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Awakening the Wealth Warrios (AWW) is how I was first introduced to Michael Skye and his work. Since then I've gone on to attend Michael's Boot Camp, meet and get to know Michael personally, and consider him like a brother to me. To say it changed my life is an understatement.
I attended Michael's Boot Camp roughly a year or so after returning from Iraq. At that time, I was at a very difficult point in my life. Having spent a year in Iraq, during the first few years of the war, I was in the darkest part of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)... which, at that time, the Army knew very little about.
I had bounced from job to job trying to provide for my family while simultaneously trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I had quit several high-paying jobs because the stress levels were simply too high for me to handle. I had finally settled on working at pizza place as an Assistant Manager.
I remember many nights how overwhelmed I would get during our evening rush. My body would react to the stress of that rush as if it were a life-threatening event (because in Iraq, stress events usually were) and it would completely overwhelm me emotionally. I remember I used to fight back tears and anger all through the rush... and the first break I got, I would run out behind the building and bawl my eyes out for 5 or 10 minutes.
This had been my life for about a year or so. Anything that was remotely stressful would completely overwhelm me... and I didn't know what to do. I was at the point where it was becoming too much for be to take and I had thought of ending my life several times. When I started actually making tentative plans for my suicide is when I knew I had to something.
During all of this I had been exposed to some of Michael's work and it had helped me to deal with certain parts of my PTSD. But, I hadn't got the full thrust of his work. Coincidentally, Michael had decided to offer his Boot Camp as a gift to a group of people and he started accepting applications. So, I applied and was accepted.
What happened to me at Boot Camp was nothing short of life-saving. That experience saved my life. I'm confident that I would not be here today had I not attended.
Now, to be clear, Michael's work is NOT about treating PTSD or any mental health disorder. That was just the effect for me. For me, Boot Camp gave me hope again. To be in the presence of and feel so much honor flipped the script for me. Instead of my life slowly winding down the drain... I found the energy to climb back out. And, that's what I did.
At that time, I had two little boys who would probably have been without their father... and I now have a third how probably would never have been born if not for Michael and his work. It's impossible for me to illustrate just how much this has all meant to me.
However, to say that Boot Camp magically and instantly changed my life would be misleading. This isn't some magical experience that instantly changes your life. It's real tools that you must CHOOSE to apply. And, that's what it did do... is give me the tools to take control of my life... tools I've never seen anywhere else - even to this day.
Plain and simple... the technology works.
So, what does all this have to do with AWW?
Well, this is where you start. In AWW, Michael describes the "problem of consciousness" - inner conflict. To me, even to this day... there's nothing more profound, I believe, for a person to "get". Because, when you get it at the level Michael intends... it becomes crystal clear what's been holding you back. It changes how you view your relationships with others. It changes your relationship with your self... and you get incredibly clear on what you need to do.
AWW is akin to the scene in the movie The Matrix where Morpheus offers Neo the red pill or the blue pill. AWW will awaken you to the reality of the war taking place in your mind... the war you've probably been all too happy to ignore up to this point. It will allow you to see clearly what you're capable of in your life and EXACTLY what is holding you back. At which point, you'll have to choose whether to slide back into blissful ignorance or Stay Awake, embrace the challenge of your life, and boldly act to win the war and create the life you were meant to live.
Personally, I suggest the red pill!
Michael Skye's speech was a lucid expose on the subtle, often sub-conscious inner conflicts which have us compromising our power, our honor and our values, followed by a bold call to action: WHAT IF we lived our lives AWAKE to (or profoundly conscious of) our values? What would that look like? Through an investigation and the experiences of his own life, he explored what does HONOR really mean? His presentation was riveting, and a different call than the other speakers were presenting-- a deeply personal, inner call to action. It was electric and visceral. In turning his speech into a story, the author allows the reader to experience the speech almost first-hand, as I did.
Reading the distinctions in Awakening the Wealth Warriors when it came out a few months later, it was further confirmation that I had indeed found something unique that would alter my life forever. I had always struggled with the "right way" mentality, and in searching for the right way, I never moved forward. Soon after reading AWW (it was 10+ years ago, in another life), the obstacles that had prevented me from moving forward in business and in life became obsolete. I got "myself" out of the way. The way I saw myself shifted to that of a warrior, taking a stand for my life. What the world needs is not better leaders. The world needs everyone to step up as independent self-leaders. Everyone can do this to the extent they have a great self-guidance system in place and great allies. The distinctions here are powerful. This book IS about waking up the youth and everyone to stand for their values. It is also a beautifully told story of a young man's awakening to his own power. I highly recommend the book, and the path of inquiry and adventure which can follow.
I learned about these tools, as you will, through the experiences of the young computer programmer hero of the story - Damon. He learns about the power of creating his own guidance system based on HONOR rather than on the guilt/shame guidance system he downloaded in childhood. Damon's learnings easily translate to the reader. When I learned about the Inner Conflict Diagram, the implications were so profound in their common sense application that I started applying them immediately - and then built on them by linking up with the WW online community.
In the light of the tragic death of open-internet activist hero Aaron Swartz, I think it is vitally important to not only "birth" new visionaries and heroes, but connect them together in communities of brothers and allies that "have their backs". "Awakening the Wealth Warriors" is a doorway into your own Hero's Journey and an introduction to a growing tribe of entrepreneurs, activists and visionaries from all over the world.