David Meltzer is the Co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing and formerly served as CEO of the renowned Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment agency, which was the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. His life’s mission is to empower OVER 1 BILLION people to be happy! This simple yet powerful mission has led him on an incredible journey to provide one thing: VALUE. Dave Meltzer is a three-time international best-selling author, a Top 100 Business Coach, the executive producer of Entrepreneur‘s #1 digital business show 'Elevator Pitch', and host of the top entrepreneur podcast, 'The Playbook'. His newest book, 'Game-Time Decision Making', was a #1 new release. David has been recognized by Variety Magazine as their Sports Humanitarian of the Year and awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Florian DAVID: David Meltzer! Dave. How are you? David is my last name but most people in the US call me Dave too, and I don’t even bother correcting them anymore [smile]. It's great to be spending some time with you here in Paris today!
David MELTZER: Good morning Florian, great to be here with you, thanks for having me!
DAVID: Today we are interested in Dave Meltzer the Man. ZEFYR LIFE is a media about the human experience. We discuss the Art of Living in the sense of Montaigne and Epicurus. We are also big fans of Albert Camus. We want to understand what it means to be a human going through life, listening to stories from people who have been there done that. Stories from people who have also come to the realization that leading a happy life entails including an altruistic dimension to it. Going through life is not easy, but it is a miracle. Life is a beautiful thing and we can all help each other on this journey to make it even more beautiful.
Some people seem to have been gifted at birth with boundless energy. You have been a very successful Sport Agent working as CEO of the most legendary Sports Agency alongside its Founder Leigh Steinberg whose story inspired Cameron Crowe to produce Jerry Maguire, featuring Tom Cruise. Well, you see, I love Tom not just because he is an immensely talented actor with a great work ethic and a formidable entrepreneur, but because he has this physical courage and boundless enthusiasm for life. He has got that fire and joy inside burning bright! And clearly you have that fire too! Kids too have that unstoppable mindset.
Today we are sitting here together in Paris and tomorrow morning you will be in California. I look at your Instagram it looks as if there are ten Dave Meltzers in different parts of the globe working round the clock. How do you do it? [Smile] Have you always been like this ever since you were a kid? Where does your energy come from?
David MELTZER: [Laughs]. I think what happens is that we are all born connected to the most powerful source of energy and light and love and lessons that ever exist, but we are also born with interferences, we are born genetically with interferences and corrosion and these interferences are what dilute the power that we all have. And so I shifted the paradigm of focus. I was born with less interference - high energy was since I was born - but I have focused on, especially over the last thirteen years, reducing the interference, reducing the corrosion between me and that energy source which I am connected to. As I like to say there are more kilowatts in one finger than are needed to light up all of Paris. I could light all of Paris with that much energy that is in my finger - that is how much energy we have, so we must be connected to something. But we have an ego that causes fear and fear is a soul sucker and an energy sucker. People are confused by fear because fear does focus us and because when we are focused we achieve certain things, we feel as if fear motivates us. But really it doesn’t.
DAVID: Personally it paralyzes me.
MELTZER: It paralyzes me as well. So I encourage people to raise their awareness about what interferes with the most powerful source of energy and light. You are, I am, our beautiful camerawoman is [smiling to Alexandra], we are all, connected to an incredible source of energy and if you are focusing on diluting the corrosion, the interference, you too can have an extraordinary amount of productivity, accessibility and gratitude in your life.
DAVID: So clearly you may be gifted at birth with energy - one of our former guests French actor Richard Berry was a hyperactive kid - but you are saying that we can all work on this later in life to unlock it.
MELTZER: Yes, I was a hyperactive kid too. So surely we were born with less interference, with less of an ego that causes that interference. I believe that everyone however is connected to that energy. But to some people it can take a lifetime to get rid of that interference.
DAVID: Absolutely and I see it all the time around happening: We are our worst enemies aren’t we? People self-sabotage all the time.
MELTZER: Yes and our best friends too. So I say this: When you think of what you want, it’s a possibility. When you clear that connection of inspiration, that becomes a probability. There is only one thing that stands between you and your prospective reality and that is you. And so that is awareness, strategy and discipline you have to focus on: if you can raise your awareness, create a strategy which clears the connection and then you have discipline to do it every single day you will make every probability your reality.
DAVID: One of our former guests, a famous glassmaker in Venice named Gianluca Seguso, read out loud for us last time this quote from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery: ‘What is essential is invisible to the eye, it is only with the heart that one can see rightly.'
