Peter Sage: Extreme entrepreneur. Life is in your hands
Thank you so much Peter Sage for this amazing opportunity. I learned so much from you and I am so happy that I can share your wisdom with people.
Peter Sage is an international serial entrepreneur, who recently founded Space Energy focused on generation and transmission of space based solar power. He is perhaps one of the greatest inspirational speakers in the 21st century. He is the author of “I AM – The Power Of Reinventing Yourself” (will be published early 2015).
I read his book back in 2011 when I was working in Japan. It has truly opened my eyes; nobody in Japan had been able to tell me what Peter illustrates in his book. Instantly, I became a huge fan of him and I had been dreaming to discuss with him in person. A miracle happened in the end of 2014. I had the opportunity to talk to him in person to learn the essence of life. He shares his experience with us and gives us very profound advices that you cannot find in any other places.
-----First of all, thank you for providing us with this great opportunity. You have done so many things and keep working on challenging projects. What drives you to keep challenging?
I am a great believer that we are not here just as passive participants. There are so many people that get to the end of their life not regretting what they did, but regretting what they didn’t do. When you start looking at the entire concept of time, you can find out it is just the perception of how we play with it. If we are here for a finite amount of time to the current physical status, I don’t want to waste that. Why would you want to settle, the only reason, you would ever want to settle, is if you are afraid of being able to move forward. Unfortunately, people are more afraid to move forward than willing to risk: the levels of uncertainty that participating in life at a full level. When they realize it, it’s too late as they are actually ghosts.
If you have ever been scared of asking a woman out for a date, you’ll know it is only scary the first couple of times. People have the same thing in life that they are too worried about what they think you’re thinking of them. Then you can ignore all that game and start playing. For me it’s the case of I follow my passion, and I am outdoor crazy, jump out of planes type of guy. You know I’m very mindful. There is a difference between FEAR and RISK. Fear is healthy; fear stops you from being able to stand too close to a slippery cliff. But if you confuse fear with risk, you start overlaying it into any other aspect that stops us from enjoying life to the fullest level, and we are settling. We weren’t born to settle. Out of over 400million sperm, we win. Now if you look at the biology of it. We didn’t’ necessarily get to the egg first, we were actually chosen by the egg to come in. so there is definitely a reason there is definitely a purpose to being here and it isn’t hiding out.
-----Why you can find so many things that you passionate with?
The challenge, most people have when they are not passionate about something, is that they don’t know where to look. They installed the wrong map. Unfortunately, what people are looking for is fulfilment not happiness. Most people think they are looking for happiness, but happiness is a temporary level of an emotional state governed by being able to think happy thoughts in that particular moment. That’s happiness, end of story. So chasing happiness is a fallacy. If you want to be happy, start thinking happy thoughts. It’s too simple, but it is the truth.
What most people are confusing happiness is fulfilment. Most people are unfulfilled. They can be happy with what they got, like iPhone, but they are unfulfilled with their call because it does not make you fulfilled. Most people are chasing the goal of fulfilment on the racetrack for achievements. And the two don’t exist together. You can get a temporary high when you achieve something, that you thought you wanted. An MBA is a new upgraded version of the iPhone. What you experience is a temporary relief from chasing something that you thought it was going to make you happy. When it comes to passion and purpose, start asking better question. Not “What do I need to reach in order to be happy?”. Not “What do I have to get in order to find purpose?”. Those questions all leave you chasing your tail for a lifetime. Instead, ask questions like “What lights me up?”. Forget about money because it doesn’t exist; we’ve invented it as a concept. What is money? It is pieces of paper with dead presidents on it. There’s no inherent value, we associate or ascribe value to it as a medium of exchange.
Start asking yourself if I can only spend my life doing one thing, what would it be. If I had to choose a career, what I’m actually paid to do it and what would it be? Then you start asking questions guiding you to your passion that you actually want to do, and that you are excited about that light you up. If you knew it was impossible to fail, what would you choose to do? Don’t ask those questions like “What gives me the least chance of not failing?”
The other thing is we don’t ascribe meaning to life when our self-worth is tied to our net worth. How can we have a high sense of self-esteem or a high sense of self-worth if we link it to net worth and net worth in our mind is low? And it’s always low because we are always chasing “the more”. Your self-worth and your net worth are tied together. You can never find your passion if your filter in life is “how can I make more money so that I can make my self-esteem higher”. You are always following the way that you think will get money, not the way that truly follows your passion. The paradox is that all money is a representation of how much value you have given. If you are person with low self-esteem because your self-worth and net worth are tied together, what is going to happen is you’re going to go out looking for new business opportunity, new pay rise opportunities, new opportunities to make money, but you bring to the table the same person at the same level of value. Thus, your worth exactly 5-10% less than what you were the year before. And you wonder why and blame it on the lack of opportunity, when opportunity has nothing to do with it.
