasure that other people connect with your interest in their money. They, too, see that you "could be playing other games" but you are doing it for the fun of it and for them because you chose to play with them.

Freedom has become the foundation of the game, replacing need and desperation, or the raw violence of ambition.


P.S.: Cetero censeo, hourly wages ought to be eliminated. The crude practice of time based compensation insults human intelligence and is embarrassing for a society that considers itself civilized. Check out EndWages.com and on Amazon.com you'll find Paperback and Kindle editions of my book How to Better Hate Your Job. Of course it's also available for the Nook and on iTunes.

For seminars and speaking engagements, please contact me via email.

The next book title on the workbench, Paid to Die: The Linear Cynicism of Time-Based Pay will be available in a couple of months, hopefully. You can pre-order your copy through EndWages.com.

I enjoy stand-up because it has the biggest reward: instant gratification. You can hear the people laughing.

Wanda Sykes

Instant gratification is not soon enough.

Meryl Streep

Instant gratification takes too long.

Carrie Fisher

I need instant gratification.

Barbra Streisand



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About the Author 


Born and raised in Germany, Egbert Sukop has studied Psychology and Lutheran Protestant Theology. Egbert has over 20 years of experience as a public speaker. His provocative seminars address imponderables: death, the cantankerous nature of money, and uncompromising happiness. His main objective is to promote the extreme expansion and enjoyment of your individuality.


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