'EYES ARE ACTUALLY LENSES THAT PROJECT WHAT THE MIND AND THE HEART PERCEIVE'
MELTZER: Yes. I believe that the eyes are illusionary, that we don’t see things. Eyes are actually lenses that project what the mind and the heart perceive, and so yes I agree with that quote. I once again have shifted the way that I see things to illusionary. I know that the cause and effect are reversed from what most people perceive. So say you may look at this iphone here and think you are seeing an iphone, I am projecting the iphone. Here’s where it gets confusing for most people: There is a collective consciousness and there is your consciousness. So we have a shared vision - we both perceive this thing to be here - but we, individually, give a different meaning to everything that we see. The object that becomes familiar to us is projected by the collective consciousness in the same way as the man-made constructs of time and space. All these things are put into that phone, but we still each of us assign a different meaning to what we see. You may like it I may dislike it, you may think that’s big I may thing that’s small.
DAVID: Yep. I might see it red you may see it blue [smile].
DAVID: The same Gianluca Seguso also said ‘The more we talk about ourselves with authenticity, the more we open up to ourselves - including about our own weaknesses - the more we can recognize each other'. I am also interested to hear your thoughts on this.
MELTZER: Yes. So we each vibrate our own frequency. And by allowing ourselves to becoming vulnerable we become invulnerable. Authenticity is the frequency through which we project and feel comfortable, and the most truthful, and so I always say enjoy every day the consistent pursuit of your potential, of your frequency - I have my own frequency. And what is nice about social media is that there are 4.9 billion people online and growing every day, and with our frequency we attract a certain portion of these people no matter who we are. One of the lines that I love, and it changed my life, is: ‘I would rather have people dislike me for who I am than love me for who I am not’ [smile]. When I was younger I was a pleaser, I was trying to please everyone. I thing that’s what your famous glassmaker was meaning when he says ‘The more we open up with authenticity to others the more we then recognize each other and connect with others.’
DAVID: I’m not sure why today I got stuck on that conversation we had in Venice with Gianluca Seguso [laughs]. This gentleman said another thing which could appear naive or obvious at first and yet it isn't: he said ‘The journey starts with choosing the destination.’ Where are you setting sails towards Dave Meltzer?
'(...) WE CAN LITERALLY CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH PERSPECTIVE,
NOT THROUGH ANYTHING ELSE.'
MELTZER: Yes [smile] so I believe in knowing your What. I think we all already know our Why. Billions of dollars are being made fooling people in trying to make them think that they do not know their Why. Your Why is to help somebody else. You might not know who yet, but you know that your Why is to allow things to come to you for others. So my What is actually combined and reconciled with my Why: My mission in life is to impact a thousand people like you, who will impact another thousand people, who will impact another thousand people. So a thousand times a thousand is a million, and a million times a thousand is a billion. My mission is to impact over a billion people on earth just to be happy. I think that by creating a collective consciousness, a gracious prospective, that positive viewpoint will change the entire world. And twenty years ago when I sat there thinking how I could make millions of dollars I could never connect the dots backwards as Steve Jobs suggested. But when I think about changing the world, something that big, isn't that the biggest idea that you have as a child? Isn't the answer to the question ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ ‘I want to change the world, I want to make the world a happier place I want to make it sing', right? I have now connected the dots backwards. I know that I have the power, I have the inspiration, I am connected to a source that will allow me to connect with a thousand people like you, who will connect with a thousand other people who will connect with another thousand people. And this is real to me, and the best thing is when I talk to others, they agree with me: They feel that we all can do this together and we can literally change the world through perspective, not through anything else’
DAVID: Brother! [Handshake, hug, laughs] like your friend Gary [Vaynerchuk] would say. [laughs]
MELTZER: Yeah! [Laughs]
DAVID: This is so true and our company's approach too is so modest. We believe all we do is about leveraging this power to change the world one interaction at a time. Then amplify these moments. This is true with you today, with Alex [Dave’s Assistant, filming], it is true with the gentleman who just brought us our water and coffee. In a world that is in such a chaos, the first thing I deem being our duty is showing each other kindness and respect during these small moments that we spend together. Coming back to Seguso (!) he said ‘We are all small precious containers of all the people we have met and experiences we have had in life’. I thought that was beautifully put.