Money is a byproduct of the consequence of the value you add. Most people in today’s society have been conditioned by the media, the wrong kind of pay group, and institutional thinking that states in order for you to be labeled as successful. I see this in japan almost more than anywhere, I get the self-worth first and then you are free to chase your passion because you are not validating yourself by somebody else’s opinion of who you think you need to be. From that place you go create magic and guess what you happen to be more successful and more passionate. You may not earn as much money sometimes, but I know people that earn a lot of money that are miserable as hell and I wouldn’t swap their net worth for my net worth in a heartbeat if it meant swapping the same level of self-esteem. I’d rather earn less and enjoy my life.
-----Even though people in advanced countries have everything, they are struggling with their life.
The experience that you have is your internal perception of what you think the outside world is. Outside world doesn’t exist. You create your own world based upon you interaction with the thoughts you have about your perceived level of reality. Change your thinking, and then everything changes. If you take a glass of water and if you don’t like the water in the glass you change the water. You do the same thing to life: relationship, money, job, career, boss, school whatever it is. You try to change it by stirring the stuff. You’ve been trying to change the stuff your whole life, but it never works. But if I change the color of the glass, what happens to everything inside is that everything changes.
-----To be a different person, in other words, to be a successful person, people are always looking for something to learn. What they need to learn do you think?
There is only one thing you need to learn. It is the fact that you don’t need to learn anything in order to be successful. Most people need to unlearn most of the crap that’s in their head. Most people are trying to learn skills to get certainty. That’s why you go to school, get college education, and think “I’m still not all that certain so I need to go get my degree”. Then you get your degree but you still don’t feel certain so you gotta take a master and all this stuff because you’re running on a hamster wheel going nowhere by chasing skills to get certainty. The problem is that it never works because skills don’t give you certainty. Learning more skills just gives you more skills. You’ll always chase your tail. Give up the game of thinking you have to be smarter than what you are. Many people keep limiting their potential because they don’t feel that they are qualified to do what they are searching to do. Your heart doesn’t need an institutional education or certificate.
-----Instead of looking for more external validation, they need to find their own goals. What are important things to set goals?
The first thing is to know why are you setting a new goal. Most people make a fundamental failure even to start with. They pick up the wrong baton at the wrong racetrack. Why have you picked the goal that you’ve picked? If it’s for trying to prove that you are good enough, to get fulfilment and happiness, or to show that you’ve got some level of self-worth, you’re running the wrong race. The entire purpose of having a goal is not to achieve the goal. It’s to see who you need to become in order to achieve your goal. The goal just happens to be a facilitator of a duty of personal growth and transformation for the best of me to be able to show up. That’s the kind of goal you want to set. Never set a goal you know how to achieve. When people set goals, they normally want more money, a better job, or the person of my dreams. If I set a goal, it is something that’s going to get me up 5am, and with that level of excitement that I’m going to want to go forward. I’m excited and passionate about something that nothing can stop me. I’ll figure out a way. Those doors will open; I’m giving my energy and whatever it is at that particular moment in my time. If you are on purpose with something, there is different energy, demeanors, and spark about that person.
-----How they can start changing themselves?
Fastest way is hanging around with different people. If you’ve been conditioned for 20 years to think and act in a certain way or been institutionalises by an educational system that doesn’t recognise passion over process, you are going to be having a hard time when it comes to understanding this level of conceptual reality. However, if you start hanging around other people who are passionate about something, you are going to start wanting what they have and seeing things different. If you hang out with 10 people that they make 1+1=11, and create a spark and energy, you join those 10 people. And boom you can’t help but get enthused about the same level of energy. If you want a spark of life, hang around with the people who have a spark of life. If you want more love in your life, hang around with loving people. Change your peer group.
-----How can you install that mindset or personality on yourself if you are a totally different person now?
You summed it up very when you talk about shifting identity. I take people through a process called the IM process, which is a process of reinventing yourself. You actually get to choose and consciously create the identity that you want and explore. Most people’s sense of identity is fundamentally limited. For start, most people think they’re nothing more than their name. If I say who are you without your name what show’s up. Because you’re starting to talk through your sense of self that is real. Your name is a label that your parents gave you that was a linguistic application of identity that you then took on board. And we finally write because the mind loves to label. If I said to you what is that thing outside in the garden that is tall and full of branches and leaves, what would you say? What am I describing?