MELTZER: Yes, that is the pursuit! [smile]
DAVID: When you get lost in life Dave, I know I still often do - maybe a bit less these days [laughs] - we all have these moments when we get lost in the woods [when I tend to do that my partner Lina says 'Florian do not go into the woods!' [Laughs] or when your moral gets low, where do you go and find the actual resources to get out from these woods and back on the road?
MELTZER: Yes. So I meditate every morning, I have already done it this morning, I meditate for twenty minutes to find my highest frequency. I believe that we can only be aware of what vibrates equal or less than us. The earth vibrates the slowest, then plants then animals then humans then light and sound and then thoughts. And the thought that vibrates the fastest is the truth, and so I am pursuing my truth, I am pursuing my highest potential, my highest frequency - every day. But in order to find that baseline I need to meditate every morning and so by meditating every morning and finding that baseline I am shortening that period during which I get lost. That time spent in the ego-based consciousness with the need to be right and the need to be offended and the need to be separate.
DAVID: It still happens?
'(...) I HAVE LEARNED OVER THE PAST THIRTEEN YEARS TO SHORTEN
THE AMOUNT OF TIME
I SPEND IN THAT EGO-BASED CONSCIOUSNESS.'
MELTZER: Oh, every day. I need to feel fearful, anxious, angry, frustrated, those needs of the ego exist every day. If I could invent one thing I would invent the ego-ectomy [smile] and pull out these needs from everyone so they could live at peace and in harmony, connected to the extraordinary power we are all connected to, with less interference. What I do is I wait and see. I know that when I get off that trajectory my body my mind and my soul are on fire. So when you are on fire you stop, and you ask why do I feel this way and then you pivot back in the right trajectory towards the right frequency. So I am consistently trying to shorten that period of time during which I’m lost - when most people on the contrary tend to accelerate into the forest with the ego that gets angry, and then they wonder why they are so far off track. I have learned over the last thirteen years through meditation and this practice (which is a consistent, persistent pursuit) to shorten the amount of time that I spend in that ego based consciousness, in the forest as you said. And I used to go there often. I would say I have spent even years in the forest at times, when I was young. Now I spend only minutes there.
DAVID: But you know, there is also a creative process which requires at times to lose oneself no? Which is a different kind of ‘being lost’ isn't it? Some people enjoy being lost to be able to create. Picasso said ‘If you already know what you are going to do, why do it?’
MELTZER: I do not know what I am going to do either, but I do know if I am on the right trajectory. So there is a nuance to what I am saying: I know what I want, I also know that my plans are my plans and there is alignment, action and adjustment. I always say 'In order to make God laugh come up with a well developed plan!' So I initially know what I want, but I am allowing things to happen and if things don’t happen as I planned, I look positively and excitingly upon the situation, because I know that God or the Universe is pushing me towards something better. My life is determined by simple choices. Between what’s better or worse. You know? Even regarding my own existence. I believe in many lives for instance. Right?
MELTZER: Yes because if I look at my life, I have just one decision to make: Is this 'it' or not? And so I say to myself: 'Hmmmm, what would be a more positive decision?' Because nobody can prove things are actually going to be one way or the other can they?
DAVID: That’s correct [smile].
MELTZER: So the most positive solution to me is that I am going to live my life as if I get to live another afterwards, a second chance. I decide to chose that life is about lessons, and that the lessons will keep on coming until I learn them. And if I haven’t learned them this will result in mental and physical and spiritual pain, in emotional pain. If I feel physical, mental and emotional pain I know that there is a lesson that I am not learning and so I will explore that situation with fervor and enjoyment to figure out what the lesson is. You asked me earlier do you still have the ego problem? Yes I do, because every lesson that I learn I am going to forget at one time or another. Every day I still forget to say thank you. And I teach thank you to everybody! [laughs]
DAVID: You see this is what I liked about you. You have this way of being as blunt as we are, we have no filters here we all say what we think. The only things we are not publishing are things that people reveal us which could put them or their families in harm’s ways. What I also noticed about you Dave is that when you ‘fuck up’ as we say in the US [smile] (and we all happen to!) you just admit to it and move on. And that honesty is at the top of the list of the things we personally value tremendously.
MELTZER: Yes! [laughs]
DAVID: The third thing that I find remarkable about your story - and I am sure that you are familiar with legendary hedge fund manager Ray Dalio as well as his book ‘Principles’, is that like him you are constantly drawing lessons from your life experiences. What actually saved you at a critical time in your life has been an ability to pause and reflect on your mistakes. A faculty which, if we - mankind - could develop it as a habit on a global scale, as a specie, would probably benefit all and help our spiritual growth in exponential ways. If we could all develop this ability we would really very fast get into a totally different - better - place in our lives. This is what artificial intelligence will do very well. Learning from past mistakes. And what we humans do not practice at all. Do you remember the very first time when you actually decided to pause and reflect on how to readjust things in your life because they went wrong?
MELTZER: Yes. I think it was two years before I lost everything. There were three occurrences that you may have heard me talk about, because I think they have all been significant. And one of these times was when I was on top of the world at thirty years old, married.
DAVID: Yeah, you were then running the legendary sport Agency founded by Leigh Steinberg (who inspired Cameron Crowe to produce Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise we talked about this at the beginning of our conversation).
MELTZER: Yes and before that I was CEO of the world’s first smartphone company, so I had quite a career but so I remember these three things: the first time is when my dad, who was my hero, left us when I was five. He then broke my heart when I was ten.
DAVID: How did he break your heart?
MELTZER: He forgot my birthday but he lied to me. He lied to me and said he didn’t believe in birthdays, that he did not forget my birthday but did not believe in birthdays. But at ten years old I was smart enough to know that my dad was a liar, a cheater, overseller, back-end seller, a manipulator. My hero for five years was my mum who worked two jobs, packed my dinner in the station and while she was raising six kids I would ask her why can’t you be more like my dad when my dad would not even support us! (That was back in the Seventies). So when he did that, I hated him. And then when I turned thirty he sent me a birthday present. I thought ‘wow’.
DAVID: And you had lost touch all this time?
MELTZER: We had talked some, but I had been trying to build a relationship with him over the last five years, since I was twenty five to thirty, because I had started working making my own money and wanted him to tell me he was proud of me - which he never did. He died at eighty.
DAVID: He never told you he was proud of you. Does this still hurt a lot?
MELTZER: Yeah. Yeah. [voice trembling]
DAVID: Isn’t that what you are so looking for, to be loved? And aren't we all?
MELTZER: That is true. I will tell you a story. When my father passed my wife's father passed a year and half after, and she went to a medium. She was channelling her father to talk to him, and my dad came through. And so…[pause] I am going to choke up [pause] - and the number one thing he told her was 'Tell Dave that I am proud of him' [Dave starts crying]
DAVID: [Taking Dave's hand] We are proud of you too! [smile]
MELTZER: Yeah, but the point is you ask me does this mean something to you, are you looking for that love, the answer is yes. I always choke if I talk about this. Whether this is real or not, whether my wife made this story up or not doesn’t even bother me. It’s a fact that everybody wants recognition.
DAVID: Yeah! Hell yes! [Laughs]
'YOU ARE JUST LIKE ME YOU ARE GOING TO END UP THE RICHEST MAN IN THE CEMETERY.
YOU CANNOT TAKE ANYTHING WITH YOU WHEN YOU'RE GONE.
THAT JACKET IS TO REMIND YOU OF THAT'
MELTZER: So then when I was thirty he sent me this jacket. I opened it up I was so excited, I thought wow my dad finally is forgiving, he understands why I was so mad for so many years and I opened it up and everything was torn out, the inside of the jacket was torn out too. So I called him I was like ‘Dad, are you torturing me? What is this jacket for’ He went: ‘This is for your birthday’ - he had ripped it up! He said ‘that is not for wearing’, I said ‘what is it for then?’ he said ‘I want you to hang it in your closet to remind you of me’. I said ‘but huh, you are an ass..[BEEP] To remind me of you??’ What do you want me to remember? He said ‘Because you are just like me’ and I said 'I am nothing like you, you are a liar a cheater a manipulator, an over-seller and a back-end seller, I am nothing like you I don’t even want to talk to you'. And he said 'You are just like me you are going to end up the richest man in the cemetery. You cannot take anything with you when you’re gone. That jacket is going to remind you of that' [Dave choking].
DAVID: That’s one powerful message. You gave me shivers. I was trying to understand where this was all going.