It’s what we call a tree. But a tree is a four letter word that the mind labels on something that is a majestic description of nature, which is so much more than the label we call a tree. And if you’ve actually studied a tree you’d be in awe of what it does and how it’s incredible. This majestic expression of nature, which we just come up with a label: a tree. Slap it up. It’s not a tree any more than you are your name. In the respect of “I love myself”, you will notice the ambiguity in that. If I love myself, there has to be two of me. As the I is me loving the myself that’s being loved. And there’s the trap. You see the I in who you are is love. When we get to that awareness or spiritual teaching, the context or the glass changes dramatically. You see you are not your name any more than you are your mind or you are your body. You are not your body, your body is different from when you were five years old and will be different when you are fifty-five. So you are not your body but you are still the same sense of you. You aren’t your mind because your mind isn’t engaged. So the I is behind all that.
The person you are without your name is the person that needs to look in the mirror and fall in love with himself and then give that expression to everyone else it meets. And they will find you are perfect, you know they will find what it is that you, whether you’re working or brushing your teeth when you’re engaged in a job, you can be passionate from that level from that place. But for most people that’s completely over their head. In terms of trying to figure out how to pay their finance of a car they bought.
-----In order to change yourself, you first need to experience that level of changing, like identity shift, then you can work on what you want to do.
If you’ve come to the fact that you know anything you put after the words I am you’ll find your conscious behaviour. I am an entrepreneur, I am a vegetarian, I am a parent, I am a football coach, whatever it is. The labels that we put on ourselves go in out unconscious levels of behaviours because they are tied to our identity. However, most of those labels we are still wearing from childhood, or teenage experiences are emotionally painful or gave us the most emotional high. Therefore, we stick to them most of our lives. What you’re really looking for is to come to the awareness of I am full stop. Once you’re ok with I am anything that comes after that I am happy, I am sad, I am fat, I love me I’m gorgeous, whatever it is. Whatever label you give after that is almost irrelevant. Once you’re ok with I am full stop, then you have the freedom to go and live the life that you want to live. I got a new book coming out soon called “I am – the power or reinventing yourself.” It’s about shifting your mindset. Taking the belief of that “life happens to you” to “life happens through you”. You see life differently and change the glass, not the content. Most people are, unfortunately, on that path whereby they’ve been conditioned to think that if they get something that they currently don’t have, and they will ride to a place that they aren’t at. The truth is you can never be a place that you aren’t at. Fulfillment is you being comfortable with who you are irrespective to the outside world.
-----Many people are already economically successful that they can buy whatever they want to buy, but they seem to be unhappy. People tend to think “I will get this and then I will be happy”, I did this so I am happy and never they become fulfilled.
The mindset always precedes everything. You will act based upon your repetitive thoughts. You behaviour is a reflection of your lifestyle. And your circumstances are a reflection of your behaviour and your thoughts and therefore change the input change the output. In programming, they call it GIGO, garbage in garbage out. Most people that’s their life, it’s GIGO. Garbage thinking in, garbage results outside. Mindset is everything. Some people change their mind, they change their life. The problem is that it sounds so clique that most people miss the profoundness of the statement. You can shift one belief system and make a dramatic impact.
-----So they need to change themselves in the present.
How can you get something that isn’t now. The question is this: What’s actually wrong with this preset moment that you’re in right now? There’s nothing wrong with the moment. The biggest problem is that most people don’t understand it. An event is just an event. There is not good and bad, no right or wrong. Now that’s going to challenge a lot of your core belief systems. Especially those entrenched with identifying themselves with the mind because the mind loves to separate. I’m right because I know that is wrong. It lives in the juristic world. Terrorism is not right or wrong it is an event. It’s a plane flew into a building. What we do is we instantly label that event based upon our relationship to it. If I’m in the building I’m going to label that an act of terrorism. If I’m the person flying the plane then I’m going to label it an act of heroism. Resist the instant labeling and understand that it’s only our relationship to the event that governs that label. Recognize that everyone has their own set of values so there is no bad, right or wrong. There is only perception of what fits our values or not. Persons are very quick to judge but very slow to realize that we are worthy of judgment as well. Get out of that perspective and live a life of freedom. If you want to go out and make a million dollars, do it. Do it out of passion. Otherwise don’t do it. If you try to earn a million dollars because you think it’s going to get you out of the current financial problem or it is going to give you a car and status that you think other people will respect you’re for, you are in Disney land thinking. Again it’s a hamster wheel to nowhere. Get good with who you are. Appreciate who you are. Get comfortable with “I am” full stop. And from that perspective you then have a freedom to go and design a life that you are passionate with.