MELTZER: Well wait, it gets better. So I hang the jacket in my closet. A couple years later I was playing golf with my buddy - my friend since the sixth grade actually, he was my friend forever (he asked my wife in sixth grade to go study with me and she said no tell him to ask me himself [smile] This is how close friends we were). Well, he hadn’t been talking to me and when we went golfing I asked him 'What’s happening? Why are you not hanging out with me anymore?' He said 'Because I do not like who you are hanging out with'. So I said 'But I am not like those guys' and he said to me ‘You can lie to me but don’t lie to yourself’. I went on crying.
MELTZER: Two weeks after that I was at the Grammy Awards with the famous rapper Lil Jon, drinking, probably high. Coming home I lied to my wife about going, came home at five thirty in the morning and my wife told me she wasn’t happy. She told me that I’d better take stock in who I was and who I wanted to become or she would leave me. I nearly got angry, I could not believe she had the nerves to tell me that with my huge homes and the life that I provided that she wasn’t happy with me. I woke up in the morning even madder, thinking about getting divorced, you know, what lawyer I should call and so on. How dare she even bring up the fact she was not happy?
DAVID: ‘After all I have done’?
MELTZER: Yeah ‘after all I have done’. And then I looked over, in the closet, I saw that jacket [Dave crying]. I was just like my dad. Right? When I looked at the jacket I was like shit, I’m just like my dad. So I sat down. Took stock in who I was. And I started practicing: gratitude, forgiveness, accountability, and this idea of inspiration. These four things, just practicing every day. I wasn’t born perfect at first, but thirteen years later I am pretty good at them. And I am inspiring other people and that’s what truly changed my life.
DAVID: As far as I am concerned whether your father mentioned being proud of you is pretty much irrelevant because I reckon that the gift he made to you was the best gift ever one could offer a son.
MELTZER: Yes, as he got older and we became closer and I took care of him, I told him, it’s the best gift I could ever have received.
DAVID: Relationships with fathers and in particular with the sons are not always easy, things going smoothly is more the exception than the rule [smile]. But truth is, as for everything in life, if we draw lessons from these challenging interactions, and we as sons make the effort to reach out to our fathers and understand who they are as human beings - not fathers - and where they are coming from, what seemed like challenges at first can render us a big service. It is as in this poem by Thoreau ‘The Path less Travelled’: if the path is too easy I do not think it renders you any service. We have to chose the path less travelled.
MELTZER: I just put up a cartoon, the story of a butterfly, this is my favourite. A farmer is sitting under a tree and he sees next to him a cocoon and the butterfly is trying to break out. So the farmer takes his pocket knife and he cuts open the cocoon and the butterfly is coming out and he is flapping around flapping around and it’s too weak to fly so he dies. This is what we are doing to our children and I think you heard me say there are two things we need to teach our children: toughness and telephone, how to speak on the telephone. I really believe that we have to - not struggle - but strengthen. I am not talking about sacrificial investments, these are perceptive things that people get mistaken about because they think that way: ‘I am struggling’, ‘I am sacrificing’and this way they create shortages and obstacles and interferences. No, no, no, you are not struggling you are strengthening. ‘I am sacrificing so much’. No you’re not, you are investing in yourself. You see how subtle the difference is? But the resulting energy is so much different. You want to be fired up like me, then think how am I going to make that investment in myself today not ‘Oh I am sacrificing so much for…’. No, I am strengthening myself today, think about it.
DAVID: I would have to re-fact check this but besides being a nice story, I believe your butterfly story is a scientifically established fact, if you help a butterfly out too soon he does die.
MELTZER: It is absolutely scientific that the butterfly breaks out when it is strong enough, so it has to push and strengthen its wings so it can fly. When it finally can break out it is strong enough to fly. But the main point is the subtlety about the perspective, the struggling versus the strengthening, sacrificing versus investing.
DAVID: It was so nice to see you choke and cry as you went back to the past. I cry easily too.
MELTZER: I know. That’s what I liked about you [smile].
DAVID: Let’s talk about keeping our promises Dave. I also really like that word ‘promise’. Maybe it is also biblical. Do you remember the last time that you did make a big commitment, a big promise and were proud because you delivered on that promise?
MELTZER: Being a promise keeper is essential to pursuing my potential. So whether it’s promising to take Alexandra’s mom to Paris [Alexandra is Dave’s Personal Assistant - filming this conversation in Paris], where other people may say things and not follow through, or promising my wife that I will do certain things.
DAVID: You brought Alex’s mum to Paris?
'(...) BEING A WAY MAKER AND A PROMISE KEEPER, IT GOES TOGETHER.'
MELTZER: For her birthday yeah [smile]. This is the combination of two things, it is also in the bible: being a way maker and a promise keeper, it goes together. In order to keep your promises you have to be a way maker, you’ve got to make the way right? You’ve got to make it happen you have to make room for what you want and allow it to happen and I think, so many people say things and don't follow through - unfortunately our politicians are known for not keeping their promises and not being way makers. Well, I live my life to be as best as I can a way maker and a promise keeper, especially to my children. I will tell you a quick story about my son. My son asked me to coach his football team, so I told him that I would coach it, I told him that I would not miss a game.
DAVID: What’s his name?
DAVID: Ah, for Miles Davis? [smile]
MELTZER: Yes because of Miles Davis. I wanted M too so all my kids are 'M', I call them M&Ms [laughs]. It costs me a fortune because sometimes I had to fly home private, just to get home in time for the game. I did not miss one game until the end of the season, when I got asked to speak to a couple thousand children about going to college. So I asked Miles, I said 'Miles I made a promise to you that I would coach you not miss a game that I would coach you - and other dads don’t travel as much as me and you asked me to coach and I said yes - but this time I have been asked to speak to help these other kids, I’m not going to go unless you give me permission because I made a promise to you', and I asked him ‘What’s more important?’. And he said ‘Oh daddy you’ve got to go and help these other kids’.
DAVID: So many interesting things you said here to expand upon! The first one is about ‘making the way’ as you said. And that is very biblical in fact, this concept in the Torah, the Jewish Talmud is called Tsimtsum, whereby God withdraws from the world, hence creates a void, to make place for mankind. And I believe that this is one of the most beautiful things one can do for others is making place for them to exist. Is that related to what you were saying?
'(...) THE UNIVERSE IS NINETY NINE PERCENT BLACK MATTER, IT'S EXPANSIVE.
THERE IS SO MUCH ROOM FOR US TO HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH OF EVERYTHING AND FOR EVERYONE'
MELTZER: It’s absolutely related, in fact my entire philosophy is called Quantum Nature of the Universe. When you look at the math and the science of the universe, that relates back to the Kaballah, to the Old Testament. The Universe is more than ninety nine percent black matter, it's expansive. There is so much room for us to have more than enough of everything and for everyone, and when you say God created a void we haven’t even started to fill that void. And so many people take the wrong perspective of scarcity, of not enough or just enough. I live in a word of more than enough, of one that you talk about, making room for everything and everyone to have everything that I want and that they want, which already exists, they just have to make room for it and there’s plenty of space to make room.
DAVID: I believe your brother is a Rabbi and this is why I had actually brought with me that book titled 'The Ten Commandments' by Marc-Alain Ouaknin. I don’t know if it has been translated into English, it is fascinating whether you are religious or not, personally I am not. But it does make you think and grow spiritually, which I believe is really lacking in our world. Is your Rabbi brother younger than you?
MELTZER: One year younger yes.
DAVID: Has that had any influence on you?
MELTZER: More than my younger brother it was my Uncle Eli and my Mum, both extremely religious. My mum ran the Jewish Academy, my Uncle founded the Temple of which my Brother is a Rabbi of. This grounded me in Jewish culture and allowed me to study dogmatic religion and adopt my own prospective because I am like you, I am very spiritual, I don’t believe in any religion that separates us, or separates within. I believe in unity and unification of spirituality, this idea that in spirituality we all are connected, but I believe in Jewish culture: I believe in Family, I believe in Education, I believe in Honesty, I believe in the Ten Commandments - those are the cultural things. But for example I don’t see a necessity to keep kosher, I think some of the things in the bible are antiquated, they were social and economic rules to help our society progress at the time that it was written, but it is my own interpretation and I praise anyone that has discipline to do good and most people that are religious have a desire or a discipline to be good, and I am ok with that [smile].
DAVID: Yes talking about Religions or coming back to the Ten Commandments that is all very well but it does have to start with you, one can not just be preaching to others and not apply that in their own lives, which is often what is turning off people so much and away from religion.
MELTZER: Hypocrisy and what you resist persists pervade the Ten Commandments. If you allow people and trust people, they will do good. People just don’t have enough faith [in human nature] and think we have to control them and tell them what to do. Human nature is good. The same goes for animals. I have seen it in nature in Africa in the Maasai Mara you see all about human nature. What is interesting is that some small percentage of people have some sort of disease, a small small percentage creates fear, a small small percentage has a mental disorder. We don’t have any other issues other than mental illness issues right? We have a mental health issue in America. We don’t have a homeless issue, we don’t have a drug issue.
DAVID: I just learned a few months back that the second cause of mortality amongst teens in America (and some other countries too) is actually suicide.
MELTZER: Yes that is the mission I’m on: Happiness.
DAVID: Right, in the UK too, amongst men under forty five suicide is the leading cause of death. And somehow it is still taboo to talk about this. We are facing an epidemic of cataclysmic proportions. What is happening Dave?
'THERE IS A HAPPINESS PROBLEM.
AND THE HAPPINESS PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED
WITH GRATITUDE, FORGIVENESS, ACCOUNTABILITY AND INSPIRATION.'
MELTZER: Happiness. I started reading about all these statistics, and they vary, and even if they were exaggerated and wrong, even if suicide was in the top ten leading causes of mortality, even if it were in the top ten, which you know has to be true, it shouldn’t even be in the top ten. There is a happiness problem and the happiness problem can be solved with gratitude, forgiveness, accountability and inspiration. Now here’s the difficulty, there are some people that can not be cured in this lifetime but we have to do what we can to not feed the problem with drugs and alcohol, we can’t feed the problem with negative thoughts and negative media either.
DAVID: Drugs is also an issue that seems taboo to discuss. I see cocaine causing ravages all around and altering people’s lives and human interactions throughout our world. Because drugs do alter our state of consciousness. The root cause of a lot of the erratic behaviours we witness today and suffer from as societies across the world - from bullying to sexual harassment especially, megalomania of some politicians, or industrialists and middle management in corporations, through to some of the mass shootings - are due in large part to drugs abuse I reckon. And that plague is rife irrespective of social classes and industries, it affects all areas of society. And yet in proportion of the disasters this is causing, we do not hear much about the topic. Why?
'YOU CANNOT DEFINE OR STEAL MY JOY. I CAN ONLY ALLOW YOU TO DO SO.
(...) EVEN SO WITH FORGIVENESS, I DO NOT FORGIVE YOU BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT,
I FORGIVE YOU BECAUSE I DESERVE IT.'
MELTZER: Well, there is the colour of green. With cocaine addiction and opioids addictions people are making good money. And so it is not just taboo, it is the economics of what goes on and has been going on for years that drive all this. And you know, whether alcohol is legal or illegal, whether marijuana was legal or illegal, whether cocaine was legal or illegal - and with this opioid crisis now we realize that some Doctors were the biggest drug dealers in the world! - it is the same as with guns: I don’t blame the gun. Right? I blame the person who uses the gun. Drugs have been around forever. There’s knives. You could take a bat and hurt somebody if you are mentally ill. Why are people using drugs? Why are people using guns? Why? Because they are not happy. Here’s the best thing about happiness: happy people do not hurt anyone. Happy people never hurt anyone. Have you ever seen two happy people fight? No. You don’t see two happy people fight. That’s why I pray for everyone’s happiness. If someone has attacking thoughts towards me I know that they are unhappy. And so all I do is trying to understand why they are attacking me, and pray for their happiness. That’s the only two things that I do. It makes my life so much greater. Look, when you don’t like something about someone else, look within: it was like with my father, every single thing that I hated about my father was what I hated about myself. I identify that all the time. Whatever aggravates me - I know that lying, cheating, manipulating and overselling and back-end selling are quantum in my nature as it’s been inherited by at least four generations - I just practice not having it in me. And I forgive myself you know, but most importantly, I know everybody has things they’re working on. And when you come from a place of understanding, love, forgiveness and praying for people’s happiness, no one can steal my joy. One’s unkind thoughts can not define me, all it does is define that person as someone who’s unkind. You cannot define me or steal my joy. I can only allow you to do so. I would say even so with forgiveness, I do not forgive you because you deserve it, I forgive you because I deserve it.
DAVID: I think you touched upon a very important point there about allowing others to hurt your feelings. Tying it back to the issue of teen suicide I realized that there is a massive problem of low self-esteem. Especially in America these words always come back ‘I have no or low self-esteem’. In fact it’s gone global , people do not like themselves anymore it seems.
MELTZER: Yes and social media has aggravated the problem because people are now trying to meet criteria that are impossible. I see so many [fake] pictures, things that are inorganic, not authentic. Being a so-called ‘Influencer’ myself and meeting with a lot of famous people I know what they are really like, I know some of these people standing in front of cars they don’t own and houses they don’t own, and creating [fake] images or face-tuning every picture. I am one of the few people who look better in person than on the pictures I post on the internet [big laugh] because I will not fix anything.
DAVID: Note to the viewers: we are wearing no make up today [laughs].
'I TELL PEOPLE ALL THE TIME: 'FIND THE LIGHT, FIND THE LIGHT IN EVERYTHING,
FIND THE LIGHT IN WHAT YOU SEE AND WHO YOU SEE AND WHAT YOU DO. FIND THE LIGHT''.
MELTZER: I often joke that am the plastic surgeons’ nightmare [laughs]. Whenever I see plastic surgeons I tell them you better be nice to me else I will tell everyone that I went to you [laughs]. I will kill their business. No, but seriously, we are creating a reality that does not exist and creating that pressure and causing this low self-esteem in a world where no one is ‘enough’. What if we were projecting instead a world where everyone was enough? You are more than enough. Coming back to your book ‘The Ten Commandments’, to tell somebody something nice. I tell people all the time ‘find the light, find the light in everything, find the light in what you see and who you see and what you do, find the light'. You also don’t 'have' to do anything, you ‘get' to do it’. There is no 'Why me?' in life, there is only ‘Try me’. And so when I meet someone I am always looking for the light in that person and try and reinforce that. You never know, one comment can change someone’s life. I have had people tell me all the time oh my god you are the first person to tell me that. And this plants a seed or it waters the seed. A positive thought and a positive verbalization of that thought either plants a seed or waters a seed in the person that you give it to. What more can you ask for?
DAVID: Coming back to cosmetic surgery it reminds me of something one of our last guests, Nanne Dekking the Chairman of TEFAF, told us. He talked about the mirrors hung in all the hotels bathrooms. This bathroom moment is the only ‘off stage’ moment and people have to put their mask back on and look into the mirror before they step out of the bathroom and go back on stage. Everyone seems to be on a stage feeling as if they had to perform a role. Pirandello called this ‘La Maschera’ (The social mask).
MELTZER: Yes, Shakespeare already talks about this in fact.
DAVID: Yes. As well as in that awesome short book you co-wrote with Jack Canefield and Cynthia Kersey untitled ‘BE UNSTOPPABLE’, you talk about this: People living a life that is not their life.
MELTZER: Yes Shakespeare started talking about this: The whole world is a stage. And now not only is it a stage because of your social status, but also because we can capture everything that we are doing. Capture and modify it, then amplify it and then perpetuate it. You are right, now the only private moment we have is within ourselves. And then we become captured, modified amplified and perpetuated. You know, I sent you that picture of me and my wife by the Eiffel Tower? Then people modified it (some made it into a Monet painting using filters) and then I had it painted by one painter and I thought wow, this talks exactly about what you are saying. The difference with me is that this process of capturing, modifying, amplifying and monetizing is for Good. That receivership comes through me for others, everything is pre-determined in my life to help other people, and so I allow those things, there is a purpose and a practice, whereby they come to me to inspire, to illuminate the practice of what’s going on. I am not putting videos out there in front of things I don’t own and telling everybody that money is the end all and be all. We must inspire other people, we must live in a world of more than enough, and allow things to come through us not for us or to us. We have to have a real positive perspective, and the real simple truth is that gratitude will get us there. Forgiveness will get us there. Accountability and inspiration will get us there.
DAVID: About expectations, our friend the talented French Gardener Louis Benech (Versailles, Les Tuileries…) told us this: ‘A tree will never grow the way you think it will.’
MELTZER: That’s right, it is the same as again, if you want to make god laugh, just come up with a well developped plan! [smile]. A tree will never grow the way you think it will. Even more importantly, regarding trees, Denis Waitley the famous sales coach taught me ‘Your life should be a mission to plant trees whose shade you’ll never sit under’. Well, I want to plant trees whose shade I’ll never sit under. The positivity I share, whenever I think something or say something nice, I am planting a seed or watering a seed of a tree that I’ll never sit under. And I am happy with that. I am proud of that.
DAVID: I think we will let all meditate upon these last words of yours because our lives, yes, should be about legacy. Thank you Dave.
MELTZER: Thank you Forian I appreciate the opportunity.
DAVID: It's been a great joy, Thank you for your presence.